For the purposes of discussion here, I propose that we are talking apples
and oranges. Yes, oral contracts are binding and enforceable, but probably
only when witnesses are present. Other than that, it's one person's word
against the other. And yes, we do make oral contracts all the time, a
"gentleman's agreement" sealed with a handshake. Time once was when you
could stake your life on the deal made, but times have changed, and people
have changed. Taking someone to court or suing someone over an oral
agreement made between two people would be something I don't believe would
have high success rate.
They ARE just as enforceable, but they are harder to prove. Once
proven, the difficulty of proving them is no longer an issue, unless
the losing party can argue that as a matter of law, there is no
contract. Matters of fact are not reviewable once the trial court has
decided something, whether by judge or jury.
The exception is contracts for the purchase of land (and maybe other
acts regarding land, I forget). They MUST be in writing. If
interested, look up the Statute of Frauds.
He didn't say easy to enforce. He said just as enforceable. Court
judgements against corporations with a fixed location and tangible
assets are very easy to enforce. You tell the marshall to go and
sieze something that the marshall can sell for more money that the
other party owes you, and that's what he will do. Like he might take
power tools whose value is two or three times the judgement plus the
marshall's fee. The marshall has some way to sell this stuff and
recoup themoney. Or HD pays the judgment and marshall's fees and gets
its power tools back. If it is a bigger judgment they would take one
of the HD rent-a-trucks.
But it doesn't come to that, because normal companies know what is
coming next, and they pay in cash when they lose in court and have no
basis to appeal.
Oh, that's silly. I deal with thousands of contracts per year
in business and at home. Most work out fine. Issues and even
disputes arise from time to time but those are generally
resolved very quickly.
Yes, there may be more shady characters out there than you
or I would like. But most of the time, contracts, even verbal
ones, work and are enforcable.
Interestingly, in this case, Home Depot appear to have diverged
from their own written policies and (in my experience) their
customary behavior. Perhaps the OP did not tell the whole/true
story but it's just as likely that a poorly trained, minimal
wage employee screwed up. In the latter case, it is clearly
Home Depot's responsibility.
Of course, all bets are off if this purchase was a special
sale item sold on a receipt clearly endorsed with something
to the effect of "no returns".
If the OP has fairly represented the details of this
transaction, he will most likely prevail in, say, small
claims court. A courteous conversation with the local
store manager may resolve the issue even faster.
One thing I would do in his situation is to ask for a
written copy of the store's returns policy -- there is
a rather poorly written one on www.homedepot.com. Follow
the link Customer Service | Return Policy which does appear
to address (rather poorly) the in-store policy as well as
the on-line policy.
If the OP has misrepresented the facts, there's little
point in all of us pontificating on what might have
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
Were this a continual time line, I would agree with you. But the "customer"
said, "I want it. Wait, I don't want it. Wait, again, I DO want it." How
much time passed between the original order and delivery? Even if it was
only days, things change. Items get sold out. They change model years.
Lots of things.
What do you do when you want a hamburger? Order it, cancel it, leave, come
back, want your hamburger, and bitch because it's cold?
So you going to sit down and read the manual while the delivery guys wait
for an hour for you to make sure it does the same functions? All the while
they are telling you it does the same thing? I doubt it. Again, the store
should NEVER substitute before asking.
I NEVER BUY APPLIANCES FROM HOME DEPOT THEIR DELIVERY SYSTEM
CONTRACTED OUT SUCKS!
Call corporate and complain some more, they should of gotten
permission to substitute, beyond which the person waiting for delivery
may not have known about the changes or had been empowered to accept a
Lowes is much nicer to deal with for appliances and delivered stuff.
I bought a fridge at home depot they couldnt give me a dlivery window
anytime from 7 am to 7pm or later if were running late. Didnt call me,
I was close by theyjust left fridge on porch
Store manager had promised a call!
If someone did that to me again I would say no signature come get it,
contesting credit card charge!
When I bought a washer and dryer last year, I specifically chose a
smaller appliance store that had been here a long time. That was
definitely NOT Home Depot. This place (Western Auto) has salespeople
who actually knew about washers and dryers.
BTW, that did matter when the dryer quit heating 5 weeks later. They
sent someone out that day.
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