Can a company change an invoice after being paid?

The company quoted me a price on an invoice, I agreed to the pricing. They had a typo on the billing amount that I did not know about nor that they knew about. The invoice was paid and services rendered. Six month later they are coming to me saying they made a mistake, the employee that they fired did not bill me correctly, now they want more money. Is this legal? The new amount is almost double the original amount. They are telling me that the employee did not correct his mistake before billing me.

Asked on August 28, 2013 under Business Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the "error" was actually a typo (so to speak) or represents a change in what you agreed to pay. If, for example, there was some proposal, estimate, pricing schedule, etc. from which you would have known the cost, and the cost you were billed was less than that due to some typographic or similar mistake, the company can recover the balance from you--a mistake does not bind someone to accept other than the agreed-upon amount. This situation only applies if what you were billed was out of line with the agreement.

On the other hand, if they billed you what you had agreed  to pay (e.g. what had been in any quotes or proposals) but then belatedly realized they should have charged  you more, that is their problem, not yours, and you are not liable for the additional amount. A company may not alter the agreement between you.

So again, the issue is: what amount did you  agree to pay? That is what you may be charged.


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