A diagnostic fee is likely something you’ve seen on more than just your HVAC service bill. For most service companies, including a diagnostic fee in some capacity is essential to running a healthy business.
Typically, the diagnostic fee only covers the cost of a technician being sent to your home to evaluate the issue. For example, if you have no heat and call for a service, the first course of action is to assess the problem. Your diagnostic fee covers this assessment made by an expert, but any further services performed are generally billed in an itemized fashion. At the time of the evaluation, your technician will provide you with an estimate for the repair or replacement, if necessary.
Every company has its own policy when it comes to diagnostic fees but keep in mind that the diagnostic fee is being collected in one way or another – either as a separate line item or built into repair costs.
Some differences in usage include:
- Waiving the diagnostic fee if you choose to use their company for the repair
- Waiving the diagnostic fee if your technician arrives outside of the provided service window
- Charging the diagnostic fee upfront
- Including the diagnostic fee in the overall cost of service
If you are asking yourself “what is the diagnostic fee on my HVAC service bill?”because you feel the fee is too high, I’d like to inform you of just how essential this fee is for small businesses to provide quality service to their customers. Unfortunately, at present, trade workers are difficult to find and to keep, so many companies are struggling to maintain a full staff. At the time of this writing, if your diagnostic fee from a reputable HVAC company is between $150-$200, it is considered a reasonable price. While it might seem like a high fee to some, it’s important to keep in mind that small businesses have increasing overhead costs. These costs include insurance fees, taxes, vehicles, office equipment and industry software, training, health benefits and staffing, which now cost considerably more than just a few years ago. All of these costs go into making your diagnostic visit possible and of the highest caliber.
At CPS, we are upfront about every charge with our customers and itemize our invoices, so you know exactly what you are paying for. However, some companies structure their pricing differently. No matter how you spin it, your HVAC company will need to charge for diagnostics at some point. Understanding why these fees are in place can be helpful for customers. All of us are trying to make a living while providing the best possible service for our customers now and for many years to come.
When you choose an HVAC service company, you are choosing to trust them in your home or business and with your safety and comfort. Once you have found a company you can trust, utilizing their maintenance contracts, when available, can save some money and ensure you are covered year-round.
Most companies will do what they can to provide quality service at the best price possible, but it is important to always do some vetting. Asking about fees upfront can help you gauge whether or not you feel comfortable moving forward. Ultimately, this topic is not straightforward, but I hope this potentially clears up misunderstandings and frustrations around diagnostic service fees.
We hope you found this article helpful and look forward to ensuring your comfort and safety. Thank you for choosing CPS.
CPS Heating and Cooling
If you are in need of more information or would like to schedule your consultation, you can reach us at 508-460-6691 or by filling out this form.