Author Topic: Argue over unauthorized work?  (Read 4309 times)

MMMdude

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Argue over unauthorized work?
« on: July 16, 2014, 10:47:50 PM »
I drive myself nuts thinking about this stuff.  Long story short, had new furnace installed today.  $3300ish was what we agreed to.  At the time of quote I was given option for $120 to install a 4 inch filter box so that the furnace could take 4 inch filter instead of 1.  Because of the fact that none of us have allergies, 4 inch filters are more expensive and a pain in the ass to find in stock I passed on it

Anyways since I work on weekdays my mom was here to meet the workers.  I go home for lunch and he starts showing me the work they've done and lo and behold, there is a four inch filter box.  I told him that is not what we agreed to a couple months ago over email with the administrator (owner's wife I think).  He says the work is already done and I'll have to call head office to sort it out.

AT first i thought whatever i'll let it slide and hey what's $120 to have better air quality (allegedly).  ONce I got back to work, it really pissed me off that they did this.  I don't think they did it intentionally at all, just a screw up on paperwork but ultimately i'm out of pocket the $ now.

So I call to the lady i've been dealing with and she basically blows me off saying the filter box is already installed and too bad and that generally they run through the stuff they are going to do with homeowner once they get there and since i wasn't there in the morning it's not their problem. At that point I give up as i'm not the confrontational type and they did perform the work which they should be paid for, but it's been bothering me all night. 

What would you guys do?  Give it up, or pursue the matter further?  I already paid via Visa.  I'm thinking I will call back (I have to anyways as my humidifier was not hooked up to furnace as I asked them) and ask them to throw in a couple extra filters for free (they are about $40 each with these stupid bigger ones) as a way to make me whole and a reasonable compromise I think.  Other part of me wonders why I even worry about this stuff as i'm worth over a million on paper and what's $120,  I should note our email conversations no longer exist as I used gmail and stuff gets auto-deleted if it's 30 days old.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 10:52:16 PM by MMMdude »

sol

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 10:52:10 PM »
If you have the email chain where they agreed to your request to not install it, or their contract proposal that doesn't include it, you're golden.  They will have to come remove it at their expense.

Offering to take three $40 filters is purely an act of kindness on your part.  If they don't profusely thank you, tell them you're having VISA do a clawback for the $120 and reporting them to the BBB for defrauding a customer.  Be sure to send them a link to a really scathing yelp review, too.

MMMdude

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 10:56:30 PM »
If you have the email chain where they agreed to your request to not install it, or their contract proposal that doesn't include it, you're golden.  They will have to come remove it at their expense.

Offering to take three $40 filters is purely an act of kindness on your part.  If they don't profusely thank you, tell them you're having VISA do a clawback for the $120 and reporting them to the BBB for defrauding a customer.  Be sure to send them a link to a really scathing yelp review, too.

I updated my post after yours.  Unfortunately it was gmail and auto deleted at this point.  That irks me and it's a lesson as normally i am meticulous with paperwork and records.

Even if I did have it, I don't think they can easily undo the work although i'm obviously not a furnace expert

SummerLovin

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 11:19:55 PM »
I have gmail too, and all my sent messages are there clear back to 2011, but maybe it's how you have yours setup.  Recommend that you send a letter to the owner explaining the circumstances, and your expectations of them to make it right.  Let them know if they are unwilling to do so that you will be forced to share the poor customer service with the community, via yelp and google reviews.  They should do the right thing, and if they don't you know what to do.

Jack

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 11:26:16 PM »
Unfortunately it was gmail and auto deleted at this point.

This does not make sense unless it was in your junk mail folder. Gmail deletes nothing except spam unless you explicitly tell it to (and even then, it's probably still on a backup somewhere!). If it got deleted, it's almost certainly your fault, not Gmail's.

That said, if you really don't have it then you should demand that they show you their copy where you agreed in writing to have the 4" filter box added. If they can't produce that document, then they're wrong and they have to fix it.

Even if I did have it, I don't think they can easily undo the work although i'm obviously not a furnace expert

That's their problem, not yours. If you're feeling charitable (and you don't mind dealing with fancy filters in the future) you might "allow" them to leave it as-is and issue you a $120 refund. Otherwise, they are obligated to give you the $120 and eat the labor and materials cost to fix it to the contract-specified condition.

Emg03063

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 11:30:08 PM »
Just tell them you're paying for the work you authorized.  If they won't refund the $120, take it up with visa.

JCfire

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2014, 06:14:05 AM »
Just because somebody filed papers for an LLC at some point in their life, they do not have any right to charge you for something you never agreed to pay for.

You are a wealthy, non-confrontational person.  Arguing about it sounds like it's not worth it for $120 for you.  So don't argue.  Just inform them that the work was unauthorized, and inform them that it's their choice whether they credit you back the $120 or whether you have Visa do that for them.  You are in full control of whether you lose that $120 or not -- you don't need to argue or convince them of anything in order for that to happen.  This is literally about a 60 second phone conversation, and possibly 5 minutes of your time to inform Visa of the situation, and you are done.

Villanelle

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 10:03:44 AM »
"Per our phone conversation today, the $120 installation of the 4 inch filter was not authorized and in fact I had explicitly declined this upgrade.  Please credit that $120 back to my Visa by July 21, or I'll be disputing the charge with my credit card company.  Thank you."

sheepstache

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 10:44:32 AM »
If you still feel silly doing it on your own behalf, think about the fact that you're a white knight saving someone else (who may not have the time and resources to afford it) from the same thing in the future.

DoubleDown

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 11:08:15 AM »
If you'd like to get your $120 back, go for it. You certainly are on the high ground here, though it unfortunately becomes more difficult to get money back than withholding payment up front until the matter is resolved. Their attitude stinks, and it seems pretty common with a lot of service companies like this that don't seem to give a f***.

But I also think it's no big deal if you don't want to pursue it any further. Strangely enough, I've found that many times these things work out in odd and beneficial ways in the future, particularly when I've extended good will even when none is due. I can't count the number of times when I've let something like this go, only for it to work out 10x in my favor in the future. For example, one day you'll be attempting to sell your home, and the ideal buyer will come along and say, "Oh man, you've got the 4" hypoallergenic filters, just what we need -- we'll take the house at full price!" Obviously that's a dumb, made-up example, but these things seem to happen often, at least in my experience. I'm a Christian, so I have my own beliefs why this happens, but you can apply your own belief system (karma, Tao, bogus law of attraction, whatever).

MMMdude

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 08:32:42 PM »
If you'd like to get your $120 back, go for it. You certainly are on the high ground here, though it unfortunately becomes more difficult to get money back than withholding payment up front until the matter is resolved. Their attitude stinks, and it seems pretty common with a lot of service companies like this that don't seem to give a f***.

But I also think it's no big deal if you don't want to pursue it any further. Strangely enough, I've found that many times these things work out in odd and beneficial ways in the future, particularly when I've extended good will even when none is due. I can't count the number of times when I've let something like this go, only for it to work out 10x in my favor in the future. For example, one day you'll be attempting to sell your home, and the ideal buyer will come along and say, "Oh man, you've got the 4" hypoallergenic filters, just what we need -- we'll take the house at full price!" Obviously that's a dumb, made-up example, but these things seem to happen often, at least in my experience. I'm a Christian, so I have my own beliefs why this happens, but you can apply your own belief system (karma, Tao, bogus law of attraction, whatever).


I think I'm going to let it slide or at most ask for $ back as ideal solution but would settle for a few filters as compromise.  Part of my thinking is I don't want any bad blood in the future re: warranty work or if the thing stops working when it's -30 they would still be one of my few options to call (there's only 4 or 5 companies in town servicing this brand)

Thomas54

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 08:38:46 PM »
I should note our email conversations no longer exist as I used gmail and stuff gets auto-deleted if it's 30 days old.

FWIW, I have gmail emails that go back several years.  Mine never auto-delete.  In fact, I recently spent hours deleting old emails, some of which were 3 years old and many which I had never read.

Thomas

MMMdude

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Re: Argue over unauthorized work?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 08:56:51 PM »
I should note our email conversations no longer exist as I used gmail and stuff gets auto-deleted if it's 30 days old.

FWIW, I have gmail emails that go back several years.  Mine never auto-delete.  In fact, I recently spent hours deleting old emails, some of which were 3 years old and many which I had never read.

Thomas

yea i was wrong in my original post.   i did put to trash and trash is auto-deleted every 30 days.  i put to trash because i assumed windows 8 email client would retain them forever, but i can't find them in there.

ultimately though, the company had nothing in writing  or other means authorizing the work so feel justified in asking for something.  if they say no, i will go straight to visa