Can I sue someone for writing in their own tip on my bill when I have already paid?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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Can I sue someone for writing in their own tip on my bill when I have already paid?

I ordered pizza the other night and didn’t tip because there was already a delivery charge with the order. My total, with delivery fee, was $24.55 but when i checked my account i had been charged $28.55. I called the store to see why i was charged an additional $4 and they said that a four dollar tip had been written in. I told them I didn’t authorize that and they said they’ll re-credit me but can I sue.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Somethings are illegal but there is no effective way to sue over them. It is illegal to charge any amounts not agreed to or authorized by the card holder. However, U.S. law does NOT provide compensation "merely" for having your rights violated; it provides compensation for actual losses, injuries, or costs you suffered. If you get the money back, you suffered no loss and could recover no money; if you don't get it back, you could sue for $4, which is substantially less than the cost of filing a lawsuit.

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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