Can we get a refund from a web designer who did not their complete work?

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Can we get a refund from a web designer who did not their complete work?

We hired an agency to work on both a website and marketing and branding
package. The designer sent us four separate SOW and no SOW was ever signed
or fully agreed upon. We’ve approached her several times about her lack of ability
and time to complete deliverables. We terminated her and are asking for a refund.
She has now sent over more invoices for hourly work though her SOW proposes a
monthly retainer. We’ve paid her for two months and a deposit for a web site.
Can we get a refund?

Asked on June 22, 2016 under Business Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless she actually breached her contract or agreement, then you are not entitled to a refund and may have to pay her for other work she did, but which you did not yet pay for: if she wasn't in breach of some material, or significant, obligation, deliverable, deadline, etc., then even if you had qualms about her work, she was entitled to be paid (e.g. on an hourly basis) for the work she actually did or time she actully spent--when someone does work for you which you requested, then even if you opt to terminate working with her, you still owe her for what she did.
Only if you can show her breach of a material contractual obligation might you be entitled to a refund (or to not pay for as-yet unpaid work which she did), though if she does not agree with your assessment, you'd likely end up in court, having to prove the breach.


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