How do I get money back for services that were never rendered?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I get money back for services that were never rendered?

About 5 weeks ago, I contacted a local business to get 2 new air conditioning units put on the travel trailer we live in. After getting the quote of all materials and labor costs I put a down payment of $1500 to get the units ordered. Since then I have been given several excuses at to why they have not been out to install them. I finally got conformation they would be here today at 9:30 am to install them. I tried contacting them several times through out the day after they failed to show up. Finally 6 hours after the first attempt to reach them I recieve a text stating they will be closed until further notice due to

illness. Now I am down that money and have had to go purchase a tiny off shelf portable unit. It is the summer in central TX and it’s 100 degrees. What should/can I do to either get my money back or the units they purchased so I can get them installed?

Asked on June 14, 2017 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

All you can do is sue: that's how you force others to honor their agreements (e.g. provide the air conditions) and/or recover money (e.g your deposit) from them. It is the *only* way to do this. If the business was an LLC or corporation, you can only sue the business; if not an LLC or corporation, sue the owner(s) (and in the suit, identify them by name if you know it, or by "John Doe" if not, operating under the business's name). The problem you may have is that if the business is insolvent or has gone out of business (if an LLC or corporation), or the owner is insolvent or, say, passes away (if not an LLC or corporation), then you may not be able to get anything: winning in court does not let you get money where there is none, for example. Sue quickly, therefore, before any money there is gone or something else happens.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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