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Pearl: -. I went to visit a shop called Artistic Image in…

Hi, Pearl: My...

Hi, Pearl: My name is***** I went to visit a shop called Artistic Image in Millbrea, CA in Feb. after I saw a TV ads to help with real hair. However, after a few hours of talk with the owner, I signed up a non-refundable contract to do a customized hair piece for me with so called 'real hair'. There, they asked me to charge my credit card for the deposit $981 which is only 50% of the total cost. I did it. However, on the way back, I didn't feel comfortable with this whole contract because this so called 'real hair' is actually a wig and it can only last for one year. I called the owned immediately after I got home (about 2 hours I left the shop). She, ***** *****u returned my call that night and said, 'I will try to talk to the factory people and cxl for you'. But she called me the next day saying 'you cannot cxl because the order went thru....'. So, I called the CITI Card service to put this transaction on disputing.

Lawyer's Assistant: The Lawyer can help you determine if that's legal. Before I connect you, is there anything else you'd like the Lawyer to know?

After 3 months of investigation on both sides (I showed my phone bills about when I called her and she showed my signed paper), CITI reversed the charge and paid her. I have to end up to pay soon. The reality is, I haven't received any products yet. My question for you is even if I receive it later and if I am not satisfied, could I not to accept it? Do I still have to pay for it? As a consumer, do I have any rights or protection for satisfaction? Please advise. Thanks!

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Answered in 1 minute by:
7/6/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,317
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Thanks for your patience. The answer to your question in this case is yes; if you do not receive the product within the timeframe promised, then that is a breach of contract by the other party.

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A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. This applies even when there was no written agreement, but just an oral agreement between the parties. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach. Since your agreement was in writing or evidenced by writing, then it's fine.

This means that you have a couple of options if the hair piece doesn't come on time.

  1. The quicker, informal option is to send a demand for payment There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started.

  2. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. If you’ve already sent a bunch of letters, then the truth is this is the only way to compel them to do anything.

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If it shows up on time, but it is not what you ordered, expected, or if it otherwise is just not fitting your reasonable expectations, then you have a different cause of action to reject the shipment.

Under section 2-315 of the Uniform Commercial Code (fitness),, it says that if a buyer is relying on the knowledge and skill of the seller to furnish suitable goods, and those goods are not fit, then it is a violation of the code.

Under section 2-314 of the Uniform Commercial Code (merchantability), which has been adopted wholly or in part by all the states, sellers are bound by the implied warranty of merchantability. What this means basically is that the good(s) that you purchase will generally conform to the buyer’s expectations. An example would be if someone purchased a vehicle. A seller warrants that the vehicle is going to be generally acceptable, fit for its ordinary purpose, and be of a generally understood type and quality. A violation of this will ultimately result in damages for the buyer.

You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter advising that they must fix this matter or your only other option is to sue. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation. How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
They have the excuse to say why not delivering the product and that is due to the case in the process of disputing. After disputing was closed, they called me to pick up the product. However, what about I'm not satisfied, am I obligated to buy and pay?

If you're reasonably unsatisfied, no, you don't have to pay So if it is the wrong color, type, style, or otherwise just makes you look not as you would reasonably expect, then you don't have to pay

Otherwise, if the product conforms to your expectations, then yes.

The key here would be to find things wrong with it objectively and use that as grounds to deny acceptance.

Did you have any other questions for me today? If not, were you satisfied with my service today:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
What about I've already paid $981 as a down payment? Is there anyway that I can get that back?

Probably not. Not unless you can realistically allege fraud or otherwise invalidate the agreement on the grounds of something like a lack of acceptance, duress, or some material misrepresentation they made. It's a tough argument to make and most courts in CA are loathe to find agreements unenforceable without strong evidence.

How else can I help today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
She also said, 'Once you come into my shop to pick up the product, you have to pay another half which is another $981'. I know this is not right. But how to deal with it and even get my first $981 back? She is holding my signed contract.

I can understand. Technically and legally, yes, you would be responsible for the remainder of the balance; however, what I would probably do is:

1. Inspect the item carefully.

2. Bring a friend who can maybe provide their objective opinion on the matter.

3. Determine objectively whether it conforms to your exceptions.

If it does, you'll have to pay that remaining balance (if you want to avoid threats of collection or a lawsuit); however, if after wearing it for a few days or weeks you realize that it doesn't fit your reasonable expectations, then you can sue for the $ that you paid.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It looks like the legal action is my only option then. Any other alternatives?

Yes. Diplomacy with a side of negotiation makes a huge difference and is really where good lawyers make their $ and you can do it for a fraction of the cost.

One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals.

So, if, for example, you have good referrals for them, if you promise a positive review on Yelp, or if you agree to buy some other product that is cheaper, then that may help resolve the issue.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Can Pro-boner lawyer do that? But I doubt that would be effective to this owner. All they want is to charge unreasonable price.

Yes, a pro-bono attorney, or any attorney can do that. Aside from suing, rejecting the delivery, or trying to negotiate, your only other option would be possibly filing a BBB complaint or a complaint with the Attorney General's Office. Usually, those offices help with issues of fraud or unfair business practices. You'd have to make the case that this is the case for them to help, but it's your only other recourse.

You could find an attorney to help though. One of the hardest things to do sometimes is find a lawyer that you can trust. Google searches are a good place to start, but usually the lawyers who pay the most in advertising can get bumped up to be on the first page regardless of their quality. One thing I recommend is going through your state’s lawyer referral service (LRS). The LRS in each state typically requires the attorney to have several years of practice, be free of discipline, and have adequate staffing to assist people. If you click here, you can see a full list of all of the lawyer referral services throughout the country. You can also search for attorneys on a website called Lawyer Legion (click here) that scours all 50 states based on the kind of attorney you need. Finally, if you qualify, you can get pro bono help in your state. If you click here, you can see a full list of pro bono associations compiled by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

What other questions did you have for me today about this?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
They are not a BBB member and they don't care.

I can understand. It's tough in a situation like this, but try the negotiation route. It's tough and requires practice; however, but that's going to be your best, ***** ***** quickest route as hard as it may be.

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,317
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much! Have a great weekend!

You bet!

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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.

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