NSW Undisclosed Call out fee- Do i need to pay

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Snigzy

Member
11 December 2019
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Hello, recently my home computer broke and required repair. I emailed the IT person who built the computer following his inspection of the machine at my house he left. Later giving me the quote for the parts that needed changing; the quote was over my desired price range. He said he would wave the call-out fee if I accepted the quote- this call-out fee was $160 an amount I would have never agreed to if he disclosed it.

So my question is. Do I have to pay the call-out fee that was never mentioned or discussed?
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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Have you thoroughly checked their web page to see if it mentions anything about a call out fee?

Was the call out after hours, weekend?

Doe's the company have a dispute resolution pathway?

End of the day, they are entitled to something for time & travel costs if you are not going ahead with their quote... What that amounts to may depend in part on the time of day/weekend etc.
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
818
126
2,389
NSW
There's only two ways that anything on a web site would be relevant:
1. The appointment was booked online, the terms are online and you had the opportunity to read and agree to the terms at or before the time that the online form was submitted; or
2. You made contact by other means, the business made you aware that their terms are on their web site and you were given the opportunity to lookup and read the terms before the appointment was made.

Without more info, it doesn't look like any of that happened here.

While I agree that the business has a right to charge for any service it provides, call out fees are one of those things that you can't charge for after the fact - it must be disclosed up front.

In my opinion, you shouldn't pay it. If the business threatens any action against you, report them to Fair Trading NSW.
 

Snigzy

Member
11 December 2019
3
0
1
Thank you will consider this when making my decision. Have just viewed their "Website" and found out all their online presence is a facebook web page with no terms and conditions
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,720
708
2,894
Sydney
He's billing you for his time and expertise, and the cost of getting to site to see you.
Pay the man.
It'll cost you more than that in time and effort to defend his debt action aganist you.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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198
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Fair probably not worth the time
Good call.... I think you would have found that if this chap had pursued payment via a civil court claim, then even in the absence of a disclosure, a magistrate would find it fair & reasonable that his time, expertise & travel was worth something
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
818
126
2,389
NSW
There are two things here - the moral side and the legal side.

Morally - yes, he is entitled to be paid something.
Legally - as far as I know, he is required to disclose the fees and didn't. As the OP said, he wouldn't have engaged his services if the fee had been disclosed at that amount - and it seems to me, that everyone is ignoring this.

This is a legal forum, not a forum about morals, so my answer to the questiton that was actuall asked is "no, you don't have to pay". Also, I would never count on a court ignoring the law for morality.

As for the cost of defending his debt action aganist you, I doubt that would be an issue. There's very little chance that any action would succeed where the fee wasn't disclosed, which means that costs would be on him, not you.

The simple fact is that crap like this happens every day in this country because people don't stand up to it.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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Will have to agree to disagree on this one Scruff... Yes, he may not have pursued it via court, & no, there is no legal imperative to pay it without a court enforcement... There is however a case to make that reasonable costs of providing what was a service after all, should be worth something. Not saying $160 is appropriate, but maybe depending on time/day... My point was, IF it was pursued via court I'm fairly confident a mag would see some some compensation for a service warranted... Morally?.... I think most people would also assume that it's worth something
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
818
126
2,389
NSW
We members often disagree on here, which is one of the things that makes this site so good - different opinions create different options for the person seeking help.

But I'll mention that there's also the fact that the tech didn't mention the call-out fee until the quote was given - he then said the fee would be waived if the quote was accepted. That's just as dodgy as hell and I wouldn't pay in those circumstances either. The whole problem is that none of this came up until after the service was provided, when all of sudden, there's a fee if you don't accept the quote. Like I said - dodgy as hell.