Can a catering company add on an 18% service charge after the final balance has been made?

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Can a catering company add on an 18% service charge after the final balance has been made?

I am having an event and using a facility that provides catering. Originally I got catering services for 40 people. I was given an invoice and paid the final balance of the invoice. Then 2 months later my guest list was higer and went to 80 attendees. I was given a revised invoice and paid the balance on the invoice (copies of all invoices with a zero balance). However the owner of the company called and said that we are to pay a service charge which was not discussed during the initial signing of contract, nor addressed when a new invoice was given. I would like to know if this is legal?

Asked on March 15, 2012 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there was no notice of the charge, it cannot be imposed after the fact. You should ask the owner of the company to point out where--if anywhere--in the agreement you had signed, in invoices you had been sent, or otherwise, you had been provided notice of the charge. If you had been provided prior notice, they can likely impose it; if not, they cannot now unilaterally add a new charge to what you owe.


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