Even Though You Purchased From a Large Retailer, Things Can Still Go Wrong
My client, Sabrina*, had purchased four new tires from Tire Town*, a large retail tire supplier. In the process of installing the tires and balancing the wheels, Tire Town damaged all four aluminum alloy wheels of my client’s vehicle.
* The names are fictitious in order to maintain and protect client confidentiality.
Tire Town acknowledged the damage, but rather than agreeing to replace the wheels, it wanted to repair the damage by refinishing the wheels, which process involved among other things stripping and then baking the wheels. The automobile manufacturer advised that this process, or any other similar process, was not an approved repair procedure. Given that information, my client insisted upon the replacement of the four aluminum alloy wheels rather than the repair. Tire Town declined to replace the wheels.
Having received two similar quotes from two automobile dealerships to replace the wheels, on instructions from my client, I issued and served a small claims court claim on Tire Town for the principal sum of $3,462.32, plus costs and interest. Tire Town filed a defence but then negotiated with me in good faith to try settle the matter. I am of the opinion that we could have obtained a higher settlement amount, but my client did not want to prolong the matter and instructed me to accept a settlement offer of $2,750.00. As a result, the matter finalized quickly to the satisfaction of my client without having to go deeper into the litigation process.
There are two important takeaways from this matter:
- You cannot always protect yourself form incurring damages. Even by using a large, well known seller of products, mistakes can occur.
- Don’t blindly accept the solution offered to you to effect repairs. Research to determine if the solution being offered to restore an item that has been damaged is or is not a recommended or approved process