Can I be held liable for charging too much on my services because I didn’t givea customera quote before doing work?

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Can I be held liable for charging too much on my services because I didn’t givea customera quote before doing work?

A customer came with many items for alterations. After work was done, he was surprised at how much the bill came to. He refused to pay what he owed and we kept his items until we receive payments. Now he’s suing my business claiming it was my fault that I didn’t give him a quote before doing alterations. My prices are comparable to other alterations shops in our area so I stand behind my prices. I don’t remember him asking for a quote before doing any alterations. I see the problem of my case because I didn’t give him a quote but does this mean I owe him so much money?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no law saying someone must be provided a quote before work is done. If a customer authorizes work without requesting a price quote or estimate before hand, that is generally the customer's problem and he is still responsible for the cost of the work. There are some exceptions, such as if the price is unconscionable high, which may represent consumer fraud, or if unnecessary or duplicative work was done, but if your rates and the total amount charged is more-or-less comparable to that of other shops doing similar work in your area, you should be ok; again, it's the customer's responsibility too request a quote or estimate before commissioning or approving the work to be done, and if the customer did not, he needs to pay what you charge as long as its reasonable.


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