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Entitled To Refund. No Contract Signed.

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  • Entitled To Refund. No Contract Signed.

    My company was hired to create a website for a large wine club. We were sent project specs and priced the job accordingly. There was no contract signed. We received a deposit and work was started. Over a course of a few months the client started adding things, wanting different functionality, and wanting additional features outside of the original project spec. We continued working and let them know that this was going to take additional time to complete.

    A year passed and the site was 95% complete aside from a shopping cart that was supposed to be installed. The client said they would upload the products via a spreadsheet system and we sent them the instructions. The client decided that this was too much work and decided not to do it and then claimed it was something we were supposed to do as part of the original agreement. This wasn't part of the original agreement and we sent the original specs to him as confirmation along with a note about all the other additional works he asked for that we continued to do without charging more. This made the client angry and he said that he sent us wine gift baskets for Christmas for our extra work as if that was proper compensation.

    After some inital back and forth he decided that he wanted a full refund for what he'd paid to date for the website and programming. The design was completed first and he emailed saying he was happy with it. The programming took longer and that was what was taking so long to complete. The programmer told him that the programming was about 95% complete but the client still wanted a full refund.

    The programmer, a member of our team, refuses to pay back money for hours spent on the project. The programmer is fine with the client not paying the remainder of the fee because the site is not 100% complete, but doesnt feel he should pay for the hours he spent working on the project for a year. The client has brought a lawyer into the scenario and is threating to file for the $6000 he is owed.

    We have full documentation and emails of all of the conversations pertaining to the site and its levels of completion as well as emails from the client stating that they were happy with the design and just needed the programming done. According to the client's lawyer, the client is entitled to a refund because he was paying only for a site that was 100% complete and the site is only 95% complete. If the client is the one that pulls out of the deal just before it is complete can they claim they are owed a full refund? Is this worth trying to fight in court? 6k isnt a lot of money but we worked on the project for over a year and those hours were legitimately worked. The product is almost finished. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    re: Entitled To Refund. No Contract Signed.

    The client would not normally get a full refund there unless the work is of no use to him...he will have to compromise on some kind of payment amount.

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    • #3
      re: Entitled To Refund. No Contract Signed.

      His lawyer says the work is no use because its not complete. Since he wont have a fully working website he wants an entire refund. But its the client that wants to scrap the project. I have no idea what his issues are that he would scrap the project after a year of working on it especially when its 95% done. Maybe he can't afford to pay the rest (he still owes some money) I dunno. But is this something I should allow him to file a claim for. I dont feel its fair that we worked all those hours just for him to give up and then want his money back. It makes no sense. Do I even have a leg to stand on or should I just pay him?

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      • #4
        re: Entitled To Refund. No Contract Signed.

        You would normally prevail in court under those circumstances and be awarded at least some pay.

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