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Vancouver singer's album production refund claim denied

A tribunal found Rose Ranger's payments were partial or down payments, not true deposits.
The B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled Rose Ranger did not prove WHM's work was substandard.

Vancouver singer Rose Ranger has lost her small claims bid to get a refund for album production services.

A June 5 decision from B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal member Nav Shukla said Ranger hired Winston Hauschild Music Inc. (WHM), to produce songs for an album in 2020.

She said WHM did not complete the work to her satisfaction and sought a $1,575 refund from the $3,393.75 she undisputedly paid to WHM, Sukla said.

WHM, however, denied owing Ranger any refund, saying payments Ranger made were deposits on her album project.

WHM further said Ranger backed out of finishing the album after it had already completed some work and forfeited the deposits as a result.

Ranger said she paid $3,393 as payment in full for WHM to produce two trial songs for the album. She said if things went well, she would have hired WHM to produce the rest of her album.

However, she said that did not happen as she thought WHM’s work on one of the two songs was substandard and unfinished.

WHM, on the other hand, said Ranger originally paid it a $393 deposit to produce one song and later agreed to hire it to produce her six-song album for $12,000 plus tax, which would include the first song — Life Raft — that the parties had already started working on.

The company said Ranger paid an additional $3,000 deposit after agreeing to hire WHM to produce the whole album but later breached the contract when she decided to complete the album with a different producer.

WHM says it was entitled to keep the $3,393 Ranger had paid in deposits to cover the cost of the work to that point.

The tribunal found Ranger’s payments were partial payments or down payments, not true deposits.

“I am satisfied that the parties did not intend Ms. Ranger’s payments would be forfeited to WHM if either party terminated the contract early,” Shukla said. “So, I find it unnecessary to determine which party terminated the contract because either way, I find WHM was entitled to be paid for the work it had done up until the parties’ contract came to an end.”

Further, Shukla said, there were no emails in evidence between the parties indicating Ranger was unhappy with the final mixes WHM provided.

“As the party alleging it, Ms. Ranger bears the burden of proving that WHM’s work was substandard, and I find she has not done so here,” Shukla said in dismissing the case.

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