Follow established bidding guidelines with contractors

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A Glendale couple wants a refund after they say their contractor took their deposit; then doubled the price of their job. The couple also claims the contractor didn't follow a customary process for bidding on a job.

What is a customary process? Consumers do their research, a contractor comes out to their home, assesses the job to be done, and then very quickly the contractor emails the consumer an estimate to perform the job and a payment schedule. Make sure you have that estimate in hand for at least a day or two before making any sort of deposit.

A couple months before they tied the knot, Katie Dixon and Aaron Good wanted to extend their backyard patio and invited JGL Consulting out to their Glendale home. Dixon says JGL assessed the job, took measurements, and verbally provided a quote of $6700 but days later still hadn't provided anything in writing.

"I was surprised that we hadn't heard from them, and I was talking to Aaron trying to get him to call them and get more information from them," Dixon said.

Dixon says she sent her fiancé to JGL for a written estimate. She says JGL provided an invoice which included all the work to be performed, a payment schedule and the total price of $6700 for the job. The invoice clearly states "pricing includes all material and labor." The couple made a $2500 deposit. Weeks later, before work started, JGL sent another invoice.

"I assumed that it was going to be the same amount, and it ended up being double the amount," Dixon said.

The revised estimate was for almost $14,000. JGL sent the couple an email saying the original numbers for materials and labor were unrealistic. When the couple canceled and asked for a full refund, Dixon says JGL refused, saying much of the money had already been spent on permits, drawings and time spent answering her questions.

"We asked for the permit and the drawings since that's essentially what we're paying for and they refused to give it to us," Dixon said.

Dixon says she's learned a good lesson: Get firm estimates quickly and take time to review them before making deposits.

"We had looked at other contractors, and when we talked to them, they emailed me the estimate the day after," Dixon said.

JGL Consulting is "A" rated with the Better Business Bureau and say they've won Home Advisor awards.

The owner says this was a mix-up. JGL tells CBS 5 News that the estimate was really just some preliminary numbers, not a hard and fast estimate. We told JGL a reasonable person would not likely see it that way. After further contemplation, JGL decided to refund the entire $2500 and CBS 5 News wishes to thank JGL for resolving this dispute.

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