We have spent many thousands of dollars in Records Ace Hardware Raton, New Mexico. We have been remodeling houses in the community, and Records’ Ace has been an important source of materials.
On or about August 2019, a contractor working for us had a bad experience with Martin, Jeffrey and Sonja Record, regarding a drywall mud hopper rental.
The contractor determined that the rented equipment was broken/faulty. He returned it to the store, informed the associates that it needed repair, and requested a refund or replacement.
The following is my understanding of what next occurred. This is based on my contractor’s recounting, and not on my firsthand knowledge:
- Record Ace Hardware staff denied that the hopper rental item was broken or needing attention, insulting my contractor’s expertise and intelligence. No refund or replacement were offered.
- My contractor became angry due to Record’s mistreatment and condescension. Words were exchanged.
- The tall guy in the paint department (Chris?) shoved (assaulted) my contractor multiple times. My contractor defended himself.
- Record Ace employees called the Raton Police Department.
- Marty or Jeff Record directed the police to bar my contractor from the business property and parking lot. This was done in the form of a formal trespass. I am unsure whether the Raton Police or Colfax County Sheriff performed this task.
As a result of Records Ace Hardware’s apparent violations of my contractor’s civil rights, and the alleged assault, he has filed a lawsuit against Raton’s Records Ace Hardware store. I have not seen the suit at this time, but understand it will feature both specific discrimination of protected classes (such as age and race), general discrimination in the form of Records’ staff’s arbitrary and capricious refusal of service (service must be accommodated in retail or other similar public spaces unless very specific criteria are followed in a reasonable, logical, justifiable, and consistent manner), and damages suffered as a result of the assault and the subsequent cover-up of the assault by Ace Hardware’s staff.
Beginning in late September 2019, I was also refused service, without reasonable justification. Here is a calendar of actions chronicling this discrimination event:
- I called and reserved a gas powered trenching machine. I needed it to dig a 2 foot deep trench for natural gas service lines.
- Record’s Ace Hardware of Raton, New Mexico initially reserved the trencher for me, but when my assistant went to Ace Hardware to pick it up, Record Ace refused to give it him. This delayed my project and disrupted my timeline.
- About a week later, I called to reserve the trencher again, asking Records’ Ace to arrange delivery of it to my project site. The rental staff person agreed to reserve and deliver it.
- On the delivery day, Marty Record called me, in an officious and angry tone of voice, informed me that he would not rent me the trencher and he did not want my business, goodbye (and hung up on me, before I could respond)!
- On October 9, 2019, I went to the store to confront Record’s employees and owners, especially Marty and Jeff.
- Both Records owners told me they would not rent me the trencher, or anything else, under any circumstances. The reason given was the problem they had with my contractor.
- I told them I or my 30-year old assistant, and not my contractor, was going to operate the trencher. That I was responsible for the trencher, and any issues they have with my contractor are irrelevant and wholly separate from my rental transaction. The Ace owners would not listen, engage, or negotiate. Nothing I said mattered to them.
- The discussion then became somewhat heated, as I was verbally assaulted by the extreme arrogance and intransigence of the store’s owners. I noted that several employees had surrounded me and my wife. We both felt threatened and intimidated. Jeff Record stalked right up to my face, within inches of me, and demanded that I leave the store. It’s my opinion that these Record’s Ace owners also showed me their true natures, in effect saying they did not appreciate or honor or care about my past business, which is in excess of $10,000.
- At this point, I told them I was not leaving the Ace Hardware premises until they agreed to provide me the same service they would offer to any other customer. I was somewhat angry, but I was not physically threatening anyone. I would also note that my anger only arose after Ace’s refusal of service, which the Records delivered in a strongly arrogant and dismissive manner. I was defending myself, and felt that the Ace owners deserved “to hear from me”. I was standing up for my civil rights and against Records Ace Hardware’s unconscionably discriminatory actions.
- I was told Record’s Ace Hardware would not serve me. If I refused to leave, Ace Hardware staff would call the police.
- I did not leave.
- Records Ace Hardware employees called the police.
- I was given a notice of trespass by Raton Police, and ordered off the property. I complied with the police directive.
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