How to settle a consumer complaint?

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How to settle a consumer complaint?

About 7 months ago I purchased a certain brand of detergent. However, it left rings and outline of the bottle under the (black) finish of my 18 month old washer and dryer. The manufacturer asked me to get a quote from a car detailer to buff out but I could not locate one. They also asked for photos/copies of receipts and the bottle. They tested the soap and said it met all standards. I asked and was refused copies of the test. They have offered $250 goodwill gesture but that does not cover the cost to replace. Last week the manufacturer said they would send to independent lab; this morning the ins company emailed saying take the $250 or case closed.

Asked on August 25, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you feel that the product was defective in some way (formulated wrong, manufactured wrong, tainted somehow, bad instructions or safety directions, etc.) you may be able to sue for compensation. That's the good news. The bad news is, the only way to get compensation, if you can't work it out with the manufacturer is by suing, which clearly costs time and, more importantly, money. The most you could likely recover for, even if the detergent was defective, would be the cost to refinish or clean the washer and dryer, or possibly for  their dimunition in value for being stained (as long as they work, it is unlikely a court would give you their full replacement value--they have not been destroyed). You need to compare that possible recover, first factoring out the cost of a lawsuit--several hundred dollars or even several thousand with a lawyer; or probably $100 or so if you represent yourself, plus your time, and a lower chance of winning--vs. what they are offering, to see what makes sense for you to do.


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