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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I have a very quick question. I recently had laminate

Customer Question

Hi, I have a very quick question.
I recently had laminate floor put down in my apartment.
I obtained a number of 'estimates' for the works, which were all pretty similar in cost.
I selected one supplier, on the grounds that he had already carried similar work recently for my daughter, who said that the 'only reason the estimate might vary was if the kitchen floor required more work than expected' (it didn't).
Anyway, I approved the estimate and paid a 20% deposit.
The works were carried out and I was given an invoice for the balance, which I was just about to pay.
The supplier e-mailed me last night claiming that he had 'miscalculated' the costs on the estimate and had not included the actual cost of the laminate flooring?!
He now wants to add another £1000 to the 'estimate', which is, in effect, half as much again.
My question is, where do we stand legally : are we obliged to accept this situation, or do we stick to the original 'estimate' and corresponding invoice?
Incidentally, he has issued no new 'estimate' or invoice documents, just a text.
Also, had he been upfront about the total cost, we would have used another supplier on the grounds of cost.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How can I help you with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please go ahead


 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Haven't received an answer and I need one urgently, so please open it up as suggested
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

If he made an offer to you on the basis of X and you accepted, then his offer is legally binding.

Unless his offer stated that mistakes are excepted, then it is an offer and you have a contract.

Therefore if he does not do the work for the said price, then he is in breach of contract.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, thank you for your initial answer. I have carefully read the terms and conditions on the reverse side of the invoice.


Nowhere is it mentioned that mistakes are excepted.


There is a clause stating that the balance should be paid before work commences, but this did not happen because of their own ineptitude.


In any case, we are not disputing the otriginal invoice - it is reasonable - and we are prepared to pay it.


We are also reasonable, and accept that people are human and make mistakes, and so we would be prepared - in principle - to accept and pay for a minor error.


But this 'mistake' is increasing the cost by circa £1k, from £2k to £3k.


This makes the new total cost far more than any of the other suppliers.


I suspect this is a 'bait and switch' tactic. A reasonable estimate to get the work, and then a higher final invoice because the 'estimate' has been varied.


I understand the difference between am 'estimate' and a 'quote'. What I need advice on is the relevance of an 'estimate' once the work has been completed and invoiced. Can an estimate be varied after the event, or is the estimate now irrelevant?


Please advise on how I should proceed?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If the work has been completed then an estimate and quote must be the same thing.

It is only before the job starts or before completion they realise there is more work - for example they come across a buried pipe that needs to be moved etc.

Just because they get the price wrong, is not your fault. There has been no additional work done, nothing has changed.

They just forgot to add something in - you can't be to blame for that.

Does that clarify?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex, thank you, your reply 'almost' clarifies things.


Can you specifically confirm that the 'estimate', which indeed matches the 'invoice', has no special legal standing and does not entitle them to demand more money?


There was no additional work (hidden pipes, etc) and, in any case, that is not what they are claiming extra payment for.


They specifically claim that they got their maths wrong by the 'cost of the laminate flooring' [sic].


Based on your advice I am planning on contacting them to say that:


1: the original estimate, which we agreed, and the corresponding final invoice, which matches the estimate, are not in dispute and we are happy to pay it now that the works have been completed.


2: The additional monies they are seeking, because they got their maths wrong, are disputed, and we refuse to accept the additional charge.


3: Their repeated reference to their 'estimate' (rather than a 'quote') does not give them ANY special protection or rights in the eyes of the law.


4: The only stated potential variable that could have affected the estimate was the work required in the kitchen (this was verbal) which, i the final event, did not change. There was no extra charge.


5: Although the original estimate/invoice is not in dispute, I will want a letter from them confirming that my payment will be in full and final settlement before I pay.


 


Do you agree/disagree with any of the points above, especially point 3?


 


Finally, can you confirm that you are a UK based solicitor plase?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I would agree.

The estimate matches the invoice.

They simply forgot to add something in - that is not your fault.

They are in breach of section 13 of the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 by failing to act with all reasonable skill and care.

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/


Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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