Is this breach of contract?

posted 2 years ago in Legal
Post # 2
2657 posts
Sugar bee

If there’s no written contract, there is nothing for them to breach in the first place.  Assume that you won’t be able to get your deposit back, cut your losses, and find another stylist.  Also, leave reviews of your experience, particularly with how unaccomodating the owner was.

Post # 3
80 posts
Worker bee

With nothing written, it’s not an official contract and there is nothing to breach. A crappy way to run business! Defintiely leave reviews but that’s about all you can do…

Post # 4
12875 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

What exactly are you trying to get out of this?  There’s a verbal contract and deposit for a wedding next May.  Yes, they suck for making you drive an hour for a trial that they werent’ there for, but they are already giving you a free trial.  You should have determined if their works was to your standards before paying a deposit since they are normally non-refundable.

Post # 5
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

BlueRC:  so just to make sure i understand the situation:

-you sent in a deposit to cover your trial, and your wedding, and this was non-refundable

-your stylist was sick, but you weren’t notified so you didn’t get your hair trial

-you asked about a replacement (for the trial, or for both trial and day-of?), but no one was available for your wedding besides–i assume–your original stylist

-now they won’t refund your deposit, but they would have comped (or are, if you did get your hair/makeup done?) your trial


if all that is correct, then my take is this: yes it sucked that the stylist wasn’t there and you weren’t notified. but, sometimes last minute things happen and things do get forgotten (i.e., that call to let you know). it’s truly unfortunate but not out of the realm of possibility. if you did get someone to do your hair/makeup that day, and the salon is comping your trial, then i would think that’s all that needed to be done (besides maybe an apology, which is unlikely). if the deposit is non-refundable, my guess would be that it’s a policy that’s listed somewhere; their website, or the sign in sheet at the front, even on a sign at the front of the store. if so, or even if they just said “all deposits are non-refundable” then that’s basically a contract on their end saying yep you don’t get this back no matter what. which, in this situation does suck, but it’s their way of covering their own ass. by paying it you essentially agreed that you understand it’s non-refundable.

as far as what you can do at this point: you can review on yelp (and others) since you feel your experience was less than superb, you can start looking for a new stylist/salon with availability for a trial and your day-of. there were no papers signed, and it’s basically your word against the salon at this point. your best bet is to move forward to someone else who is better (especially since you said you weren’t impressed with the quality of work anyway).

Post # 6
8677 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

You didn’t have a contract. No. It was not a breach. I second the others that you should have decided if they were up to par with your standards before you put down a deposit. Nearly every deposit you’ll put down, regardless of what it is for, will be non-refundable.

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Post # 8
5773 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

In some jurisdictions, a verbal contract is equally binding as a written contract; however, since your verbal contract is for wedding hair services and the wedding has not yet happened, there is no way for the contract to have been breached. They can’t have not delivered the services you’ve contracted for because the delivery date hasn’t happened yet.   

They definitely gave you poor customer service but you need to allow them the opportunity to fulfill the contract (including the re-scheduling of the trial) before any court would find in your favor.

If you don’t want to continue working with them, then cancel your booking, understanding that your deposits are not refundable.

Post # 9
428 posts
Helper bee

There’s a common misconception that contracts don’t exist unless they are in writing, and that’s generally not the case. Horseradish is right that verbal contracts are still binding in a lot of situations. The problem is generally that it’s way, way harder to prove that a verbal contract actually exists, since the other party can just say you’re lying, and it’s your word against theirs.

Unfortunately, she’s also right that they haven’t breached their part of the contract yet. And frankly, even if they had, getting them to make good on their contract is going to be really tough: it’s one thing to know that someone has breached a contract, and something entirely different to be able to enforce a judgment on them.

I would book someone else, so that you don’t have to stress about whether they’ll actually do their job on your wedding day. Then I would try to convince them to refund the deposit on the basis of their failure to fulfill the trial appropriately. You probably don’t have any legal leg to stand on, but truthful online reviews for services can be powerful. The owner certainly won’t refund your deposit out of altruism, and it’s a bit of a long shot whether you can be persuasive enough, but it’s worth a shot.

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