Is it legal if I cancelled a dentist appointment and had a $1000 dollar deposit but now the office states its non-refundable?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal if I cancelled a dentist appointment and had a $1000 dollar deposit but now the office states its non-refundable?

I had to cancelled an appoint for a dental procedure due to transportation and care arrangements did not align with my procedure. I would let them know when I was ready to reschedule. I placed $1000 deposit down. I also had a suspicion about how much work was getting done so I got a second opinion. I called to cancel my appointment and was told the deposit was non-refundable. Is this even legal? No work was ever done.

Asked on April 16, 2018 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A non-refundable deposit is legal: there is no requirement in the law that deposits be refundable, and in fact, they are usually only refundable if it is specifically stated that they are or if the provider (i.e. the dentist) cancels the work. If the customer (you) cancels the work, the provider is generally allowed to keep the deposit. That is the entire point of a deposit after all: to give the provider an incentive to reserve time for you and prepare for what has to be done, by assuring them that if you cancel, they will still receive payment. Your cancellation of the work is a breach of the agreement that they would perform work on you and you would pay for it; your breach lets them keep the deposit.

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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