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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35783
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Do you have to pay for a job estimate?

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In Nebraska, do you have to pay for a job estimate on improving a house is nothing was mentioned upfront? I'm from North Carolina, and I have lived here in Gresham, Nebraska, for only a year and a half.  The closest family I have is 812 miles away in Hermitage, Tennessee.  I do have friends here in Nebraska within a 100 mile surrounding area.  His "foreman;" I guess is his title; since as far as I know it's only the two the two of them, one is also a neighbor several houses down from me here, greeted me first thing this Saturday morning, 8:15 AM CST, September, 14th, 2013, at the Farmers Co-Op Store just two blocks away from my home, and had the audacity to say I have to pay for his bosses time and travel pay going to Menard's in Columbus, Nebraska to find out prices on the needed supplies. No amount was given as of today, but to honest it sounds like a scam. I got very angry first thing this AM when I was told this from my neighbor; my fairly new friend I thought; that works for this boss (I do not know his bosses name, because he keeps referring to him as his boss, but I don't forget faces and body builds.  I was a trained observer for 13 1/2 years.), and what I was told is well, "Bryan, he has time invested in going to Columbus to get prices on the supplies, and for coming by your house first thing in the morning on the way to a job." I told him immediately that I was not ever told about having to pay for an estimate, and I have not ever heard of any such thing having to pay for a estimate.  He saw how angry I was in my eyes and facial expression, and he immediately jumped into his truck and sped away.  I have had several contractors come by my home and none, repeat, none of them have ever mentioned about being charged, or have even tried to charge me for their estimates for the home improvements and/or for home repair costs. So what are my legal rights when these guys confront me again; other than the fact as of right now; I am flat out refusing to pay them for their estimate; especially when nothing was ever mentioned upfront about it. 

Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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So what are my legal rights when these guys confront me again, other than the fact as of right now, I am flat out refusing to pay for their estimate, especially when nothing was ever mentioned upfront about it.
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Put very simply, if you never agreed to pay them for coming out and giving an estimate on the job, then there is no contract that has been entered into and you owe them nothing. Unless there is a "meeting of the minds" then no contractual relationship can be entered into. So even if they assumed that they would be paid for their time, if you assumed the estimate was free and nothing was said one way or the other, then there is no legal obligation for you to pay them.
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As an aside, I have been a landlord and flipped houses for over 24 years and I have never heard of a contractor charging someone to come give an estimate. With that said, I would have to agree with you that it sounds like they are trying to take advantage of you and scam you into paying them for nothing.
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Barrister
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you so much!!! That is the way it is in North Carolina, and is exactly what I thought. If they persist, I'll threaten (I don't threaten, I promise), small claims legal action for this cost and for what they try to charge me. I may do it anyway to recover these funds for your help.

You are very welcome. If they try to press this further, you can tell them that you will also file a criminal complaint for harassment and they can deal with it in criminal court.
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People like this are morally reprehensible....
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you