What to do about a dispute regarding a tree service?

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What to do about a dispute regarding a tree service?

I obtained an estimate for cutting down three trees and piling them on the side of my yard. I specifically asked the tree company to call me when they would come over to cut the trees because I wanted to be there to ensure the work was done correctly. The company came 1 weekend when I wasn’t home. They cut down the 3 trees and left the wood (22 inch logs) right in the middle of my backyard. I refused to pay them until they either moved the wood to the side or hauled it away for an additional reasonable amount that I was ready to pay them. They refused to both. Can they take me to court, even though there is no signed contract? Can they have a collection agency come after me for the money without a contract?

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you solely have a written estimate and no contract with the tree service company as to the work desired to be done, then under the laws of all states in this country the written estimate that you relied upon controls the situation. If you get sued for the unpaid work you have a good defense that the company did not abide by its agreement. If demands for payment are made to you, I suggest that you consult with a consumer law attorney for assistance.


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