Non disclosure of fees

by Rebecca

Alternate Dwellings charged us previously undisclosed exhorbitant fees when we decided not to sign their contract.

They could not give us a final quote until they'd seen our property (it's on a slope). Even after they'd increased their quote after their site visit, we weren't convinced that this would be the final figure as their costs seemed too approximate.

At this point it also turned out they were quoting on the wrong house plan - which meant the eventual quote was going to be even more expensive than we had bargained for.

So we decided not to sign there and then as we wanted more time to think about it. The rep responded to very unpleasantly and was somewhat intimidating, pointing out that he had travelled a long way and we had already signed a contract with the builder.

The following week, I emailed to explain we couldn't commit to the increased approximate costs - let alone the increase that would inevitably occur with a quote on the correct house plan.

Some weeks later we received an invoice for $1400 for 'consultancy' fees - including $220 for drawing up a kit home contract. While the rep had previously alluded to a charge for a site visit, the amounts involved were certainly not disclosed to us and no mention was made of a charge for drawing up a contract. And considering a final quote cannot be obtained without a site visit, this seems to be a bit of scam.

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