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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Contractor Performed Work After Being Told Not to

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

    A tree fell on my house and in my yard 3 weeks ago. I was contacted by a tree removal service that was doing some other work in the neighborhood. I asked him for an estimate and this was submitted along with the estimate to repair the house. The estimate was approved by the insurance company. When he met me at my house on 3-15-2011 for me to sign the contract I asked him when he would start the work. I explained that I wanted the tree up so that the contractors working on the house could begin as soon as the payment arrived, and explained that I would pay him then as well. He said he could begin work the next day and that he should be done by the end of last week. This was not written in the contract, however. But he acted as if he didn't have any other work at the time and could get right to my tree. Friday came, and no work had been done. I called him and he said that he knew he was supposed to start my job but another job came in and he put them in front of me, but he would start first thing Monday morning (today) and put in a full days work and get most of it done. I said ok. I went by my house today about 2 pm and no work had been done. So I sent him a text telling him I was cancelling his services and did not want him to the job. He called right back and said that he had gotten busy in the morning and that the bobcat rental had taken some time. I told him I still did not want him to do the work and that I would be calling someone else. He said still we had a contract and I told him we did but he had twice now not shown up as verbally agreed to and that I did not want him to do the work. He called me this evening about 7 pm and said that he had gone to my house and done the work anyway. Now am I obligated to pay him?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Contractor Performed Work After Being Told Not to

    If you have a signed contract, maybe.

    If there's nothing in the contract about when the work would be started or completed, yes.

    I wouldn't be surprised if his contract has 'unforeseen delays' written in somewhere due to weather, equipment breakdowns, etc.

    Should you ask for a discount (in writing!) due to his delay, absolutely.
    Does he have to give you one? Nope.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Contractor Performed Work After Being Told Not to

    I've got to ask:

    what difference does it make?

    Even though he screwed around and the work wasn't done originally as agreed to, it still is done and definitely sooner than had you had to find another service to remove the tree. This is the kind of thing to just let go. Pay the guy and move on with life.


    and if you really look at it, he did do as promised concerning Monday. You were premature in attempting to cancel yesterday. I suspect that is what actually goaded him into getting it done yesterday but it really doesn't matter. He promised Monday and he delivered on Monday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Contractor Performed Work After Being Told Not to

    Well I guess really the difference is that I need to know at what point can you tell someone that you have contracted to do work for you that you don't want them to do it anymore. I mean, if I am not satisfied with the work that was not being done do I not have the right to tell him "no thank you" and it only took me an hour to find a replacement. Its a tree removal, so this new contractor was already set to start this morning and I had to call him back and cancel. Its really the principal of the thing I guess. My work ethic says that if I say I'm going to do something I do it. If by chance I make a mistake you better believe if given a second chance I am going to be johnny on the spot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Contractor Performed Work After Being Told Not to

    if they breach the contract you can take action. As it stands, you accepted the delay until Monday and although he said he would start in the morning, what is critical is he promised most of the work completed by the end of the day and has apparently met that promise. He has fulfilled his agreement.

    Its a tree removal, so this new contractor was already set to start this morning
    but the other guy promised he would have most of the work completed by the end of Monday. He did that.

    at what point can you tell someone that you have contracted to do work for you that you don't want them to do it anymore.
    Most of the answer will depend on the contract in place. In this situation, as I see it, once you accepted the delay to Monday with a promise of most of the work being done by the end of Monday, you would have to wait until Tuesday to even review the situation. If the work wasn't done by Tuesday, then he breached the contract and you would have a right to rescind. If you refused to allow until the end of Monday, you could have possibly been liable for any costs the contractor incurred due to your job as you are the one that breached the contract.

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