“Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money. It hurts to have a small company, so it’s not something you want to give away.”
Danny Myers is the owner of Vintage Pools and Spas in Santa Ana, California. “I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years. We build pools, spas, anything outside – yardscape, lighting, irrigation, patio covers, fireplaces, barbeques, anything outside the house.”
Danny’s company was dealt a financial blow, however, when a customer tried to turn a depth mistake into a free pool.
“This particular contract got missed on the depth. It got dug at 5 feet instead of 6 feet. We offered to fix it, it was a mistake that could be fixed, and we corresponded back and forth with him a few times by email.”
“Then I get a letter from his attorney saying not to speak with the home owner anymore, any conversation would be through the lawyers. At that point I had to hire a lawyer and it just escalated from there.”
“He first wanted the entire price of the pool back. You know, he wanted a free pool. My lawyer said that’s not going to happen, we will fix the problem,” Danny says. Despite several months of trying to negotiate, the customer wouldn’t allow Danny to fix the pool. “He just wanted the cash.”
Danny’s lawyer finally told him that it would be cheaper to settle the case than to spend the time and money it would take to fight it in court, so he settled it for $20,000. “With a lot of my time, my wife’s time, lawyer fees, stress, it made me really angry.”
“I think that there are some lawsuits that are legitimate and should be,” says Danny. “Unfortunately, there are a lot that aren’t. It’s frustrating when people sue you for unfair things that don’t amount to much other than they just want money. It kind of puts a damper on the American Dream, thinking that everybody is honest and fair, and it doesn’t always work out that way unfortunately.