Consumer Protection Law
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Are you seeking this information from an HVAC technician for that perspective (regarding what should be covered and what should not be covered from the mechanical point of view)? Or are you seeking a review and information from a consumer protection law perspective with an eye towards overcoming any rejection of your warranty claims? I ask this because your question is posted in the "general" category and I am wondering if you want it directed to the HVAC category or the legal category?
Mary, this option reflects my objective. "Or are you seeking a review and information from a consumer protection law perspective with an eye towards overcoming any rejection of your warranty claims" . Please let me know if you wish to review my draft claim request now that I've answered your question.
Hello again Dick --
I would be happy to assist you with this (I have experience with written warranties and warranties provided under state and federal laws that may not be specifically included in the written warranty). Can you tell me also some specifics about the HVAC system (is it a residential installation or commercial? when was it installed ? what type of warranty was offered when installed? etc.). Also, what state is this located in? Any information you can give me to assist with the analysis will help.
I have an unexpected emergency and must go offline for about the next 4-5 hours and will be back online again about 7 pm EST. I will pick up your question at that time but if you are not willing to wait then please press the "relist" button so other attorneys can review and assist. I will check back upon my return before picking up any new questions if you can wait for my return.
I can wait for your return. Thanks for your help.
Hello again Dick -
I am terribly sorry that it took so long to get back to you on this but I ended up not returning home until very late last night (I was assisting a family member with an auto breakdown on the highway).
Regarding your legal protections in SC and under federal law regarding written / express warranties, you do have specific legal protection in SC for the breach of an express warranty given by a manufacturer ("express" means the actual written warranty itself -- and what you are looking at is a breach of contract action because the dealer and the manufacturer (or the manufacturer through the dealer) has not honored the terms of the written warranty given when you purchased the product). In addition to a direct breach of contract action, you are permitted to sue the manufacturer and the dealer under the federal government's Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 (Congress sought to increase consumer warranty protection and make it more consistent across all of the states). The Warranty Act (as it is known as) provides you with the right to sue the manufacturer for implied warranties that the manufacturer and dealer grant when they make a sale of any product (and these warranties cannot be disclaimed by the manufacturer (the manufacturer cannot state in your written warranty that implied warranties granted under the Warranty Act are not applicable to your product and purchase)- the implied warranties are - (a) the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose (this is when a seller makes promises that a product can be relied on for a particular purpose and the product fails in this regard -- the promises do not have to be made directly to you either - it can be just advertisements made about the product) and (b) the implied warranty of merchantability (this is when the products do not perform as they are supposed to or as they are manufactured to do). With the express warranty/breach of contract claims and the Warranty Act claims you have 4 years from the purchase date to bring suit against the manufacturer and/or the dealer for these claims. In addition to this, you can request that your attorney's fees be paid pursuant to the SC consumer protection statutes (although you may have to pay at least the attorney's expenses up front). You can find a consumer protection attorney near you by contacting your local county bar association and asking for the names of several attorneys who handle consumer protection claims for warranty issues in your area. You can talk to several of them and decide if you want to move forward with the claims into a civil lawsuit at that point.
Regarding your letter to them -- my suggestion is that you make this a last chance for them to address all of your issues before seeking legal action against them because you will be coming up against the 4 year statute of limitations very soon so you do not want to leave seeking legal action in these matters for too much more time to pass. In reviewing the letter, your contents are fine but I suggest that you organize it a little bit more around a "this is what you have done, this is what you have failed to do and this is the action I will seek if you do not replace this defective system within the next 60 days (I picked that number of days as a reasonable amount of time for them to make arrangements with you and to perform the work - you can use any amount of time but because time is running low, I suggest that you do not let them drag out an installation date much beyond 60 or 90 days). I am not permitted by Just Answer to actually write the letter for you (I can make suggestions and give you pointers) - but I would start it out as Dear XXXXXXX -- As you are aware, I have had numerous problems and difficulties with the Lennox HVAC system installed on XXXX, 2009, such as the cooling system turning on in the winter, (then list all of the problems), resulting in the following repairs and service calls to my home: (1) date of service and what they did; (2) date of service and what they did -- etc. As of today's date, I continue to experience problems identical and similar in nature to the problems experienced from the date of installation to the present date. Currently, the problems are as follows: (1), (2) (again, list the problems you are still experiencing). Then write that you have given the company sufficient opportunity over 3 years to repair the problems with the HVAC system and because they have not done so, you are requesting that they honor the terms of their warranty and replace what seems to be a defective system that even your own technicians are puzzled over how to actually repair it again. Then, wrap the letter up by stating that you would like to hear from them within XX days or you will pursue civil actions for breach of the express and implied warranties guaranteed by the warranty contract and state and federal laws. Obviously, if you want to rework the letter a bit based upon the suggestions that I have made, you can and I will review it again for you (I will be around all evening).
Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time? I am paid NOTHING unless you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below (I do not receive a paycheck and this is not a hobby for me -- it is how I earn a living so I really DO appreciate it when you press a positive rating below!!) THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!
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