Originally Posted by C.O.S.T.
I do not want to break protocol by asking this but I need a little advice. I live in Canada but keep my boat in the states. I contracted a company to do some work on my boat (no names will be used). What should have been at most a 20 to 25 hour job has now gone on for 6 weeks and is still not completed. Not knowing US laws and consumer issues anyone can tell me the best way to deal with this. In Canada I would be suing them.
How does your contract read? That's the governing document. Does it detail the work well, set a dollar amount and give a date expected to be completed? What does the fine print say about time?
Six weeks isn't uncommon for a 20 to 25 hour job from a new customer (not regular) in the busiest season of the year. Also, what type work was to be done? The more specialized the work, the easier to understand. Yards are often very short of skill in certain areas.
Assuming you took the boat in to them in late May and depending on the nature of the work, there are yards that would not have accepted it or told you it would be September. Many yards do find their work load easing up after the 4th of July.
One other thing. If you could prove they were in violation of the contract, you'd then have the burden of proving monetary damages. Just being slow doesn't have a price tag or dollar amount attached to it, nor generally does loss of use or opportunity unless you chose a costly option of renting or chartering a boat.
You really need to travel to the yard, talk to the manager, and see how you might resolve the problem. Suing is not going to get you your boat faster. In fact, it's more likely to get you billed for work to date and told to pay that and then pick it up. Litigation seldom expedites anything. It only recovers damages.