How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask William B. Esq. Your Own Question
William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 8895
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
William B. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mothers sewage line had a back-flow issue on Tuesday, the

Resolved Question:

My mother's sewage line had a back-flow issue on Tuesday, the 23rd. She had to hurriedly hire two contractors - One to come and clean up the mess, and the other to come and take a look at the pipe to figure out what happened. The work was done to clean up the room that was damaged and that contractor was paid the same day. AJ PERRI was hired to do the plumbing work.

The plumber that came out on the 23rd tried snaking but it didn’t work. They sent someone with a camera to come and find where the issue was – The camera guy came on the 24th. Guy with the camera put it down through the flange, but couldn't get very far. They went outside to an outdoor drain opening, put the camera in there and saw bellying and blockage. His camera broke through the blockage but the plumber indicated the cast-iron pipe had failed and needed replacement, at 60 feet of length. The pipe is 6-8 feet below the ground. They were doing to dig the trench and replace the sewer line. The trenching was scheduled to happen on 07/26/16. A contract was signed for the work ($10,883), a waiver of the 3-day notice to cancel was presented and signed, and a deposit was paid ($3,627).

AJ PERRI came on the 26th and was not prepared for the job. They arrived at 08:00 and waited for the other utilities to come and mark the water and gas lines to prevent disruption. The other utilities arrived and were done by approximately 8:30. The crew that came to do the trenching stood outside and appeared to not accomplish any work until 10:30. At 10:30, one of the workers inform my mom that there was a miscommunication on their end, and they cannot start the job because they didn't have the equipment to shore up the trench to prevent dirt from coming down on them, so they would come back on Monday, 07/29 to complete the job.

After these workers left (on 07/26), the supervisor called my mom to let her know there would be an additional fee applied for removal of the fence. Even though the fence removal was written into the contract with the quote, he indicated this would be $600-800 extra. My mother got my aunt involved and she relayed her displeasure with the new circumstances. The supervisor came over the same day (07/26) with another plumber that would snake the drain again to ensure they could use their pluming, though at a limited capacity. At this point, the supervisor determined a trenchless solution could be used to replace underground the pipe, so removal of the fence was no longer necessary. He also indicated that, although the trenchless solution was more expensive, the due balance for the work would not increase because this was "his fault". This was told to my mother, who then informed my aunt by telephone. My aunt called the supervisor directly, that same day, to discuss the changes and agreed it sounded fair. After ending the conversation, she realized she didn't have these changes in writing. On 07/27/13, she called and asked to get an updated contract with all this new information. The supervisor said this was his day off and he could come to get the new contract written on the same day they were performing the work - 07/29/13.

During the weekend, my mother and aunt and another plumber come out to give another quote. This other plumber will do the work for $3,500 and will not charge extra for the fence removal. My mother and aunt are interested in hiring this other contractor, but are concerned AJ PERRI might have them cornered because of the waiver they signed. We think AJ Perri may have broken their own contract by being unprepared for the work on the scheduled day and having to postpone, and then changing the terms of the agreement, with a new written contract pending.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer. Thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to help you with this legal issue.

The original contract is binding in this situation. While it is possible in some situations for a contractor to increase the amount due under the content for unforeseen issues such as unusually rocky soil, additional blockages requiring replacement beyond the original estimate or similar conditions, an open (and more importantly acknowledged) condition, is not such a condition and the contractor cannot do a "bait and switch".
If they fail to perform the construction as promised within a reasonable period of time your mother can file a beach of contact lawsuit against them for failure to perform.
There may be a delay claim for the failure to start on time, but unless it is combined with a complete failure to perform it may not be worth pursuing.
I hope this is helpful, please let me know if I missed anything or if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So the contract can definitely not be cancelled, because the waiver of cancellation was signed, giving away our three-day "cool-off" period. That is legal? Monday, the 29th will be the 3rd business day,

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If there was a waiver of the cooling off. There is no cooling off at all and the contract is final at signing. If they wrote the contract, the terms will be construed against them, this will strengthen your position.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have a copy of the waiver, and I am attaching it. Are you able to tell me if this is flimsy or binding?


Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately I cannot review your specific documents. But I can tell you that if they drafted the document it more likely than not will be enforceable against them, particularly when they took such a great deposit.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay, and I think this is the last question -


Because the terms of the original contract have been dramatically changed, verbally, we are requesting a new contract to be drawn up on Monday. Essentially, the entire way they are performing the work will be different, with the trenchless method. Because of the verbal changes, and a pending new contract, do we still not have the right to back out?

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Given the significant "material changes to the contract" there may be a basis for rescission. But this is a fact specific issue and I cannot give you a guarantee. (This does come into a reasonable claim our chance for rescission unlike many "cold feet" situations).
I wish I could be of more assurance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This is a last resort, and a very unfriendly option, but would it be possible to have them draw up the new contract and then refuse to sign it? At that point, would the previous contract still be valid?

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The previous contract is valid until it is revoked or superseded by the parties. If a new proposal is rejected the existing contract is still in effect and binding.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8895
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 5 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Infolawyer



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • Infolawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    17 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • Barrister's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney with 15 years experience in various consumer protection areas
  • P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons


    Satisfied Customers:

    16+ yrs. of legal experience.
  • Andrea, Esq.'s Avatar

    Andrea, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
  • LADY LAWYER's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Consumer Lawyer

Related Consumer Protection Law Questions