I Need Legal Advise Please! (Long)

Business By tdybear1978 Updated 29 Apr 2008 , 12:08am by auntginn

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:40am
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I have been in business for about 1 1/2 years now. I am growing rapidly - THANK GOD as it was very difficult for me to get started. I had a financial backer (my father, big mistake) who backed out on me at the last possible second leaving me to refinance my house and start my business with only $17,000. I have struggled but we (husband) have made it so far and things are going great. So - to my problem, I have been trying to upgrade some of my equipment and I found an ad in my local paper for someone selling a commercial freezer so I responded as I have been needing to get a larger one. So skip forward - I buy the freezer and he gives me a 60 day warranty (woohoo) well 3 days after I get it we see a problem so I call him and he said that he would be out on Friday (which was 2 days later) to fix the problem. So I had to get all my inventory out of there and put it into the freezers of 3 other people. Well, he never shows, so I call and leave a message and never hear back. So I call the next week and he said that he got the flu and he would get to me as soon as he gets back on his feet. WELL, it has now been 36 days and nothing. I have left many messages and nothing, a very good friend of mine (who I call my dad, I love him to death) calls the numbers that we had for him and spoke to his wife today who said she would pass the message along and then he called back and some young man cussed him out and hung up on him. So now I am getting worried, I call the number and I am told that I have the wrong number (which I know that I do not, they are just flat out lying). So now I am freaking out because yeah I may have only paid $700 for the freezer but that is ALOT of money for me and was very difficult for me to come up with. If anyone is in the legal field would you please read below and tell me if I should go forward with possible suing this man. My concern was with the first paragraph because he warranty's the compressor which was bought at a supply store (and he gave to me) but the problem is a freon leak and the condensation valve is leaking all over my products. But then the second paragraph repeats that but also says he stands behind the unit. Sorry so long but what do you think? I need from legal point of view please.

the contract reads:

I _______ sell this unit with the warranty that comes from ____________ Supply as per the invoice of the refrigerating equipment purchased.

I ____________ stand behind this unit for 60 days of the date _____ & as per the __________ supply warranty.

thank you for hanging in there for this whole post if you made it this far.

18 replies
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lovetofrost Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:51am
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I know some lawyers if they are nice enough might be able to just write up a letter to "scare" him into fixing the problem/giving you your money back. Maybe call clark howard's people. Hope this helps, sorry I don't have any other advice.

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zoomitoons Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:04am
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I am sorry you are having problems with all this.
Here is what I would do first. You have it in writing with his signature that he would stand behind his product for 60 days. Have someone who sounds and talks professional call him and say "Hello, this is (first name only) I am representing (your name here) She purchased a freezer from you with a signed "warranty" and has been in contact with you about a problem. If you do not comply to your purchase agreement (your name here again) will have to take legal action.

DO NOT let the person calling say they are a lawyer (unless they are) just that he/she is representing you (it's not a lie, they are calling on your behalf)
My grandfather did this a few times with insurance companies for my parents and my uncle's when they didn't want to pay for a surgery. My brother needed surgery on his jaw and the insurance said it was cosmetic. My grandfather only gave his first name and said he was representing Mr and Mrs .......... and explained that he needed the surgery now or he would have more problems as he aged. The insurance company called my parents less then an hour later with the OK for the surgery.
He also called for my uncle when my aunt was pg with their 2nd child, they had just moved and my uncle had started working for the family dealership only 2 months after he started. The insurance company said he couldn't get health insurance for 6 months but when my grandpa called he explained that he was a share holder in the dealership and had been since he was 18 (he was 27) so therefore he had been an "employee" for 9 years. He had to go to share holder meetings etc. It worked, my uncle had insurance that day and my grandfather never once gave his last name. Just his first name and that he was representing (name here)

Hope everything gets worked out before you do have to take legal action.


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all4cake Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:09am
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A similar scenario my mother went through in regards to a roofing job. She documented each time she called and when someone else called for her. She sent certified letters(suggested by the BBB) telling this person(he had to sign for it). She stated matter-of-factly that she had been trying to contact him since....and he's failed to respond and that if he doesn't make the situation right she would have no choice but to take the matter to court(small claims...but still, no one wants to deal with that, right). She let him know that all efforts to contact him had been documented. It worked. He called her and everything was made right without further troubles. Maybe doing that might also work in your situation.

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indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:10am
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And if the above doesn't work, then yes, I would pursue suing him. A contract is a contract and he signed one!

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auntginn Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:13am
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Sorry, I am not a lawyer, however in just about every state there are no to low cost attorney groups that can help at least tell you what your rights if any will be.

Again I am not a lawyer but I would think that because he mislead you you will have some recourse at lease in small clains court. In California, where I am, warrenties usually cannot be passed on. I also know that laws vary from state to state. So don't give up, Its tuff right now but I'm sure if you are persistant you can find some legal aide or advise.

Good luck we're all praying for you.

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all4cake Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:16am
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If you choose to send a certified letter also state that in addition to the costs of repairing the freezer, he may also be liable for all court costs and other legal fees .

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:30am
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I plan on sending him a certified letter tomorrow just so I have something saying that I have notified him and I can prove it. So far now because of the ongoing freezer problems I have had to throw away almost $400.00 worth of products. That was after I initially put the items in there and then the problems began and quite a few things were ruined. I have just started thinking am I just a complete idiot for trusting this person or do I just have really bad luck. This has just been an ongoing thing with me, late last year my oven blew up (literally) and then at the end of summer I had to replace the entire air conditioning unit - all very expensive things. So I am really just starting to get frustrated and overwhelmed. thanks for responding though, I really appreciate it.

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lardbutt Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 5:00am
post #9 of 19

No advice...just a ((HUGG))! So sorry, I hope it all gets worked out.

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 3:34pm
post #10 of 19

I would love to have someone call on my behalf, however, when we call the number they tell us we have the wrong number. I know it is not because I have spoken with him at this number in the past haha. Apparantly he also thinks I am an idiot

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auntginn Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 4:50pm
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Then your decision to send a certified letter is wise. If you can send 2 quotes for repairs. Also, be prepared that he may not accept the letter, in which case it will be returned to you as rejected. (The po. will make 1 or 2 attempts, if he just won't pick it up or call to make arrangements to have it delivered, they will mark it rejected) In that case, a court will still count it as you made every attempt to resolve the matter.

Is it possible for someone to go to his place to talk to him, since he is refusing calls?

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nicolesplace Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 5:10pm
post #12 of 19

I remember a few years ago, there was a "Buyer Beware" ad taken out in our local paper.

Someone had an experience similar to what you are going through and made it public knowledge. The sellers name, adress & phone # were all listed in the ad.

The very next week, there was a thank you letter to the seller for finally resolving the situation.

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CelebrationsbyLori Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 7:33pm
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It sounds to me like he's trying to wait out the 60 days by ignoring you and thinks you will eventually give up. DON'T!!!!! I agree with everyone else, contact an attorney (check to see if there are state or county legal services near you that may be free), let them send the letter and get this guy realizing you are serious. You will probably need to document exactly what food spoiled (I don't know if you can get anything for that, it's more of an insurance issue), but definately will need an estimate for repair to see exactly what needs repaired and which "warranty" it would fall under!
GOOD LUCK & Keep your chin up!

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tdybear1978 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 8:22pm
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I contacted an attorney and he told me to go down to the courthouse and get a small claims affidavit and go ahead and file it. He told me don't even try to send a certified letter to him at this point, he will just get served and if he decides to not show up then I will win by default. but he told me to go ahead and log down the calls I have made to him and the merchandise that I have lost and try to get that out of him as well, seeing as how I have been trying to reach him since 3 days after I got the freezer. So I guess I will need to find the time now to get down there to the courthouse, but I really don't want to let this go.

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BrandisBaked Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 8:38pm
post #15 of 19

Have the freezer fixed, and sue him for the repair bill.

At least you won't have to throw away any more product (which you probably won't be able to recoup the cost of anyway).

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mommycakediva Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:17pm
post #16 of 19

Yea don't let him get away with it for sure. Everyone one gave good advice so just hugs from here as well! (((())))) Good Luck!

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TheButterWench Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 10:51pm
post #17 of 19

you would've paid the same amount at a Used Equipment place and they do come and fix things!

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tdybear1978 Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 12:00am
post #18 of 19

yeah, I checked on the price of a brand new one and was around $2,000 with like a 5 year warranty, so if I can get my money back I will just go that way - lesson learned I guess. I just really hopes that this turns out okay for me

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auntginn Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 12:08am
post #19 of 19

It will turn out fine. Everything serves as a purpose in our life, so don't beat yourself up.

Lots of Hugs

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