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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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