If a furnace repair company offered to come and look at my furnace but neglected to mention that it charged for estimates, am I required to pay?

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If a furnace repair company offered to come and look at my furnace but neglected to mention that it charged for estimates, am I required to pay?

It send me a bill. I assumed it was a free estimate and I never signed anything; there wasn’t even verbal agreement.

Asked on April 29, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was no indication or notice that the estimate was not free, you should not have to pay for the visit or estimate. Paying for services like this is essentially a contractual matter: you are obligated to pay anything which you were aware of or should have been aware of (that is, you can't claim to not have known of a charge when any reasonable person would have known), but do not have to pay charges which you were not aware of and did not agree to. Since estimates typically are free unless stated otherwise, there is no reason you should have known you'd be charged for it; unless the company can show some notice of the charge (e.g. a footnote to their add or website, indicating that estimates are not free), they should not have grounds to require you to pay.


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