Do I have to pay for computer repair services when the computer was not fixed and is unusable?

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Do I have to pay for computer repair services when the computer was not fixed and is unusable?

The diagnostic fee was $35 and I am willing to pay for that but the guy’s estimate was $135 for a new chip and special glue (+ labor) he said was the origin of the problem. He called us yesterday and said what the new chip did not work and now the motherboard needs to be changed. I do not want to proceed with the motherboard change because it’s too expensive. I will just buy a new computer but do I still need to pay the $135?

Asked on October 23, 2010 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have a contract here.  One portion of the contract - for $35 - was to diagnose the problems with your computer.  You agreed.  It was performed by the diagnostician and he advised - based upon his expertise - what the problem was and what the fee for repair would be.  You relied on that evaluation to make a decision on continuing to repair the computer. You then agreedand he proceeded to attempt repair.  However, his diagnosis was incorrect and now he wants to be paid for the work.  I would say this: the agreement to diagnose the problem was a condition precedent to the repair, meaning that it has to be performed - and performed correctly - to bind you to payment for the repairs to the computer.  I do not think that he perofrmed the condition precedent and that you are not bound to pay either fee.  If he had diagnosed the mother board and you decided not to repair then yes, you would owe him the $35. But he was wrong.  And there were no "qualifications" to the diagnoses.  So he is out of luck.  


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