Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How one effective demand letter helped consumer get big refund from

A website called the Consumerist has republished a demand letter sent by Paul Gowder, who is identified as a "law school grad," to seeking a refund after his $400.00 Kindle broke.  A video used to advertise Kindles apparently makes the claim that the device is durable enough to survive a short drop to the ground.  When Mr. Gowder's Kindle didn't, he called Amazon's customer service to complain and was offered the chance to buy a new device for another $200.00. 

That didn't sit too well with Mr. Gowder who instead fired off this letter asking Amazon to refund his original purchase price or else he would sue under California's implied warranty of merchantability statute as well as seek punitive damages (he also suggested a class-action suit on behalf of others who have had Kindles break).  The result?  Amazon sent him a check for $400.00 and let him keep the damaged Kindle. 

Now that's a demand letter that worked (and might be a good sample to show your students in class).

Hat tip to Mitchell Nathan.

I am the scholarship dude.


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RE: "Should you modify, destroy, or resell the broken device, I will ask the Court to treat that as deliberate spoliation of evidence and make adverse inferences as appropriate."

That statement appears at the end of the letter. As editor, I would have sent that back to the drafter and asked, "what is they give the thing away? what if they mail it to a non-existent address and provide no return address? what if they just leave it in a public library?"

But, that's just me . . . .

Posted by: Mister Thorne | Oct 22, 2009 9:07:50 AM

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