RV Dealer made a mistake on my service invoice.

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RV Dealer made a mistake on my service invoice.

Had local RV Dealer inspect my RV they fixed a couple minor issues and I bought 2 Tires. It was to be inspected 6/7 9am and they didn’t look at it until 6/10. I picked it up 6/11 paid in full with my Chase Credit Card. The invoice is marked PD 0 balance and initialed. I got a call work on Mon 6/13 telling me they added my total bill wrong and I owe them 200 more. Tuesday I got a voicemail that they talked to an attorney already and if I do not pay ASAP they will file charges. They left a very rude, demanding message not to mention threatening me. Do I owe them?

Asked on June 15, 2016 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depens on the nature of the error:
1) Say that all the line items on the bill are correct, but they did simply add them up wrong. As long as you had notice of what the bill should be (i.e. from the line items), the law doesn't penalize them for an arithmetic or typographic mistake--they could seek the correct amount from you and, if you don't pay it, sue you with a good chance of success.
2) On the other hand, say they decided that they should have charged your $200 more--i.e. the bill was in fact added up correctly, but they realized that one or more line items "should" have been larger. That is their responsibility, and their loss, not yours: they cannot after the fact increase the bill by deciding they could or should have charged more. In this case, you would not have to pay the extra.
Of course, if they are belligerant and are willing to sue or put into collections (they can't "file charges"--it's not a crime to pay the bill you were presented with, even if it was wrong, since there is no criminal intent, or "mens rea"), they could cause you to spend time or money defending yourself. You may wish to consider whether it would be better to be pay the extra amount and be done with this.


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