What are my rights if my credit card was charged by mistake after I cancelled my order for a laptop?

UPDATED: Mar 25, 2011

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What are my rights if my credit card was charged by mistake after I cancelled my order for a laptop?

I placed an order with for a computer but cancelled it. However after few days the order got reactivated due to a technical fault. The company charged my credit card without my knowledge and approval and  sent me a laptop after few days. It was surprising to me. Can I charge them with criminal theft for accessing my bank account without my permission in withdrawing money from my account? Can I charge them with theft?

Asked on March 25, 2011 under General Practice, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It's doubtful that you could charge them with theft, since theft requires a criminal state of mind which would be difficult to prove in this case, even if it did exist...and note that a mistake is NOT a criminal act in a situation like this.

If you can prove that you cancelled the order initially--and you have not taken the laptop out of the box, damaged it, etc.--you can require them to take it back--including paying for shipping costs--and also refund your money. Note however that if they do not do this voluntarily, you would have to sue them to assert your rights, which very well might not be worth it--especially if it's not a bad laptop and not a bad deal.

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