Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
You asked " Do I have legal recourse in my situation to be paid enough for my time and effort and allow all my customers to be reimbursed and pay their return shipping, etc. "
You can sue for the damages you have suffered. Most judges would allow you to recover a reasonable hourly fee for the work you have to do in issuing the refunds, paying for return shipping, etc.
Or if you hire someone to handle all of that then you can recover the amount that you pay them to do it.
Since it is a breach of contract and/or fraud issue you could also sue for your attorney's fees involved in bringing the case. You cannot recover any amount of money for your time in court, looking for a lawyer, etc.
One issue you are going to have to face is venue, which means where the lawsuit is brought.
You can bring it where the seller is located and be completely safe. If you bring the lawsuit in CA then there is a chance that a judge will say that you should have brought the case in MA.
There is no definitive answer as to which court has jurisdiction and venue because it depends on not only all of the facts but also that specific judge. Some are ruling that purchases made over the internet can be sued on in the county where the buyer was located when they made the purchase, where the objects were delivered, or where the instrument was presented for payment. However, other judges are ruling that you must bring the cases where the defendant was located.
Your first step is to talk to a local lawyer and see what your specific judge or judges would be likely to rule as far as venue of the case.
I wonder if I hire a lawyer to send a threatening letter to sue if that might do it?
Possibly. My guess is after what they said to you that it won't work but the lawyer will definitely send a demand notice first anyway.
I see, thank you. At least I'll talk to a local lawyer and see if it looks good to them.
You should have a very, very good chance of winning any lawsuit, the issues is where you bring it.
Yes, Thanks for pointing that out!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).