Suppose someone ordered supplies totaling over $1,000. When he picked up the purchase, he was issued a refund that the order was canceled. He now has all the products he ordered and was not charged. This was not due to him canceling the order; the employee did so wrongfully.

Ignoring morals, is there legal obligation for him to attempt to return the refund? Does this fall under unjust enrichment? If so, to what extent must he try?

  • I am very new to this site, and not a lawyer, so take the following with a kilo of salt. I think you should perhaps restructure your question towards generality. This site says that: "Law Stack Exchange is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized advice from a qualified legal practitioner." Due to the personal details of your question, it may seem like you're asking for legal help. Also, great question, I've wondered about this too!
    – user110391
    Dec 8, 2021 at 16:33
  • Is the "seller" asking for the buyer to return the refund, or is this an "buyer" initiated action?
    – sharur
    Dec 8, 2021 at 17:14
  • The seller is currently unaware. At least, I can assume as much Dec 8, 2021 at 18:43
  • 1
    @user110391 I'm not asking for advice since my friend isn't going to take any at the moment and I'd feel guilty keeping it regardless of laws. I'm mainly just curious if any professionals know of precedence or correct interpretation of the unjust enrichment law. Dec 8, 2021 at 18:45
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    @user110391 okay, that seems to be the same case here. On stack overflow where I'm from 😁 we typically do a knowledge dump because it's useful to add any potentially historical related info. Obviously questions here are very different, so I see why it's considered clutter. Thank you for your feedback. Dec 8, 2021 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


Ignoring morals, is there legal obligation for him to attempt to return the refund?

No, but he must pay for the goods if the supplier asks.

Does this fall under unjust enrichment?

No. This is simply a contract law issue. The person is contractually obliged to pay for the goods and, in the present circumstances, they haven’t done so.

If so, to what extent must he try?

He doesn’t have to make an active effort to pay but he can if he likes. However, if and when the vendor realises their mistake and asks for payment, it must be made in a reasonable time.

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