How to get refund for work not done by the completion date?

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How to get refund for work not done by the completion date?

I hired a web designer to complete a website for my company. It is now over 2 months past the said completion date. They ar n’t finished and will not show me any progress. They keep giving excuses. I am to the point I would like my money back or at least most of it. What is the best way to go about this and what do I do if they start to not return my calls or e-mails. Have paid them $1400.

Asked on April 29, 2011 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the web designer for breach of contract for failure to complete the website by the date stated in the contract.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the contract price (I assume this is the $1400 you have paid).  If the web designer has done some of the work, he/she could claim to be entitled to the reasonable value of the services and therefore you might not be able to recover the entire contract price or $1400 you have paid.  You could demand an accounting of the charges to determine whether or not work has been done to earn any of the fee.

Your damages could also be based on the cost of completion if you have to hire someone else to finish the project.  If that occurs, you will have to mitigate (minimize) damages by hiring someone whose charges are reasonable and comparable to what the first web designer was charging.  If you select the most expensive web designer you can find to complete the project, your damages will be reduced accordingly.

Another basis for determining your damages is if you have an established company and can show lost profits based on the loss of particular customers due to the delay in completing your website.  If this is a new business, it would be difficult to establish lost profits because it would be difficult to show the loss of particular customers.

Prior to filing your lawsuit, you might want to send a letter/e-mail to the web designer stating that you will take appropriate legal action without any further notice if either the website has not been completed within ten days or the $1400 you have paid is not refunded within ten days.

If the web designer fails to return phone calls or respond to e-mail, that would indicate the web designer is not going to comply with either finishing the project or refunding your money, and it would be advisable to proceed with your lawsuit for breach of contract.


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