I asked my cousin to let me know 1) if he did tree trimming work and 2) how much would he charge. He called me four weeks later to tell me that he had cut the tree limbs and that is would be $40 plus $60 for him to do the yard for the rest of the winter for a total of $100. I did not tell him to do the tree limbs, I asked him for a quote and if he did the work. Am I legally obligated to pay him for something that I did not tell him to do before giving me a quote?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Probably not, but possibly. Generally, if you tell someone just to give you a quote and they do the work, they can't hold you to the bill for their work. However, if they sue, they could argue that your instructions were unclear and their fees are reasonable and you should not be allowed to get the work you wanted without paying anything for them. Best advice is that, unless their work is substandard, speak to them and offer them a reasonable sum for what they did. You were going to have the work done, so pay them what you think it was worth. Otherwise, don't pay them and, if they sue, tell the court you never authorized the work. Your case would be the stronger case, but there is a chance they could get a judge to order some payment.
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