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  1. #1
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    Worked on someones computer fixed and is now wants to sue because he broke it again!

    Should I sue him before he sues me? Or should I be more open and try to help this guy?

    This is the dilemma; it all started when I was working out at the fitness center I work at. I was doing my nightly stretches and a guy (if need be, we will call him Mr. D) asks me if the type of stretch I was doing worked out my abs. I told him that it didnít but instead it stretches your back. So we started talking (just for the record I am a heterosexual). We ended up talking about where we worked and what not. Well he used to work at a local community college, which happens to be the same one I attend. I was actually taking a class that he used to teach when he was at the community college. After an hour or so of talking he offered to help me understand that class through free tutoring. Well that was my first mistake. So I ended up taking the tutor session for what it was worth and applied it in my class; all was well and then he asked me to work on his computer because when we first talked I told him that I helped people first their computer problems. So we eventually scheduled a time for him to drop it off. I checked it out and the problem was that he couldnít connect to AOL using dial up. So I offered to replace the modem for free ( the modem was toast) but he needed an operating system update from Windows ME to windows XP (there were no supported drivers and he agreed to use the modem I offered. I had an extra license of Windows XP, so we agreed that he would pay $80 for me for my time to work on the computer. I printed up an invoice and handed it to him when he came to get the computer. Now the computer was fixed on 1/3/06 and I am explaining the real problem now.


    He called me on last Saturday 7/22/06 and asked for me to help him fix it again because he put in the Windows ME recovery disk. Now for those of you that know what a file system is (itís the way Windows organizes data on the hard drive, Windows ME is a FAT32 file system and Windows XP can be either FAT32 or NTFS (in this case I used NTFS) if you downgrade to FAT32 from NTFS you will lose all data on the hard drive. At that point I told him that is was not my responsibility to fix it because he put the recovery disk (the disk that came with the computer) in and didnít call me to make sure it was alright. He claims that I didnít tell him the he couldnít use the recovery disk and that if I donít fix it he will sue me in small claims court. I told him that I would consider coming over to look at it that week (Wednesday). He then called me at least 27 times since then using either a private or unknown number (thatís how is showed up on my phone). I tried his cell phone to reach out to him again about setting up a time and it turns out his cell isnít in service. Of the 27 calls he might have left 4 or 5 messages all saying that he was going to take me to court and have a sheriff deliver the notice blah blah blah.
    How should I be taking this? I have been able to talk to him and put him off for a week, should I take him to court for not paying in full the 80 dollars his owes me?( I forgot to mention that he didnít pay me completely in full from when I worked on the computer).

    Please ask me more questions if you need more understanding


    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I would tell him that you aren't responsible for the fact that he put the wrong restore disk in, regardless of whether you told him or not. After all, you didn't tell him to pour his coffee on the mother board either!

    Since he is obviously upset, and making threats I would just walk away. Find a geek-for-hire service nearby and give him the contract info and then remind him that he won't be able to successfully sue you but since he is threatening to take legal action you are withdrawing your support.

    Just in case he does sue you, it would be VERY handy to put that statement in writing and send it to him.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. ó Socrates

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  3. #3
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
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    Time heals , in a few days he'll probably calm down and forget that he wanted to sue you. You should forget about it too, going to small claims court isn't worth $80. If you do want to pursue it, send him invoice via certified mail return receipt requested and wait for 30 days before you proceed

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Just hang up every time he calls. If he keeps harassing you, then contact your phone company and the police and have him charged with harassment. If he keeps it up, get a restraining order against him but I doubt it will go that far.

  5. #5
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    Does it make a difference if he is in law school? He goes to Kent State in IL? if my memory serves me correctly, also he went to syracuse for Undergrad. I hope this info is relevant. What do you think the out come would be if it did go to court?


    Thanks,

    Dan

  6. #6
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    If he's in law school it just means that he's got lots of debt. I doubt the judge would think much of that.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. ó Socrates

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  7. #7
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
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    That changes everything. Syracuse university law students have special powers, they are above the law.
    Just kidding. I am assuming you didn't have a written contract? In that case I'm guessing he'll have to testify under penalty of perjury that your oral contract contained some sort of clause that requires you to provide post-sale support, or rely on your testimony of the same

  8. #8
    Non-Member demosfen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    If he's in law school it just means that he's got lots of debt. I doubt the judge would think much of that.
    LOL, yeah, it also could mean he has no clue about laws, depending on his GPA

  9. #9
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    He goes to Kent State in IL?
    Just for the record, Kent State is in Ohio.

  10. #10
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    There are no, written contracts. I think if this guy needs to use a computer soooo bad that he can go to the library.

    Thanks for all your help everyone, if you have anything else; im all ears!

  11. #11
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phluid
    Does it make a difference if he is in law school?
    Just what the world needs, another psycho lawyer.

  12. #12
    Joshua Crick
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    I agree. If you just leave it, most people calm down, but then again, there are still a group of people tat don't.

    It isn't worth going to court over it, it'll cost both sides more than it's worth. So if it comes to it, look into fixing the problem for him, and compare how much it will cost you.

  13. #13
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I disagree - avoid further contact with anyone who threatens to sue you. If anything, send him a written note explaining it from your perspective and offer some ideas for finding outside help.

    Going to small claims court annd winning will cost you nothing but your time.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. ó Socrates

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  14. #14
    Joshua Crick
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    Small claims court can cost you a lot of money if you don't go about it the right way.

    A lot of the time, these days anyway, customers don't listen to reason (yours anyway), so explaining it to them won't change their mind.

  15. #15
    Degrading Gracefully PalmerB's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Sagewing, avoid any further contact and write a letter. People are a lot "tougher" and confrontational by email. All talk and no action. Write a letter to him and cc: your lawyer stating your side of the story. Most likely nothing will ever come of this. It's going to take his own money to start the proceedings, with what he would pay to get things started, he could buy a new computer!

  16. #16
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    One word, contract....I don't touch anyone's computer that I don't know well without them signing a contract.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phluid
    So we started talking (just for the record I am a heterosexual).
    What an odd thing to have to mention.


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