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

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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