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Works completed on time and budget - customer now not happy 1 month on

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We are a limited company furniture restoration business, provided an estimate for work to repolish some furniture to match an existing piece - stated it was from photos only on the estimate sent, however, only said verbally that it would be close but not 100% match. Price was accepted and work completed. Customer happy and paid immediately in full. One month on, customer has called to say has had a friend round who thinks it's not shiny enough - or as shiny as the existing piece - and that now not happy with the work and wants us to go back and sort. Says we didn't say it wouldn't be an exact match. In effect the friend has managed to change customer's mind. This is a 1 hr each way journey and to undertake the additional work to burnish the pieces will take a full day. Customer has also had redecoration completed in the last month, including new white carpets - not ideal. 


Question - as paid in full and straight away, and customer initially stated happy with the work, are we now at all liable for any remedial works after the items have been back in the customer's house for a month and being polished and cleaned with products that we are not aware of and that may have caused a dullness to the finish. Can we say we don't want to now get involved with any further work (which isn't going to be easy to match to existing exactly) and what potential come-back could this cause?


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Hi Cheshire and welcome to CAG


As the work was completed and paid for, it's down to the customer to take action against you if they remain unhappy and that could include court action.


Your only problem sounds like the failure to say in writing in your Estimate that "the colour match and finish would match as close as poss but you were working from photos so you cannot guarantee this aspect".


Learn from this and include any agreements, terms, disclaimer, etc in your written Estimate.


1. What was the approx value of the work done ?


2. What would the remedial work cost you including travel, material and labour ?


Even if you visited and redid work, who's to say the customer would then be happy after the friend got involved.

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If the customer wants to get arsey about this you could offer to repolish the mismatching piece that wasnt touched so they all match if the cost of doing so is considerable less than redoing your work.

Agree with Slick about friend though, whatever you do probably wont make them happy but they wont be the ones risking money chasing you over this but it would be wise to ensure that in the future your estimates or quotes mention all things that are material to the contract. Even a reminder that wood is a natural material and you will never get a perfect grain match etc

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