The ruling in Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co should be in favor of Williams.
Debate Rounds (4)
Phi 310 07Debate Project
I will argue that the contract in the Williams vs. Walker Furniture Company case was unfair to the point that it was unconscionable. It was immoral and unjust to sell Williams the stereo for the excessive amount of money it was sold for when the company knew of her money situation. Not only did she have a money situation, she also had several children that she had to feed and cloth and couldn"t do that if the stereo was sold to her.
My main argument is that because of what Williams was dealing with she should
not have the stereo sold to her
1) In Williams v. Walker Furniture Company, appellee (Walker) was aware of
appellants (Williams) tough financial position. (512.1.2)
2) The stereo contract clearly listed the little amount of money the appellant
would receive monthly. Her stipend is only $218 monthly from the government
as told by her social worker. (512.1.5)
3) Regardless of this situation and knowing of her tough situation as well as the
fact that appellant has seven children that she has to support, the Furniture
Company sold her a $514 stereo set. (512.1.6)
4) This contract was extremely unfair and one sided in favor of Walker, the
person with superior bargaining power. (512.2.1)
5) The court does not lack the power to refuse enforcements to contracts found
6) Therefore this contract was an unconscionable one because of how one sided it
was, and the courts should rule in Williams favor.
What the court ruled was irrelevant because they were wrong in this situation, similarly in how they were wrong in several other major court decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson.
Walker-Thomas has the right to take away all of her furniture regardless of knowing of her financial situation or not for the following reasons:
(1)Terms and conditions were printed in the contract stating the items would remain under the Walker-Thomas name until all payments for the furniture were paid in full. (511.1.4)
(2)If Williams was to miss a payment for the items, Walker-Thomas had the right to take the items back from her. (511.1.5)
(3)All purchases made from the company are to be added to the previous bills of the items she has purchased in 1957. (511.12.1)
(4)Therefore, the furniture company had the right to repossess all items Williams had purchased within the years.
Of course she has 7 children, but she also should have known that if she was to purchase the stereo set, then she should have had some extra money put aside to be able to pay off this monthly payment as well as have money to feed and take care of her children. If the stereo wasn't considered a necessity to her, then she could have made her payments on the other pieces of furniture she had purchased in 1957, and then could have purchased the stereo set so that way she can start a new balance with the furniture company. There was no absence of meaningful choice in this situation because Williams was fully aware of her own financial situation. There was on bargaining power in this case because the price of the stereo set was non-negotionable, so Williams knew the price of the stereo and was willing to pay the bill every month until she defaulted. Williams should have know to read all fine print and all other terms in the contract before signing it.
The furniture company's contract was still conscionable because of the fact that it did state that Walker-Thomas had the right to take away ALL pieces of furniture Williams had purchased in the past IF they felt they needed to. In this case, when Williams missed her monthly payment, the furniture company only did what they said they had the right to do within the contract, and confiscated the furniture from Williams. At this point, she shouldn't be arguing with the furniture company because she knew what was stated in the contract, and that they had the right to repossess all pieces.
If she was to miss a payment, then the furniture company had a right to repossess the furniture because they furniture clearly still belonged to them until the furniture was fully paid. The purchase of this furniture can be compared to the purchase of a car. When you purchase a car, you can finance the car to a monthly payment in which you are suppose to pay every month. If you miss a payment, then the car company does have a right to repossess the car because it still belongs to the company until you have completely paid all the payments. The same goes for the furniture that Williams had purchased, which can be repossessed at any time if Williams missed a payment. Now a car contract is not unconscionable because those terms and conditions are stated within the contract. the same goes for the furniture contract, which basically stated the same thing that if she missed a payment, then the furniture company can repossess the furniture. All furniture pieces were not fully owned by her because she failed to make all payments of her balance. In addition, she added more to her balance by purchasing the stereo set.
The contract is fair because the terms clearly state and let her know what she was getting herself into when she had purchased the stereo. The fact that she missed a payment was clearly her fault, not the furniture company's. They did let her know that if she was to miss a payment, then they had the right to repossess all items she owed a balance on. What the company didn't know what that she would miss a payment if she made it seem like she was financially stable to make those monthly payments since she made the stereo seem like it was a necessity in her life. They only reason they sold the stereo to her was because they couldn't have turned the customer away and let her make business with another furniture company. They would loose a client they have previously made business with, and obviously accepted her to make the purchase of the stereo because she was keeping up with her old payments of the items she had purchased in the past, and it was also keeping the customer happy with her purchase in turn for her to return and make future purchases with the company. That"s how businesses work, they keep clients happy, hoping they pay off their monthly statements, so that way they can return and make business again in the near future.
Contracts are important to companies so that way the customer purchasing items know that they have to pay an amount of money to keep those items. They also give clarity as to who owns the items, and who doesn't. Without the contract, maybe Williams wouldn't have enough money to just buy the stereo at $514.95 all on one day. This contract allowed her to pay that off little by little by paying the furniture company an amount due each month. Without the company allowing her to finance, then Williams would have never had possession of the stereo as well as any other items she has purchased in the past.
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