1) In the context where you are getting a technician, tradesperson or a repairman to come to your house, which phrase is more appropriate/common among native speakers? Is it a matter of difference in degrees of formality? Below are some example sentences I thought of.

I have a problem with my xxxx. Could you please come out and have a look.

xxxx has not been working for some time, so can you come over to check it out for me.

I think there is something wrong with my xxxx. I was wondering if you can send someone to have a look/ check it out.

2) What are some idiomatic and more concise alternatives to the two above? I have heard of the expression 'do a house call' and would like to know some others.

Many thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


1) To me as a native BrE speaker all of those sentences are OK (apart from correcting "wonder" to "wondering"). Although "check out" originated as AmE it is now heard in BrE too in this context and others. I don't see much difference in the degree of formality. In my experience tradesmen and women are not much interested in formality as distinct from politeness. All the sentences are quite polite with the third being very much so.

If you were going to take a vote, I personally would not use check out, but I would use the third sentence.

2) Other terms: "house call" is associated, but not exclusively, with visits at your home by your doctor. A quick duckduckgo search reveals that there are lots of companies offering PC repairs "at home". Another term often used is "call out": sometimes you are offered service at home with no call out charge, other times you have to pay such a charge. In my experience different traders use their own different terms.

  • "Call out" is unknown to me as an AmE speaker, and it's uncomfortably close to "outcall", which is associated with prostitution (at least on this side of the Atlantic). Feb 4, 2018 at 16:47

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