How can I get my money back from a personal trainer who did not fulfill a verbal agreement to train me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I get my money back from a personal trainer who did not fulfill a verbal agreement to train me?

I worked out with a trainer under contract for 3 months and payed cash. On
the 4th month I payed him 250 to train me for four weeks and we had a
verbal agreement. He canceled on me several times and we never met to
finish my agreed training. Can I legally get my money back from him even
though I payed him cash and without a written contract?

Asked on August 16, 2016 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, yes, you can sue him for breach of contract to recover the amount of "unused" money--i.e. the money for any sessions you did not get. Oral (that's the better term than "verbal") contracts are legally enforceable.
Practically, this may be difficult: since you are suing him, you have the burden of proof--you have to affirmatively prove your case by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that is, that it is more likely than not that your version is correct). But without a written agreement or a receipt or other proof of payment, it is just your word against his, as to the terms of the contract and what you paid. Since the burden of proof is yours, you are at a disadvantage: if all things are equal, he wins. You must be more persuasive or credible than he is.

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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