Brought the wrong stone

I ordered a truckload of stone (gravel) for my rural driveway. I phoned in the order and told them I wanted 2 inch stone without the fines (fines means the sand and small pieces of stone). I was told that they are currently out of the 2 inch, but they could bring either 3 inch, or common gravel which means a pile of crushed rock of any size being an inch or smaller. I told them that this is for a hill, and that "gravel" would be worthless in the next rain storm and told them to bring the 3 inch without fines.
The truck finally arrives one and a half days after they said they would come. The driver comes down my hill and gets the truck stuck in the 2 foot deep rut that was in the roadway from a bad storm we had. (I should note that although this rut was a definite problem, there was room to drive next to it, and I had been doing this with my car for several weeks without problems. But this trucker who seemed to be a complete idiot drives right into it and gets stuck. Then he asks me to pull him up the hill with my farm tractor, which I refused to do. I was not going to wreck my tractor pulling a huge truck with 20 tons of stone on it.
I should note that at this point I could not see what was in the dump truck due to the height of the truck. I told the guy to dump a small part of the load, pull forward further downhill, and I'd use my tractor loader to spread the stone so he could get back up the hill. I went to get my tractor while he dumped it. When I get back, I find that he had not brought the 3" stone without fines, but had instead brought that gravel, which was at least half sand. I told him he brought the wrong stuff. He told me that is all they had. Having little choice since the stuff was already dumped, I proceeded to spread what he dumped so he could get back up the hill. He gets back up the hill and even though I told him it was the wrong stuff, he insisted on dumping the rest of it (since it was already there).
As soon as he dumped it and left, I phoned the company and left a message for the original person I spoke to. Since then, I have called several more times and could only leave messages. I have not received a return call, and that was over 2 weeks ago. Yet, I got a bill in the mail 3 days after the stuff was delivered.
I do not feel I should have to pay anything for this, since it is not what I ordered. However, I was willing to pay them about half the cost since I can use the stuff somewhere, but that means moving all of it with my tractor loader. But after 2 weeks and no return phone calls, I have decided to pay nothing at all. Apparently if they are that uninterested in communication with their customers, then I am not going to show any interest in paying their bill. How difficult can it be to read a an order that states "deliver 3 inch without fines".
I am just wondering how others would deal with this matter. I am sure that if I refuse to pay, this will end up in court and I really do not need that hassle. Of course they are a large company and these companies always win in court anyhow. Plus there is no way I can prove that I left phone messages for them to call me.
I should mention that this gravel has already partially washed out from rain. It's too small for use on a hill.
Alvin
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On Oct 28, 4:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

re: "...even though I told him it was the wrong stuff, he insisted on dumping the rest of it (since it was already there). "
You were aware that it was not what you ordered, yet you let him dump it anyway...because he "insisted"?
Care to explain your reasoning?
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I would make a personal visit to the company, its probably not far away. be nice but firm. offer to pay 1/4 but plan on half once they deliver the 3 inch.
I would put in a proper base with drainage to minimize these troubles in the future. have you considered tar and chip?
how much $ are we talking about?
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:11:49 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

The amount of money is about $140.
Yes, I plan to do something more premanent with that hill, but being on a fixed income makes that tough.
I agree about the personal visit, and plan to do so. Of course since I ordered by phone, they can easily deny that I ordered the 3". I guess from now on when I do domething like this, I will have to require something in writing mailed or hand delivered to me before they deliver. Seems we live in a world these days when EVERYTHING has to be in writing. I still can not understand how anyone can be so stupid to mis-read a simple order for THREE INCH. I know the person I spoke to when I placed the order got it right, because I strictly said I DO NOT want the small gravel, and she read the order back to me, and it was correct.
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On Oct 28, 7:51 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

I'm still wondering why you allowed him to dump the remainder of the stone even after you knew it was wrong the size.
I have a lot of stuff in my garage that I'm sure you have no use for. If I brought it over and insisted on dumping it (since it was already there) - your words - would you let me, and then try to figure out what to do with it?
Why didn't you just tell the guy to go away and wait until they had the correct size stone?
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People get flustered. He didn't know what to do with the jerk driver insisting on dumping the load, so he just let it happen hoping for the best somehow. He probably isn't the confrontational type; give him a break.
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 18:51:53 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Don't act like a wounded prick! Believe it or not, you weren't their only customer on that day. They made a simple mistake and you accepted that mistake as OK.
The construction trade runs on verbal orders. Mistakes are made. When the wrong materials are delivered to a job, the foreman/superintendent/whomever is doing receiving simply sends the materials back and re-orders. They'd be laughed out of the trade if they said "just unload it anyway and don't expect to be paid because you made a mistake". What a joke.
If you wanted to be able to act like a dumb "consumer" then you should have hired a professional to interpose himself between you and the trade. IOW, a road contractor. Since you chose to be your own contractor, try to act like one and pay for the materials that you accepted.
John -- John De Armond See my website for my current email address http://www.neon-john.com http://www.johndearmond.com <-- best little blog on the net! Tellico Plains, Occupied TN I'm going crazy. Wanna come along?
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What you really needed was AB3 for a base. And lots of it.
s

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I would send them a letter stating that they delivered the wrong material, and while it has no particular value to you, you will not require them to remove it. Then I would just forget about it. They probably won't do anything over a $140 bill. They would have to send in the person who took the order and the person who delivered it, and probably pay a lawyer to handle it. They would have to be crazy to go through all of that, especially when they are wrong. In the unlikely instance they do, it is your word against theirs. If you remain calm the Judge will probably believe you. Personally, I enjoy small claims court.
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Send them a registered letter stating that you have still not recieved the 3" that you ordered and that the driver insisted on dumping the gravel against your wishes. Then tell them exactly what you expect them to do "waive the bill","Come get your gravel", "Deliver the 3 inch", "cut the bill in half", etc..
At that point you have legally made them aware of the issue and it's up to them to make the next move.
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All these don't pay comments are good for venting.
Unless there is more than one rock company in the area, I would temper what I did with some common sense. Cause if you piss them off they won't come back to your place at all.
That said, full payment for the proper load and enough to cover the haul fee for the wrong one is about all I think they should expect.
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:30:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

You "signed" for the load by letting him dump it so pay the bill and learn the lesson. When you let the guy unload you revised your spec to accept what they delivered.
The proper way to have handled that would have been to a) if the guy seemed friendly enough, let him dump just enough to get backed out and back onto the road and on his way back to the quarry or b) if he was a prick, let him call a wrecker, then let the company pay for repairing the damage the recovery caused.
If you're polite to the company rep when you call then maybe you can get them to discount the proper material. If you're rude then they'll tell you to pound sand and sue for collections. This isn't a consumer affair - when you buy construction materials you're assumed to know what you're buying - and so they'll easily collect.
John -- John De Armond See my website for my current email address http://www.neon-john.com http://www.johndearmond.com <-- best little blog on the net! Tellico Plains, Occupied TN If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made with meat?
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wrote:

What world do you live in?
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On Oct 28, 12:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Unless you plan on driving the 3 in. into the road surface you are asking for trouble preading it on a hill. You will get NO traction until you've spun most of it from under your wheels.
What you want is 3 in minus pit run from a pit that has dirty gravel. (clay mixed with the gravel) Makes an excellent road.
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pudgy queer ronnnnnnie hamilton, hopelessly overmatched as always, working overtime to be stupid, afraid of Rudy, and obsessed with shit, lied and presented no challenge:

ronnnnnnnie, you stupid community college sophomore: you don't really expect anyone is going to take road construction advice seriously from someone who calls himself "guppy the corpse pumper", do you?
Ha ha ha ha ha!
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On Oct 29, 1:42 am, Guppy the Corpse Pumper <bunghole-

I agree with the advice to go over to their office as a next step. Tell them your story and ask to see who took the phone order. Make sure you tell them the drive said they brought gravel instead because they didn't have the washed stone. Be nice and it's possible you might get some mgr there with some brains that will sort it out, ralize they are wrong and make right on it. The idiot dumping your phone msgs may be the same person who took the order and realizes they are the one that screwed up.
One additional question. Did you sign anything when they delivered it? If offered anything to sign, I would have written "Gravel delivered instead of 3" washed stone I ordered, unacceptable and must be returned" Or similar, and then signed it. Failing that, I at least hope you didn't sign anything at all. And what did the paperwork say? Gravel or stone?
Regarding allowing them to continue to unload, I have to agree with Neon, that I would have done everything possible to prevent that from ever happening.. I would have told the driver to just wait right there while I call the company about the problem. Or ask him to get the company, they usually have radio or cell phone contact with the company themselves. And if he still insists, then I'd tell him if he dumps anymore of it, I'm calling the police. In fact, if he was in any way beligerant, I'd just call the cops for assistance. In my experience, it usually doesn't take too much to piss these guys off and then they just leave.
I had a similar experience with a local rock company. I was buying some rocks for landscaping and selected several from their yard. One was a huge one, but the particular type of rock was the kind that can usually be split. The yard manager offered to do that, and turn it into 2 med size pieces. So, I get home one day to find the huge rock sitting there. I went back to the company and the mgr got the yard guy over and he said "We couldn't split it"
Well Duh? How dumb can you be to then just send over the whole thing? They promptly came, took it away and refunded my money.
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:30:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

The solution exists in black and white. All you have to do is go blind reading through the pertinent law--and hope you've interpreted everything as the court would.
If the stone that was delivered, has done no harm, and is not likely to cause any harm (as by washing out), the worst that has happened is that you received 20 tons of stone that might actually benefit your project to some slight degree.
Visit the firm; it is possible that no one with any significant authority even knows about this problem. Or they might be aware that you appear to be withholding payment, for no known reason. Even you don't know where the root of the problem is. Discuss the problem with management, and try to negotiate a mutually beneficial resolution. Make a fair offer. I suspect most of the expense to the company is in the hauling. If they can recover that expense and retain a customer, they are apt to try.
If this goes to court, be advised your phone calls will be worthless. For litigation purposes, send registered mail, with a signed receipt.
Note: I do not consider your acceptance of the balance of the load as your approval of the product. You should not have to negotiate with a driver. You can help avoid this sort of thing, in the future, by practicing to be more assertive.
I hope you'll post the outcome.
________________________ Whatever it takes.
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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

I use my cellphone for ALL my outgoing calls.
at the end of the month, when I get my bill, it shows the number I dialed, the date and time of the call, and the minutes talked. written proof that I called a certain number on a certain date
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