Small business owner says she was 'taken advantage of' by sign company
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock small business owner says she was taken advantage of and she worries that others will fall prey. Shay Kindle owns Pinspired, a local do-it-yourself workshop on West 19th Street.
Back in May, Kindle says she was approached by Signtronix, a national company with local representatives, about installing an electronic sign to promote her business. Kindle was intrigued by the proposition, but she now says it was too good to be true.
"They were so excited about my location because of being on 19th and on a corner lot," Kindle said.
Kindle says the representative told her Signtronix wanted to "spotlight" her business because of her location and would cover half of the nearly $50,000 price tag. Kindle knew the City of Lubbock has strict guidelines on sign installation, so she asked the representative multiple times where her sign would be allowed.
"She told me no that was part of the deal, I will handle this for you. I'm at the city every day. So we will take care of all of that for you," Kindle said.
Kindle says the representative told her the city gave the go ahead on her roadside location, so she cut a deposit check for $3,000 directly to the representative, who said that was standard procedure. Kindle says she thought that was odd, but after confirming it with the company, she handed over the deposit.
"They asked me to write my check to her personally, instead of the Signtronix company. And that's when I bocked a little bit. But, when we first agreed on a sign location, that's when I wrote the check. She told me that was where it was going to be, she told me the city had authorized it," Kindle said.
Fast forward two weeks. Kindle says the representative came back saying the calculations were off and the sign needed to be pushed back a few feet. Kindle says this happened two more times, until the sign was eight feet from the original location.
"I do not own the property. It's a leased property. They're wanting me to tear out a metal fence and go four feet into the driveway - a driveway we use every day," Kindle said.
Kindle says she spent most of July and August trying to get in contact with Signtronix about getting her deposit back because she's not interested in working with them anymore. Signtronix told us, they'd like to work with her and would offer her a three thousand dollar credit, but are unable to refund her deposit because she signed a contract with an individual representative. Attorney Davis Smith says, that's not the case.
"The sales agent is a principle of the corporation, so the corporation is responsible for her conduct," Smith said.
Kindle says that contract should now be void, because they can't deliver on their original location. Smith says Kindle can sue not only Signtronix, but also the representative.
"Lets talk about material misrepresentation, because the agent came out and said we can put you a sign up right here, I've got experience," Smith said.
Kindle hopes to get back her three grand, but that's not the only reason she says she's speaking out.
"I feel like the one who was duped. I may never get my money back, but if I don't people are going to hear about it," Kindle said.
KCBD tried to contacted the representative, but have yet to hear back.
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