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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55615
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I am in Columbus Texas 78934 and had to have some minor repair

Customer Question

I am in Columbus Texas 78934 and had to have some minor repair done to my 2007 GMC Denali so upon advice from a local friend I took it to a local small transmission shop that told me they could do the repair within four days so I dropped the car off on Monday night 05-30-15 so that the car would be cooled off and they could begin the repair on that next morning 06-01-15--I was told it would be done by that Friday 06-05-15. There were several excuses given to me--the usual--was sent the wrong parts had to wait on parts--Bot***** *****ne is that the shop kept my car for a full month and called me on 06-30-15 and told me it was ready to be picked up and that I owed $ 3,400. 00 for the repairs that I was told would be between $ 475.00 and $ 650.00 on the high side--At no time did I authorize either verbally or in writing this kind of money to be spent on my car--I need to know what my leagal rights are to be able to get my car picked up from this repair shop
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
You have no legal obligation to pay this bill. This shop is in breach of contracts and you should raise the stakes on them. They're the experts and you had the right to rely upon their estimate; if there is a mistake, it's the shop who should bear the burden of that mistake. What you want to do is raise the stakes on them so that they realize that not complying with your demands is going to cost them far more in the end than simply releasing your car to you for the promised price. You should send them a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and demanding they release the car for the promised price immediately. Inform them that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as deceptive trade practice and fraud actions, which will entitle you not only to your damages (including the value of rental car for the period it took to complete this job beyond the original estimate), but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, they will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the fraud and/or deceptive trade practice judgments being on the record.
Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My other question since this is a very small town outside of Houston ---Should I get a law officer to go over with me to get my car--since I need it. just in case there were any issues with the owner of the place or his two pit-bull dogs--I do like your answer you gave me and hope you are correct as I have been told by some others that you must pay the bill in full to be able to remove your car from his property--and then sue them on the same issues as you mentioned--I don't want to do that--I really don't want to pay them any more that what we agreed on--I never signed any papers authorizing them to do any work at all--and because of the time they kept the car "A full month" and then calle wanting me to come and pay them and remove it--The Invoice they sent to me had nothing outlined on it--no list of parts--no outline of the scope of the work that was done and no warranty on it at all--also they did not list any tax to be charged on the bill that I am sure the IRS would like to see--It was a one page--six line Invoice with no parts or anything normal listed on the Invoice--I need to know if I can get a deputy sheriff to meet me at the shop and take my car back as I don't want any problems
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for following up. Yes, if you suspect there will be a problem, I would have an officer accompany you to get the car. If the sheriff's office won't get involved, you can file a petition with a civil court in Columbus asking the court to order the car released. Then, if he did not comply with that order, the shop would be in contempt of court and subject to civil and/or criminal sanctions imposed by the court.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
I just wanted to let you know that I will be away at a meeting for the next hour or so. Should you have a further follow up, I will address it immediately upon my return. Thank you in advance for your patience. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
I've returned from my meetings if you have a follow up. I do have a concern. I've noticed that out of 9 questions you've had answered, that you have only given one a favorable rating. Are we at JustAnswer not providing you with satisfactory responses? I want you to consider your experience with JustAnswer to have been great or excellent, so if I can provide any additional information to achieve that goal, please let me know. Have a great day!