What to do when someone doesn't hold up their end of a business deal?
Question Details: I had an arrangement with a gentleman to make and sell him 29 T-shirts at a lower price in exchange for his promoting my business. He did pay for most of the materials. He refused multiple times to discuss the other monetary happenings. After I had completed the work again I asked multiple times for him to give me an offer and to work the rest of it out, again he refused. He insisted I give him a number of how much to pay me. I offered for him to pay me $200 and he would still make 190 off of selling the T-shirts and promoting my business. He has still not paid shipping. Since he believes that $200 is too much for me to be paid he has spent a lot of time cussing me and refuses to promote my business as agreed, and even with my asking him to stop talking to me in such manner he did not. He also told others that I am, "Nobody to do business with, doesn't know anything about business, and is stupid". I believe the 2 may be considered harassment and slander. Now he says that he will no longer promote my business. All of our conversations have been through email, so I have all documentation of what was agreed on, what he refused to talk about and his behavior. Since I have done the work, what legal options do I have? I have thought of offering to ship his shirts to him in exchange for the additional fee of what I would normally charge for my items since it is no longer a marketing deal and shipping costs, or when he sells the shirts to ship them directly from here and making sure the marketing materials are delivered with the T-shirts after shipping has been paid for each. I am unsure how to proceed with this man in a fair and legal manner at this point.
An agreement or contract to do provide goods (shirts) in exchange for money and services (what he was going to pay you for the shirts and help promote your business) is enforceable. Your recourse would be to sue him (such as in small claims court) for the remaining money he owes you plus the approximate value of the promotional services he was to provide but did not. However, note that small claims court is local court--if he is in a different state, you'd have to sue in "regular" country court, and the cost (and time involved)of doing so, as compared to what you hope to recover, may be prohibitive and it may not be economically worthwhile to sue unless he is local to you.
His comments do not constitute defamation, since they are statements of opinion, not provably untrue factual allegagations, and opinions are not defamation; everyone is legally entitled to their opinion.