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Cleaning Company Used a Defective Product

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#1
What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

Recently, I hired a cleaning company to clean my house. I started noticing that the cleaning product they used for my wood floors was stripping away the finish. When I reached out to them, they confirmed that the product they used was made for the kind of floors I have. I researched the product and the types of floors that I have, and have verified that as advertised, the product should be safe for my floors. The cleaning company mentioned that this was not the only complaint they received in the last month, and they have stopped using the product.

I am looking into pursuing compensation for the damage, but I am not sure who to pursue. Some internet research keeps telling me that the manufacturer and retailers could all be held accountable. But could the cleaning company be held accountable for using the product? Do they qualify as a retailer? I don't think they fit into any of the categories above.

I appreciate your advice! This will help me decide how far I want to take this.
 


#2
What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

Recently, I hired a cleaning company to clean my house. I started noticing that the cleaning product they used for my wood floors was stripping away the finish. When I reached out to them, they confirmed that the product they used was made for the kind of floors I have. I researched the product and the types of floors that I have, and have verified that as advertised, the product should be safe for my floors. The cleaning company mentioned that this was not the only complaint they received in the last month, and they have stopped using the product.

I am looking into pursuing compensation for the damage, but I am not sure who to pursue. Some internet research keeps telling me that the manufacturer and retailers could all be held accountable. But could the cleaning company be held accountable for using the product? Do they qualify as a retailer? I don't think they fit into any of the categories above.

I appreciate your advice! This will help me decide how far I want to take this.
The cleaning company relied on the manufacturer's claims. You could pursue action against the manufacturer and you can file a complaint about the false manufacturer claims to the FTC.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#4
I suspect that the cleaning company can also be included in any legal action that may arise. The OP shouldn't have to chase down the service provider's supplier.
 
#5
I suspect that the cleaning company can also be included in any legal action that may arise. The OP shouldn't have to chase down the service provider's supplier.
Well ... anyone can be named in a suit but the cleaning company used a product (apparently) recommended by the product's manufacturer for use on wood floors.

If hubbyotheyear sues the cleaning company, the cleaning company has a good defense to the claim.

The damage to the floor (apparently) was caused by the manufacturer's product and its (apparent) false claims. The cleaning company probably would not have used the product on finished wood floors if the label warned against it.

Of course, the actual label would need to be seen to see if the manufacturer has, in fact, warned against use on finished floors.

Here is a link to Pennsylvania-specific deceptive business practices which covers false advertising claims:
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdoc...pt=41&sctn=7&subsctn=0&mobile_choice=suppress.
 
#7
What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania
... When I reached out to them, they confirmed that the product they used was made for the kind of floors I have. I researched the product and the types of floors that I have, and have verified that as advertised, the product should be safe for my floors. The cleaning company mentioned that this was not the only complaint they received in the last month, and they have stopped using the product.

I am looking into pursuing compensation for the damage, but I am not sure who to pursue. Some internet research keeps telling me that the manufacturer and retailers could all be held accountable. But could the cleaning company be held accountable for using the product? Do they qualify as a retailer? I don't think they fit into any of the categories above.

I appreciate your advice! This will help me decide how far I want to take this.
True. It is possible that the cleaning company altered the product in some way or did not use it according to manufacturer instructions.
 
#9
I've got a client that is a janitorial service. They had a product that was supposed to be diluted 15:1 to clean floors. At 1:1 it could pretty much dissolve floors.
Right. I failed to consider misuse by the cleaning company. Although I think most companies are more likely to over-dilute rather than under-dilute, a greater strength could indeed cause damage.
 
#10
In the example, I gave the employee misread 15:1 as 1.5:1. It was ugly. I saw pictures of the what used to be really nice hardwood floors when doing the disciplinary write-up. I would have been worried about walking on them.
 
#11
In the example, I gave the employee misread 15:1 as 1.5:1. It was ugly. I saw pictures of the what used to be really nice hardwood floors when doing the disciplinary write-up. I would have been worried about walking on them.
How the product was used by the cleaning service should certainly be investigated prior to filing any lawsuit.

If the product was misused by the cleaning service, any lawsuit would be against the cleaning service.

Zigner mentioned earlier that a lawsuit against the cleaning service might be the place to start. I am now agreeing with that. If the cleaning service wishes to pursue action against the manufacturer later, they could take on that expense.

I don't know why I didn't earlier consider fault on the part of the cleaning service. I guess I will use the "low on caffeine" excuse (although I am actually pretty sure my body could not handle more caffeine right now :)).
 
#12
How the product was used by the cleaning service should certainly be investigated prior to filing any lawsuit.

If the product was misused by the cleaning service, any lawsuit would be against the cleaning service.

Zigner mentioned earlier that a lawsuit against the cleaning service might be the place to start. I am now agreeing with that. If the cleaning service wishes to pursue action against the manufacturer later, they could take on that expense.

I don't know why I didn't earlier consider fault on the part of the cleaning service. I guess I will use the "low on caffeine" excuse (although I am actually pretty sure my body could not handle more caffeine right now :)).
Perhaps I gave you my cold. I know it's making my head all fuzzy. I sneezed 30x in a row. I think that might be a world record.
 
#13
Perhaps I gave you my cold. I know it's making my head all fuzzy. I sneezed 30x in a row. I think that might be a world record.
I know a computer can get viruses but I am pretty sure cold germs can't be transmitted so I think I'm safe.

That said, I may add that excuse to my low-on-caffeine excuse if I find I need it. :)

Hope you feel better soon.
 
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