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Old 04-16-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default OT: Small-Claims Court

Anyone ever been? I'm being taken to small claims court by a company that was supposed to clean my house and did not do the job they "guaranteed" they would do. Didn't bother sweeping or mopping, didn't clean the microwave, didn't do jack, truthfully. But wanted 3 hours worth of pay for doing what I can do in an hour (and do a better job).

I told them I would pay them for the hour they did, that I had to use the remainder of the money to hire a different service. Didn't hear anything back, until I got a summons.

I'm incredibly pissed off, obviously, but I've never been to small-claims court, so I don't really know what to expect. Any tips? Hints?

Gracias.

PS: Don't hire "Klean It Up Services" or "Clean It Up Services" (in the time I've been working with them, they've changed from a C to a K).
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ThatOneDenverMooseGuy View Post
Anyone ever been? I'm being taken to small claims court by a company that was supposed to clean my house and did not do the job they "guaranteed" they would do. Didn't bother sweeping or mopping, didn't clean the microwave, didn't do jack, truthfully. But wanted 3 hours worth of pay for doing what I can do in an hour (and do a better job).

I told them I would pay them for the hour they did, that I had to use the remainder of the money to hire a different service. Didn't hear anything back, until I got a summons.

I'm incredibly pissed off, obviously, but I've never been to small-claims court, so I don't really know what to expect. Any tips? Hints?

Gracias.

PS: Don't hire "Klean It Up Services" or "Clean It Up Services" (in the time I've been working with them, they've changed from a C to a K).
Not sure...its your word versus theirs. I doubt they make you pay though...or they do and the cleaners have to come back and do the job they were paid to do!!
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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Dig into that guarantee as much as you can. Ask for documentaiton that itemizes their tasks/time.

To make sure I get this...they are taking you to small claims court over two hours of labor? What are their rates?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Got pictures?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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they changed their name huh, thats funny, likely a tax related or lawsuit related issue...
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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Dig into that guarantee as much as you can. Ask for documentaiton that itemizes their tasks/time.

To make sure I get this...they are taking you to small claims court over two hours of labor? What are their rates?
They "itemized" their time, but didn't do more than half the stuff on the list.

They charged $25/hr. I'm not a rich man, and I don't throw money around, but for good service, I'll happily pay a premium.

Oh, and I left out the best part. The bill came to $75. I offered to pay $25 (as they'd done, roughly, 1/3rd of the work on my 650 Sq. Ft. apartment). They're taking me to Small Claims for $500.

Lemme run that by you again. $500. For a $75 bill. For work they didn't do.

I don't have pictures, unfortunately. But I do have an email from them, stating that since it wasn't to my liking, they would come back and finish the job. But after I balled them out like that, I did NOT want them alone in my place, lest they break every breakable object therein.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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They "itemized" their time, but didn't do more than half the stuff on the list.

They charged $25/hr. I'm not a rich man, and I don't throw money around, but for good service, I'll happily pay a premium.

Oh, and I left out the best part. The bill came to $75. I offered to pay $25 (as they'd done, roughly, 1/3rd of the work on my 650 Sq. Ft. apartment). They're taking me to Small Claims for $500.

Lemme run that by you again. $500. For a $75 bill. For work they didn't do.

I don't have pictures, unfortunately. But I do have an email from them, stating that since it wasn't to my liking, they would come back and finish the job. But after I balled them out like that, I did NOT want them alone in my place, lest they break every breakable object therein.
I've been to small claims court multiple times. First off, they are supposed to make an attempt at resolution prior to providing you with a summons to small claims court. Secondly, they cannot try to come after you for more than the money you owe them.

Honestly, it's $50. The burden of proof is on them to provide documentation that you requested services and agreed to pay them x amount of dollars for those services. The judge will go either way on this one, but there's no way in hell you'd be on the hook for $500. Any documentation you have stating they did not complete the services would greatly benefit you. That email is probably all you need, as they did not perform as they should have, and offered to rectify the situation to which you refused because you received such ****ty service. I seriously doubt you'd lose that one.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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Well based on your last post you are in trouble. They offered to remedy the situation and you did not give them that opportunity. The $500 comes from legal fees and what not I bet.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
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Do you have the bill from the service you did immediately following this failed work? Was that work completed within a 3 day time window?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:22 AM   #10
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Do you have the bill from the service you did immediately following this failed work? Was that work completed within a 3 day time window?
No, it was about a week later. Reputable cleaning services actually have other clients, so it's harder to schedule time.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #11
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I just wouldn't show. They don't have your social so they can't put a collection against you.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:27 AM   #12
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I just wouldn't show. They don't have your social so they can't put a collection against you.
Nah, I'm not down with that. They have my name and address, and enough info on me that a sheriff's deputy showed up with the summons.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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Well based on your last post you are in trouble. They offered to remedy the situation and you did not give them that opportunity. The $500 comes from legal fees and what not I bet.
In Colorado, legal fees are NOT recoverable in Small Claims Court. The whole idea of Small Claims Court is that it is just you, the accuser, witnesses and the judge or magistrate -- no lawyers.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #14
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Nah, I'm not down with that. They have my name and address, and enough info on me that a sheriff's deputy showed up with the summons.
If you got the summons you have to go, but I would have not answered the door. And if they left the summons on my door I wouldn't have touched it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:54 AM   #15
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If you got the summons you have to go, but I would have not answered the door. And if they left the summons on my door I wouldn't have touched it.
Sadly, I wasn't even home. My girlfriend answered the door, and was ****ing PISSED at me when I got home.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:55 AM   #16
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Well based on your last post you are in trouble. They offered to remedy the situation and you did not give them that opportunity. The $500 comes from legal fees and what not I bet.
What legal fees would they possibly be able to tack on? Colorado small claims court does not allow lawyers except in special circumstances and they can't just pull numbers out of thin air.

Now they did offer a "remedy" to the situation which Moose refused, but after what they did, refusing to allow them to work again is not entirely unreasonable. At the same time, Moose offered to pay for the services they did provide, so he has that advantage.

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I just wouldn't show. They don't have your social so they can't put a collection against you.
Garcia, you are an effing moron if you are serious with this statement. Not only do they NOT have to have your social to put collections on your credit report, but if they are awarded a judgment they can use the court to force the defendant to disclose all kinds of personal information that can be used to satisfy the judgment.

Not only that, but then the judgment would almost certainly hit his credit report and that is much more damaging than a collection account and a real PITA to remove. Trust me, I help people repair their credit all the time.

Not showing up to court is, bar none, the worst thing he could do. Why don't you step aside and let the people who know a little bit about this handle it, ok?
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:55 AM   #17
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In Colorado, legal fees are NOT recoverable in Small Claims Court. The whole idea of Small Claims Court is that it is just you, the accuser, witnesses and the judge or magistrate -- no lawyers.
Ah thanks for that I didn't know, never been.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:56 AM   #18
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If you got the summons you have to go, but I would have not answered the door. And if they left the summons on my door I wouldn't have touched it.
Dude, leave this thread. Your advice is absolutely horrible.

I hope you aren't out advising out people to do this ****, because you could seriously cause them problems.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #19
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Dude, leave this thread. Your advice is absolutely horrible.

I hope you aren't out advising out people to do this ****, because you could seriously cause them problems.
Bull****. I have done several times and it's never a problem. Take your dumb cop ass down the road. Shouldn't you be out racial profiling people.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the responses. I feel pretty good about my chances... hoping that the worst case scenario is I have to pay them $75. But I have a HUGE temper problem, so I need to figure out how to calm that down when I'm speaking to the judge/magistrate/whatever.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:59 AM   #21
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I've been to small claims court multiple times. First off, they are supposed to make an attempt at resolution prior to providing you with a summons to small claims court. Secondly, they cannot try to come after you for more than the money you owe them.

Honestly, it's $50. The burden of proof is on them to provide documentation that you requested services and agreed to pay them x amount of dollars for those services. The judge will go either way on this one, but there's no way in hell you'd be on the hook for $500. Any documentation you have stating they did not complete the services would greatly benefit you. That email is probably all you need, as they did not perform as they should have, and offered to rectify the situation to which you refused because you received such ****ty service. I seriously doubt you'd lose that one.
Good post. The only possible problem I could see is the court not allowing the email (they can be easily tampered with of course) but he should still try to use it. Hopefully he'll get lucky and the judge will allow it and/or the cleaning company will admit to sending it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:00 AM   #22
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Anyone ever been? I'm being taken to small claims court by a company that was supposed to clean my house and did not do the job they "guaranteed" they would do. Didn't bother sweeping or mopping, didn't clean the microwave, didn't do jack, truthfully. But wanted 3 hours worth of pay for doing what I can do in an hour (and do a better job).

I told them I would pay them for the hour they did, that I had to use the remainder of the money to hire a different service. Didn't hear anything back, until I got a summons.

I'm incredibly pissed off, obviously, but I've never been to small-claims court, so I don't really know what to expect. Any tips? Hints?

Gracias.

PS: Don't hire "Klean It Up Services" or "Clean It Up Services" (in the time I've been working with them, they've changed from a C to a K).
A few tips: Understand that you're behind the 8-Ball because you didn't pay - you need to show WHY you didn't pay.

You really need pictures and/or a third party testimony about the condition of the unit after they finished. Anybody who saw the unit after the "Klean Up" is a valuable witness ... two witnesses if you can.

If the landlord dinged you for cleaning - deducted it from your damage/cleaning deposit - that would be golden. Get the letter where s/he deducted cleaning costs from the deposit if there is one. THAT WOULD BE GOLDEN.

And press the Guarantee you mentioned ... that is another big defense for you. Make color photocopies of their "Klean Up" ad that includes the guarantee.

Get those witnesses, bring any photos, bring color copies of their ad with the guarantee, and bring the landlord cleaning deposit deduction letter.

Finally, forget your argument, "I could have done better in less time," that's not relevant.


IN COURT: Do not get angry under any circumstances, and do not interrupt. Don't even look at the other party, just look at the judge, and MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE JUDGE when you speak.

And prepare yourself for a split decision ... this sounds like a classic Small Claims split the baby result ... you'll prolly have to pay a portion of their fee.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:00 AM   #23
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Garcia, you are an effing moron if you are serious with this statement. Not only do they NOT have to have your social to put collections on your credit report, but if they are awarded a judgment they can use the court to force the defendant to disclose all kinds of personal information that can be used to satisfy the judgment.

Not only that, but then the judgment would almost certainly hit his credit report and that is much more damaging than a collection account and a real PITA to remove. Trust me, I help people repair their credit all the time.

Not showing up to court is, bar none, the worst thing he could do. Why don't you step aside and let the people who know a little bit about this handle it, ok?
You do not have to appear in court if you do not have a summons. You are a puupet and of course you would say what you have said.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:01 AM   #24
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Bull****. I have done several times and it's never a problem. Take your dumb cop ass down the road. Shouldn't you be out racial profiling people.
You are a dumbass Garcia, plain and goddamn simple. Refusing summonses is INSANE! Do you even have a clue about this kind of thing? Do you know that they have laws specifically to deal with this kind of thing? They can mail the summonses to you, post it on your property or even post it in the newspaper. It's called Alternative Methods to Service and almost every court has such laws.

And then advising people to not show up for court?

You are a dumbass.
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:05 AM   #25
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Refusing summonses is INSANE! Do you even have a clue about this kind of thing? Do you know that they have laws specifically to deal with this kind of thing? They can mail the summonses to you, post it on your property or even post it in the newspaper. It's called Alternative Methods to Service and almost every court has such laws.
They would still have to prve you got the summons, which they can't. They have to have your signature to prove it.
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