If an auto mechanic charged me for a transmission and I paid in full but he later discovered that he undercharged me, am I legally obligated to pay the difference?

He discovered the undercharge a week later.

Asked on October 5, 2014 under Business Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the nature  of the undercharge:

1) He had given you a price quote ahead of time that indicated what the charge should be, but accidently typed the wrong amount on the bill; or the bill contained line items (i.e. for time/labor, for parts, etc.) which  were individually correct, but which he added wrong; in these cases, since you knew what the charge should have been, the fact that the mechanic made an arithmetic or typographical error doesn't prevent him from recovering the correct amount, and you'd need to pay what the bill should have been.

2) On the other hand, if he simply after the fact realized that he had charged you less than he "should" have charged and at the time you'd paid, you had no reason to think the charge was not complete and correct, then he cannot come back now and try to get more money from you just because he's thought better of the amount.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.