Electricians and plumbers cannot invoice amounts higher that what was initially agreed upon. For example, they cannot invoice the work done on a repair that was not planned or authorised. It will be easier to prove that the charges invoiced are higher than that was agreed upon if you requested a written contract from the merchant.
If you are invoiced unexpected charges, here is what you can do.
Negotiate with a merchant
Try to reach an agreement with the electrician or plumber to pay only the charges that were initially agreed upon. The page Negotiating with a merchant explains how to do so.
Paying the invoice under protest
If you cannot reach an agreement, you can pay the total amount under protest. A bill paid under protest means that you will contest the amount paid. You must add the note “under protest” on the check you give to the electrician or plumber, or on the invoice.
You should then send a formal notice to the contractor to claim the amount you overpaid. The page Sending a formal notice provides further information on this topic.
Filing a complaint with the small claims court
If these approaches fail, you can resort to the courts. The page on small claims court provides further information on this topic.
Filing a complaint with a corporation
You can also file a complaint with one of the following corporations :
- Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (in French only);
- Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (in French only);.
Last update : May 3, 2021
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.