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Salesforce, the pillow maker and the $125,000 AmEx bill

Chris Kanaracus | April 29, 2013
Salesforce.com, a pillow manufacturer and an employee of the pillow maker are caught up in a complex three-way legal battle, with a US$125,000 American Express bill and an allegedly failed software implementation at the center of the dispute.

Furlong's card was subsequently re-charged for the $125,000 but this time American Express refused to credit his account, saying that Salesforce.com had provided "authorization for the charge and a signed contract and order form stating that no cancellations or refunds would be allowed," according to his suit.

Despite further efforts by Furlong, American Express refused to remove the charge, the suit states.

Furlong is asking the court to confirm that he is not liable for the money, as well as for Salesforce.com to credit the $125,000 back to his card.

For its part, Salesforce.com has filed a motion to dismiss his case, saying Furlong isn't making an effective legal argument.

While not disputing that Furlong isn't a party to the contract between Salesforce.com and My Pillow, "a finding by the Court that plaintiff personally did not owe money to Salesforce is meaningless," Salesforce.com said in a filing. Under Minnesota "voluntary payment doctrine," people who make payments voluntarily, as Furlong did, "cannot seek return of that payment on the grounds [they were] not obligated to make it in the first place," the filing states.

Salesforce.com has also sued My Pillow for breach of contract and is seeking more than $550,000 in damages, according to a case filed this week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The initial filing doesn't specifically respond to My Pillow's allegations about delays and flaws in its Salesforce implementation.

My Pillow denies it owes any money to Salesforce.com, American Express or Furlong, and is seeking unspecified damages from Salesforce.com.

What wasn't clear from the court filings is why My Pillow apparently had no other options but to use Furlong's personal credit card.

In a June 2012 article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal about My Pillow, company founder and CEO Mike Lindell said sales were on track to hit $150 million that year, up from just $3 million two years prior, thanks to the wild success of its infomercial.

Lindell and Furlong couldn't be reached for comment.

 

 

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