This is a question on consumer law and trading standards in the UK. I appreciate it may be a grey area.

A few weeks ago I took a sail to be repaired in a local sail loft.

I asked for the price and was told £70. Steep for what it was but i decided to leave it with them. I came to collect the sail several weeks later and was told that the price was now £80 plus VAT.

How legal is this? I feel I was hit with a bait-and-switch as I was not told up front that the price could increase or that the VAT was not included in the price.

The repair fell apart yesterday so I will also be demanding a refund.

  • 2
    Did you get a quote on paper or email ? If not you are on shaky ground. In UK a vocal transaction is also legally enforcable, but you might have a hard time doing so. Regarding the repair, which might be shoddy work, you can ask for a refund. Else you can contact the trading standards with your complaint.
    – DumbCoder
    Jul 10 '14 at 9:59
  • @DumbCoder I paid the fee with no complaint so this question is to protect myself in the future. I will be sure to get everything on paper when i have the repair work redone.
    – Gusdor
    Jul 10 '14 at 10:08
  • Was there any justification for the price increase? Did the repair involve more work than they anticipated? If not then it seems you were simply told the wrong price, and raising the issue with them may have been enough to correct the problem. As for the VAT, that's something you pay the government, so the 'price' as far as the merchant is concerned is always excluding VAT. Is it possible they thought you were a business customer, and were quoting excluding VAT to be helpful?
    – James
    Jul 10 '14 at 11:34
  • @b3njamin the price increased because it took more man hours than anticipated. Not my problem! They said they fixed all types of sails and my windsurf sail was more complicated. tl;dr - they didnt know what they were doing and the final product reflected that.
    – Gusdor
    Jul 10 '14 at 12:23

Under EU Directive 98/6/EC, consumer prices have to include VAT, and thus that £70 offer is understood to include VAT. I don't know the UK law implementing the Directive, but that's just a formality.

As for the price hike, that's also not allowed. A contract is formed by accepting an offer.

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