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Ethics involved in changing contracts once agreed upon

Rex Roofing contracted with the O'Neills to install a new roof on their house for $2,500. Rex began the work and soon realized that he had underbid the job.

He informed the O'Neills that he would not do the job for $2,500 after all, but that he would complete the work for $3,200. The O'Neills promised to pay him $3,200. Assuming that there were no unforeseen conditions that affected the roof and no obvious mistakes in the bid calculations, was it ethical for Rex Roofing to refuse to do the job at the agreed-upon price? Since the O'Neills agreed to pay the higher price, are they ethically obligated to do so, even if the law does not require them to pay more than the originally agreed-upon price?

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Was it ethical for Rex Roofing to refuse to do the job at the agreed-upon price? No, not at all. Rex Roofing contracted with the O'Neills to do the work at $2500. A contract was drafted, agreed to and signed by both parties. Rex Roofing is in the roofing business. Rex was more than adequately trained in coming up with accurate estimates. Otherwise, ...

Solution Summary

Ethics is tied to morality, and since one cannot separate them, both have to be considered together. I focus on the relationship of ethics to morality to provide a clear explanation as to why Rex's actions was unethical and, at the same time, why the O'Neill's are now obligated to pay the higher price.

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