I ordered a DSLR camera from an online company in New York at the beginning of October. I was told the item would be delivered within 10-12 business days and would be sent a tracking number. On the 11th business day I called to find out where my tracking number was & was told the package was hung up in customs. I called back every few days and was told the same thing. I didn't understand how they could track my package and yet couldnt give me a number. I told them to forget it on November 3rd and asked for a full refund. They agreed and said it would take 5-7 days. It's now been 10 days and I have yet to see a refund on my card. Every time I call now I am put on hold for over 20 minutes at a time and continue to get told that my refund is coming when they obviously have no intention to.
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against the online company in Florida even though the company is in a different state. It is likely that the company has sufficient contacts with Florida that would justify them being hailed into court in Florida. The only complication is that you will need to have the lawsuit papers properly served on the company in New York, unless they have a registered agent in Florida. Assuming the amount of money you lost is less than $5,000, you can sue the company in small claims court and you do not need to hire a lawyer for that, unless you want to.
hi there, I agree with my colleague: that you can file against the out of state company. You will need to review the service requirements closely. Best of luck to you in a quick resolution of your matter.
Answer given for general advice and is not a legal opinion, which would require an analysis of the facts and circumstances as well as the applicable law and regulations.
Everything that my colleague stated is on point, and I fully agree; the New York company may meet minimum contact standards for action in Florida, and if the transaction wholly occurred in Florida, then you can bring suit against the company in Florida. Of course, the other prospect stated by my colleague in that you would have to serve the company in NY, unless the company has a registered office and agent in Florida as a Foreign Profit.
One more issue that you need to consider is the terms and the agreement for the purchase. I am not sure if you signed anything electronically or otherwise when you purchased the camera from the company in New York. However, if any such terms and conditions exist, you may want to review them and confirm whether or not they include a jurisdictional waiver. There may be language, if such an agreement exists, requiring that disputes are filed in a certain jurisidiction.
If you signed any electronic agreement when purchasing this camera, refer to that agreement, which may already be on their website as well, to confirm that there isn't a jurisdictional waiver requiring you to file in a specific state. Sometimes these companies will have these waivers for their home state requiring you to file any dispute in their home state, which if signed, would constitute an agreement that any dispute be filed in the state agreed upon. Short of that limitation, and barring anything else that may not be included in your fact pattern, you should be able to initiate suit in Florida.
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Based on what you described, it is probably worth being patient to see if the refund is credited before initiating a suit. The filing fee for small claims court may be as much or more than the camera and even if you bring the action in Florida, you would need to have the summons served on the company in NY, which will cost more money. I would wait it out and see what happens, but to answer your question, since they are shipping their products to Florida, it is likely that the company will have sufficient contact with the forum state (Florida) to support the court’s exercise of jurisdiction.
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