No good deed goes unpunished

Tis' the season to get sued....

Long story short: I built something for someone a few months ago. I spent quite a few man hours and even some of my own money on this project. I asked for nothing in return; zero, zilch, nada.

I made it clear from the beginning I was just an amateur hobbyist willing to lend a hand. I never pretended to be a business or a professional and was very honest with my capabilities from the beginning.

Fast forward a few months: The item I put together for this person functioned properly until recently. They said it just unexpectedly stopped working. Note: this person admitted to having the top off to "swap parts" on multiple occasions.

Anyway, I had been reluctant to start a conversation with this person over the issue due to the fact they kind of drive me nuts and I was hoping to be done with them once I put their box in the mail.

I guess this person feels I owe them something somehow and has now threatened me with a lawsuit if I don't either fix their item or reimburse them the money they spent on the project; money I only received a small portion of from selling them a $90 chassis for $50.

Let this be a lesson to us all...... do not ~EVER~ do anything nice for anyone. My good will toward man is officially done; never again.

Happy Holidays :rolleyes:
 
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gaetan8888

Member
2007-04-08 5:11 pm
Hello Anonymous1

In many occasions I've help, for free, some peoples who was not nice at all after I helped them.

But I've not stop to help, now I check twice what kind of person it is before giving times to them, because there is peoples who are ok and who really need help.

But I agree with you, it is very frustrating to help somebody who bite you like a snake after you helped him.

Bye

Gaetan
 
I too am not a lawyer.

Under UK law I think a contract would have existed between you and the other party. You agreed to do something for him, he agreed to pay you. Provided you did it with reasonable skill and safety you have discharged your side of the bargain. It was not in the course of trade, so all the consumer protection laws would not apply. The fact that you made a loss on the job probably is irrelevant. I assume you offered no warranty, so your responsibility ended when he accepted the item (shown by him putting it into use, and then modifying it).

The fact that he has admitted modifying it should mean that any judge would throw out a case.

I think a general rule is only do jobs like this for people you really know and trust. It may help if you don't make a charge, but leave it to them to give you a gift. Only do it for people you would be happy to do it for free. Others will try to treat you like a business, whatever you say to them, and demand future repairs and upgrades.
 
[snip] now I check twice what kind of person it is before giving times to them, because there is peoples who are ok and who really need help. [snip]

I honestly didn't see this coming. This person is the typical middle class American - a career businessperson with a nice home, a long standing marriage, two successful children (one of which is a lawyer), etc.

They became annoyingly obsessive with asking questions during the build, but I chalked it up to just being their personality; not necessarily meaning there was anything wrong with them (retrospects a b***).

I'm going to tell the person I will give them the ~$300 they spent back, even though most of it went to third parties for parts. I'm not going to do it because I feel threatened, just want to be the better person here. I could probably fix the thing for less than that, but I don't think they even deserve to own it at this point.

I have another project I've been trying to finish up to give a fellow forum member as a surprise holiday gift; I would hate to end up in litigation over that as well. :warped:
 
Agree with Aksa, and further comment that 99% of people you will run into will be very appreciative of your help, in some cases on a very long term basis and chalk up the other 1% to being nicer than they are. (Taking advantage of you)

I've had few similar experiences all in all, and this might be your only one.

Many of my closest friends are people I initially helped out, and vice versa - particularly as far as this hobby goes..

The guy is being a jerk.. I would offer to refund his money when he returns the item in question, not before.. Fix it and offer it for sale or trade here - I'm sure someone would be happy to have it on a "as is" basis..

Best of luck. :D
 
Tell us who they are so we can ridicule them
Yes.
and possibly destroy their home as well.
No.
Revenge is sweet and best served by a third-party.
Sometimes.
Most threats of legal action are hollow. If the idiot tries, the case will have to be in Small Claims, where a judge will toss it very quickly and perhaps grant you costs.
Likely.

Let this be a lesson to us all...... do not ~EVER~ do anything nice for anyone. My good will toward man is officially done; never again.

Stings pretty bad right now huh?
I only hope that when this is sorted out and the other person has been put in their place that you return to the guy who likes to help others. The world needs more of your type. Good luck with it.
 
I have lent a hand to friends from time to time, mostly conerning broken electronics. Its rare that the non technicial person understands that repairs ect nessisatate things like parts, documentation, research, tools, test equipment. When all is said and done sometimes they think well "that was easy" "I could have done that" or some such. Just try asking a lawyer for a freebe and and most of the time they will run for the hills. (not always) Technical skills are only aquired over years of effort and pasion, and they have value.
Im sorry to hear about you getting the shaft, but rise above it. I think you will.
 
Everything in this post is Texas law. I wouldn't think it would be different in your state but it could be. This actually falls into an area where I have a lot of experience.

That guy is not going to sue you so don't worry about it. But if you want to be lawsuit proof here you go.

If they live far away from you don't even worry about it. To file a lawsuit they have to do it in the district where you live or where your place of business is whichever one applies to you. If they live 1000 miles away that is very difficult and expensive. Plus you have to be served to be sued. Its not hard to be nearly unservable. Never say yes if anybody says "are you so and so?" Don't be afraid to run either if you have to. It is too late for now but what you might do in the future is not use your actual address for your DL, vehicle registration voter registration and such and put your utilities and property in somebody else's name. A dead parent is best if you have one. You may even get more tax exemptions that way. That's whose name my property and utilities are in. Everything else I have gives a PO box for the address that is not in my name or address. You have to give a physical address to get a PO box and that defeats the purpose of getting a PO box if you don't get it in somebodies else's name. You do not have to be able to trust them. Just go with them to get the box and pay for a couple of years up front and take the key away from them as soon as you leave the Post Office. After the couple of years pay the bill in cash.

One other thing. Always use a fake address (actually a real address but not yours)when you apply for credit. You might have to use a real phone number sometimes and if you do use a cell number and never order a pizza or anything else with a credit card from your house or place of business. Never give your real name to radio shack or joes auto parts place either. Those kinds of places put together phone directory type things with all the names and phone numbers and addresses they have and sell them to people like process servers, debt collectors etc...

If you ever HAVE to buy something with a credit card and have it shipped to your address use a gift card instead and pay cash for the gift card and of course give the company you are buying from a fake name. There may be optional things that ask for your name but just do not give it to them or make one up. You don't have to give your name to pay cash for a gift card. You can kind of make a game of it by using names like John Wayne, or Richard Hertz, Lance Boner, Ben Jiggen etc....

That leaves your vehicle (s). It may be easy for you to purchase them in somebody else's name but if you can't then just park them in the garage. Even if you have to purchase them in your name do not register them in your name. If you can pay cash for them so you don't have to give a name. They are supposed to get your real name but if you pay cash and say you left your ID at home they won't turn you down.

If you do that you will never get sued no matter how often people try to sue you. Even if they know where you live unless you do something stupid like admit it a process server can't do anything to you.

I may have left something out but you can ask me anything if you want to.
 

jpak

Member
2007-06-12 6:02 pm
CT
Everything in this post is Texas law. I wouldn't think it would be different in your state but it could be. This actually falls into an area where I have a lot of experience.

That guy is not going to sue you so don't worry about it. But if you want to be lawsuit proof here you go.

If they live far away from you don't even worry about it. To file a lawsuit they have to do it in the district where you live or where your place of business is whichever one applies to you. If they live 1000 miles away that is very difficult and expensive. Plus you have to be served to be sued. Its not hard to be nearly unservable. Never say yes if anybody says "are you so and so?" Don't be afraid to run either if you have to. It is too late for now but what you might do in the future is not use your actual address for your DL, vehicle registration voter registration and such and put your utilities and property in somebody else's name. A dead parent is best if you have one. You may even get more tax exemptions that way. That's whose name my property and utilities are in. Everything else I have gives a PO box for the address that is not in my name or address. You have to give a physical address to get a PO box and that defeats the purpose of getting a PO box if you don't get it in somebodies else's name. You do not have to be able to trust them. Just go with them to get the box and pay for a couple of years up front and take the key away from them as soon as you leave the Post Office. After the couple of years pay the bill in cash.

One other thing. Always use a fake address (actually a real address but not yours)when you apply for credit. You might have to use a real phone number sometimes and if you do use a cell number and never order a pizza or anything else with a credit card from your house or place of business. Never give your real name to radio shack or joes auto parts place either. Those kinds of places put together phone directory type things with all the names and phone numbers and addresses they have and sell them to people like process servers, debt collectors etc...

If you ever HAVE to buy something with a credit card and have it shipped to your address use a gift card instead and pay cash for the gift card and of course give the company you are buying from a fake name. There may be optional things that ask for your name but just do not give it to them or make one up. You don't have to give your name to pay cash for a gift card. You can kind of make a game of it by using names like John Wayne, or Richard Hertz, Lance Boner, Ben Jiggen etc....

That leaves your vehicle (s). It may be easy for you to purchase them in somebody else's name but if you can't then just park them in the garage. Even if you have to purchase them in your name do not register them in your name. If you can pay cash for them so you don't have to give a name. They are supposed to get your real name but if you pay cash and say you left your ID at home they won't turn you down.

If you do that you will never get sued no matter how often people try to sue you. Even if they know where you live unless you do something stupid like admit it a process server can't do anything to you.

I may have left something out but you can ask me anything if you want to.

To add to this, don't ever leave your house and keep the blinds closed at all times
 
Everything in this post is Texas law. I wouldn't think it would be different in your state but it could be. This actually falls into an area where I have a lot of experience.

That guy is not going to sue you so don't worry about it. But if you want to be lawsuit proof here you go.

If they live far away from you don't even worry about it. To file a lawsuit they have to do it in the district where you live or where your place of business is whichever one applies to you. If they live 1000 miles away that is very difficult and expensive. Plus you have to be served to be sued. Its not hard to be nearly unservable. Never say yes if anybody says "are you so and so?" Don't be afraid to run either if you have to. It is too late for now but what you might do in the future is not use your actual address for your DL, vehicle registration voter registration and such and put your utilities and property in somebody else's name. A dead parent is best if you have one. You may even get more tax exemptions that way. That's whose name my property and utilities are in. Everything else I have gives a PO box for the address that is not in my name or address. You have to give a physical address to get a PO box and that defeats the purpose of getting a PO box if you don't get it in somebodies else's name. You do not have to be able to trust them. Just go with them to get the box and pay for a couple of years up front and take the key away from them as soon as you leave the Post Office. After the couple of years pay the bill in cash.

One other thing. Always use a fake address (actually a real address but not yours)when you apply for credit. You might have to use a real phone number sometimes and if you do use a cell number and never order a pizza or anything else with a credit card from your house or place of business. Never give your real name to radio shack or joes auto parts place either. Those kinds of places put together phone directory type things with all the names and phone numbers and addresses they have and sell them to people like process servers, debt collectors etc...

If you ever HAVE to buy something with a credit card and have it shipped to your address use a gift card instead and pay cash for the gift card and of course give the company you are buying from a fake name. There may be optional things that ask for your name but just do not give it to them or make one up. You don't have to give your name to pay cash for a gift card. You can kind of make a game of it by using names like John Wayne, or Richard Hertz, Lance Boner, Ben Jiggen etc....

That leaves your vehicle (s). It may be easy for you to purchase them in somebody else's name but if you can't then just park them in the garage. Even if you have to purchase them in your name do not register them in your name. If you can pay cash for them so you don't have to give a name. They are supposed to get your real name but if you pay cash and say you left your ID at home they won't turn you down.

If you do that you will never get sued no matter how often people try to sue you. Even if they know where you live unless you do something stupid like admit it a process server can't do anything to you.

I may have left something out but you can ask me anything if you want to.

OK, no offense, but this is kind of scary/creepy. What is it that you have to hide so desperately from?

I'm all for living "off the grid" and I'm aware of big brother stuff, but there's a dividing line between being smart and being paranoid.

I myself was victim of a stalker who stole my identity, personal property, etc. So I know what it is to be wary.

Anyway, I hope the reasons you feel you have to live like this abate, and you can find some peace.

Blessings,

mike
 
A whinner and his lawyer son are on their way to court to sue a good guy. Both are killed in a car crash. They get to the pearly gates and St. Peter asks the lawyer what he's done for mankind that would warrent his admission to heaven. He replied "well I'm a lawyer and..." St. Peter interupted "say no more" and sent him straight to hell. He turned to the whinner and asked the same question. The whinner thought for a while and said "I gave a dollar to a bum once" "not good enough" replied St. Peter. "Wait, I also gave a dollar to an old lady at the check-out when she came up short on cash" St. Peter thought for a moment and told him he would have to check with The Lord. "Lord I got a whinner that wants to enter but the only thing he's done for mankind is he's given a dollar to a bum and a dollar to an old lady" And the Lord spoke, "GIVE HIM HIS TWO BUCKS BACK AND TELL HIM TO GO TO HELL"
 
OK, no offense, but this is kind of scary/creepy. What is it that you have to hide so desperately from?
I can't think of any reason why it should scare you. That is sort of a silly question because if I were desperately hiding from someone or something I am sure I wouldn't have made a post like that and double sure I wouldn't tell you what it is.

I sell information. I have an information business. Music does not pay my bills usually. Being a sole proprietor a single lawsuit could put me out of business. I am going out of business slowly anyway but why speed things up. It is not just me. This whole profession is dying. They have not passed one single law to hurt us and there is only one thing that is illegal for us to sell. A credit report without the persons signature or without it if they just applied for a job. So nobody is worried about getting busted. But everybody is worried about lawsuits. About 50% of the different types of info I used to sell (and everybody else did to) I no longer will sell because you can get sued big time now. If I sell an unlisted phone number and it happens to be somebodies with some money they very well might sue me. The difference between 10 years ago and now is that 10 years ago they would have lost but now they would win. That is IF they could have me served. It would take the bionic process server to serve me though. Of one who knew somebody who knows where I am at but even then they would have to come face to face with me somehow. As far as I know nobody has tried but it is possible that I wouldn't know it if they had.

10 years ago this was not a job. It was a lifestyle and an art as much as work but nobody does any of the cool stuff anymore for fear of lawsuits because people have suddenly become concerned about their privacy. Like I used to sell social security numbers pretty cheap. I only had to pay a buck fifty a piece for them. I still do only have to pay that but I won't sell any because of fear of a lawsuit. It is perfectly legal to sell them though.An example of how it used to an art is I used to sell peoples monthly itemized cell phone bills. Those were profitable. 300 bucks for each month you wanted. Nobody will do that now. Getting those was an art believe me. There were a couple of times I couldn't do it so those times I bought them from another company in the same field and sold them and broke even. I used to sell peoples bank account numbers and drivers license numbers (I still do DL numbers but not bank accounts). I still sell credit headers but not credit reports unless it is in a legal way anymore. I sell peoples 25 years address histories and basically any information anybody wants to pay for except for the ones I mentioned and a few others. If you want to pay for the score of a highschool football game that was played 25 years ago I will sell that.

Some people might say I am shameless but the fact is that I believe in freedom of information and everything I sell I get from public records. ANYBODY could do the same thing. They just don't know how or don't want to spend the time.

Man I am not hiding from anybody. I am not avoiding anybody but possibly a process server. I am out in public all the time. I play in a band dude. A lot of people know where I live and it is no secret. A process server may easily find out but he can't legally stake out a domicide waiting for me unless he can find a public record that says I live there. That what this is for. He can't sit outside my house unless there is proof that it is my house.

And IF I ever should decide I did want to hide all I would have to do is leave. If you decided you wanted to hide today it would probably take you a year to cover all your tracks. If somebody is looking for you it is too late to start trying to live off the grid. So it is also a just in case type thing.
 
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NYCOne

Member
2010-07-13 6:27 pm
My thoughts:

Go to court. Small claims or otherwise. Represent yourself. Tell the whole truth, even if there are parts that don't make you look good.

Follow the above, and most Judges will see you as a reasonable man and the other fellow as unresonable. I'd bet you are awarded your expenses by the court.

I had a large organization threaten me. I went to court and basically did the above. I won.

Judges are pretty smart. They don't let ** go very far.

I honestly didn't see this coming. This person is the typical middle class American - a career businessperson with a nice home, a long standing marriage, two successful children (one of which is a lawyer), etc.

They became annoyingly obsessive with asking questions during the build, but I chalked it up to just being their personality; not necessarily meaning there was anything wrong with them (retrospects a b***).

I'm going to tell the person I will give them the ~$300 they spent back, even though most of it went to third parties for parts. I'm not going to do it because I feel threatened, just want to be the better person here. I could probably fix the thing for less than that, but I don't think they even deserve to own it at this point.

I have another project I've been trying to finish up to give a fellow forum member as a surprise holiday gift; I would hate to end up in litigation over that as well. :warped:
 


Let this be a lesson to us all...... do not ~EVER~ do anything nice for anyone. My good will toward man is officially done; never again.

Happy Holidays :rolleyes:

I think everybody has been already or will still come to this point in life, sooner or later. But, fortunately, with time, the bad blood will slowly disappear and You will do it again. This time more well thought out about what You do for whom. Finally, You`ll have learned something in the process. This learning process never ends until You bite the dust and then all this invaluable experience of life You gathered is lost. Subsequent generations have to "learn" this all over again for themselfes. That`s life.


I'm going to tell the person I will give them the ~$300 they spent back, even though most of it went to third parties for parts. I'm not going to do it because I feel threatened, just want to be the better person here. I could probably fix the thing for less than that, but I don't think they even deserve to own it at this point.

Probably, I wouldn`t do this, at least not in a case like this. I know there is this saying "the wiser man gives in" but, You can`t always be the wiser nor is this always desirable because often the wiser gives in until he is a fool. Think about it, You won`t feel "better" being fooled. When You have a pure conscience (and this seems to be the case from what You wrote) You could as well just forget about this and see if (I doubt it would) and what is coming and if so to fight against it.
 
I will go to small claims court. That is fun. I actually love that. It is like a regular argument like I have all the time only with a mediating person of authority there to make sure that I am not handicapped by logic and reason. In small claims court I lost the first time I went but the judge told me that if I would have had a case at all I would have one. I took somebody to small claims court over the return of personal property. The return of personal property is something you cannot sue somebody over. I knew that already. I just wanted to aggravate them. Force them to have to show up. And watch them humiliate themselves because I knew they would not read a book on small claims court before going. That's the wonderful thing about small claims court. They do not expect you to know anything. So you can sue somebody for something that is not grounds for a lawsuit and the judge will still hear the entire case. First thing they did was call the judge "sir" which is not the worst thing you could call them but it is not the proper thing to call them either. I have won every time since then as plaintiff and as defendant. That is fun.

Not trials though. I have done it. Did not enjoy it. Would not recommend it to ANYBODY. If you want to file a lawsuit against somebody fine but you want to settle before you go to trial because trust me it gets very ugly. There is nothing fun about it. You can't even afford to win at a trial. Don't ever even think about suing an insurance company unless you settle out of court because if you go to a trial against one of those it will be very traumatic for you for sure. It is amazing how right you can be in reality but then how wrong you can end up looking at a trial especially against an insurance company.