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 Ely Your Own Question

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 88153
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We took our car to a repair shop because our transmission broke.

Resolved Question:

We took our car to a repair shop because our transmission broke. The place we took it to did a diagnostic on it and told us that it would be $2,300 to rebuild it. My husband told them to hold off on the repair because we needed to find the money to have the work done.
We received a call from the shop that the rebuild had been completed and it was ready for pickup.
We never signed anythng to have the repair done.
Their stand is that since we had the diagnostic done, it gives them authorization to complete the repair.
Is this right?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me - and this is very important - does it state on their paperwork that you give 'automatic' right to repair once they do the diagnostic?

Or, not, and this is something that they have just come up with out of the blue?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


We never signed anything. It was all done verbally.

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Okay, thank you K.

At this point, here is what is happening:

1) You are stating that you never authorized the work.
2) They are stating that you did.

You and them are at standstill. They may not release the vehicle and/or place a lien for alleged contract, unless you pay.

What someone in your situation may wish to do at this time is to file a Writ of Replevin to get the vehicle back. This is a court action where one says "they have my property and I want it back." See here.

This may help to prevent them from filing a lien and then they'd have to go to this hearing and explain themselves.

They may claim that there WAS a contract. Then it would be up to the Judge to believe. They may also attempt to claim "quasi-contract." "The essential elements of quasi contract are a benefit conferred on the defendant by the plaintiff, appreciation by the defendant of such benefit, and acceptance and retention by the defendant of such benefit under circumstances such that it would be inequitable for him to retain the benefit without payment of the value thereof." 17 C.J.S. Contracts § 6. In essence, it means that they did the work, and should at least be entitled to something if they THOUGHT you authorized repairs.

Someone in your situation may wish to claim that there was no such authorization, and, they did this deliberately. In the end, it is up to the Court. Of course, often, they may just release the vehicle before/after it being filed to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


So at this point, I think that it would be worth our while to push the issue if they keep pushing back.


 


Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
K,

So at this point, I think that it would be worth our while to push the issue if they keep pushing back.

Indeed. They are used to customers simply paying to get the vehicle back.

Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

Thank you for your direction, it helps my piece of mind and the thought that we can sort of "fight" back.

You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Satisfied Customers: 88153
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 5 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Ely,


Unfortunately my husband really angered them. When I went down there to try and talk to them they had had it with us.


 


Now there is no negation with them and they want their money. They also told me that there is a signed contract in the car and the car is stored in an off site lot.


 


My husband did not sign a contract with them.


 


I am not sure where to go from here in a legal sense. I know that we talked about taking them to court. Do you know an estimated time of how long that might take?


 


 

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

(ignore)

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
K,

Thank you for your follow up.

Well, this is unfortunate.

I am not sure where to go from here in a legal sense.

Writ of Replevin - here.

Do you know an estimated time of how long that might take?

It really depends on the Court, and I do not know. A few weeks, perhaps, or even months. One can ask how long it would take to get a replevin hearing at/before filing.

It is best to get an attorney involved. Please, see link below for one:

http://www.cobar.org/directory/
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


They first told me that we cannot get the possessions in the car until we have paid for it. Can they do this legally? If they do not come up with the car tomorrow to let us get our stuff out of the car and show a contract signed by us to do the work, do you think that I have a right to have the police involved?

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
The police will not get involved. This is a civil matter. They are operating under the presumption that there was contract so they are keeping the vehicle. They can do this, theoretically, unless you challenge this in court, I am afraid.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


So if they are keeping the car, do they have to come up with a signed contract to continue to keep the car?

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Well - to the court. And possibly. See my original answer. They can try to claim an oral contract.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Thanks Ely. I will try to take it from here for now. I will probably have other questions later but this all for now.


 


Thank you for your help

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
No problem. I know this is a trying time. Feel free to come back any time to this thread.

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... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...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
< Last | 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

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2620
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1711
    20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1415
    16 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1160
    25 years of private practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    1065
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1023
    Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas