How can I get my money back?
January 25, 2011 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Highly recommended resume writer accepted my payment--but never wrote my resume. Help!

So I did all of my homework, checked references and such and the writer seemed like the perfect fit. Writer contacted me every few weeks with another explanation of why writer hadn't worked on my resume and even produced a first draft (pdf). 3 1/2 months later, I can't make a claim via PayPal (3 month limit).

Any ideas on how to get my money back? Social media war?

And, yeah, I'll gladly take your recommendations for a new writer.
posted by Kalatraz to Law & Government (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Small Claims Court? You didn't say how much money you've paid.. it might help in terms of an appropriate response...
posted by HuronBob at 3:59 PM on January 25, 2011

A registered letter saying that you'll be going to small claims court in a 10 business days might do it.
posted by mhoye at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are you and the writer in the same state or province?
posted by lampshade at 4:05 PM on January 25, 2011

How did you pay via Paypal? Can you do a credit card chargeback?
posted by oneear at 4:07 PM on January 25, 2011

Small claims court is going to cost a couple hundred dollars in filing and court fees - and it will consume a whole day (and that is when you know what you are doing). And getting a judgement is not the same as collecting on that judgement. Is it worth the time and money to recovery your money?

At least start with a serious bluff. Find some sort of legal documents - small claim filings, liens documents - and send him a certified, reigistered letter.

Do you even have his address?
posted by Flood at 4:13 PM on January 25, 2011

Have you called him on the phone (not email) and asked for your money back?
posted by milarepa at 4:27 PM on January 25, 2011

Best answer: I would go to small claims court. In my very expensive county, it costs between $30 and $75 to file depending on the amount of damages you're claiming. A firm but polite demand letter is a good place to start, written by an attorney if you can manage it.

If you're going to sue, you're going to need his residential or business address so you can mail your demand letter and eventually to serve him with the summons and complaint.
posted by Hylas at 4:30 PM on January 25, 2011

Small claims. If he is found guilty and liable and still does not pay, you pay a little more and town goes after can note that in so doing,his reputation becomes public.
posted by Postroad at 4:48 PM on January 25, 2011

Have you asked for a refund? Try that first.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:14 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A letter threatening court with a time limit won't work. He'll just send the rough draft again, with just enough in it to call it "done." Bam. Now you have to argue that it sucks, not that he didn't do it, which would be harder to get any help with. So either go to small claims court now, or not. No warning shots, though.
posted by ctmf at 5:17 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How much money?

He doesn't have the money, and has gotten writer's block. He may be so embarrassed about his screw-up that he can't cope. Write him and just say "Look, I really wanted the resume. I paid you. Would you please call me at xxx-xxxx so we can try to work something out?"

Even if you win in small claims court, your odds of collecting are not great.
posted by theora55 at 5:33 PM on January 25, 2011

Best answer: You say the person came to you highly recommended. Who recommended him to you? Tell them.
posted by birdherder at 8:04 PM on January 25, 2011 [4 favorites]

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