Don’t have a ton of time right now to paste the whole thing, but it is basically a minimally-edited version of the draft I had up on Whazzmaster some time ago.
I included a list of the items that I thought were unreasonable and will upload that when I have some spare time. The bottom line was that I added up $1,423.99 in unreasonable charges (including the crazy floor estimate). If you subtract that from the $1,237.81 that Steve says we owe him, it leaves $186.18 due to us.
I sent it Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. I didn’t want to have him sign for it because in all likelihood he will refuse any further mailings, thinking that he is being served with a lawsuit.
So, next steps: if he pays us our money everything will be right in the world. I doubt this will happen, so the question becomes: how will he respond to the threat of litigation in small claims court. My best guess is that he will ignore the letter and send the amount to the collection agency anyways. If he thought he could win in court, he would have just threatened to sue us for the balance anyways. The fact that there was no explicit or implicit threat of court action (he instead just said that he would turn over the amount to a collection agency if we didn’t pay) means that he probably knows his bogus “estimate” wouldn’t get far in front of a judge. I’m guessing he will not respond in any way to the letter, leaving the onus on myself to initiate court action. If that is indeed the case Mr. Misrack, I’ll be seeing your fat ass in court.
As an aside, I was walking through the Oakridge Mall parking lot when I saw a cream Lexus SUV with gold trim. Steve drives a car like that. In addition, the car had a license plate that said “REALTOR”. Steve is a realtor. I was very close to kicking a large dent in it for good measure, but chose to keep on walking.
offtopic: i will be posting a video game review of Donkey Konga real soon. the short take: it is awesome as awesome can be.