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Non-Refundable Deposit

Discussion in 'Other Debt, Collection, Garnishment' started by Silent, Jul 5, 2001.

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  1. Silent

    Silent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Greetings,

    I have a friend that signed a contract with a photography studio to purchase one of their photo packages. She gave a $50 deposit. She was lured into signing this contract by being offered a free photograph of herself. She signed the contract before receiving the free photograph. After receiving the photograph she was very unhappy with the quality and work. She fears that the future work that will eventually cost her approximately $650 will be poor as well. So far, no actual work has been done and she wants to get her $50 deposit back and cancel the contract.

    The contract was signed June 13th, 2001. Because the price is supposedly at a discount rate, the bottom of the signed contract says that the shop's normal rules and regulations apply. When asked what this meant after my friend tried to pull out and they refused, they sent her the following (with poor grammar and all):

    "No part of any order may be delivered until balance is paid in full.
    NO REFUND. We reserve the right to use all photographs for display purposes and the right to publish photographs that are accepted for exhibition. We are not responsible for photosleft over 90 days. We don't accept check at the final payment. Service means only service. It doesn't included products."

    As I said, no work has actually been done on the contract and it has not yet been 30 days. Does my friend have any chance of getting her $50 back. Controlling law would be Florida.

    Thank you for any help that any of you can provide.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    To begin, how poor was the quality of the work? If it was reasonably inferior in relation to the quality of work she was shown then either the shop needs to do it again or return her money for breach of contract.

    But most importantly, what was contained in the contract? It doesn't matter what they wrote back. The paper itself is the most important part of the deal.... let us know what is contained in it.
     
  3. Silent

    Silent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Contents of contract.

    Thank you for your reply, Michael. The contract merely said that the normal shop rules apply. They sent the reply with the NO REFUNDS as clarification of these "normal" shop rules. It might not be worth it over $50. Perhaps it's one of these Caveat Emptor situations. However, I will find out about the quality of the work, or lack thereof.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Contents of contract.

    Caveat Emptor is not applicable here -- that is typically when you buy a good "as is." For example, if you buy something "as is", it is up to you to inspect what you purchase. "Let the buyer beware" in those situations.

    Here you purchased a service which was represented to be one thing when it actually seems to be another. This is why I asked whether you received inferior quality or something that is unacceptable. That would make the issue easier to resolve. This sounds like a small claims case and you may be best served by send a demand for the money or else they may not just give it back to you. Unfortunately, the person with the money usually has the leverage.
     
  5. Silent

    Silent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well....

    What she has told me, was that when she signed up, she would receive a free photograph that they took on the spot. She got the free photograph a week or so later and just didn't like the quality at all. So she wants to pull out of the deal before they actually do any real work but she also doesn't want to lose her $50 deposit.

    I'm thinking that she is probably out of luck until some actual work is done on the contract that she could reasonably reject. What I am not sure of is if they are requiring her to pay anything more before work is started.

    Thanks for your patience and for your information.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You really have to get hold of what the contract actually states. There are also facts here that could well change the outcome.

    As I said before, if the quality is not representative of the samples presented to her, I do not see why she can't get her money back. Essentially there was no "meeting of the minds" from the beginning of the contact. She thought she was getting the grade A quality that she was shown when in actuality the photos she received were grade C.
     

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