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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17137
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I own a small buisness, 2-person boutique book design firm,

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I own a small buisness, 2-person boutique book design firm, and I've had a falling out with a client who is now demanding a full refund of his deposit. We're clear in several places that deposits are non-refundable. We're not so hard-fast about that and have a project cancellation policy that assesses a cancel fee in the amount of the deposit or the time worked on the project at our regular hourly rate, whichever is less.
JA: What state is this in? And just to clarify, when was the purchase made?
Customer: ohio. well, the deposit was made a couple of weeks ago, but draft delivery of our service was set for last friday. final delivery, because of the nature of the work, is never guaranteed. there's too much back and forth.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: in what way? i'm not sure i understand your question.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i don't think so.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Other details:
The invoice he paid the deposit from had the following text:
Terms & Conditions
We require a non-refundable deposit to hold a spot on our schedule for all projects. This deposit will equal 50% of your total estimated invoice and will be applied to your final invoice as a credit.Once we both agree to move forward and a delivery date for a first pass on your files has been decided, we’ll issue an invoice to hold your date and consider the date booked once we have received payment. If the project reaches completion, the deposit will be applied to your final invoiced total. If you cancel the project at any time, for any reason, we will assess a cancellation fee in the amount of $85 per hour for the number of hours worked on the project to date, whichever is lesser.(Yes, a piece of the cancellation policy is missing there. Since fixed. See the full posted policy here: reason for his dissatisfaction is that, due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to meet the draft delivery date (another client who monopolized my time unreasonably). We contacted all clients affected as soon as it became clear timelines would slip.

I have carefully reviewed your posts. However, I did not see a specific question. What is your specific question?

Thank you for your cooperation,

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
In any case, I began to do the work for him in good faith over the weekend. He emailed me Monday expressing his anger. I replied promptly with an apology and indicated I needed additional materials from him.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Long story short ... am I on solid footing with assessing our cancellation fee?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
refunding the difference.

Thank you for the information.

Yes, you are since you have already started the work. You would charge for hours already spent on the project and refund the difference.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Sorry. Had to get my daughter at preschool. What kind of documentation do I need? The guy's a former lawyer, so I want to make sure my i's are dotted.

The contract and itemization of your services.

I am signing off at this time. I will be back online later this evening.

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