Do I have to replace a water pump that is perfectly functional if my customer has decided they don’t like it?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2011

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Do I have to replace a water pump that is perfectly functional if my customer has decided they don’t like it?

I installed an on-demand water heater for a customer. It is working fine with no problems but now, 6 months later, the customer has decided that they don’t like it and want a water heater installed similar to what they had. They say that it takes too much time for the hot water to reach the kitchen sink. The manufacturer suggests installing a pump to recirculate the water, which I offered to install at no cost to the customer. However the customer does not want to install the pump and wants a replacement instead.

Asked on August 9, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, there is no obligation to exchange or replace parts or redo work simply because the customer doesn't like it. Usually, the only grounds for doing this would be:

1) The vendor or contractor lied about what they were installing, the need for it, how it would work, its benefits, any potential issues, etc. In that case, they may have committed fraud, which may provide grounds to seek damages or rescind the transaction.

2) The work was done negligently or was not to the specifications in the agreement or contract; or defective or inappropriate parts were used.

3) There was some sort of "satisfaction guaranteed" guaranty on the work.

Otherwise, the customer cannot force the replacement, though it may sometimes be good business sense (e.g. word of mouth) to do so anyway.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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