What to do if I keep getting refunds from a phone/internet provider?

When I started my business, I contacted Verizon for telephone and internet service. They performed horribly and it got to where the store was open and they still hadn’t gotten the telephone line working. At this point, I just cancelled and went with another provider.The rep at verizon told me to wait 3 billing cycles and then Verizon would send me a check in the name of my business for the refund of the $250 deposit I had given them. In 3 billing cycles, I got a check for $283 which is a bit more than I gave them, however I didn’t want the hassle of explaining to them. The next cycle, I got a check for $347 not anything owed to me mind you, but since I was in a bind financially with my new business, I cashed the check and figured they would contact me for the money back when they figured it out.Well about 4 weeks later, I now have yet another check for $283 I did not cash this one and Im worried they will try to bill me when they figure it out. I don’t believe it is fraud on my part because I didn’t solicit these checks, it’s just their mistake. However, I’m worried that they will want all the money right now which I don’t have all at once and Im also worried about my business’s credit rating. Should I call them to tell them. These mistakes of theirs were a life saver at one point, but I’m worried that they will keep sending them and I will eventually be billed for the entire amount all at once.

Asked on July 22, 2017 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

At this pint, you should absolutely contact the company; to ke taking this money can get you into legal trouble. The fact is that you are liable to repay any amounts mistakenly paid. You may not keep this money. To do so would constitute "unjust enrichment" which is something the law disfavors. And think about it, had they had accidentally deducted money for your bank account (if you were on auto pay), then they would owe you the money taken. Accordingly, you should contact the company and explain the situation and see if you can work out a repayment arrangment with it.  

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