In this case, the plaintiff “Leyla”, the owner of a spa in NYC, is suing the defendant, (that I shall here call “Commco”) for $3,000 in damages for breach of contract, claiming that the telephone equipment sold to her, as well as an internal telephone system that she also bought from Commco did not work very well.
Leyla purchased specific equipment that Commco recommended, and she also agreed to hire them to answer, switch and refer her incoming calls to her staff, her appointment desk and her customers.
The system worked like a private switchboard, with Commco receiving all calls to Leyla’s number.
The trouble started almost immediately, and continued off and on for about one year, when Leyla decided to close the spa.
Leyla testified to Commco’s many missed and dropped calls, which she estimated to occur about twenty times per month.
Leyla showed me copies of what she said were three or four daily emails between herself and Commco’s employees regarding various telephone problems.
Leyla then testified that she had a face to face meeting with Commco’s owner about four months later. He admitted that the equipment she had purchased was “too sophisticated” for her, and offered to take it all back and replace it with “more simple” equipment for an additional cost to her of $3,000.
Leyla declined his offer.
Leyla decided to close her spa about one year after opening it because she could not afford the rent there. She ascribed her business losses at the spa in part on the barely working telephone system, but said that there were other factors also.
However, she did not cancel her contract with Commco. Instead, she asked them to transfer the existing equipment to another location.
Commco refused to do so unless Leyla first paid an outstanding balance on her monthly service plus a small late penalty. She paid that bill.
Commco then took the position that “she had prematurely cancelled her contract”, after she moved to a new location.
Commco’s attorney offered a copy of a typed bill to Leyla for $5,000 “as proof” of its counterclaim that Leyla had cancelled the contract prematurely, and called to my attention a provision in the contract to that effect.
Commco was represented by a person who described herself as an attorney and also as a “contract employee” for Commco. She admitted however that she had had no contact with Leyla during that year, and had no personal knowledge of the facts in the case.
She called no witnesses, and relied solely on the contract between Leyla and Commco.
To see my decision, click on the link below – Decision