Centreville, VA asked in Contracts, Business Law and Collections for Virginia

Q: Can a vendor keep my deposit?

I paid a singer for an event a deposit, the amount was half the cost of his services. There was no form of contract or agreement created detailing services or if the deposit was non-refundable. About a week after he was paid, and over a month before the event, I decided I no longer needed his services and requested my deposit back. He first said he would, then changed his story up and refuses to return my money. He does so by ignoring all my follow up texts and calls after he said he wouldn't return it. Is this allowed? I cancelled with adequate time, only a week after paying him, and there wasn't any type of agreement stating this "deposit" was non-refundable. Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer

A: This sad incident should convince you--and perhaps teach others who learn about it--to ALWAYS get personal service contracts like this in writing, spelling out all the details. The singer is used to--and happy--to sign contracts; but the singer is probably much happier when folks like you give him 50% of his engagement fee without requiring any written contract. So: If you think this is a bad deal gone worse--just imagine if you had paid the singer 100%--and then he never showed up to sing at the event.

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