I'm looking for the right term for when a company charges you for something, knowing full well that they are not giving you what you are paying for.
Some background: My power company is charging me for something on my bill, and then on the same bill saying that they did NOT provide that thing. I've called them to get the charge removed but it is never taken care of. Of course, it's not quite so simple as they feel they have a right to charge me for it, but from my perspective, it's sort of fraud-like.
I'm trying to make my case in a written letter and I want to be able to say it with some impact, and I think the proper word will be useful here.
Terms that seem close but don't quite get it would be "fraud" and "unjust enrichment". I can't quite say "fraud" because technically, they are not deceiving me at all, as they are admitting that they are not providing the thing they are charging for.
There must be some good legal term that nails it.
EDIT: Perhaps "unjust enrichment" is correct. Here is the definition from Black's 8th Edition:
UNJUST ENRICHMENT unjust enrichment. 1. The retention of a benefit conferred by another, without offering compensation, in circumstances where compensation is reasonably expected. [Cases: Implied and Constructive Contracts 3. C.J.S. Implied and Constructive Contracts § 5.] 2. A benefit obtained from another, not intended as a gift and not legally justifiable, for which the beneficiary must make restitution or recompense. 3. The area of law dealing with unjustifiable benefits of this kind.
That accurately defines what I am saying they are doing. Compensation could reasonably be expected, but they are not offering the compensation required to receive the payment. It was not intended as a gift and is not legally justifiable. They are charging unwarranted, undue, unjustified fees leading to unjust enrichment.
I'm still unsure so I can't yet say this is the correct answer.