Is a Quote Always Free Of Charge?
Charging for a quote is a practice prohibited by law, with some exceptions.
According to Article 40 of the Consumer Protection Code (CPC), service providers that require some kind of labor – such as refrigerator repair, for example – need to give the customer a prior and free quote. However, charging a reasonable amount is permitted in some cases and the consumer should be informed in advance. Check here what these conditions are to include the quote as a daily work practice. Providing the customer with a quotation is required and charging for it is considered illegal, but the circumstances of each case should be reviewed to avoid any problems. The quotation may be charged when there is a need for the professional or the product to be removed to be repaired or when it needs to be dismantled for the problem to be found, and even then, the customer should be advised about the necessity of charging this fee, so that both parties agree. The quotation must breakdown the value of labor, materials and equipment used, payment terms and stipulated start date and estimated service completion. Because if data that causes future expenses is omitted, the professional is the one who will bear the costs. In addition, the service provider should always utilize new original spare parts with the technical specifications of the product’s manufacturer. The use of other types of parts can only be done with the consumer’s authorization. Once approved by the customer, the quotation can’t be changed and is valid for 10 days, after this period, it’s possible to do another quote, even with another value. After performing the technical assistance work, the product has a legal three month guarantee and if problems persist, the consumer is entitled to have the service redone without extra charge or a refund of the amount. The quotation doesn’t create any obligation or link with the consumer, the charge is allowed only after its acceptance and authorization to start the service. Therefore, its execution or supply of products without an approved quotation by the customer implies abusive practice and won’t generate any payment obligation. The quote usually replaces a contract, but the professional will be more guaranteed if he uses a contract. Charging for the quote can be an attempt to prevent the customer from doing market research and hiring another cheaper service, and this attitude harms the right of the consumer’s freedom of choice. The customer has the right to hire the service he considers best and this is also one of the quotation’s goals, to clearly show, from the beginning, competency and professionalism to the customer to be serviced.