Am I legally responsible to reimburse a previous customer for services that he had a different company complete for him?

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Am I legally responsible to reimburse a previous customer for services that he had a different company complete for him?

We are a furniture restoration company. A client was not fully satisfied with our service and took it upon himself to have another company fix certain issues. We offered to fix the issues upon knowing client was not satisfied. The client is threatening to sue our company if we do not pay the $1750 handling he incurred to fix the furniture by another firm.

Asked on January 29, 2012 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not "satisfaction" per se--a customer has no right to seek additional compensation simply because he is not satisfied. However, if your company did not do work to commercially accepted standards, or did not do the job as you were actually hired to do (e.g. you represented you could do X, and that's what the customer engaged you to do; but instead you did Y), or caused some other damage in the course of doing the restoration, etc., you could potentially be liable for the cost to complere and/or repair. That is, your company must have actually been at fault in some way, such as by mispresenting what you could or would do, breaching a contract or service agreement, or being negligent in how you did the work, for liability to arise. You would potentially then be liable for the reasonable cost to repair, complete, etc.

If you do not pay voluntarily, the customer could try to sue you. To recover money, he would have to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e. more likely than not), that you breached a contract or agreement, misrepresented, or did work not up to commercial standards.


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