Gave deposit for services not rendered

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Gave deposit for services not rendered

In October, put a 750 deposit down on an SEO service which promised to bring my website to the top of page 1 within 90 days. The way he said he was going to do this, was to create a fake site, work it up the SEO ranking and then when it was at the higher positions, he would swap that site out for my site. At this point, my SEO charge would have been 1$,500/ month. I was then contacted by other SEO companies who said this was a scam technique used in

Asked on April 11, 2017 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can try suing him for breach of contract (for not providing the agreed-upon services) to get your deposit back, but it may not be worthwhile doing so: unless he is local (in your county), you'd have to sue in special civil or law division, not small claims (small claims courts only have power over defendants in their own county), greatly increasing your cost to sue and the complexity of the case; you can only sue if you have a physical addres for him (you can't "serve" legal papers and get court power over him with only an internet address or email or a phone number); and even if you  were to sue him and win, if he does not honor the judgment against him and pay, you'd then have to go through collections effects, which will cost you further money--and which are still not guaranteed to get you paid if, for example, he had an LLC which he shut down, or he is hiding assets. For $750, it's simply not economically worthwhile to go to trouble, effort, and expense of anything other than a small claims suit against a local defendant.


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