What to do if we purchased an espresso machine for our small business from a company nearly a year ago but it hasn’t worked properly?

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What to do if we purchased an espresso machine for our small business from a company nearly a year ago but it hasn’t worked properly?

The machine is a custom, rebuilt machine and we have encountered several issues that have required multiple repairs and resulted in lost revenue. The owner of the company has agreed to swap out the machine for a stock factory built unit but after several months, has yet to fulfill his obligation. We do not have a signed contract but we do have several emails, text messages and voice mails where he states that he will replace the machine. We would like to know if we have any grounds for legal action to hold him to his promise to replace the machine.

Asked on October 1, 2013 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A contract can be formed by oral agreement, or by a series of emails and text messages; it does not have to be a single, formal "contract." Therefore, if you have a number of emails or text messages in which he states he will replace the machine, then there may well be an enforceable agreemen for him to do this--and if he does not, you may be able to sue him to enforce the agreement and/or obtain monetary compensation (e.g. the cost to repair or replace the machine).

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states you have at a minimum an implied warranty of merchantability of fitness and possibly an express warranty that came with the item. I would call and write the company you bought the item from advising of the problem and request that it be repaired.


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