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The plumbers who worked on our water heater came out 3 weeks…

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Hi, the plumbers who...

Hi, the plumbers who worked on our water heater came out 3 weeks later to see why it was leaking. They then told us the entire heater had to be replaced, gave us an estimate of $2300, promised to email invoice with details and return the next day. No show the next day, when

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Plumbers who worked on our water heater returned 3 weeks later because it leaked. Said it had to be completely replaced, gave $2300 estimate, promised to email quote with details & return the next day to fix. No show next morning as promised, I callled and got office staff who was ignorant of details. I briefed her and asked for quote to be emailed with heater model tech pdf. She sent incorrect one, I called her back, she couldn’t answer question so passed me on to current owners father (who had started business) . After talking he said they would send quote, it came in at $500 over the previous days estimate. I emailed back questioning the increase, he called back belligerent that a customer would question their pricing, said that is what he wanted to charge & wanted a check for $2800 before they would begin work. I reminded him that his website & his workers confirmed that credit card payment was acceptable. He got mad, said it was his business & he could do whatever he wanted and did not wantdo the job anymore

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

Plumbers

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Plumbers who had worked on our water heater came out 3 weeks later to diagnose a leak. Said entire heater had to be replaced, called their business office, got quote of $2300, checked heater availability, said cost of this visit would be rolled into next days replacement visit, promised quote from office would be emailed & left.

Lawyer's Assistant: Emailing***@******.*** is the best way to reach customer service.

Next morning no show, called their office was met with staff ignorant of entire situation. After asking to speak with someone who could answer our questions, was transferred to current owners father since owners were “away”. Spoke with him, received an invoice which included the previous days visit but was $500 more than the previous days quote. I emailed back questioning this increase, same gentleman called back, said that is what he was going to charge and demanded a check before work started. I reminded him that both his website & workers had confirmed credit cards were fine, he got belligerent and said it was his business & he could do whatever he wanted. I said that wasn’t fair, he reappeared it was his business and that he no longer wanted to do the job and hung up. Later they started mailing bill for the 1st visit and calling my phone to pay on a monthly basis. Since they left us in the lurch, breached their agreement to install the new heater and not proceed, we didn’t pay that bill. Now they have taken it to small claims court for about $139. While the sum may seem small, the principle of the matter and how poorly we were treated is a big deal to us. Please advise how to proceed.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Legal
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3/15/2018
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,168
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello. I am going to here to help. One of the common defendes to a complaint like this is that you never agreed to pay a fee for their visit. In some circumstances, if a party provides a service to another in the other agrees to that service, then the party that received that service may be bound to what's called an implied-in-fact contract. In this case, the fact that they came out to inspect your water heater does not suggest that you agreed to have them do any work. If there was no agreement that you would pay them for their time, then there is no basis for their suit.
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
This appears as if they are trying to just get money for making that visit, but unless they can show proof that you agreed to pay for that visit, a judge's not likely to support the claim. My recommendation would be to explain what happened, but be sure to explain that you did not agree to pay them anything for just making the visit. The other details regarding the estimate may be helpful, but the judge is really only going to want to know whether you agreed to pay that money. Do you have any other questions for me?
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
If I understand correctly since the charge for the 1st visit was to be rolled into the next day’s replacement visit, and then they cancelled we don’t owe them the 1st day’s visit for which they keep sending us bills and now have filed a small claims court complaint.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Correct. If they didn't mean to terms of the contract, then that your obligation to pay is cut off.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sorry I don’t understand what “ mean to terms of the contract “ means, please explain ...
Also, I have received a delivery notification of the certified mail letter from small claims court, but have not yet picked up. When does the clock start to respond to the complaint, notice to defend etc.?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Sorry. I meant if they didn't oblige by the terms of the contract. Also, the clock starts once they file the suit for you to respond or sppes
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Appear
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What does “sppes” mean?
I am in MD, the filed on March 8th, I got postal notification to pick up on the 14th, when will I need to appear...will I get a date after I respond or is the date to appear in the complaint letter?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
I'm sorry. Typos. I meant appear. So, in your case, if it was filed the 8th and if it's small claims, the court will set a date for you to appear and send you notice. I would check the court website for not only if there is a requirement for you to respond (there usually isn't) and when the court date is scheduled.
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
The court will want you to make your case at court itself instead of responding in writing.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Can we take a short break, I have kids I need to attend to but have a relevant question
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
No prob!
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