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possible dispute with Handwerker - they did the work but without giving quotation

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OK, it's Friday...

 

We need to rent a Baustromverteiler, and get it installed. Total cost I expect ca 500 EUR. I emailed a few companies "asking for help", some 10days ago. Most never bothered to reply. Two replied saying "too busy, can't help you". One send me a quotation. Another one promised a quotation. Yet another one replied very positive, saying sure they can take care of it. I was expecting a quotation from them, which never arrived, instead today I got an email from them saying "great, we put it in place, we will connect it soon". I checked the place and yes, their Baustromverteiler is there in place.

 

So they did the work without us ever discussing the cost!!! Sure that's wrong, isn't it...?!?!?! I still don't know how much they would like to charge me.

Perhaps they did it in good faith and they will charge a fair sum, perhaps they misunderstood my email (I write very bad German) ....

 

What should I do now, should I get back to them saying "we have never agreed for you to install it"..?

 

Thanks,

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For the record, here the exchange of emails:

Please don't laugh too laud for my bad German ::::(((((

 

 

Hallo Herr XXXX,
der Verteiler steht vorort, die Stadtwerke XXXX habe ich um 
Anschluss gebeten.
Schönes Wochenende,

 


mit freundlichen Grüßen
XXXXX

 

 

Guten Tag Herr XXXX,

 
hier die Zeichnungen und die Lageplan.
Wir haben schon Baustrom, was fehlt noch ist die Baustromkasten, sehen Sie meine Foto.
Wenn Sie brauchen noch etwas geben Sie mir Bescheid, bitte.
Danke,
 
XXXXX
Geburtsdatum XXXXX
 
 
 
Guten morgen,
können wir erledigen. Ich benötige noch Ihren Geburtstag und einen 
Vornamen. Ich benötige Zeichnungen von dem Haus mit Angabe der 
Stromversorgung und einen Lageplan, den ich auch mit einreichen muß. Das 
Angebot und die Rechnung von den Stadtwerken wird dann an die 
entsprechende Adresse geschickt.

mit freundlichen Grüßen
XXXXX

> Hallo,
> 
> wir werden in XXXXX gerade ein EFH bauen. Im moment 
> warten wir immer noch auf die Genehmigung. Spatenstich hoffentlich bis 
> Weihnacht, fertig womöglich Juli.
> Unser Bauunternehmer, XXXXX, hat uns gerade mitgeteilt dass wir 
> sollen eine Baustrumkasten besorgen.
> Wie kann man einer Baustromkasten bekommen? Mieten? Können Sie uns helfen?
> Deutsch ist nicht meine beste Sprache, immer schwierig, bitte haben Sie 
> Geduld...
> Danke,
> 
> fam. XXXXX
 

 

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Strikes me as the electrical guy acted a bit fast.  You did give him some of the info, but does not seem you had instructed him to take action yet. 

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In your initial post and the emails, I do not see where you asked for a quote.  What entails your version of 'asking for help'?  Simply asking to have it installed is not asking for a quote.

When I need something repaired, such as my bus, and I take it to a mechanic, if I fail to ask for a quote, how shocked or surprised should I be when it costs more than I might have thought?  Answer:  Not at all.

As I am a handworker of sorts, 90% of my customers will ask for a quote and I happily give them one.  Of the 10% who do not ask, perhaps 1% flip-out at the final cost. 

A quote is not going to be given if you didn't ask for one.

Is it legal to do the work without providing a quote?  I honestly don't know, but I see it as being acceptable.

If you did not tell them to do the work and they did it regardless, that is something completely different.  That being the case, you need to take action.

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What to do now?

For the record: the thing is not yet connected. Should I get back to him saying "I didn't instructed you to do it, take it off" before the Stadtwerke connects it?

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I hope you won't have to chalk this one up as "Lehrgeld", but you asked the guy for "help", not for an offer. If he interpreted that as you asking him to go install the thing, that might be on you. He's already installed and connected the distribution box, so those costs are already sunk, and if you have it removed and someone else put in a different one, you'll end up paying for that twice.

 

I suggest that you ask him to estimate the costs now, and use that as a basis for negotiation, where you can suggest that you really wanted him to make you an offer first and that he's jumped the gun. The rest will be up to you.

 

EDIT: If it isn't connected yet, then all isn't lost - don't let it be hooked up until you get the quote, and if you don't like it, you can tell him to pick it up again (or you'll bring it back to him).

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10 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

Is it legal to do the work without providing a quote?

 

If someone know for true please correct me, but I believe it is not. 

 

When I take my car to a garage they always give me a quotation before doing any work. I never ask for a quote. Once a garage told me "we are not allowed to start any work without you first agreeing on the cost".

OK, I admit it was a mistake on my side not to ask for a quote esplicitly...

 

Any further advice on how to move on?

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I don't know what the thing is and thus how substantial etc but certainly I have some household work including electrics etc done without quotes (neither ask for nor spontaneously offered).  On the other hand, I recently had a small splitter installed as part of a bigger installation and I was both informed of the component and what it would cost (albeit an existing contractor).     So it often depends on their process.   When there are components involved, it might be more normal to confirm with the customer.

 

I would say there is no reason to necessarily assume there is any issue here (and especially if most other contractors have no time for you anyway).  My experience is most suppliers operate on an appropriate basis but it would be a good idea to ask for that "Angebot" now, for sure.   

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53 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

 

If someone know for true please correct me, but I believe it is not. 

 

 

It is perfectly legal to do the work without a quote, it's a simple Werkvertrag according to §§ 631 ff BGB. 

 

"Eine Vergütung gilt als stillschweigend vereinbart, wenn die Leistung den Umständen nach nur gegen eine Vergütung zu erwarten ist".

 

"Remuneration shall be deemed tacitly agreed if, under the circumstances, performance can only be expected in return for remuneration."

 

https://www.caspers-mock.de/publikationen/kostenvoranschlag.htm

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