can a business refuse to give change due because they say the receipt has expired?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can a business refuse to give change due because they say the receipt has expired?

A business with a gas pump kiosk takes cash but does not give change. Instead they issue a receipt that shows the change due that must be presented at the retail store to get your money. This receipt actually has an expiry date on it. Is this legal? If I return after the expiry date can they refuse to give me my change due?

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Business Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal--certainly after your first visit there. The first time you encounter this, an *arguable* (but not necessarily winning) position would be that since you had no prior notice of this policy, you did not agree or consent to it; hence, they unequivocally, without any defenses or limitations, owe you change whenever you ask for it. (The reason it's not a guaranteed winning position is that if the receipt is good for a reasonable length of time, a court could hold that given ample opportunity to get your change, a faiilure to do "waives," or gives up, your right to claim it.) However, after the first visit to this business, you know of the policy: therefore, by patronizing it again with knowledge of this policy, you have demonstrated your consent or agreement to it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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