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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 6516
Experience:  Experienced in general consumer protection law
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I hired a "professional" to do my wedding make up. She was

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I hired a "professional" to do my wedding make up. She was very unprofessional along the way, but I stayed in my contract and paid a $150 retainer. The contract said it was non-refundable. My question is- the morning of my wedding- she texted me saying there was a family emergency and kept appologizing that she did not know what to do. She never said she was cancelling... I never told her it was ok to. I said I needed to know what she was going to do.... And she never replied again... and never showed. Am I legally able to seek a refund of the retainer in this instance since she never preformed the service? Please help!!

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

It will depend in part on your contract, so reading your contract will be important. In any event, the purpose of a non-refundable deposit is to compensate her if you had cancelled the contract and not used her services. She would have scheduled part of that day to be with you and had you cancelled, she would have been out that amount of time with no real opportunity to schedule another service with someone else. It is a manner of protecting her from you. However, she should not be allowed to retain the deposit when she cancelled without notice and without your permission or cancellation of the contract because you did nothing wrong. In fact, there is an argument that she would be unjustly enriched if she is allowed to keep the deposit despite her breach of contract and failure to perform any service for you. Thus, you have a very good legal argument to obtain your deposit back. Unfortunately, if she fails to return the deposit upon your demand, you would have to sue her in small claims court. The filing fees plus your time would generally not justify such a legal action to collect only $150. Of course, you could claim other damages if you had to retain someone else's service and those services were more expensive and you were out other funds as a result of her breach. Unfortunately, you cannot ask for emotional trauma/distress damages for this type of case.

TMcJD :

Please let me know if I can provide additional assistance. If not, I would be grateful if you could please leave me a positive rating. I cannot receive credit for my work without your positive rating and that is the sole means of compensation for JustAnswer experts. Thanks.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your assistance. I believe that is all the information that I need.

TMcJD :

Great. I'm glad I could help and you're very welcome. Please let me know if I can help with anything in the future. Have a great day! Please don't forget to leave a positive rating -- thanks!

Customer:

She never added a part about "what would happen" if she cancelled... Just stated non-refundable. So after obtaining some info, hopefully she will just return the retainer

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