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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: MA

    Two years ago a friend of mine who worked for a home heating oil company bought and installed a home heating boiler in my home. I paid him in cash to purchase the boiler and to install it. I recently received a letter from the company that he worked for stating that I owed them 2800 dollars. My friend no longer works for this company, and I don't know why they are requesting money from me. If my friend stuck this company with the bill for my boiler, am I responsible for the payment or should they be going after him?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    This is a bill for the boiler itself, or for installation? You paid your friend how much money to purchase and install the boiler?

    When you contacted you friend to ask why you are being billed, what did your friend say?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    The letter didn't say what the charge was for, but I am assuming it is for the boiler itself. I paid him 1000 dollars cash for the boiler. When I asked him about the letter, he said that he gave the 1000 dollars to his boss for the boiler and that he didn't know why she was doing this after two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,270

    Default Re: Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    You had no contract with the company, I'd tell them to pound sand.
    If they have any course of action it would be against the "rogue" employee not you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    I agree with flyingron - there is no contractual arrangement between you and the company who sent the letter. If your friend procured this boiler from his employer (I doubt he gave them the $1,000), then he theoretically "stole" it if he obtained it without authority from the employer. That, by itself, has nothing to do with you.

    Not that this would ever come up, but if the company then alleges "theft by receiving stolen property", you may have a valid defense (as I read the MA criminal code).

    Give this a read:

    http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsand...n-property.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,082

    Default Re: Paid a Friend to Buy and Install a Heating System

    If your friend in fact paid his employer the entire $1,000 for the boiler, that price was accepted by the company despite it's being a $2,800 boiler, and your friend installed the boiler at no charge to you, great. Your friend can product the bill of sale from the company showing that he in fact paid for the boiler at the agreed price, and this goes away. But it is apparently the employer's position that your friend took the boiler without paying for it as part of his side job with you.

    Contrary to what is suggested above, you do not gain ownership of somebody else's property merely because somebody takes it from the lawful owner it and gives it to you. If the person taking the property has no authority to do so, it's stolen property. If the person has authority to do so, but then converts the property to his own use and benefit instead of the owner's, it's called conversion. If somebody steals or converts property and gives it to you, it's not their property and it's not your property - it's still the property of the original owner.

    Riply is confusing a possible criminal charge for the knowing receipt of stolen property with some form of immunity from civil liability if you fail to pay for or return stolen or converted property that is discovered to be in your possession. Even if you don't realize that the property you hold is stolen, again, that doesn't make it yours.

    Tell your friend to cough up the bill of sale so you can make this go away.

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