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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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We are a retail store. Few months ago a customer special ordered

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We are a retail store. Few months ago a customer special ordered a fancy suit to her exact measurements and after completion picked it up. about three weeks ago we received a call from her that she loved the suit and would like to order the same in white. Having dealt with her in the past we took the verbal order and charged her card. She mentioned that she needs it in rush and would pay for rush charge. We ordered the suit immediately and send her the forms for charge authorization in the mail. We received a call few days later that she will not send her card info by mail. She mentioned if this is not acceptable she would like to cancel. We told her it is too late and the suit is already being made. Few days later the manufacture shipped the suit to her but she refused the package. Now we have a charge back notice from American Express. The customer claims that she did order but we have charged her extra. We only charged for rush shipping. What is there to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

If the customer refuses to voluntarily pay, then you only have one option: Sue the customer in small claims court. That is the only way to make somebody pay for something that she refuses to pay for on her own.

Your argument will be breach of contract. You'll need to argue that you had an oral contract for the suit, and that by refusing to accept the suit and pay the charges, she has breached the contract. You didn't mention how much the suit costs, but I will point out that oral contracts are not enforceable when the purchased goods are over $500. For sales over $500, the contract must be in writing.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
TJ, Esq. and 4 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The price of the suit is 849.00 and 89.00 for rush. This suit is made for special measurements no body else can wear it. She voluntarily has stated in her AX dispute that she did order the suit.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi again.

The fact that the buyer admitted that she ordered the suit is of no help, unless you sue and she admits it in court (or in her court pleadings).

However, the fact that the suit was specially made for the buyer is a valid exception to the requirement that the contract be in writing, so long as the suit is not suitable for sale to others in the ordinary course of your business.

Therefore, it does seem like you stand a reasonable chance of winning if you were to sue.

I hope that helps. Please remember to click "accept."
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She lives in Oregon and we are in Los Angeles. Where do we file.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
If you file it in CA and win, then she can later argue that the CA courts had no jurisdiction. Under those circumstances the Oregon courts may not honor the judgment (you'll need for the Oregon courts to honor the judgment in order to use various means of collection, such as garnishments, etc., if she refuses to voluntarily pay even after losing). Whether or not the CA courts have jurisdiction depends on the circumstances in which the contract was made. If she had visited you in person, then the CA courts would surely have jurisdiction, but since the contract was created via telephone, jurisdiction is definitely not a sure thing. If the CA courts have no jurisdiction, then you'll need to sue in Oregon, since they definitely have jurisdiction over an Oregon resident.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that if you sue in CA, there is a chance that you'll ultimately have to re-sue in Oregon. Whether you want to take that chance is up to you. You can just sue in Oregon now and not worry about the jurisdiction argument. Or you can sue in CA, and hope that she doesn't make a jurisdiction argument, or that if she does make such an argument, that you'll win that argument.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

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