If my surgeon canceled surgery and never rescheduled, can he keep fees if no service was performed?

I was scheduled for elective surgery and the surgeon cancelled a week before for two reasons 1 I had flu/bronchitis/asthma and could not be immediately cleared by my primary doctor for surgery 2 he had a backlog of surgeries to perform and didn’t want to risk having to cancel mine at the last minute without refilling the slot. After cancelling me, he was able to fill my surgery date with another patient and suffered no loss. His office never called me to reschedule my surgery. I subsequently decided I no longer wished to have the surgery and went to his office to inform him. In person, he agreed to refund my surgery fees and asked me to reach out to his office staff so they could coordinate the refund. Since then for 3 months now, his office has given me the runaround, with various excuses as to how they are

Asked on March 10, 2019 under Business Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You write that " I subsequently decided I no longer wished to have the surgery and went to his office to inform him." Therefore, you cancelled the surgery. When the customer or patient cancels, the service provide or doctor is entitled to keep the deposit: to cancel is to give up the deposit. There did not have to be a refund policy published or posted, since they don't need to have a refund policy: there is no inherent legal right to a refund when the customer cancels.

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