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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.


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