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Old 25-06-2017, 16:44   #61
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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IMPRINTS??
About half my current personal cards don't have raised characters at all.
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Old 25-06-2017, 19:47   #62
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Sorry if this has been mentioned but if you send them a letter to say you will accept less than the full amount and still end up in court. The judgement may be for the lesser amount. Don't put that in writing.
Not true at all. Settlement offers are never binding if rejected. It reverts to the original amount if no settlement is made.
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Old 25-06-2017, 19:48   #63
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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About half my current personal cards don't have raised characters at all.
None of the newer ones have raised characters. I haven't seen an imprint machine in years, not even in the smallest towns or other countries.
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Old 26-06-2017, 04:36   #64
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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"the broker telling me that I would get paid, even if he had to write the check himself."

And that's the relevant bit. If the broker hired you, and promised to pay you, your issue is with the broker, not the owner.
To summarize:
- The OP has a Contract (verbal or email without signature is still a valid Contract but verbal is very hard to prove if the other side deny's it. No you don't need a credit card imprint).
- The OP's Contract was with the Broker.
- No evidence has been presented that the Broker was authorized to initiate a Contract for work on the boat.
- The OP had evidence that the Broker likely was not authorized to initiate a Contract for work on the boat (if he was authorized, he would not have made a comment about paying himself)
- The OP can put a lien on the boat but the prior owner won't care because he already has his money.
- The OP can try to enforce the lien against the new owner but without evidence that the Broker was authorized to initiate a Contract, it will likely be set aside.

The OP used poor business practice in not confirming with the owner. Lots of small business are sloppy and 99% of the time they get paid but when someone challenges, the business owner is in a tough position.

In the modern world, there is no excuse for not sending an email confirming the work to be done, estimated price and who is responsible. In reality it should include a cc to the owner. This would have left the OP in a much stronger position.

At this point, asking the Broker to pay up (which appears to be in process) is the next step (if they are employees or not is something to ignore unless and until they try to use it as an excuse).
If that doesn't work, taking the Broker to small claims court and pointing to the text where the Broker says they will pay, should be an open and shut case. That is clear cut that the Broker will make the OP whole.
Trying to enforce a lien against the boat is a weak argument and likely would be set aside. At best you would be hoping for the new owner to pay up just to eliminate the hassle which is a completely unethical approach.
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Old 26-06-2017, 04:53   #65
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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I guess you like to think of yourself as some kind of legal expert. While I may not have a signature from the broker or boat owner (which again, is SOP in the boat maintenance industry), I do have an extensive electronic paper trail outlining exactly what work was to be performed by my company and when it was to be performed. I can assure you that I have taken non-payers to small claims court and won with less documentation than I have in this case.

Interesting that you put the onus for payment on the service provider. Apparently in your eyes, I don't deserve to be paid for the work since I "failed to obtain a signed workorder." I didn't "fail" to do anything. Verbal agreements are how this business works. But maybe you operate in the same fashion as my yacht salesman and his boat owner do.
No you don't need a signature to institute a legally enforceable contract. Verbal contracts are completely legal and enforceable. BUT when there is a dispute, it's really hard to prove if you had a Contract and what the terms of the Contract were.

There is no excuse to operate purely on a verbal basis in the modern world. It's just to easy to get a written email trail going. You can work on a verbal basis but the onus is on you if things go to poo for using poor business practices.

Your email/text trail with the Broker is your saving grace though you would be in a much stronger position if you develop a standard response email clarifying expectations in writing.

It's not an issue of "deserving to be paid". The corollary to that is should the owner "have to pay for work they never authorized". With clear Contractual language, you don't need to try and pull people's emotional strings. The issue is do you have an enforceable Contract that the owner agreed to.
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Old 26-06-2017, 07:05   #66
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Do you have a written contract with your hull cleaner?
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Old 26-06-2017, 07:16   #67
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Do you have a written contract with your hull cleaner?
No but I sleep with her to ensure her compliance.

For any work I hire out...YES!!!!! it's in writing. Typically an email. I may verbally agree but then I send out a 30 second email follow up to confirm what was agreed to.

I do this both at work and for personal dealings. I have about 15yrs worth of electronic records and on many occasions, I've used them to address issues that are months or even years old.

When there was a debate over something that happened months ago, it's hard to argue with something in writing. But even a discussion from an hour or two ago, it's hard to remember every statement made. If you put it in writing, you can quote word for word.

Even for short term it's handy to include that follow up: Say you are caught walking down the dock by a customer and he asks you to clean his bottom and during the discussion, zincs come up. You think he's asking you to do the zincs also. He thinks he was just collecting information. Two weeks later when he gets the bill, he is questioning where the zincs came from....if you had sent a quick email along the lines of:
- Good talking to you. Per our discussion today, I'll clean the bottom and replace the prop shaft zincs next week. Estimated cost should be approximately $X.

Unless, he responds, it's technically still a verbal contract as the agreement was done verbally but if it goes to court, that advance email from before the work is complete will strongly sway the judge that your story is the correct story...or even better, if there was a misunderstanding, it can be corrected BEFORE the work is complete.
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Old 26-06-2017, 07:24   #68
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Fstbttms:

As I used to tell my clients, and as I'm now telling you: "That you are a damn good tradesman doesn't mean that you can survive in business because you likely don't know how to run one!"

You've had a lot of good advice here, which I hope you will take to heart, and here is another bit — a freebie from one sailor to another. It's yours to use.

When I undertake a small job that doesn't really warrant all the hassle of a Letter of Engagement, I send a note - these days, an e-mail - that sez:

"Dear Joe, thanks for taking the time to discuss your requirements during our phone conversation yesterday. As I recall that conversation, what we agreed that I should do for you is: 1) item; 2) item;...n) item. I expect to get a start on Thurday and to complete by next Wednesday. We agreed on a fee of $XXX.XX."

If my client doesn't demur (in writing) at this point, I have not only a contract, but I have an ENFORCIBLE contract BECAUSE I HAVE PROOF of what was agreed.

Valhalla sounds as if he may be a lawyer. Perhaps you could ask him about "the five elements of contract"

All the best :-)

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Old 26-06-2017, 07:28   #69
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Typically an email. I may verbally agree but then I send out a 30 second email follow up to confirm what was agreed to.
Most of my customer contacts are via e-mail as well. I also have decades of archived communications that have on more than one occasion, supported my position in a dispute. But written, signed contracts are not SOP in this business and since you do not use them either, I find it disingenuous of you to accuse me of poor business practice.
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Old 26-06-2017, 08:12   #70
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Most of my customer contacts are via e-mail as well. I also have decades of archived communications that have on more than one occasion, supported my position in a dispute. But written, signed contracts are not SOP in this business and since you do not use them either, I find it disingenuous of you to accuse me of poor business practice.
A lot of people don't understand a formal document with signature lines at the bottom is not required to make a contract. (I do deal with formal stuff also but often during the course of work as terms change, a quick email to document is more practical). A valid contract can be written, verbal, smoke signals, relayed thru 3rd parties, etc...but both parties must agree (or an authorized agent)

An email with a response back from the other side is a perfectly valid and enforceable contract. Even a one sided email you send out can make a verbal contract enforceable.

But a one sided contract in which the owner was not party and did not agree is not enforceable. In this case, there is no evidence you had a contract with the owner or an agent authorized by the owner to initiate work (if the brokerage contract authorized the Broker, that would be different). As such, you are likely to lose if you pursue the owner (past or present). You do have a strong case against the Broker (the individual) but no guarantee he will pay up even if you get a judgement. You "probably" have a case against the Brokerage (parent company). A simple email asking for a response from the owner concurring with the work would likely have eliminated the whole issue.

SOP is what you accept. Getting credit card imprints and an actual piece of paper with a signature is nice but probably overkill for a small low dollar task but with modern technology to get written confirmation from the owner or confirmation that the agent is authorized to initiate the work, is so quick and easy, it's silly to accept less and I stand by my statement that it's poor business practice.
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Old 26-06-2017, 08:26   #71
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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But a one sided contract in which the owner was not party and did not agree is not enforceable.
You make an assumption that the owner was not a party. I see it differently. I consider the boat owner to be a liar and a cheat. And I know for a fact that he had authorised the salesman (not a broker) to have work done on the boat because I know the owner of the dive service that was my predecessor on this job.

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Getting credit card imprints and an actual piece of paper with a signature is nice but probably overkill for a small low dollar task but with modern technology to get written confirmation from the owner or confirmation that the agent is authorized to initiate the work, is so quick and easy, it's silly to accept less and I stand by my statement that it's poor business practice.
Again, the salesman represented to me that he had authority to have me work on this boat. There was no compelling reason to contact the boat owner prior to servicing his boat. He had been paying another dive service (with the saleman acting as middleman) to clean the hull while the boat was at this brokerage before me, no reason to suspect there would be an issue.

In any event, should this go to small claims court, the bokerage, the salesman and the boat owner/seller all will be named as defendants. I hope it doesn't go that far, but if it has to, it will.
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Old 26-06-2017, 09:15   #72
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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You make an assumption that the owner was not a party. I see it differently. I consider the boat owner to be a liar and a cheat. And I know for a fact that he had authorised the salesman (not a broker) to have work done on the boat because I know the owner of the dive service that was my predecessor on this job.

If you "know" he authorized the salesman, discussion regarding the broker is irrelevant. Put a lien on the boat and take him to small claims court and explain to the judge how you "know" but so far you've provided no evidence to support how you "know". He may be a liar and a cheat but unless you can present evidence, the court isn't going to care about your opinion or the opinion of the prior dive service.

Again, the salesman represented to me that he had authority to have me work on this boat. There was no compelling reason to contact the boat owner prior to servicing his boat. He had been paying another dive service (with the saleman acting as middleman) to clean the hull while the boat was at this brokerage before me, no reason to suspect there would be an issue.

Then you have a contract with the salesman until you can prove the salesman was authorized. If my neighbor tells you that he is authorized to have work done on my boat and you do the without confirmation that either I agree or I have authorized him, then I'm going to tell you to shove it and I will win in court.

In any event, should this go to small claims court, the bokerage, the salesman and the boat owner/seller all will be named as defendants. I hope it doesn't go that far, but if it has to, it will.
Based on the info you provided, hopefully the broker does the right thing (and then it's his problem to pursue if the prior owner did agree) and you've got a good chance against the broker but unless the owner had authorized the broker to have work done and you can come up with evidence of this, you don't have a valid case against the owner.

The one thing I'm not sure of at the small claims court level is if you can drag all 3 parties in together. If they are all in front of the same judge at the same time, the judge should be able to sort it out fairly easily. If they go in separate, it may be tougher to establish as there isn't a discovery phase and if the owner says he doesn't have a contract authorizing the broker, you don't have access to the broker, so it's hard to prove him wrong (can't prove a negative).

I'm not saying the prior owner didn't agree to the work and isn't a complete jerk but with contracts the jerk can just as easily win if the evidence supports them. This is why it's important to document and get confirmation (preferably directly with the owner or at least a copy of the authorization from the broker).
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Old 28-06-2017, 18:50   #73
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Subscribe... let's see how this turns out.
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Old 29-06-2017, 00:07   #74
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

Always nice to live and have a business in a country which recognises Admiralty Law, which, in the US seems to be downgraded to Federal Law. Most anywhere else in the civilised world the debt remains with the ship not the owner. Caveat Emptor
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Old 29-06-2017, 04:05   #75
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Re: Are Brokers Employees Of The Company?

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Always nice to live and have a business in a country which recognises Admiralty Law, which, in the US seems to be downgraded to Federal Law. Most anywhere else in the civilised world the debt remains with the ship not the owner. Caveat Emptor
This really doesn't have anything to do with Admiralty Law. If the OP was authorized by the owner or an agent authorized to initiate work, he can place a lien against the boat and I will stick. If not, he can place a lien but it will be set aside.

If you wander down to the local port, slip into the water, scrape the bottom on a boat and then send a bill out without the owner or owner's maintenance coordinator having any knowledge of what you are doing, do you really expect to get paid for it?

So far the OP has not been able to provide evidence the owner or an agent authorized to initiate work asked for this work.

FYI - By adopting Admiralty law, it is just a part of Federal Law. All Federal Law means is it is a law instituted and enforced at the Federal level, which is the highest level and trumps State and Local laws, so the implication it is treated as a lesser law is incorrect.
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