Can I be sued by an interior designer if we had no signed contract?

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Can I be sued by an interior designer if we had no signed contract?

I had an interior designer draw up a quote for drapery in my home. I did not sign a retainer and I have it in an email that said she would draw up a quote for $350 to price out drapes in my home. I paid her the $350. She came up with a quote which I accepted but still did not sign a retainer and she came back and said she made a mistake in the original quote and we would have to reselect fabrics. She came back with a 2nd quote and I rejected it and now she wants to bill me $4,200 for her time spent on drawing up a quote. I refused to pay because she never did any work in our home.

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

She cannot charge you the additional fee. If she made a mistake (a unilateral mistake) that would be something you could not have known would be a mistake, then she eats any additional costs. Further, you did not have a bargained for exchange or a meeting of the minds on the issue of additional monies for a quote, let alone actual work to decorate. You need to find out if this type of work requires licensure in your state and complain to that board. If licensure or certification is not required, then you need to complain to the attorney general or local prosecutor who handles or has jurisdiction over unfair and deceptive acts.


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