What to do if charged by a mechanic for work never done?

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What to do if charged by a mechanic for work never done?

Paid almost 2k for replacement of cooling system parts. Several weeks later it overheated. We found that to be suspicious so we brought it to a friend’s trusted mechanic who, after investigating, told us that new parts were never put in. In fact, the bolts had never even been turned on the old ones. Our friend also looked and saw the same thing. We feel that we should be able to get our money back from the original mechanic. We had our friend’s mechanic re-do the work as we felt that if we brought it back to the original mechanic he would have said it was something else and try to charge us another 2k.

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No one can charge you for work they never did: doing so would at the least, be breach of contract (they did not fulfill their obligations, which was to do the work), and it could easily also be fraud (lying to get money, basically)--potentially criminal fraud as well as civil fraud (something you could sue over). You could sue the mechanic to seek damages (compensation); among the damages you could seek would be the cost to make the repairs and/or the return of the money you paid; also, if the car suffered any additional damage because the repairs were not made, you could sue for those costs, too. You should consult with an attorney about possibly suing; from what you write, it would seem that you may well have a case.


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