Can I dispute a bill if I already signed a receipt for it?

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Can I dispute a bill if I already signed a receipt for it?

I went into a local Latin bar last night. I started to chat with a dancer that works there. I did buy her and the bartender and another dancer a few drinks. I also noticed that they were ordering drinks on their own, which I didn’t think anything of at the time. When I got the bill, it was twice as expensive as I imagined it would be. I paid with my credit card reluctantly without too much thought. As soon as I got home I realized that I was being charged for drinks that they had ordered on their own and they were putting them on my tab. I know I had signed the receipt but that was before I realized that they were ordering drinks and putting them on my tab without my consent. Can I dispute this bill?

Asked on September 28, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It will be almost impossible to dispute the bill successfully unless you can show that they added drinks/expenses to it after you signed it, or the bill had been presented to you in such fashion that you could not have determined what drinks/how many were on it and you  were simultaneously pressured to sign and not ask for clarification, etc. That's because the law presumes people read, understand, and agree to what they sign; hence, you'd have to show some deceptive or other wrongful behavior on the part of the bar to overcome the presumption that you agreed to the bill you signed.


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