Common Legal Questions

Trade dispute

Laurence asks: I engaged a company to repair my home alarm system and the tech has not managed to repair it hence I had to call someone else who managed to fix it. The original person is now claiming for me to pay cost for his services. I declined as he has not repaired the unit. Am I liable to pay him?

It is a bit hard to comment without knowing the Terms of that Engagement. I suspect the Company in question would say you engaged them to come out and try to fix the Alarm System. It would be unusual in the extreme for a tradesman to agree to come out and perform work and only be paid upon successfully fixing something. Many tradesman in my experience charge a callout fee which covers the visit and some initial work. If he took the matter to Court, I think a Court would likely say the Company is entitled to be paid a reasonable amount for the work performed, unless the work was of such poor quality that it had no value whatsoever. If he presses for payment I would be inclined to ask for an detailed bill and perhaps run that bill past the tradesman who fixed the problem asking for a view as to the value, if any, of the work. Depending on all that you may wish to offer a reduced sum to resolve the matter.

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