Is a contract like a manual for a DIY home item? You have a quick scan and think “how hard can it be”.
How many of us sign up for a build or service at home without fully reading or understanding every detail of the contract? I dare say it would be the vast majority of people and this is where companies can profit.
When you build a pool, the pool company goes into detail about the engineering, layout of pipes, etc in order to provide a quote and plan to follow for the various trades required. Every aspect of the pool is clearly shown in a detailed engineering drawing of the pool build including every pipe from the pool back to the filter/pump area. There can be 20-30 pipes running upwards of 10 metres each.
Since a detailed drawing is done with precise measurements of all aspects of the pool build including all pipes, the fine print is clearly designed to get you as an extra charge. The pool company know exactly how far each pipe has to run before the build and would be factored in to the price that is agreed on. This is clearly deceptive and designed as a profit maker for the pool company and this is not the only extra that creeps in.
So you can imagine the surprise when during the construction of the pool you are hit with an unexpected invoice for ~$6,000 extra citing “extra pipes”. The fine print of the contract only allows for the first two metres of each pipe and the rest is charged per metre. This is never discussed during the pricing process.
Something that should have been picked up in the contract. Most probably.
Something that is designed to catch you out as an extra. Definitely.
This extra is “cream” to them. Why? Because we don’t read and/or understand the contract.
It is not illegal but that doesn’t make it right. I would imagine most people would get annoyed, complain, fight but have to cop it to get their pool finished. I would also imagine the pool company think they are extremely good at business to keep getting away with it.
The lesson is to read and understand the contract you are entering, after all that is what they are for.