Note the postmark? (plea for advice)

Dopers, I need some advice. My ex-roommate and I have been in dispute of various bills since we’ve moved out of the house we’d been renting. For some unknown reason, he is holding a huge grudge against me (actually ever since August, and he’s spurned any recoursive action on my part - he prefers to remain bitter and resentful of something). And to back that grudge up, he’s refusing to pay his part ($185) of the gas bill. Now, I’m sure everyone is mostly familiar with the rising energy costs this year, and can imagine what it what cost to heat a 100 year old drafty 2-story house in northern Indiana.

Well anyway, there have been several e-mail exchanges, in which he claims he’s just going to chalk the $185 off to cleaning charges, which I left him to do. Granted it was a poor move on my part to leave him with cleaning the house, but certainly my part of the cleaning doesn’t add THAT high. In fact, I contacted some local maid services where I live to get an estimate (I’m now in Indianapolis, the house is in South Bend) on a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, all hardwood floors house with a dog. They ranged from $75 to $150. So I said that if he sent me a check for $125, I would just call it even, and let the whole thing pass.

He replies with the following:

That’s it. That was his entire e-mail. For the record, I was unaware e-mails HAD postmarks. What could he possibly mean by this? I’m not asking for advice on what to do here, I’m just incredibly curious as to what that statement could possibly mean. ANY help would be incredibly appreciated.

He’s out of state and beyond legal touch?

It’s an unsult I’m unfamiliar with?

The numbers 125 were in the zip code of the postmark?

I’m not sure mate. Sorry…

No, no. I was an e-mail. Quite odd. And in another note, if we lived in the same state (which we do), I have legal recourse? The bill was only in my name. I think I’m hosed.

It’s possible (not probable) that he is trying to convey that he has, for whatever reason, changed his mind and sent you the check. Thus, when the payment arrives in the mail, you should “note [that] the postmark” is before the date that you sent him the last email. If this is the case, he’s taking one last stab at you for having the audacity to email him when he’s already proved himself morally superior by sending the check.

At any rate, if you get your money it’s good news. If you don’t, you could take him to small claims court and hope to get maybe $145 back ($185 - $80(cleaning)/2). You’d have to represent yourself. Otherwise, just chalk it up to experience and tell your friend to go… piss on the subway tracks or something.

Good luck,

Are you sure the reason is unknown? I’d be pissed if my roommate left me to clean the house when we moved out, too.

That said, I have no idea what he’s talking about with respect to the postmark, unless he’s suggesting that maid service costs more in South Bend than in Indianapolis.

You probably could sue him in small claims court, but I don’t know if it would be worth the time.

Oh, he’s been pissed off since August (we moved out in December). Really have no idea. He’s not exactly a big communicator. I’ve tried to breach that gap on several occassions, and have been met with a fairly cold brick wall.

YoungGotti, I thought about the possibility that he has already sent me a check that’s currently in the mail. I’d love it if it were true, but highly doubt it. Regardless, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Did you both move out at the same time? Is it possible that “note the postmark” means “these charges came in after I had already moved out?”

Or, is it possible that “note the postmark” is some cryptic reference to why he’s mad at you in the first place? Some snafu with not giving him his mail on time or something?

Actually, Pipeliner, no. I moved out a month and a half before he did (and the third roommate had moved out two weeks before him). So actually, I’m paying for his heated house. And he had the entire month to make his move. Which would be tough, because he moved right next door in with our neighbor.

Now I’m worried. (About halfway down the page.)

(Stupid question coming) Have you received any postmarked snailmail from him lately? Is it possible he’s left the country (or at least the state) and is thumbing his nose at you? Has his email address changed to make you think he may have moved or lost his job or something?

Oh dear! No, he hasn’t moved or anything. I don’t think he’d go to the extent of letterbombing me. And actually, he just got a new job, and should be rolling in the dough as we speak. He checks his e-mail at night, and I asked for a clarification. We’ll see tomorrow.

I have a feeling you may be screwed. If your name was the only name on the gas bill, legally you are responsible for paying that bill. Same with the phone bill, water bill, lease, etc. I’ve known lots of people who have gotten screwed on the bills by their roommates. In most cases it was over the phone bill. The bill is in one roommates name and the other roommate(s) rack up hundreds of dollars in long distance and 900 number calls and the person whose name is on the bill gets stuck paying it. That’s what I’ve always been told anyway. When I was single I lived alone… no one was responsible for paying the bills but me.

Good Luck! I hope everything works out for you! :wink:

I got a check in the mail yesterday from said roommate. Little note saying that this matter is complete.

Done and done.

Congrats Conner!

But what, don’t I win a little cupie (sp?) doll for correctly surmizing what the email was about?

Anyway, glad to hear it’s resolved.