Dave Kimble runs an outsourced customer service company based in St. Augustine, Florida. If you know anything about Florida, then you know how vital climate control is for an office.
In 2019, Dave's Regus office began reaching air temperatures in excess of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dave issued several complaints to the local Regus staff to try to get the air-temperature issues resolved. In the dialogue that ensued, Dave discovered that part of the cause of the air-tempature issue was that Regus, as a matter of policy, frequently turned off the office's air conditioner altogether (presumably to cut down on utility costs).
In addition to the resultant high temperatures, the fact that Regus frequently turned off the air conditioner led Dave to realize that the Regus salesperson had failed to disclose a material detail about the Regus office service. Whereas Regus promentently advertised that Dave would have access to the Regus office 24/7, the Regus salesperson had failed to disclose that Regus routinely turned off the air conditioner at 5 PM on weekdays, and left it off for the entire weekend. In additon, during various weekday holidays Regus would also turn off the air conditioner. So, the claim of 24/7 access, even if true, was only part of the truth--which was that the office would only be climate-controlled a fraction of the time Regus advertised Dave would have "access" to the office.
Despite Dave's several complaints to Regus about this, nothing was done to resolve it. Then, in late May 2019, Regus sent out a notifcation announcing that Regus would turn off the air conditioner during an upcoming holiday, but that--get this--Regus would be glad to turn the air conditioner back on if Dave (or any other Regus tenant) was willing to pay for it a la carte. That did not sit well with Dave.
To the extent that climate control in Florida is an essential part of any office, this policy of routinely stripping away climate control from the Regus office, but then offering to sell it back to customers like Dave for an extra fee, would be sort of like a car dealer selling you a car but then regularly repossessing the car's tires a few days at a time, and then offering to sell back the repossessed tires to you any time you wish to actually use the car you paid for.
So, Dave decided to terminate his Regus contract and find another office. However, Regus refused to let him terminate.
That's when Dave booked a micro-consultation with Veeto.
Since Dave's core issue regarded the air-temperature in his Regus office, we walked Dave through the most common kinds of "air temperature arguments" in Regus cases that we've handled (which this article details). In addition, we walked Dave through common arguments regarding...
- Failure by Regus to render the due security service.
- Failure by Regus to provide 24/7 access (an issue regarding Regus's failure to provide the requisite number of key cards and access codes).
- Failure by Regus to render the due receptionist service.
- Charges by Regus for "extra services" Dave never used, requested, or agreed to pay for.
- Unauthorized charges by Regus after Dave revoked Regus's authorization to charge his payment method automatically.
Armed with these "templated arguments," Dave filed suit against Regus in small claims court.
In total, the small claims complaint consisted of 62 pages, inlcuding Dave's "Statement of Claim," "General Allegations," and Exhibits to support those allegations. I will inlcude a partial screenshot below of each part of the small claims complaint, but note that you can click here to request a full PDF copy of the complaint.
The Statement of Claim part was only 1 page, and basically said what Dave was suing Regus for and why, summarily.
The General Allegations part was 4 pages, and it listed each factual allegation underpinning Dave's claims that Regus breached the contract and engaged in deceptive trade practices.
The Exhibits part of 57 pages, because it inlcuded entire multi-page documents (e.g. the Regus agreement), multi-page email threads, other letters and photograps. It was detailed, but it worked (because after Dave filed suit, Regus decided to settle the case instead of risk a court verdict in favor of Dave). Here's a screenshot of Exhibit A:
What this case does a good job exemplifying is that, in small claims, the most important phase of work occurs before litigation begins--not after. Dave was able to get direction on what to argue and how, and he was able to use those tempalted arguments to prepare a well-presented small claims complaint, which inlcuded a hard-to-rebut fact and evidence set. That's why Regus opted to settle this case rather than let the court decide (because, if you know you're going to lose, Regus's view seems to be that it's better to lose in secret, as part of a confidential settlement, than as a matter of public record).
Although each jurisdiction might ask for small claims complaints in a slightly different format (Dave's was tailored to Duval County, Florida), this example complaint should be useful for anyone intending to file a small claims lawsuit against Regus (as I previously mentioned, if it would help you as you prepare your own small claims complaint against Regus, you can click here to request a full PDF copy of the complaint shown in this article).
It all started with a Veeto micro-consultation.
Lastly, if you think that a micro-consultation with Veeto could help you obtain a similar outcome, then click the button below to book a micro-consultation. 👇