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Free Estimate VS Diagnostic Fee

Every day calls come into Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling from customers who are looking for a “ballpark figure” or “rough estimate” on how much a repair or an installation will cost. Depending on the job, some customers receive a diagnostic fee, and some start at a free estimate. This type of language can cause some confusion. If you’re looking for an estimate to repair, it’s unsettling to wind up with a diagnostic fee. We understand your frustration. Let us help explain the difference.

What is a Free Estimate

Usually, we give estimates for relatively large jobs. Some types of jobs that require an estimate are replacing the water heater, converting from evaporative cooling to AC, replacing a furnace, or even replacing a sewer line. The estimates are free, and the technician will detail the parts needed, including the labor and work entailed. Many customers want this information over the phone because it doesn’t require anyone coming to their home. Why? Because it’s quick and they don’t have to miss work. However, for these types of jobs, it’s best to send someone to your home to see the full scope of work that could be involved. Otherwise, it’s difficult to determine what would be a good fit for you. Doing so allows our team to see firsthand what is needed and gives you a more accurate price of the work to be done.

What is a Diagnostic Fee?

Now I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well then what would be considered a diagnostic fee?” The best way to help answer this question is to think of the work that you need doing. If it’s something fairly easy and can be fixed while the technician is there, or that may not be a large project, then it would start at the diagnostic fee. No frivolous repairs from us!

When a Diagnostic Fee is Unnecessary

Occasionally, a customer will call in and say that they know what’s wrong and it doesn’t need a diagnosis. So, in those situations, there shouldn’t be a diagnostic charge. We explain this to customers by relating it to seeing your doctor. Your doctor will ask you to pay a copay before they see you and diagnose the condition. Our technicians provide a similar service when it comes to your plumbing, electrical, cooling, and other HVAC needs.

Don’t hesitate to call our office at 505-508-3808, and our friendly customer service representatives will help schedule your free estimate, diagnostic, or repair today. You can also contact us online by visiting our “contact us” page!

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