Can arepair job quote you one price and then charge you another?

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Can arepair job quote you one price and then charge you another?

We had a quote for $110 to fix a radiator, but when we picked it up it cost $291. Is that legal?

Asked on February 25, 2011 under General Practice, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the terms of the estimate and also any authorizations you gave. Some estimates are firm and can't be exceeded; others are just "good faith estimates," which can be legitimately exceeded if they had been truly made in good faith, but circumstances changed, more damage was found, etc. Similarly, you may have given authorization only to do up to $110 of work; or you might have said "go ahead and fix it" which could be seen as authorization to do whatever is necessary. In short, whether this was ok depends on the circumstances; there's no single answer.

At the end of the day, for a difference of $181, it's probably worth paying it...if you fight the bill or refuse to pay, you could end up with a default reported to credit-rating agences, in ligitation, in collections, etc., all of which could cost more than the extra $181. You may wish to try to negotiate it down a little, pay it, but then complain to the BBB and also refuse to recommend this shop.


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