What to do if I commissioned a wedding dress designer a year ago and we established a design/timelines but she has not met them so I now want refund?

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What to do if I commissioned a wedding dress designer a year ago and we established a design/timelines but she has not met them so I now want refund?

I commissioned a dress designer over a year ago to create my dream wedding dress. For the past year and a half, she rescheduled 10 times. Now, a month before my wedding, the dress is 1) not complete, 2) not the design we agreed upon and, 3) we have run out of time to fix it. The dress is still in her possession. I have requested a full refund of the $1,100 I have currently paid (of $2,000 invoiced). She refuses to reimburse me. She says she put time and materials into it that are non-refundable.

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if she expended non-recoverable time, materials and costs. If she has violated or breached the contract/agreement in a material or imporant way--such as by not creating the dress you commissioned from her; missing the last deadline you had agreed to; etc.--then you may most likely recover from all amounts you have paid to date and also avoid any further payments or obligations. If she will not return the money voluntarily, you would have to sue her for breach of contract; one option is to sue in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (avoiding lawyer's fees). You'd need to prove the terms of the contract and her violation thereof. Good luck, and congratulations on your pending wedding.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter if she expended non-recoverable time, materials and costs. If she has violated or breached the contract/agreement in a material or imporant way--such as by not creating the dress you commissioned from her; missing the last deadline you had agreed to; etc.--then you may most likely recover from all amounts you have paid to date and also avoid any further payments or obligations. If she will not return the money voluntarily, you would have to sue her for breach of contract; one option is to sue in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (avoiding lawyer's fees). You'd need to prove the terms of the contract and her violation thereof. Good luck, and congratulations on your pending wedding.


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