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JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 11331
Experience:  Experienced in business formation and licensing issues
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May 6, 2013, I paid a $500 deposit on a sofa to be reupholstered.

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May 6, 2013, I paid a $500 deposit on a sofa to be reupholstered. Salesman (Larry) said there would be a "8 week pick-up or sooner" (handwritten on my order). Approximately 9 weeks later (July 9, 2013) I called B&D Upholstery and asked for the status on the pick up of my sofa. They said they would pick it up the next day. Upon pick up, they said that the sofa would be returned within 2 to 3 weeks. Four weeks later (August 6, 2013) I called & left several messages asking for delivery date. On August 7th, Larry called & said that my sofa would be ready within 2 to 3 weeks.

I explained to Larry that on the estimated date that he gave me, I had planned a birthday party on August 18th (my 66th birthday) and had paid the caterer, ordered & mailed out the invitations, bought decorations, my husband & I have painted several rooms in my house, bought new chairs to match the sofa & have been inconvenienced tremendously. Not to mention that my husband, age 72, has worked tirelessly trying to get the house ready for the furniture delivery. What are my options?

I am a professional here to assist you. I appreciate your use of this service.

Are you asking if you are able to force the company to complete the work and deliver the furniture by the 15th?

Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Return by the 15th would be excellent!

The problem you face is that the return date was an estimate, if I understand you correctly. While there is a date in writing, as an estimate one cannot force a company to strictly comply with that date. If a delay is unreasonable, then a consumer may file a civil suit to recover their furniture and perhaps recover damages. It looks like you had a promise for pick-up by a certain date which was missed. You could have terminated the agreement at that point and recovered your deposit as the company breached their obligation to you.

Once they took possession the situation is more complicated. If the delay became unreasonable, a civil suit may be utilized. That may take months or longer to resolve. This would not help you meet your goal of return of the completed furniture by your birthday. A good approach in these situations is to utilize a demand letter. This would be sent via certified mail advising the company of the immediate need for completion of the work and return of the furniture including a deadline. You may even consider having an attorney send the demand on your behalf as this is more likely to result in a response. Such demand letters are often effective as a business wants to avoid the time and expense of litigation.

Please follow-up as needed. I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive service rating.

Thank you
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