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B.C. woman ordered to pay heat pump installation bill

The amount Beverly Cates was ordered to pay was less the amount needed to replace window blinds in her home.
heat pumps 3
Heat pumps are becoming more common in B.C.

A B.C. woman who refused to pay a heat pump installation bill, alleging the company damaged her window blinds, has been ordered to pay up.

In a June 17 decision, B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal member Sarah Orr said Fehling’s Sheet Metal Ltd. supplied and installed a heat pump system in Beverly Cates’ home.

Orr said Cates has not fully paid Fehling’s for this work, for which the company claimed $3,869 for its outstanding invoice.

Cates, however, said Fehling’s damaged her blinds when installing the heat pump system, so she is not required to pay the invoice.

She counterclaimed $2,265 for the cost of repairing the damaged blinds.

Fehling’s denied damaging the blinds, saying Cates’ blinds were already damaged before it installed the heat pump.  

It was on March 18, 2021 that Fehling’s quoted Cates $7,869.75 to supply and install a two-zone ductless heat pump system in her home, with 50 per cent due upon ordering and 50 per cent due when installation was complete.

“Cates agreed to the quote and payment terms,” Orr said, finding Cates paid $4,000 when she agreed to the quote.

The company invoiced Cates the balance of $3,869.75 that day with a due date of April 18, 2021.

However, Cates said Fehling’s damaged her bedroom blinds when installing the system, so she initially refused to pay the invoice.

Then, on June 10, 2021, Cates sent Fehling’s a cheque for $1,439 by registered mail.

“She says this was the invoice amount less the cost of replacing her damaged blinds,” Orr said. “Fehling’s did not accept delivery of the cheque” and Cates retrieved it from the post office.

“Ms. Cates has not paid Fehling’s for the invoice, and she does not allege any deficiencies with the heat pump system,” Orr said. “So, I find Ms. Cates must pay Fehling’s $3,869.75 for the invoice, subject to any setoff for her counterclaim.”

The tribunal ruled it did not need to determine if Fehling’s damaged the blinds as the company had offered to replace them.

“Fehling’s has not provided any evidence that the amount claimed is unreasonable, and so I find Ms. Cates is entitled to $2,265 to replace her bedroom blinds,” Orr said.

She ordered Cates to pay Fehling’s $1,604.75, the $3,869.75 invoice amount, less the $2,265 blinds replacement cost.