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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 32922
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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When I purchased my home 5 years ago I had artificial turf

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When I purchased my home 5 years ago I had artificial turf installed in the backyard. The turf had an 8 year warranty on it. It has begun to come up at the seams, recede from the edges and the blades have split and matted down so badly it basically looks like green carpet. I tried to contact the person in my city who installed it, but they were no longer in business. I then contacted the company who said that their standard practice is to pro-rate the warranty depending on how many years you've had it and that I would be entitled to a 40% discount on new turf if and when they could get someone from their corporate office out here to do a new install. I understand about the 40% and I don't necessarily have a problem with that, however it has now come to light that the original installer actually overcharged me by 100 sq feet at $9.50 a sq foot. I didn't know any better at the time and did not do my own measurement, I trusted his. The guy that I talked to at corporate told me in his own words that the guy who did my install was not really an authorized installer of their product and that he was "rogue" and that is why they told him that he had to stop using their product. Problem is that I got his information off of their website so how was I supposed to know that he was "rogue" and unauthorized? I feel as though I am entitled to 40% based on what I originally paid for the project, not 40% off the new project. I also feel as though I should not have to wait until they can get someone out here some day in the future, I've been waiting since October. I'd rather just have a refund of the 40%. Do I have any kind of recourse?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

The fact tht the installer was identified on the manufacturer's website, does not make the manufacturer liable for the installer's alleged misrepreseted measurements of the turf installation area. In order to create that sort of liability, you would have to show that the installer was actually the manufacturer's employee, rather than a subcontractor. The fact that the installer was listed on the website, certainly demonstrates that there was more than a casual relationship -- but it doesn't prove an employment relationship.

Given the extreme difficulty in proving an employment relationship, holding the manufacturer liable for the mismeasurement does not seek to be a very likely result.

However, holding the manufacturer liable for breach of warranty, given that it has delayed in its installation for apparently 3/4ths of a year, would be quite easy. A small claims action is all that's necessary to obtain damages for breach of express limited warranty (assuming your damages are no more than $10,000 CA; $7,500 NV). And, you could complain to the FTC at this link.

Before you do either of the above, read the warranty and determine if there is an arbitration clause which requires that you engage in mediation or arbitration before taking any sort of legal action. If yes, then you must follow the provisions of the warranty, and allow the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to cure the defect or fail.

Ordinarily 3/4ths of a year would be sufficient, but not if you never used the procedure detailed in the warranty. Conversely, if there is no procedure additional to that which you have already tried and failed to accomplish the repair of your turf, then you could move directly to legal action and the FTC complaint.

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for responding to my question. I was never given any type of paperwork that had any type of guidelines for the warranty. It simply said on the receipt "8 year warranty" and nothing more. I realize that I can't expect for the manufacturer to refund me the extra $950 that I was charged, but if I were to take them to court to get the refund that I am due, can I sue for the amount of 40% of what I originally paid, even though that is apparently not the right sq footage? In other words....


 


As it stands now what they were offering is to discount a new install by the amount of 40% based on the actual sq footage- so $9.50 x 220 sq feet = $2090. They want me to pay them $1250 PLUS they want extra money to add new rock underneath. This also doesn't make sense to me as originally the price was $9.50 a sq foot which included all of the rock underneath as well as any type of prep.


 


The way that I see it is that I should get 40% back based on what I paid which was $3000. So I feel that I am due a $1200 refund or at the very least a $1200 discount on a new install. I do not however want to wait for a new install since I've been waiting since October and they still don't know when someone might be in my state. I'd rather just get my refund and use a local company to do the whole thing over again.


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.
Under federal law, where a manufacturer makes a written warranty without any limitations, there are no limitations, which means that the manufacturer must replace the product at its sole expense.

Tell them if they don't replace the turf within 30 days, you'll sue them in small claims and complain to the FTC. You may get their attention.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 32922
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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