Can a Jewelry Store Say I Owe more Money after I Made the Purchase and Obtained a Receipt?

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“I just purchased a TAG watch from a well known jewelry store last weekend. Two days ago that jewelry store called me and told me that they misquoted the price of the watch and that I owe another $730 dollars on top of what I already paid. The purchase was complete last weekend, I have the receipt to prove it. Can they do this or is the sale final once I get my receipt?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

This is a well known trick of car dealerships; buried in one of the forms would be a clause that said if they got any of the calculations wrong, you’d have to come back and pay them more or else give the car back. And surprise, surprise, a day later you’d get a call saying your payments were going to be $50/month higher! The contract clause was called a “MacArthur Clause” named for Gen. Douglas “I shall return” MacArthur… because it made sure the customer would return too.

If you have paid the money and have the watch on your wrist, you should consider the transaction complete, and should be able to ignore their request. If they haven’t delivered the watch yet, then you should get your money back and take your business elsewhere. In no case should you pay them anything more. Finally, you should report them to the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General or local District Attorney’s consumer affairs office as “MacArthur Clauses”, whether written or implied, are considered fraudulent and are illegal in many states.

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Author: Ray Everett-Church, Esq.

Ray Everett-Church is a privacy and security consultant with PrivacyClue LLC and is co-author of "Internet Privacy for Dummies"

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