No. of Recommendations: 1
Eat the $500 - since technically you requested the inspection, it took place, and therefore the inspector provided the service you requested.

And take the rest as a learning experience to determine what you can do differently next time.

Since people can always get stuck in meetings, or have personal emergencies, or technology can fail, rather than having an "automatically terminated" deadline based solely on time, if you want an automatic termination on the contract to keep each phase moving swiftly along, than make it time-based but the clock starts ticking once the other party confirms they have received the new contract/request/necessary documents.

For instance, because the house I contracted to buy is under a Home Owners Association, there was a line in the contract that once I received the HOA documents (and I could choose via email or mail - and I chose mail) I had 3 days to terminate the contract if there was any HOA requirement I didn't agree to live under, when the 3 days ran out, if I didn't tell my agent I objected to any items in the docs, the contract would automatically move forward. I was instructed that when I received my HOA docs by FedX, I was to call my agent to let her know, and that's when the clock starting ticking.
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