If someone else’s credit card was charged 4 months ago for a purchase that I made, do I have to pay it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If someone else’s credit card was charged 4 months ago for a purchase that I made, do I have to pay it?

I went on a cruise and recently received an invoice saying that “due to a clerical error, I owe $100.22”. They’re saying that their employees accidentally charged $100.22 to another person’s credit card and now just realizing the error. It’s been 3 months, do I have to pay them even though it was their error?

Asked on December 14, 2015 under Business Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to pay: an error does not entitle you to keep someone else's money or not pay for goods or services you received. Under the law, they could seek this repayment for up to 3 years, so seeking it after 3 months is no problem. Look at this way: suppose somene accidentally charged something to *your* card? Wouldn't you expect, if you discovered the error after 3 months, to get your money back? And you'd be right to--you'd be able to get your money back. The same principal upholds: you received food/drinks/whatever and have to pay for them.

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