The Crook Carpet Cleaner

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    So I recently got a carpet job in my house. I found a cheap guy, looked him up online and found excellent ratings and experiences with him, so I ignored a post that read just “he’s that he’s a cheater”, because it was drowned in fabulous ratings.

    I called the carpet cleaner (an Italian) and he came over to give me an estimate: $300.

    next week, I get a bill in the mail for $500!

    I called up to complain, so he told me very calmly it was just a ‘guesstimate’, and it turned out to be “more complicated” and he hangs right up on me!

    $200 is more than a lawyer fee, so I sent a check right away.

    I realized this is his scheme, so

    Right after I paid, filled with indignation, I called up my brother, who is very tech savvy, and he gave him the worst ratings, and shredded his business apart. literally.

    about three months later, I get a call from the carpet cleaner, and he tells me he figured out I posted all over, and he offers me straight off the bat to give me a FULL REFUND if I take it all down.

    I live in a frum community and I feel he will just cheat them. would you accept his offer?


    well why did u post the bad information? to get him upset and make him regret that he overcharged u or to make sure other ppl dont use him?


    pixelate, that’s called being between a rock and a hard place….. πŸ˜‰

    On a separate note; just so you know, I’ve added this to my favorites.


    Get you money back, take down the posts, but put up new ones.


    Deny it’s you and ignore him. You can also inform him of the laws of a binding estimate.


    Heh heh agree with DY. The guy is dumb since the problem with extortion is you can always extort again.

    Careful to not do actual legal extortion though. Google it.


    @mms601 – Good point. Technically, the OP wasn’t the one who shredded him. πŸ˜›

    By the way, I pity you. I have reason not to trust these sort of people anymore myself.

    This probably sounds silly, but from now on, I highly recommend going DIY whenever possible. A certain video-hosting website that begins with Y has plenty of tutorials for just about everything under the sun, and you can always ask around at your local hardware store.

    I hope that guy gets what he deserves for what he’s been doing to countless people in your area!



    Not sure what the question is. Halachically you prob can’t take the refund because he deserves to be paid for his work. Additionally this would be extortion which is a form of geneiva.

    Also, the guy is bad news. You already did a public service by posting it online. . Why would you take it down? The guy is bad and people should know to stay away. At most you can offer that you will edit it and write that he has agreed to the original price and returned the extra you paid him. You should not remove the review though.


    WIY, he offered the refund, why can’t he take it? Where’s the extortion?



    Because he is offering a FULL refund due to the nasty review because everyone wants it removed. That’s extortion even if he initiates the offer.


    Whats the point of telling us he is an Italian? there are plenty of “frum” crooks too.


    The point of telling us he is italian is so that nobody would recommend talking behind his back about him in italian. Blazes, does every piece of a story have to be nitpicked?


    WIY, extortion is, by definition, initiated by the extortionist, not the victim. Look it up.

    Goq, sometimes, when dealing with Jews, the legal code in Shulchan Aruch dictates the law, rather than secular law. “Non Jewish” could be a pertinent description (Italian would seem irrelevant, though).

    yaakov doe

    The unanswered questions are – Did he do a good job and was the final cost of $500 a fair price for the job? A low estimate can be either intentional or an error. It appears that his good reputation in cyberspace is worth $500 to him.



    Its probably closer to blackmail than extortion but legally it seems that the threat must be initiated by the other party an implied (even if unintended for that purpose) threat may not be enough.

    I still think on halachik grounds she can’t take a full refund only a refund of what he overcharged.


    WIY, I thought about a partial refund, because it is more equitable, but if offered a full one, why can’t be take it?


    DY, that’s true and you’re correct. But if the op had mentioned it was a non-jew rather than saying it was an Italian, she would have taken even more grief since then the wolf’s of this board would (incorrectly) start krechtzing that it makes no difference whether he is or isn’t. By putting it the way the op put it, it was more subtle but still told us that point.



    I think that al pi Halacha it’s like you coerced it out of him. He wants at the minimum to be paid for the job he did. He isn’t refunding out of the goodness of his heart but rather he has no choice he wants that bad review removed because you killed his business.


    yaakovdoe- Did he do a good job and was the final cost of $500 a fair price for the job?

    He did do a good job, but not good enough for 500 dollars. My neighbor, who has the same exact layout as me, (including radiators which is why the guy said he charged more) got the same job a year earlier for $400 from a professional company!

    My brother told me he also reported him to the BBB, but once the guy called to offer a full refund, I asked my brother to withdraw the claim. but i did not acknowlrdge I had anything to do with the posts.


    WIY: But she has no obligation to remove her honest negative reviews she posted on review sites. She paid $500 of which $300 was legitimate and $200 was an overcharge. The $200 she is entitled to be refunded regardless. The $300 he is paying her to remove the bad reviews. But she has no obligation to remove the bad reviews; they were honest reviews. She is entitled to leave them up. If he wants her to remove them she can accept payment for her to remove the online reviews that she isn’t obligated to remove.


    He isn’t refunding out of the goodness of his heart but rather he has no choice he wants that bad review removed because you killed his business.

    So? Still doesn’t make it coercion.


    Luvtobejewish, I agree.



    You think she can take $300 to have reviews removed and then not remove them? How is that different from any agreement where you are paid to do something and then not do it? If she accepts the money she has to do what she said she would.


    WIY- I don’t see what’s wrong with taking two hundred and then modifying them to say that you got the two hundred back.


    I said (s)he should remove them.

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