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Daniel, Electrical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  Expert in electrical & mechanical design, troubleshooting, and problem solving
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When a custom awning builder tells a potential customer face-to-face

Resolved Question:

When a custom awning builder tells a potential customer face-to-face that a custom awning he can build to cover the customer's standard size front door will cost $400 all-in (inclusive of labor), then sends an email the next day stating it will cost $850, is that unprofessional in the home improvement industry? Doesn't the customer have a right to know why the price more than doubled overnight? And if the awning builder has been building awnings for 5 years, shouldn't he have a better idea of what an awning should cost than guessing it will be half of what he ultimately prices it at on paper? Wouldn't the customer be on just grounds to ask that the awning be priced closer to what the builder originally estimated verbally that it would cost?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Hi there happy to help.

If the price went up overnight there should be a good reason for the increase. Examples........

"I forgot to include, "x" or "y" in my bid, etc........"

"When I checked the price of X material it had gone up considerably since I last ordered this material, etc........."

Even with these reasons the mistake should be met with an apology for the original mis-quote.

If you are having trouble getting a hold of the contractor for clarification I would look at this as a blessing in disguise. Sounds like someone you may not want to do business with. Many crooked contractors if they feel they can increase prices on you for no reason and you will still pay, will do so more than once.

I would suggest finding a different contractor.

Please don't forget to rate me and have a great day.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for clarifying what the merchant should have done in this situation. Your recommendation makes sense. And while an apology and an explanation as to how the merchant's price doubled overnight would help, I question whether the merchant may have actually created a verbal contract when they gave me a verbal assurance that he could complete the awning construction / installation job as verbally described for $400 to $500, "Easy - No Problem" as he stated to me in person on the day he measured the installation space for dimensions. There was a meeting of the minds at that time as indicated by his verbal assurance of the price within the $400 to $500 range. Was that sufficient to constitute a verbal contract I could legally pursue for enforcement?

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I am not a lawyer mind you but generally I would say NO to this. Contractors increase their bids on a regular basis both during and before jobs begin. Sometimes this is done legitimately sometimes not. Even written quotes can be changed, however the changes will always need approval by the owner, and most owners will require a good reason for the increases.

I believe legal pursuit would be a waste of your time and unproductive in this case.

However as I said, it appears you have seen enough signs here to choose NOT to do business with this company unless something should drastically change with their attitude and customer service towards you.

Please don't forget to rate me and have a great day.
Daniel, Electrical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 7897
Experience: Expert in electrical & mechanical design, troubleshooting, and problem solving
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