Who is responsible in paying for completed work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who is responsible in paying for completed work?

Customer brought dress to be altered. Left it at
the shop knowing it will cost her 200-300 to
alter. She then calls during non business hours
and leaves a message to not complete the
work. However work was completed already
prior to receipt of the message being recieved.
Now customer doesn not want to pick up the
dress and pay for it. In whose favor would a
small claims judge rule?

Asked on June 4, 2016 under Business Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The customer is liable--she has to pay for the work. She came in and asked you to do the work: i.e. she entered into an agreement, even if it was an oral (nonwritten) one that if you make the alterations, she will pay for them. You honored your obligation(s): you did the work. Therefore, she is legally/contractually obligated to honor her side of the agreement and pay. While no lawyer can ever 100% guaranty what will happen in court (since the lawyer doesn't control the judge, and judges sometimes do strange things), based on what you write, you should be confident of winning should you sue in small claims court.

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