Is legal for a dental office to charge a “no show” fee for a missed appointment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is legal for a dental office to charge a “no show” fee for a missed appointment?

I have never signed any paperwork with this office and only made an appointment over the phone! I did not give a 24 hour notice so they sent me on for $75 then one a few months later and changed the price to $83.

Asked on January 12, 2016 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if you had prior notice that they would charge such a fee. So if you have ever been told (such as when booking an appointment) that they charged such a fee, or if they have a notice prominently on their website and/or in their office, and you either went to the website or have been in their office, then the law would conclude that you knew of the fee and, despite knowing of it, chose to book (then miss) an appointment, thereby making yourself liable for the fee.
But if you had no notice, then you would *not* be liable, since in that case, you would never have agreed to it, either explictily or even implicitly (e.g. by booking an appointment despite notice of the fee).

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