When you hire a contractor and they do a competent job, you should be able to just hire that contractor again without checking their background and starting the process over. Right? Not so fast, as one person who aspired to have new doors installed in his home learned the hard way. He hired back a contractor he had used in the past without checking any licenses, and paid about $7,500 for his mistake. [More]
small claims court
Throwing a birthday party for a bunch of kids is not an easy feat — there’s all the planning, the hordes of tiny people running around shrieking and yelling and shoving cupcakes in their faces while refusing to go to the bathroom when they have to, not to mention the expense involved. Nonetheless, the parents of one five-year-old boy say that despite that stress, the mom of their son’s friend shouldn’t have sent them an invoice after the kid missed a birthday party without advance notice.
Debt collection is a big business that doesn’t look to be shrinking anytime soon. But along with the rapid expansion of the industry, there has been an increase in abusive and predatory collection practices. One of those practices, obtaining default judgements against consumers, has led the Center for Responsible Lending to call for stricter regulations over the process of selling debt to collectors. [More]
There are times when you can’t convince a business to do the right thing. Or a dispute with your neighbor won’t come to a close. Or, well, stuff happens. When you try to reach an agreement with another party but you just can’t work it out, you might choose to let a judge decide.
DL likes MagicJack phone service, and prepaid for five years in advance. That was probably a really good deal until he decided that he would rather have a MagicJack Plus. That model doesn’t need to be connected to a computer. Much more convenient, but one problem: DL’s prepaid years wouldn’t transfer. Now he wants to sue them in small claims court, but they won’t tell him where to serve the papers. He turned to us for help.
Desitin, the diaper rash treatment, is not a nice-smelling substance. Joyce’s husband, Ben, could tell that much before using it to treat the aftereffects of some severe gastrointestinal distress. What he didn’t realize was that the unholy stench could not be defeated. It soaked through his clothing, and when he tried to launder those clothes, the smell didn’t go away: it spread to those other items as well. Annoyed at having to toss $600 worth of clothing, the couple contacted Johnson & Johnson, seeking compensation and encouraging the company to do more to deter people who do not currently wear disposable diapers from using the product. After some letters and an offer of $75 passed in the mail, they went to small claims court. And won.
Remember that story of the Honda owner who won nearly $10,000 in small claims court after she opted out of the $100-200 settlement from the class-action lawsuit alleging that the car maker made misleading claims about the gas mileage of its Civic hybrid vehicles? Well, her glory didn’t last long. A judge in California has overturned that judgment.
Chalk up another win for the little guy! A blogger in Seattle says he just wanted Apple to repair his MacBook as the company had promised. When Apple refused, he felt he had no other option but to take the computing colossus to court.
Even though AT&T had seemed quite intent on either appealing or coming to a different settlement with the California man who won a small claims court lawsuit against the company for throttling his so-called unlimited data plan, it now looks like the Death Star forces have retreated from this battle.
UPDATE: While both the AP and CNET reported that the letter from AT&T’s lawyer “threatened to shut off his service if he didn’t sit down and talk with them,” AT&T has reached out to Consumerist to clarify that the letter only threatens to terminate the customer’s service only if he signed the nondisclosure agreement and then violated the terms of that agreement. We have subsequently confirmed this with a source who has seen a copy of the letter.
Last week, a man in California made headlines after his small claims court victory over AT&T for the wireless provider’s throttling of his unlimited data plan. Since then, a number of AT&T customers have wondered if they also have grounds for a complaint.
Your cellphone rings from a number you don’t recognize. You pick it up. At first there’s silence. Then the sound of a call center kicks in and a person asks, “Hello, can I speak to Karen?” It’s a telemarketer, or a debt collector, using an autodialer. And they just broke the law. And just for funsies, you can collect $500 or $1500 with just a few hours of work if you go after them.
It seemed to a California woman that spending a few hundred extra bucks on an extended warranty for her Sears washing machine was a good investment. And with a newborn in the house, the ability to summon a repairman with a phone call for no out-of-pocket cost. That’s true: assuming they show up and actually repair the appliance. Local Sears employees instead dismantled the machine, ordered parts, and then proceeded to stand her up four times, leaving the family without a working washer for seven weeks.
Mayling, mother of two, says she was inspired by Consumerist stories and when a harassing debt collector wouldn’t stop calling her family, she took matters into her own hands. With a 6 month-old and a toddler in tow, she sued them in small claims court and won $7,500. This is her story.
Back in November 2009, we featured the story of Adam and his wife, who bought a house and were under the impression that this house included a one-year warranty. You can’t blame them for having this impression, since it was included in the purchase and was supposed to be paid for by the listing agent. When the house’s heat pump broke and they actually needed the warranty, they learned that the paperwork was never filed, and the promised warranty didn’t exist. He asked the Consumerist Hive Mind for advice, and the Hive Mind delivered. But how did things turn out?
Reader PJ sued a bunch of harassing debt collectors and won $5,000, and Google Voice made doing it really easy. Someone had put down his work cellphone number on their credit applications and ran up a bunch of debts and collectors started calling him multiple times per day. He told them he wasn’t the guy and asked them nicely to stop, but that only made it worse.