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Customer Wants To Go To Court

 
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:24 PM   #41
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


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Originally Posted by Shellbuilder View Post
In Va. a contract must have a start and completion date. Makes sense our legislators did that!
If that is true, it must be something new. I never have stated a Start and Completion Date. To me that would be kind of like a noose around the neck. Weather, Equipment Breakdowns, Back Ordered Material, Wrongly Ordered/Delivered Material by the Supplier, Unforeseen Construction Problems, etc, etc, can all slow down a job. Of course I always verbally give an approximate Start Date and an Estimate on Completion, if asked. If the rules changed no one told me. Is it somewhere research-able?

As far as the Original Poster goes, you have some good info above, but in my opinion he is trying to intimidate you. Stand your ground and don't except any type of loss. Money wise or time wise. Call his bluff and go to court if you have to.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #42
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


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Originally Posted by VA Remodeler View Post
If that is true, it must be something new. I never have stated a Start and Completion Date. To me that would be kind of like a noose around the neck. Weather, Equipment Breakdowns, Back Ordered Material, Wrongly Ordered/Delivered Material by the Supplier, Unforeseen Construction Problems, etc, etc, can all slow down a job. Of course I always verbally give an approximate Start Date and an Estimate on Completion, if asked. If the rules changed no one told me. Is it somewhere research-able?

As far as the Original Poster goes, you have some good info above, but in my opinion he is trying to intimidate you. Stand your ground and don't except any type of loss. Money wise or time wise. Call his bluff and go to court if you have to.
You may want to read that book. here is what is the "minimum". This has been in effect for at least twenty years, how much of the other stuff you don't have in your contract…about 700.00 per each violation plus an attorney can rip you apart in court should you not have the "MINIMUM".
9. Failure of those engaged in residential contracting as defined in this chapter to comply with the terms of a written contract which contains the following minimum requirements:
Quote:
Quote:
a. When work is to begin and the estimated completion date;

b. A statement of the total cost of the contract and the amounts and schedule for progress payments including a specific statement on the amount of the down payment;
c. A listing of specified materials and work to be performed, which is specifically requested by the consumer;
d. A "plain-language" exculpatory clause concerning events beyond the control of the contractor and a statement explaining that delays caused by such events do not constitute abandonment and are not included in calculating time frames for payment or performance;
e. A statement of assurance that the contractor will comply with all local requirements for building permits, inspections, and zoning;
f. Disclosure of the cancellation rights of the parties;
g. For contracts resulting from a door-to-door solicitation, a signed acknowledgment by the consumer that he has been provided with and read the
28
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation statement of protection available to him through the Board for Contractors;
h. Contractor's name, address, license number, expiration date, class of license, and classifications or specialty services; and
i. Statement providing that any modification to the contract, which changes the cost, materials, work to be performed, or estimated completion date, must be in writing and signed by all parties.
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Last edited by Shellbuilder; 06-04-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #43
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


My contract specifically states that unless noted on the proposal or a contract addendum time is NOT of the essence. It also has an exculpatory clause re: illness, availability of materials etc....
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #44
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellbuilder View Post
You may want to read that book. here is what is the "minimum". This has been in effect for at least twenty years, how much of the other stuff you don't have in your contract…about 700.00 per each violation plus an attorney can rip you apart in court should you not have the "MINIMUM".
9. Failure of those engaged in residential contracting as defined in this chapter to comply with the terms of a written contract which contains the following minimum requirements:

b. A statement of the total cost of the contract and the amounts and schedule for progress payments including a specific statement on the amount of the down payment;
c. A listing of specified materials and work to be performed, which is specifically requested by the consumer;
d. A "plain-language" exculpatory clause concerning events beyond the control of the contractor and a statement explaining that delays caused by such events do not constitute abandonment and are not included in calculating time frames for payment or performance;
e. A statement of assurance that the contractor will comply with all local requirements for building permits, inspections, and zoning;
f. Disclosure of the cancellation rights of the parties;
g. For contracts resulting from a door-to-door solicitation, a signed acknowledgment by the consumer that he has been provided with and read the
28
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation statement of protection available to him through the Board for Contractors;
h. Contractor's name, address, license number, expiration date, class of license, and classifications or specialty services; and
i. Statement providing that any modification to the contract, which changes the cost, materials, work to be performed, or estimated completion date, must be in writing and signed by all parties.
I got my Class B back in '94, 18 years ago. Even then, if I stayed under the dollar limit, a license was not even necessary. When I got the license all what was required was a simple Work Agreement that included a Payment Schedule. Even with that there was no penalty for not having one. Also, is what you are saying is "all this" above even for a simple low dollar job?? Sounds like the contract would be more work than the actual work in some cases. ...but I will check into it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #45
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Shellbuilder,

I just got off the phone with the Virginia Licensing Board and she directed me that particular info on the online site which I just copied.

Technically, you are correct. I also asked her where to draw the line, but technically in Virginia, even if I'm just repairing a Door Knob for $50, one is actually required to have a contract and have all the A thru I requirements included in a written, signed contract. Which of course is extreme overkill, but I understand how the "system" works. I also asked her about fines and she stated they would only be enforced if the customer were to file a complaint.

To me, common sense must play it's part here. About 95% of all my jobs are small jobs, but when working on larger jobs, I will make sure to cover my butt. Appreciate you pointing that out to me.

But when the need arises to have a Start and Completion Date, I will make sure that I'm covering my butt there to, for my own well being.

Bill
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #46
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


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Originally Posted by Chief808 View Post
KAP. He needed it done in 5 working days. Which would have been May 25th. But sent an email on the 28th saying I was breaching the contract and he was pressing charges.

I do agree with adding to the contract and I will do so, just to save myself the headache in the long run
Why didn't you just tell him at the time that there was never any agreement in the contract that you would complete it by then? Press charges for what? Arbitrarily changing the contract without your consent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief808 View Post
Yes, KAP I do have all the emails between me and the customer. When he made the timeline change. When I told him it was unrealistic he just said, finish it all or he is pressing charges.
He tried to change the contract arbitrarily to fit what he wanted and you told him that it was unrealistic. Just because he wants to change the contract AFTER it's being executed, doesn't mean that he gets to without your say-so...

Heck, if it was that easy, why didn't he just tell you that you had to do it for $5K less or he's pressing charges?...

The fact that he is preventing you from completing the job for a custom product works against any timeframe argument. You were working on the project as contracted. Unless you gave him some verbal or written (email or text) expectation of the timeframe.

I just don't think we are getting all the details that are important... what's the update?
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #47
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


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Originally Posted by Chief808 View Post
I started a job on May 8th, signed a contract and received a down payment for materials. I also told them, I will not start the fence for another week. The fence I was hired to build is a farm fence with a custom front entry using 2 3/8 drill stem pipe. So I purchased the pipe and started welding and prefabricating pipe at home. On May 17th I went to the property to do a fence layout and started the t-post. On the 18th I receive a email stating that I need to hurry, the fence needs to be done in 5 days. The fence is 3500 linear feet with 3 gate entries. I told him I might not be able to finish it in that short of time. But he expected it done anyway by the 28th. Which was memorial day weekend. Now he wants all the money back, but I have half of the down payment and the rest is in materials and labor. I told him I will be happy to return the money, if I could get all the materials back and sell them. But he wants the materials there and all cash back. Also, at my home I have the custom entry way welded and ready to be put up. He says he did not pay for the materials, so I have to pay him the whole deposit back asap. I have no clue what to do. I have no use for his custom fencing. Any help will be helpful
Thank you
He keeps what he has, you keep what you have, including the money.
Send him an invoice that shows where the money went (time and materials, zero balance) on his property and call his bluff on the court thing.
If you do go to court, hire an attorny first.
It will be cheaper than refunding the entire amount and eating the materials. .
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:59 PM   #48
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


update:
I offered him the three options.
1) he could let me finish the job. (I didn't like that option, due to the situation)
2) Offered him to buy me out of the contract. (Materials and labor already spent)
3) I write up an invoice and he keeps what he has, and I keep what I have.

He said that he already started the process and says it is call grand theft. So I have been getting my time line statements and emails to back up my side of the story. He also sent another email stating that i breached the contract by not finishing on the day he stated. I still have the email, when I told him that date was unrealistic. So I am gearing up for a court battle and a bad online review. He still rejects that the down payment was for materials. I once again stated that the down payment is materials and a custom fencing job is time consuming. So none of that worked with this guy. But I thank everyone for the comments and advice. A lot will change from this experience.
Thank you.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #49
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Out of curiosity, what was the total bid amount?

Stand your ground, good luck...
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:07 PM   #50
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


the total bid amount was $15,500.00
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #51
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


I guess the next clause to your contract states "deposits are non refundable after 3 day right to rescind", correct?

grand theft has nothing to do with this, keep in contact with him via email, stating you wish to resolve this but that he is being crazy(use better term).'

When you hit court(if it makes it that far) as long as you make an attempt to resolve his issue in a manner that is fair to both of you, the judge should see you are making reasonable offers while Mr nutjob is make an ass of himself. You might want to talk the D.A. and get his/her take on the situation, he/she may the one it comes down to before the judge.

good luck,.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:39 PM   #52
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Remodeler View Post
I got my Class B back in '94, 18 years ago. Even then, if I stayed under the dollar limit, a license was not even necessary. When I got the license all what was required was a simple Work Agreement that included a Payment Schedule. Even with that there was no penalty for not having one. Also, is what you are saying is "all this" above even for a simple low dollar job?? Sounds like the contract would be more work than the actual work in some cases. ...but I will check into it.
Va,
I've been a class A since 1978. As far as I know these regs have always been in place. I have a triplicate short form contract i use that has everything in the contract to use for example….door lock repair. We're lucky to be in a state that is fairly simple to operate in. I thnik I would not be in this business if I lived in California, Massachusetts or Florida.

Chief, I think you have a fool for a client to ever consider larceny as part of his offense. He can't get anywhere with that, wait until he actually gets a reality check with an attorney.
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Last edited by Shellbuilder; 06-05-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:42 PM   #53
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Deposit not for materials? what did he suppose they were for?

I swear the sense of entitlement in some people never ceases to amaze me....

You know this guy has told 20 people already all with the rightgeous standpoint.. and he believes it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #54
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


I would tell my lawyer that the HO has breached the contract and I want the whole $15,500.

Don't worry, you're going to win this one. I just hope your lawyer is a pit bull. When it comes to going to court I don't want my lawyer taking any prisoners.

And don't forget to tell your lawyer to also sue for legal costs, and anything else he can think of.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:00 PM   #55
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Good luck! I am seriously hoping you get to stick it to this guy. People like this crap all over people without any regard to common sense or ethics. I hope you get all your contract plus your attorney fees...and then countersue for defamation of character if you ever get proof of him blabbing his chops in a negative manner against ya.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #56
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


Your client is an idiot. Pressing charges against someone, and sueing someone, are two entirely different things. He may not even know the difference between Civil and Criminal Court. He is possibly only blustering at this point, hoping you will back down and give him a bunch of free building materials. Stick this one out, you should win it, and hopefully get the chance to staple his ears to the wall.

Just reading about this jk-off makes me want to kick my steel-toed boot so far up his flabby a$$ he'll need rectal surgery to remove it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #57
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Re: Customer Wants To Go To Court


He hasnt started anything other than talking smack. He will tell you he has to scare you.
Get all those emails in order. When your lawyer does his initial discovery he may change his mind in a hurry and offer a settlement. Happens a lot.

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