Cana business charge you for services after completing them without agreement upon terms prior to the work being done?

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Cana business charge you for services after completing them without agreement upon terms prior to the work being done?

We recently had some work done on our homes air conditioner. At the end of the first day we agreed on and paid the $75 service/assessment fee. At that time we were told by the companies rep that both parts and labor were covered by a pre existing factory watenty and that their would be no cost to us, so we agreed to move forward with the repair. The next day after the work had been done, and with out us being home, the company told us that the labor was no longer under waranty and that we had a $00 balance with them. Are companies able to bill us for services we did not agree upon?

Asked on August 30, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no single answer: it depends on the circumstances--i.e. on exactly what was said and authorized. For example, if you had said something like, "I'm glad it looks like the work will be covered, but we need the air conditioner repaired no matter what. Please start on it." that would be enough to constitute an agreement that they would repair the A/C and then bill you if it was not covered by the warranty--you had told them to do the work no matter what. On the other hand, saying something like, "Because it is covered by the warranty, go ahead and do the work," would be taken as authorization only to do the work at no charge to you, because of the assertion or representation that the cost was covered.

So what was said will influence whether you have to pay. In the event of some ambiguity, since you received the value of the A/C being repaired, if their cost is reasonable, a court would probably find that you had to pay, since otherwise you would unjustly enriched by getting work done by theh service contractor who is not paid for it.


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