Can a business charge me for services not fully completed when it is only my word against theirs?

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Can a business charge me for services not fully completed when it is only my word against theirs?

I hired a lawnscaping company to mow my lawn twice a month, for $50 per visit. The bill is sent at the endof the month after the 2 visits are complete. They visited my home the first time shortly after I hired them on 6/02. They never came on 7/16, It rained all day. I called to ask if they would come after the rain.They confirmed they do not mow during rain and would come on the 17th. They never came back to mow. When the bill came, They charged me for the 16th, claiming they came to my home, andrefuse to refund my money.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under General Practice, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Can they legally charge for work not done? No, unless the contract or service agreement with them provides that they are paid a certain amount regularly, regardless  of whether they actually performed work on the date in question, or something to that effect. But apart from that, then they have to do the work to be paid for it.

Practically however, if you and they disagree about whether the work was done, the issue will come down (if there is a lawsuit or legal action) to who is more credible and who has more evidence (if any) on his side. Note that the advantage is with whomever has the money--if you haven't paid yet, they have to sue you to get the money or get a judgement against you, whereas if they have your money, you'd have to sue to get it returned.


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