What isa seller’s responsibilityregarding a refund for asick dogpurchased overtheinternet?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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What isa seller’s responsibilityregarding a refund for asick dogpurchased overtheinternet?

I purchased a dog from someone over the internet the dog had a health problem and I decided to ask for a refund. The seller refused a refund and said that either I could take the original dog because they didn’t feel the health problem was a big deal or they’d give me a different dog. Can they do this? If I file a claim, I’m in one state and they’re in another, where would I have to file?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If they did not provide a warranty or guaranty on the dog, you could only recover in a lawsuit if you can show that they knew the dog was sick but sold it to you as if it was in good health. Depending on the condition, that might not be the easiest thing to do.

You could sue in your state, but it's always trickier--and more expensive--to sue someone in a different state. Serving process on them, for example, is more involved; if you win the lawsuit and they don't pay, you need to take your judgment to the courts of the other state to collect; you may have higher travel, postage, etc. costs. You may wish to consider the offer of a replacement dog as an alternative to an interstate lawsuit.

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