Can I sue for my deposit to be refunded if I hired a web developer to re-design my company website but they have never done anything or even kept in contact?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2014

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Can I sue for my deposit to be refunded if I hired a web developer to re-design my company website but they have never done anything or even kept in contact?

To start the work, the web developer required a deposit of 1/2 of the total cost of the website design. The total cost was $548. I paid $325 on the same day. During the initial conversation, I was told the project would take 2-3 weeks to complete. That was over 3 weeks ago and as of today, no work has been done on the website and I have not received any responses to my emails, text messages or voice-mails inquiring about the status of my website from the web developer.

Asked on June 9, 2014 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the designer does not do the work as agreed (and note: an oral or verbal agreement is enforcable; while it's better to have contracts and agreements in writing, since that avoids disputes over what in fact was agreed to, even if the agreement was only oral, you can enforce it) he will be in breach of contract. In that case, you can recover your deposit and possibly additional compensation, if you suffered some other, foreseeable lose due to the breach, as well. You might starty by sending a letter, some way you can prove delivery (e.g. certified mail) which restates the terms of the agreement, the deposit you paid, the evident lack of progress, and the communication attempts you've made and which gives the developer, say, 10 business days, to complete the work; the letter would also state that if the work is not completed or your money refunded within that time, you will take legal action. If nothing happens, you might then sue (e.g. in small claims court) to recover compensation.

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