How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask William B. Esq. Your Own Question

William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 3055
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing individuals and businesses.
71563194
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
William B. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I purchased a Solar Hot Water system from a company

Resolved Question:

Hello, I purchased a Solar Hot Water system from a company after the salesman stated that the system would save me a certain amount on my electric bill due to it being Solar. My electric bill has continued to go up each month after purchase. The company reimbursed me the savings I was supposed to get for the first 3 months but now they will hardly return my call. During the 3 months they made 5-7 service calls on the system and moved my Solar panels...Still no savings on my electric bill. They now tell me they are not responsible for what their salesman told my wife and I during the sales pitch. What are my options if any. The company refuses to refund my money due to the system not producing as the salesman stated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name isXXXXX would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

I am sorry to learn about your difficulties with this new water system.

William B. Esq. :

If you are unable to receive satisfaction from the company for their failure to provide service as they have promised in their advertising to you "you will receive a reduced power bill" you may have a claim for fraud.

Customer:

Thank you for taking my question. Very frustrated...the system cost me 7800 bucks and I financed it.

William B. Esq. :

Are you still paying on it?

Customer:

The advertising was in person to my wife and I during the sales pitch.

William B. Esq. :

Where were you when they made the sales pitch? (at your home, county fair, or at their store, etc.)?

Customer:

Yes...I also purchased an AC system and a Solar attic fan. Those items are finally work to my satisfaction

Customer:

In my home

William B. Esq. :

Okay, unfortunately, the recision rights (3 day cooling off period) that apply to door to door sales has already passed, but the fact that you were given a sales pitch in your home, where you were given the promise of a reduced power bill, but did not receive it, gains credibility as these types of sales tactics are not viewed favorably for the most part (not a legal analysis, just a general observation).


You likely have the right to withdraw from the contract based on a "fraudulent inducement" meaning you entered into the contract based on a material misrepresentation that you would receive a reduced power bill, when in fact you have experienced the opposite.

William B. Esq. :

The elements for fraud are: (1) a statement that the defendant knows, or should have known, was false; (2) that the plaintiff reasonably relies upon; and (3) that the plaintiff suffers damages (usually loses money). If you can show all of these elements, you will have a claim for fraud that you can file in court and recover the money you have spent, as well as withdraw from the current contract.

William B. Esq. :

The only weak point in these types of contracts is that merchants work hard to say "it saves money in most circumstances" as opposed to absolutes "you will save money", but the fact that the company tried to subsidize your power bill for 3 months seems to lend even more credibility to your position that they actually promised you a reduced power bill, not just the possibility of one.

Customer:

Yes they did subsidize me while trying to fix the system...would that be them admitting to the proposed savings?

William B. Esq. :

I would never go so far as to say that the defendant has admitted to their wrongdoing (unless they have actually done so), but it could certainly act as circumstantial evidence in support of the position that their product is marketed and designed to provide you with a reduced power bill, and their effort to subsidize your bill does seem to be in your favor.


(For future reference, there is an issue with excluding evidence of subsequent repairs in tort law, but this only applies to personal injury, so, if somebody trips over a dangerous stairway, and the defendant fixes the stairway before trial, the plaintiff cannot introduce the fact that the stairway was fixed as evidence - the company in your case does not get the benefit of that rule, paying you to subsidize your power bill does not protect anybody from future harm and the rule excluding this evidence does not apply).

Customer:

What type of lawyer should I get or could I file this complaint myself?

Customer:

What would something like this cost me to pursue. I have wasted enough money already.

William B. Esq. :

For a claim of $7,500.00 you will be over the $5,000.00 small claims court jurisdiction. This means you have 2 options. Option 1, you can reduce your claimed damages to $5,000.00 and sue in small claims court where the procedure is simpler, and you are expected to appear without an attorney (it is much less costly). Option 2 is to file in civil court for the full amount, the procedure is slightly more complex, and most parties use an attorney (which may cost more than your potential recovery), the procedure takes longer (about 12-18 months in most cases, but it depends entirely on the trial court backlog). So: Small Claims is quicker and easier, but you cannot get a full recovery; Civil Court is more complex and will take longer, but you can pursue a full recovery (both suffer from the inherent uncertainty of litigation).

Customer:

What would you recommend?

William B. Esq. :

Unfortunately I can't give you a recommendation - we aren't allowed to practice law on the site. But really, even as a client I wouldn't be able to give you much more on this one. You can reduce your claim and go for a quick resolution in small claims (a lot less of a headache), or you can try for a full recovery in civil court, but you will have to deal with extended discovery, motion practice, and it will be much more time intensive, even if you decide to hire an attorney (which will cost you money).

Customer:

Thank you so much for answering my question. I will go the small claims route and gather all my info and hope for the best. Where could i find information on filing in small claims court.

William B. Esq. :

Give me a moment and let me get some information together for you (there are a few websites that are helpful).

William B. Esq. :

By the way, which county are you in?

William B. Esq. :

Here is the Florida Courts small claims self help website: http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/smallclaims.shtml

Customer:

Seminole

William B. Esq. :

Here are the Small Claims Rules of Court (read through the table of contents so that you are familiar with them, and you can then identify what you need as you go through the process): http://www.floridabar.org/TFB/TFBResources.nsf/0/5E3D51AF15EE8DCD85256B29004BFA62/$FILE/Small%20Claims.pdf

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

William B. Esq. :

My pleasure. I do wish you the best of luck with this matter. Here is the link to the Seminole Clerk of Courts (they do not have a very helpful website for small claims, but it will have the contact information: http://www.seminoleclerk.org/ If you have further questions please do not hesitate to let me know.

Customer:

Will do...Thanks again

William B. Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 3055
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 7 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5518
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2620
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1711
    20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1415
    16 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1160
    25 years of private practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    1065
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1023
    Attorney with 14 years experience in various consumer protection areas
 
 
 

Related Consumer Protection Law Questions