Can an autobody shop increase my estimate and keep my deposit?

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Can an autobody shop increase my estimate and keep my deposit?

My vehicle has been at this bodyshop for 2 months. I called to get the status of my vehicle and was told that for him to continue I will have to pay $3,000 more than Iwas quoted. He states that the vehicle has more rust under the paint than he thought. Before he took on the job, he inspected the vehicle and gave me a written quote with all services to be performed listed. He says that he will give the vehicle back to me but said that he have already completed $1000 in work, which is my deposit. It doesn’t look like $1,000 in work to me but I’m no professional. Can I sue for my deposit back

Asked on January 6, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, I would sue him for breach of contract or to enforce the contract.  He is the professional in this matter.  He inspected the car and gave you an written estimate.  See if it lives up to a contract in your state.  If it does, then I would sue to enforce it.  Before things get crazier ask him for a list of the things that he has allegedly completed on the car and then I might take it to someone else to look at for a second opinion.  If they tell you that the value if the work that has been completed is not what he charged you then you have a different road to possibly go down.  But yo have to decide: enforce the contract or sue for your money back if you can.  Good luck to you.


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