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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 33719
Experience:  15 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA
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I recently purchased a puppy from a pet store, and under unfortunate

Customer Question

I recently purchased a puppy from a pet store, and under unfortunate circumstances had to return the puppy. When purchasing the puppy and going through the contract with the sales associate, I was informed that I had 48 hours to return the puppy if need be, and I would lose the first months payment towards the dog. 19 hours later after purchasing the puppy, while at the store again, I was told that the cost to return the puppy was $500 dollars, which is what is stated on the contract however, I was told something else when going through the contract verbally. After speaking with the owner, the sales associate returned and said that because I financed the puppy, it was actually un-returnable. Which is not stated in the contract anywhere. I left the puppy there, without paying the $500 dollars cash that they wanted that day, so I would not be liable for the puppy. The sales associate did not follow the correct procedure of the sale because she sold me the puppy with out having a voided check or pay stub that is required from the puppy purchaser. I am just wondering if I have a case against the pet store. I realize my name is XXXXX XXXXX but they are trying to charge me full price for the dog which is now in their possession.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Once a person signs the contract, they are bound under the written terms of it regardless of any verbal statements to the contrary. This is known as the "four corners doctrine" which basically says that the entire contract and all terms are contained within the four corners of the written document.
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So if it says on the contract there is a $500 return fee, the store can enforce that and can file suit under a breach of contract claim to enforce it. They wouldn't be able to charge the full price of the dog though if the return policy was complied with.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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