am i obligated to pay for a service that happened without my knowledge or consent while i was not at home?

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am i obligated to pay for a service that happened without my knowledge or consent while i was not at home?

a heating oil company put 45 gallons of oil in my tank while i was at work today,and left a
note saying they were at the wrong house.they want me to call them, but before i call,i want
to know if i am legally obligated to pay for the oil.i have never used this company ,and didn’t
ask for a delivery,as my tank was filled 2 weeks ago by my regular oil company.

Asked on December 13, 2016 under Business Law, Connecticut

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Basically, you can't keep the oil without paying for it, or at least allowing the oil company to pump the oil out. The fact is that if you keep something wrongfully delivered to you, you have accepted it. To then allow you to keep it without paying for it would constitute "unjust enrichment", somthing which the law (and so a judge) will disfavor. That having been said, so along as you offer them the opportunity to reclaim their oil, if they decline to do so and try to sue you for the money instead, you could raise as a defense that the delivery was made in error and you gave them the opportunity to correct that error. Accordingly, you should put your offer to let them reclaim their oil in writing and send it return receipt requested (so that you can prove delivery).


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