So it was OK to do this type of verbal contract and expect this to not
happen in the 90's? That's a good one. Perhaps even better, it
sounds like it wasn't even a verbal agreement as to the price, only an
It sounds like the contractor's lacky is admitting that he agreed to
more than was delivered. If the OP doesn't have a witness to this,
I'd try to get a hold of the lacky again, on any excuse, and see if
you can get him to say it again in front of a witness. Or even
better, get him to say it on the phone and make a recording of it, but
first check your state laws. In most states, it's OK for a private
party to record their own phone conversation. In some states, consent
of the other party is required.
If the contractor wasn't fully paid, I would withhold payment. If he
sues you, it's likely to be in small claims court, where you don't
need a lawyer. Or if you have paid him, you can take him to small
claims. It's a toss up, IMO, as to who would win.
This is a classic example of why you need a written contract. And any
contractor that is reputable, would not do a job like this without
one, as it protects both parties by clearly spelling out the scope of
the work, the cost, etc. It takes 15 mins to do and saves a world of
On 23 Nov 2004 06:29:37 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Chet Hayes)
<snip for brevity>
This is a heartfelt "me, too" from a contractor.
Combined with getting a couple of estimates and checking some
references, this can save consumers a lot of anguish ... and
contractors, a lot of aggravation..
On 21 Nov 2004 16:36:36 -0800, email@example.com (dyrymywy) wrote:
If the contractor wouldn't give you a written estimate, why the heck
did you even let him begin?
Depending on your state laws, he may be in violation oif one or
another requirement for providing an estimate inw riting, it is
possible you may be able to tell him to take a hike...but I'd talk to
a lawyer first.
Never, ever deal with someone who won't give you a written estimate
first. Or at least wear something attarctive so you'll feel good
about yourself as you take it in the shorts. ;)
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