My question involves small claims court (NJ)
Advertised a dining set on CL & the first responder liked it so much she wanted to send me a check w/o seeing the furniture in person first. I politely declined, indicating I wanted her to see it in person to be sure it met her needs before she paid me.
She visited, checked out the set, & said she loved it. She said she'd send a check (to be sure to secure it) & then arrange for pickup on another day. She did send the check. I turned away other inquiries, noting the set was sold, thereby keeping my commitment to her. She arranged to pick up the furniture & on this 2nd visit expressed just as much pleasure about the set as the 1st time. No expressions of concern either time, nor when loading the furniture into the vehicle she brought.
It was only after transporting the furniture to her home that on a subsequent day I received a call noting the furniture was damaged & they wanted to return for a full refund. The furniture was fine when it left our house.
I tend to overextend to help people out even when not obligated to but this time I didn't have a blessed minute to deal with a return & then starting over with reselling, plus it now sounded like the furniture had gotten damaged. So I advised that I would not be able to accommodate their demand for a refund. They had 2 full opportunities to inspect & if they had any doubts, why did they commit & send a check, & then furthermore, cheerfully remove the set from our premises?
Well, they haven't taken a polite no for an answer & have relentlessly phoned & e-mailed. I spent time I didn't have responding to the e-mails, explaining politely time & again that they had every opportunity to make a different decision but had expressed nothing but happiness UNTIL after transporting the furniture. They've badgered w/so many phone calls to both land line & cell that I finally had to have their # blocked, so they switched to another & I had that blocked & then a third & I did same. Now they have written an e-mail saying unless we take the furniture back for a full refund they are filing in small claims court this coming Monday. They also expressed a not so veiled threat to show up with the set during an upcoming yard sale when our neighbors are around, presumably to make some kind of a scene.
I know I handled this situation honorably - the set was perfectly usable when it left our house (we had used it for almost 30 years w/o a moment's trouble & yet now they are saying the table is cracked, chairs unstable & dangerous for little children, all sorts of stuff suddenly out of the woodwork) but I hope small claims court is a sensible place? The ad made no inaccurate claims. Plan to respond that we will be happy to relay to the judge the entire situation if they do proceed with small claims.
To elicit a quick sale I sold the set for well under its actual value so they could actually make considerable money by selling themselves if they wanted to.
So upset about the lack of personal responsibility in people anymore. I would never do this to a seller once I had committed.
Any insights most gratefully appreciated. Thank you.