Is there any way I can make someone's promise legally binding?

There is a place I want to buy my Motorola phone battery. In legit stores, it retails for $70-90 and is actually guaranteed to be manufactured by Motorola.

However, I do not have that sort of money, and went to my local markets (where people set up stalls using rented landspace from the local Council) to look around for this battery.

One guy said that the Motorola batteries he sells are genuine and manufactured by Motorola.

I asked him if I could come back and refund it if a Motorola or phone store said that the battery was fake. He replied "yes".

Is there any way I can legally turn this into a contract.

For one, there has to be evidence, so I should obviously either record or get him to sign something.

Can anyone think of a less conspicuous way to go about holding him accountable?

The other thing is that these people may one day pack up their stall and leave without a trace.

Thanks in advance.. :)

I need a new battery as my genuine Motorola battery is water damaged and keeps switching off and lasting not a very long time.

Before you answer:

Please do not tell me to go in proper stores and purchase a $70+ battery, I am not financially equipped.


Well, naturally, he is accountable for his representations to me about the product I am buying, as consumer laws in Australia criminalise misrepresentation and deceptive descriptions, which prompt a right to my refund in these circumstances..

But the real issue is probably evidence here, and how to chase the guy if he decides to leave.

I don't want to use a tape recorder as it's kind of embarassing.

Update 2:

Is anyone who answered this question even from, or aware of the consumer laws in Australia?

4 Answers

  • Dave J
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your laws are the same as they are here in the U.S. It is a fact of law that

    his representation to you that their product is manufactured by a particular

    company does constitute lawful grounds for a suit against him if he has

    misrepresented his product merely to make a sale. However, the problem

    in such a suit is having enough evidence to make your case. It is highly

    unlikely that IF he is definitely misrepresenting his product that he, or

    his company would refund your money without some sort of a fight. This

    would definitely involve the making of a police report, then filing charges

    against him and his company to take them to court. Since the amount

    you would claim as your initial loss would be so small (in the eyes of the

    court system) you would probably be paying out more just to get the case

    filed not counting the cost of an attorney if you were not able to present

    your case well yourself. The fact that you could get all those costs back

    if you win your case does nothing for the loss to you in the interim, ie;

    the additional cost of a replacement battery, court filing fee, your time and

    driving to file the case, plus the possible additional cost of an attorney,

    and the headaches and stresses in doing all of this. The principle and

    the concept of doing all of this is great, and commendable, but would it

    really be worth the effort?

    Now, another issue is involved here. It is a fact that many companies

    will contact a battery manufacturer and contract with them to make

    batteries with a private label instead of the one of the manufacturer.

    Some cheaper companies will even buy second or third run goods

    to save costs. This would mean that you might not be getting the

    first run goods with your purchase, but the company you bought

    from would have been telling the truth when they state that their

    batteries were made by a particular manufacturer. What they

    would not normally say is that they only buy seconds or thirds

    instead of the best runs of the product.

    Don't get me wrong here. Some seconds or thirds are still very

    good with only minor problems such as blemishes, cracks, etc,

    which have nothing to do with the operational ability of the product.

    There is just no way of telling for the average person on such a

    product as a battery.

    It would be my suggestion that you search online to see where

    you might be able to save money on your purchase. ALSO, do

    not consider only Motorola. There are approximately 117 battery

    manufacturers in the world, all of which can produce pretty decent

    batteries, and up to the specs of Motorola. I had dealt with

    Motorola here for many years having been in the communications

    business for many years. I will even just drive to Motorola in

    Chicago, or Franklin Park (by Chicago) to pick up what I need if

    I am in a hurry. That is only a 160 mile drive for me here.

    The end result of all of this is that you are right in thinking that

    you can force them to refund, or replace your purchase, but I just

    do not feel that the action would be necessary. Just consider the

    price difference in percentages. If the battery would last as long as

    the price percentage difference you will have come out alright.

    Only if, for example, the price was twenty percent less and the

    hours of use was forty percent less than what the Motorola

    battery would usually give would you not have done so well.

    ie: the Motorola battery usually lasts for 1000 hours use, the

    replacement only lasted 600 hours, but your price of twenty

    percent less would tend to indicate that the battery should have

    lasted 800 hours, then you did not get a bargain.

    For my own Motorola 2-way radios I purchase batteries for

    almost half the cost of the Motorola batteries, and I do get

    just as much use from them as I do for twice the cost from

    Motorola. (and I am a Motorola dealer of 2-way equipment).

    Expand your search for a battery for the best price instead of

    just Motorola. Most likely you will come out OK.

    Source(s): Law degree, and Motorola dealer for years.
  • 9 years ago

    How about you stop being cheap and buy the battery from a real store? You want to circumvent that process AND get the same deal? Sorry..not going to happen. The only way you're going to have any legal recourse to make this guy keep his promise is by signing a written contract with him. Otherwise you have no evidence that he made the promise.

  • 9 years ago

    There's no way to make it a legal contract. The only thing you can do if the battery ends up being fake is report him to the proper authorities for selling bootlegs.

  • 9 years ago

    As you say, if he leaves town you have no recourse. Therefore any piece of paper you have from him meaningless.

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