Some contact centres are run as profit making businesses and others are run as charities. There are also some run by councils. The way that the centre is run and the service you want to receive will have a big impact on the cost of the service.
Charities are often run by volunteers and funded in a number of different ways. When you are asked to pay at a charity, you are often not paying what it will be costing to run the service. Having this charge in place will support this charity to offer you the best service that is possible for them, but also ensure that they are there for children and families that might need them in the future.
Private businesses will be operating based on being profit making. They often have well established centres that are well maintained and well resourced. The people running these centres will be professionals. In these cases, the cost that you are asked to pay with contribute to the sustainability of the service.
Any cost associated with using a contact centre will be understood from the outset. It will be incredibly rare for costs to occur that you could not have anticipated. Sometimes, the person who referred you to a service might cover some of all the cost of using this. If you are ever unsure check with the contact centre or referrer for more information.
If the cost of using a contact centre is something that worries you – talk to them. There might be a way they can help, and you will not have been the first to be worried about this. We are aware of a charity organisation called Turn2us, who advise on benefits and have recently opened what they call a Response Fund. Please contact them directly for criteria requirements.