In many situations, the price is not agreed at the outset – such as having your hair cut, taking the car for a service or taking a taxi, and in such cases the assumption is that you will be charged a reasonable price. However, problems tend to arise where a service is commissioned, exact price cannot be given and the buyer is then presented with an extortionate bill. Where this happens, and where you have little choice but to pay (for example an emergency plumber), but you must make clear your objections at the time of paying, so that you can take action at a later date. You can do this by writing “paid under protest” somewhere on their documentation or (preferably) on the back of a cheque, and by following this up with an immediate letter to the organisation in question to dispute the price you were charged including evidence of alternative ‘going rates’. The best policy would be to limit your potential liability in the first place, by requesting that the supplier informs you if it is going to cost over a certain amount. Just like the time element however, if price has been expressly agreed by both parties, then the right to a ‘reasonable price’ does not apply.

What about contracts for services?

How can I resolve the situation?