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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35014
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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We have a HVAC company. We gave a bid for a Ductless Split

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We have a HVAC company. We gave a bid for a Ductless Split System to a lady. She got other bids from other company's. She chose to go with us. She signed the contract. After that I went online to see if there were any rebates available for her. I found one on the Fujitsu site. I showed it to her. She had bought 2 of the indoor units listed on the rebate from Fujitsu. She did not have the outdoor unit listed.
It also had one indoor with the outdoor unit and on the rebate it did say it had to be EXACT or she wouldn't qualify for a rebate. All I did was fill it out that she had bought 2 indoor units. I gave it to her and told her it was up to her if she wanted to try and get a rebate but she didn't have the outdoor unit. If she wanted to try she had to have her install done and the rebate sent in to Fujitsu by a certain time frame. It sad on the rebate it had to be a single zone system and she bought a multi zone system and it wasn't exact. Fujitsu and myself have been getting a lot of e-mails from her and she complained to the Attorney general and to the BBB. Now I got a summons for small claim court and she wants us to give her 500.00. WE, our company doesn't and didn't offer a rebate. It was from Fujitsu and we can't control weather they will honor a rebate or not. Are we liable to pay it? Nothing about a rebate was on our contract she signed.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

That sounds like a sounds like you had a contract (you and she entered into a contract and you fulfilled your end and she hers) that accurate?

If so, was this rebate mentioned in the contact you had with her at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes the job was fulfilled according to the contract, with extra cost on our part because she changed the location of the outside unit. We didn't charge her the extra and we ate the cost. No rebate was mentioned on the contract she signed. She signed the contract before I even found one on the Fujitsu site.


One more question please...

It is possible to have an "oral modification" to a "verbal contract"

What you describe that does not seem to be the case. But I want to never made a modification to the written contract regarding the rebate?

In other words, your agreement to seek the rebate was not tied at all to this written contract?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no it wasn't. I always try to find a rebate and if I do I let the client know in case they want to try and get one


Thank you

Just a moment, will type up your answer...may take up to 10 mins....

What you describe sounds straightforward. Contract law, generally speaking, is not complex. They teach it first year, first semester in law school

In order to have a contract you need 3 things

1. Offer on the part of one party do do or refrain from doing something.

2. Acceptance of the other party of the offer

3. Consideration...agreement to exchange something of value in return or the agreement


What you describe it sounds like you had a valid contract that you fulfilled.

It is also sounds like you had some conversations with the lady about this rebate. I mention, it is possible to modify a contract after you enter into it. But the process requires the same 3 need an offer (to modify), acceptance of the offer, and new consideration to make the modification

If, for example, you had said "I have this great deal...I will get you a rebate, and do it for you for $10. We can make this our new contract". Had you made the offer and she accepted, then you failed to deliver? Bingo...she has a case.

But that is not what you describe.

You mention small claims. The formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply at small claims. It is an "everyman's court"

I would go to court and explain to the judge what happened. Bring a copy of the contract. What you describe? You do not owe her any money at all.

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