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QLD Electrician's Account Doesn't Match the Quote?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by sparkie, 22 March 2015.

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  1. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    I was given an onsite quote for electrical work: Total cost $550 the account received was for $850. When the account arrived there was no mention of the quote or how the final figure was calculated. When I quizzed the account the business replied that there was extra work involved.

    I was here overseeing the job and there was no extra work done. I have paid the undisputed amount ($550) and the Co. is now serving me with small debt papers to recover the $300 they say they're owed.
    4 months after the work was done, I now get an explanation, on there followup account that they "don't give quotes and that to accept them to do your work they can charge what they wish?" (I'm dumbfounded as a consumer that I was not afforded the 'right' to accept or reject the $850 cost , had I been made aware, at that price they never would have got the job!).

    Debt help with a 'response to a minor civil dispute-minor debt' would be appreciated. Thanks in anticipation.
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sparkie,

    This sort of dispute comes up a lot on this forum. For example here: QLD - Car Towed - Credit Card Charged More Than Quoted | LawAnswers.com.au Legal Aid Forums and here: Mechanic Charging More Than Quoted Amount for Car Repair | LawAnswers.com.au Legal Aid Forums

    In essence, the company is wrong. If they have quoted you a set amount, then they can't just charge you what they like. I suggest that you call Qld Office of Fair Trading: The Australian Consumer Law - Questions & Complaints - Queensland
     
  3. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Active Member

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    Hi Sparky
    Was the quote written or verbal ?
    If verbal can you substantiate it in some way ...witness or notes you made at the time ?
    did you shake hands ?
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Ivy,

    I would respond to the company by telling them that they quoted one thing and charged another, this constituted the contract between you so they can't charge you more. Also let them know that you are going to the Office of Fair Trading.
     
  5. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    Thank you , your reply has been helpful
     
  6. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    Yes, the quote was verbal, however in the last 4 months they have not dismissed it.
    and Yes I did take notes at the time. Thanks for your reply.
     
  7. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    They are probably untitled to charge more should the job get more involved, but surely the onus must be on them to inform the customer prior to spending the customers money over and above the quoted cost!
     
    Sophea likes this.
  8. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    The matter has now been finalized and I thank those who offered me advice.
    As an 'ordinary member of the consumer society' I've held a long term view 'that the law is an ass' and nothing has changed my opinion
    .
    The steps to the end involved..
    1. Sought Legal Aid, their advice was to present my case to the court and I should win in normal circumstances.
    That I should report the Co. to The Office of Fair Trading and to Consumer Affairs for their deceptive behavior.
    2. The Co. then withdrew their action against me.
    3. Because the matter was to have been decided by a Court, the OFT and CA would not pursue the matter

    I got the outcome I wanted, I paid for the services as quoted!

    However

    So by initiating an action against me, they have avoided being reprimanded by the regulators and can trade-on, treating any of their prospective clients as milking cows. Best of luck if you happen to engage this Co. I'm sorry I couldn't have helped you.
    The Law is an Ass.
     
    Marxi likes this.
  9. Marxi

    Marxi Member

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    I have just received an account with similar circumstances as Sparkie. I am new to the area and renting so thought using the owner's choice of electrician would be the smart way to go - wrong! Whilst this electrician was carrying out other work at the property where I'm renting, I asked him for an estimate for having a TV point put into my bedroom. Naturally after getting permission to do so from the owner.

    The electrician/boss knowing the property said about $100, and I honestly wouldn't expect a tradesman to come out for a small job for less and thought ok. However, having waited a further 2 weeks for the electrician to be able to fit the job in, I was at work when the job was done with my 23-year-old daughter being present for the electrician (not the boss), who was only at the property for approximately, if, 30 minutes.

    Got home from work, the tv point, in fact, doesn't work. I rang the electrician, messaged the bank, sent a message asking for someone to fix my requested tv point asap, and I was polite, even though I didn't feel like it.

    The electrician/boss text messaged me the following morning saying he could be here at 9am to fix the tv point. Although it has cost me 2 hours pay from my job, the electrician was there a second time for around 40 minutes or so. I stayed so as the tv point could be fixed/installed properly as it was a simple out one wall and along and back in my bedroom wall. Not complicated or difficult.

    I received an account just now with 1.5 hours labor charged for Thursday alone, insinuating he is not charging me for the fix-up visit for his incompetent employee at all. In fact, the electrician was only here for 30 minutes on the initial visit, not 1.5 hours as he is claiming on the account.

    I am inclined to pay him $110.00 given he quoted me about $100, and not his requested $158.16 and mentioned I am prompted to make a complaint to Fair Trading about his very cheeky quest to have the incompetent and very messy electricians he employs covered by me.

    Any thoughts?
     
  10. sparkie

    sparkie Active Member

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    Hi Marxi, these stories are the "norm ", in your case the "law is an ass" as you'd be well advised to just pay the additional $40 and be finished with all the messy business if you choose otherwise than to follow it up.

    A Lawyer once told me it's not in anyone's best interest simply to act 'as a matter of principal' it's more about a practical solution.
     

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