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Kowboy
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This happens so rarely that I didn't have a policy in place. And no, there's no written contract to refer to.

A customer who had given me a $1,000.00 down payment on a sink replacement called me today, Sunday, to cancel her Monday installation. I had the sink shipped to her.

I told her I'd give her half her deposit back when she delivered the sink to me in good condition. It's a sink I use regularly.

I think that's fair and would play well on the interwebby should she complain online. She's had a month to cancel and didn't and threw a small wrench into my schedule. I've invested some time and money in advertising, the sales call, and ordering the sink, and should be compensated slightly for that.

After I made the offer, she said she'd call me back to let me know if it was acceptable or not. I haven't heard anything in several hours. It's possible she got a lower estimate in the meantime and is trying to figure out if she's still saving money.

Am I out of line here or am I being as fair and cautious as I can and should be?
 

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If you don’t mind, what was the cost of the sink. Have you purchased any other materials for this job? She is liable to call back and say she wants to keep the sink and get a refund for everything else.
 

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Contractor
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did you offer to let her keep the sink and deduct the cost plus markup? assuming it's less than $1k.

it's hard to offer an opinion without knowing pricing details. losing $500 on a $50k job is minimal. $500 on a $10k job stings a bit more but $500 on a $2500 job is different (from the customers perspective)
 

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Time into it, plus losing a reserved schedule slot (at the last moment) that you can't make up. You were more than fair, so explain that (calmly) that your offer was generous, etc. and that you still took a loss.
 

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General Contractor
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I agree with the above, I wouldn't return anything, but at the same time, I wouldn't order anything without the contract and you not having a contract puts you in a weaker position to try and withhold money.

You a pro n she a homeowner you should have a contract (in NJ anything over $500 you must have a contract) not to mention most likely that is the law in your state, so you have to be careful.
 

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General Contractor
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greg:

We do have a contract. It just isn't written.
"This happens so rarely that I didn't have a policy in place. And no, there's no written contract to refer to."

I guess you had a verbal "contract" and they do mean something but in most cases when it comes down to all the legal nitty-gritty bs the matter is being viewed as "there was no meeting of the mind" and the ruling goes against the contractor.
Don't get me wrong you deserve to get something but it's much harder to get it vs. if there was a written contract...Then it would be a different story you keep the entire deposit plus your profit no questions asked because she in breach.
I mean you been around long enough to know this, my friend, you might not like how this sounds but it is what it is.
Good luck :thumbsup:
 

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Focusing on solutions.
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"This happens so rarely that I didn't have a policy in place. And no, there's no written contract to refer to."

I guess you had a verbal "contract" and they do mean something but in most cases when it comes down to all the legal nitty-gritty bs the matter is being viewed as "there was no meeting of the mind" and the ruling goes against the contractor.
Don't get me wrong you deserve to get something but it's much harder to get it vs. if there was a written contract...Then it would be a different story you keep the entire deposit plus your profit no questions asked because she in breach.
I mean you been around long enough to know this, my friend, you might not like how this sounds but it is what it is.
Good luck :thumbsup:
God it must suck living & working where you live if you have to look at everything through the eye's of a lawsuit, especially when we're only talking about a thousand dollars. Yeah, I know, you live in one of the communist states of America.:whistling
 

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"This happens so rarely that I didn't have a policy in place. And no, there's no written contract to refer to."

I guess you had a verbal "contract" and they do mean something but in most cases when it comes down to all the legal nitty-gritty bs the matter is being viewed as "there was no meeting of the mind" and the ruling goes against the contractor.
Don't get me wrong you deserve to get something but it's much harder to get it vs. if there was a written contract...Then it would be a different story you keep the entire deposit plus your profit no questions asked because she in breach.
I mean you been around long enough to know this, my friend, you might not like how this sounds but it is what it is.
Good luck :thumbsup:
He has the money, I’d think the customer would be the one SOL without a written contract.

Judge Judy makes rulings based on verbal contracts.

But yeah if he had a contract written up completely in his favor he’d be better off, he’d also be guaranteed to have a pissed off customer.
 

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I think that since she canceled the day before your entitled to keeping the deposit. I think giving some back to get the sink back in good shape is a good move. Shows your not keeping the deposit just because you can.
 

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General Contractor
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He has the money, I’d think the customer would be the one SOL without a written contract.

Judge Judy makes rulings based on verbal contracts.

But yeah if he had a contract written up completely in his favor he’d be better off, he’d also be guaranteed to have a pissed off customer.
I wish all courts would work like Judge Judy :laughing: Unfortunately, that's not the case.
I was in a similar situation with a bathroom remodeling got almost 2k deposit and haven't ordered a single item and saw the customer 2 times, 1st time measuring the job and 2nd time sign the contract and pick up a deposit. 3 weeks after trying to get them to select materials, they canceled. I told them the deposit is nonrefundable and I filed a lawsuit against them for breach of contract. To make the story short they got a lawyer after me and we settled out of court for an additional $2,500 and me dropping the case. I walked away with 4k doing nothing more than I would have made from this job.
My lawyer told me the contract saved my ass for this reason.

NJ has a law that any contractor doing a job over $500 must have a written contract. If the case goes to court and there is no contract, you already broke the law, no court will award you anything because you failed to meet what the law requires.
Even it's written on a piece of toilet paper and has signatures you already almost there...:laughing: the reason you almost there is because you required to include the following in the contract; start day and completion, insurance, warranty, etc if not and this goes to court the lawyers will rip this contract apart (if it comes to that).

That said, I want to see him get everything because I been there a few times and it sucks when someone pulls this crap on you, we all have the right to make money. I'm just saying how it is and how things work.
As a pissed off customer goes... I couldn't care less, I'm in business to make money and I will be more pissed than the customer if I lose money and they screw up my schedule and when something goes into my pocket, it's not coming out. :laughing:
 

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I wish all courts would work like Judge Judy :laughing: Unfortunately, that's not the case.
I was in a similar situation with a bathroom remodeling got almost 2k deposit and haven't ordered a single item and saw the customer 2 times, 1st time measuring the job and 2nd time sign the contract and pick up a deposit. 3 weeks after trying to get them to select materials, they canceled. I told them the deposit is nonrefundable and I filed a lawsuit against them for breach of contract. To make the story short they got a lawyer after me and we settled out of court for an additional $2,500 and me dropping the case. I walked away with 4k doing nothing more than I would have made from this job.
My lawyer told me the contract saved my ass for this reason.

NJ has a law that any contractor doing a job over $500 must have a written contract. If the case goes to court and there is no contract, you already broke the law, no court will award you anything because you failed to meet what the law requires.
Even it's written on a piece of toilet paper and has signatures you already almost there...:laughing: the reason you almost there is because you required to include the following in the contract; start day and completion, insurance, warranty, etc if not and this goes to court the lawyers will rip this contract apart (if it comes to that).

That said, I want to see him get everything because I been there a few times and it sucks when someone pulls this crap on you, we all have the right to make money. I'm just saying how it is and how things work.
As a pissed off customer goes... I couldn't care less, I'm in business to make money and I will be more pissed than the customer if I lose money and they screw up my schedule and when something goes into my pocket, it's not coming out. :laughing:
Were your attorney's fees covered/paid in your lawsuit?
 

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General Contractor
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Were your attorney's fees covered/paid in your lawsuit?
I never went to court, after their attorney talked to my attorney, their attorney told them to write a check, because if they go to court it might cost them more because they in Breach.

That said my attorney doesn't charge me for this type of thing and he doesn't charge me if he has to go to court with me if I get any tickets... He has been handling all my affairs for almost 40 yrs, closings, real estate transactions, tickets, etc so when something like this comes up like in this case I mentioned I got him a nice bottle of scotch worth a few hundred bucks, etc.:thumbsup:
 

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Cowboy ... you started this 2 days ago. Has she called back?

And now I’m thinking ... you keep the $1,000 let her have the $350 sink and everybody walks away.
 
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