Bob had to be his own lawyer in a dispute with an unscrupulous door-to-door sales company.

In a moment of weakness, Bob is convinced to buy a new furnace at what seemed to be a great price. Half the time his current furnace shuts down for no reason, and he is tired of being cold and spending money he doesn’t have on repairs. The pushy sales person who came to his door says he could get the best deal if he paid half in advance as a deposit.

Bob soon realizes that he’s made a big mistake. A government website says he should be able to cancel the deal and get his money back, but no one at the number he has responds to his calls. He has a PO Box number, but no actual office address to visit.

He won’t qualify for legal aid with his full-time job as a security guard, so he uses brochures and the internet to figure out how to go to small claims court and sue the company for his deposit. When he finishes the many forms required, the court clerk says he can’t accept them but can’t say why because he must not “give legal advice”. Eventually, the papers get filed and the fees are paid. But, no one from the company shows up at the hearing, and the judge tells Bob that the papers weren’t properly served. Bob is exhausted, and now he’s out even more money. His furnace still doesn’t work.

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