Am I entitled to my money back for a canceled medical procedure?

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Am I entitled to my money back for a canceled medical procedure?

Recently, I went to the dentist and consented to have my credit card charged up front before services rendered. I decided at some point to cancel one of the procedures. The office refused to give me back the money for that procedure, claiming that it was too late; it had “bought the materials for me.” It also claimed that because I had signed a paper, that this meant that I was contractually obligated to complete these procedures or if I canceled, pay for them. There’s nothing on this “contract” that says that. It’s only a list of the procedures and the bill tab. Am I entitled to a refund?

Asked on October 30, 2011 under General Practice, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, if  subject to or based upon your representation that you would have the procedure done, the dentist did buy certain supplies or  materials for that procedure, then the dentist office could likely charge you for the actual cost of those materials, if they are not ones easily and readily used for other patients or other procedures.

Second, as to whether you have a right to cancel the procedure and get your money back (less any amount for special ordered materials; see above), that depends on what was said in any documents, contracts, agreements, etc. you signed, as well as in any marketing or advertising materials associated with them and incorporated by reference into them. As a general matter, if you sign an agreement to have a procedure done, that probably does consitute a contract, even if it does not


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