Whenever someone says they're going to sue me, I say "OK, sue me. Do you want the address where you should serve process? I'll give you my lawyers contact info, too... Too bad we couldn't work this out, but I'm a sporting chap. Sue me. I like a good scrap".
I've never actually been sued. Someday, someone will, but oh well. Since I don't go around screwing people, anyone suing me will be doing so out of tantrum rather than a legit reason, so I'll counter-claim for costs.
Anyway, don't worry about it. If you didn't screw the guy, let him stomp his feet however he pleases (as an aside- as I'm sure you know- Texans are 'their own deal'. They're like our own little troupe of culturally immature blowhards who we keep around as pets, for our amusement. If I were to pick one state where any given resident was likely to a) feel slighted over anything and b) sue to "prove something", it would be Texas. They're like an entire state full of 14 year old boys, behaviorally and intellectually)..
LOL, that's sort of what I do, except I generally just ignore these kind of threats, I get them every once in a while, my company deals with 3000+ customers a year so it's bound to happen. This one just seemed a little weird to me and has me confused as to how the legal system works.
On a side not, a couple years ago I had Screech's (the actor who played Screech from Saved By The Bell) girlfriend threatening to sue me and use her "celebrity status" (because she is Screech's girlfriend) to defame me, I told her to let me know how it went, never heard back from her. Crazy people...
Oh well I would like to know something , was the business in XXXX range ? if it was in XXX range I dont think he will do anything.Well if you havent done anything wrong you dont have reason to get worried I guess, if the matter is in XXXX range then you should maybe consult with a lawyer about the case.
Its my opinion only..
It's all over $100 Like I said, I doubt he'll actually do something, I'm wondering if I would have to do anything about it if he filed a case against me in texas, and if I would be held accountable to texas law, even though the only connection I have to it is that he lives there...
Anyone else have any thoughts on whether selling a $99 design service over the internet to a texas resident would be considered enough reason to give a texas court jurisdiction? This guy is still harassing me....
Im not a lawyer, but my understanding is you are held accountable for any place you choose to do business in. Your legal entity might be in New York, but I believe since you chose to do business in Texas, in theory, texas law would protect that consumer.
If this came full circle, and he actually did pursue this using his states consumer protection laws, Im guessing he'd come out ahead, especially if hes right and there was some "fraud"...
I can't believe he/she would do this over $100... as a question of principle, if they have the funds, I could see them spending the requisite baseline cost of legal proceedings (probably mid $xxxx) to set legal precedent and possible seek those "consequential" or "punitive" damages which, IMHO would not really be granted in such a case. I'm certainly no attorney, but this seems a bit far-fetched.
That said, I agree with Spade; I think by offering business services in a jurisdiction, you open yourself up to litigation in that area ... the feasibility of a plaintiff actually getting far enough to win (and collect) a judgment is another story.
Here is a message I just received from him:.
I do not expect you to understand the laws of the State of Texas. You are probably not a lawyer and certainly not a Texas consumer lawyer. I do, however, highly advise you to get a Texas consumer lawyer with great haste. We file these types of claims every day so we have a much greater familiarity with the laws in Texas. We have a near 100% success rate on DTPA claims filed. And we love internet fraud actions or any bait and switch type causes of action.
I can assure you that in my opinion your actions give us a cause of action under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and since you made it very clear that you will not correct your actions, you gave us an actionable cause of action at this point in time. By the way our investigators preserved all evidence by taking pictures of all screen shots on your web site in anticipation you will attempt to correct your misconduct. Such attempts give us added causes of action which are quite serious. You are hereby on ACTUAL NOTICE to preserve all screen shots of your entire website for the dates of August 15, 2009 through the date of final judgment in this matter. This matter may seem like a small amount of money and we would not ordinarily pursue such a small claim, but even small DTPA claims can amount to very large sums of money in a final verdict including treble damages, attorneys fees, and very substantial injunctive and other relief.
We highly suspect that you have done this same thing to many other Texas consumers so at the appropriate time we will discover this information. If you are comfortable with your legal position under Texas law, I agree that you should do nothing at this time. Maintain your position that you have done nothing wrong like you have been trained to say. And, after all it is almost $100 or more out of your company's pocket to attempt settlement. I have known company's to fire employees for losing $100.
I am required to give you written notice under the DTPA which I will do to the address you provided. The letter will specifically outline all of the fraudulent activities and laundry list of misconducts. You will be given a time period mandated by statue to respond. Welcome to Texas...
You need some help with your Terms and Conditions... not stating the legal jurisdiction that any disputes that may arise will be handled in might pose a problem for you, as you seem to be finding out the hard way.
The guy certainly sounds like a blowhard d'bag but not sure if he actually has a case for jurisdiction in TX... he might, since he lives there and you fail to specify NY or any specific local for jurisdiction in your Terms And Conditions...
Refund his money asap and move on. IMHO, time is money; fighting this isn't worth the effort.
You're doing business in both Texas, since that's where the customer is, and New York, since that's where you are. This is why specifying jurisdiction is important - update your terms and conditions on your website and in all contracts to clearly specify jurisdiction (ie. New York State Court and New York Southern District Federal Court; see this map for exact one to use depending on your location ... US Courts ) that shall apply.
On a related note, since you're selling graphics design services, you may want to implement a "No Questions, No Hassles" return policy - you'll lose some money on the front-end, but make up for it in more business (customers will feel more confident in your service), as well as reduce your risk exposure, such as, potential lawsuits, personal / hacking attacks, credit card chargebacks, etc.