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  1. #1
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    Aug 2018
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    4

    Default Can a Contractor Charge You for Work That Could Not be Performed

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

    We agreed to a bid to install air conditioning in our town house. After a day of work they determined that the configuration of our house would not allow them to install the air conditioner.

    Nevertheless the business is asking for payment for labor for the day ($1200). There was never any mention of having to pay anything for the case of not being able to finish the job. No papers were ever signed.

    Thank for your help,

    Fairfax

  2. #2
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    Jul 2018
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    1,168

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Could Not Be Installed but He Wants to Be Paid for Trying

    Do you have a question?

    If your question is whether the contractor's request for you to pay is valid, the answer obviously depends on the terms of your agreement with the contractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Default Re: Air Conditioner Could Not Be Installed but He Wants to Be Paid for Trying

    Yes, sorry, the question is do we need to pay. There was no contract per se, only a bid that we agreed to. There was no mention of a payment for labor for the condition that air conditioner could not be installed.

    Thank you very much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,183

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Could Not Be Installed but He Wants to Be Paid for Trying

    Quote Quoting Fairfax
    View Post
    Yes, sorry, the question is do we need to pay. There was no contract per se, only a bid that we agreed to. There was no mention of a payment for labor for the condition that air conditioner could not be installed.

    Thank you very much.
    In my opinion any experienced HVAC person would know, in advance, whether or not the unit could be installed in your space. Therefore something like that is unlikely to be addressed in the bid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    4

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Could Not Be Installed but He Wants to Be Paid for Trying

    Understood. But are you saying that in your opinion we are not obligated to pay?

    Again, many thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,152

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Could Not Be Installed but He Wants to Be Paid for Trying

    Quote Quoting Fairfax
    View Post
    We agreed to a bid to install air conditioning in our town house. After a day of work they determined that the configuration of our house would not allow them to install the air conditioner.

    Nevertheless the business is asking for payment for labor for the day ($1200). There was never any mention of having to pay anything for the case of not being able to finish the job. No papers were ever signed.

    Thank for your help,

    Fairfax
    So this company came and gave you an estimate to install air conditioning and you accepted. They then said that they couldn't do it. That is just plain BS. They probably couldn't do it for the price they gave you. There is no condo or house that can't be air-conditioned.

    Tell them to pound sand. Find another contractor that knows what they are quoting on and if the first contractor threatens to sue or go to collection, or place a mechanic's lien, deal with it when the time comes. Don't pay the bill and don't respond to them in any way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can a Contractor Charge You for Work That Could Not be Performed

    I agree with budwad that there is no reason why air conditioning can't be installed in a town home, but there's more to the picture than we know.

    If, for example, you went to a home hardware store, picked out an air conditioner, then hired an HVAC company to install the air conditioner, they are not responsible for your choice of air conditioner and can make a claim for reasonable compensation for the time it took to come out to the job and determine that the air conditioner could not be installed in your home.

    If the contractor picked out the A/C unit and found out later that it is not compatible with your home, the contractor's responsibility for the issue would depend upon factors including whether the issue that prevented installation was reasonably detectable before work began, why the contractor did not detect the problem before installation or before completing $1,200 in work, and why it was not possible for the contractor to adapt the plan to allow for installation of an A/C unit that was compatible with your town home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    4

    Default Re: Can a Contractor Charge You for Work That Could Not be Performed

    Thank you all very much!

    Fairfax

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