Are we legally obligated to pay a restocking fee if the store forgot to charge us?

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Are we legally obligated to pay a restocking fee if the store forgot to charge us?

We purchased a dog from a pet store with a return policy of a restocking fee of $150 if returned within 24 hours. We returned it the next morning and they forgot to charge us the fee. An hour after leaving the store they called wanting us to return $150 for the restock fee. Are we legally obligated to pay the fee even though the transaction was completed?

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you would owe the fee--you returned the dog within 24 hours, which would obligate you to pay the fee. The fact that someone forgot to charge you the fee on the spot doesn't invalidate their claim to it or your obligation to pay. Consider: suppose you worked for someone on a freelance basis, and did 9 hours of work at $30/hour. You forgot about one hour and billed for the first 8 only. Legally, if you then remember the hour and bill for it, your employer would have to pay--the fact that you didn't charge at the time does not mean you can't receive compensation. It's the same principal here--if you owe the money, you owe the money.


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