What is the most correct word for "services not provided" or "goods paid for but not delivered"? For example, if you purchased an item from Amazon.com and they took your payment, but the item was never delivered. Another example would be if you left you car at the carwash for a day but it was returned to you without being washed even though you paid them.

Two words I found are: "scam" meaning a dishonest scheme, or "fraud" meaning a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain, but I'm not sure if either of these words fully cover these specific situations.

I am asking for the colloquial word, but also I am wondering if there is a legal or technical term for this as well.

  • Welcome to ELL! I took a moment and edited your question for clarity and focus. Let me know if I went too far or misunderstood your question in any way. Dec 3, 2021 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


The suggestions scam and fraud describe criminal schemes. The phrase services not provided doesn't imply criminality, just the fact of not doing what's agreed to.

Maybe nonperformance or breach of contract would fit:

Merriam-Webster nonperformance

neglect or failure to perform
especially : failure to adhere to the terms of an agreement or promise
nonperformance of an obligation
nonperformance of a contract

[emphasis added]

Merriam-Webster breach of contract

failure to do what a contract requires
They sued him for breach of contract.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .