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WA Cosmetic Service Provider Demanding More Money

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by jelli wa, 23 February 2015.

  1. jelli wa

    jelli wa Member

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    I received a service from a Cosmetic Provider. When I left, I was given a chit of paper which had the price on it of $279. I went to the reception and paid the amount that she said was to be paid, which was the amount we both read off the chit of paper. Payment went through and was confirmed by my receipt and also at a later date has been confirmed with my statement. Four days later, I received a phone call from the provider's office to say they under charged me and that I need to pay them another $500. The chit of paper should have been read as being $779. Not my error, as I was never given a written quote or any price discussed at the time of service. I told the caller that I thought it was ludicrous to be able to change the price at a later date when I paid in full on day of service.
    I'm now being sent threatening accounts and a letter of demand with pay in seven days or legal action.

    How can the provider decide at a later date to change the price then pursue me legally under Australian Consumer Law? It's becoming harassment.
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jelli,

    By chit of paper do you mean a small handwritten note? Was this your invoice? Were you told at any time before your cosmetic procedure verbally, via written communication or in advertising that the cost of the service would be $779 (or higher than the amount you paid)?

    If you were invoiced at $279 and in particular if you agreed to that price beforehand it is unlikely that the company would be able to invoice you for a higher amount.
     
    DennisD likes this.
  3. jelli wa

    jelli wa Member

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    No quote or invoice, nothing verbal, advertising or anything other than the service provided then the hand written piece of paper from provider to his receptionist to tell her how much to charge.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jelli,

    If the service provider has written the note for the receptionist with the price on it, then it is unlikely that they will be able to claim more money from you. Do you have a copy of the piece of paper and a receipt? In addition, were they able to explain to you why you were undercharged, the reason that the error occurred and why the service was valued at significantly more than you initially paid?

    If you received the threat of legal action less than a week ago, it may be worth simply leaving it and seeing if they do pursue the matter. Because if they don't have a cause of action against you and they know it, they may not actually follow through on their threat. If you continue to receive threats of legal action, it may be worthwhile contacting a lawyer to help you draft a letter asking them to cease.
     
    DennisD likes this.
  5. jelli wa

    jelli wa Member

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    No unfortunately I don't have a copy of that piece of paper, just my eftpos receipt and of course the bank statement. I have written to them and asked them to cease threatening me and I wasn't rude in my letter just explained I didn't see how this was my error and that they could change the price several days after consultation and payment. If they can do this then anyone can change prices on consumers at a later date.They explained that the receptionist read the piece of paper incorrectly. Which may be the case but this is still not my error.
    Thanks Ivy.
     
  6. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Further to Ivy's question I have added my comments in italics:

    "Were you told or otherwise led to believe at any time before or during or immediately after your cosmetic procedure verbally, via written communication or in advertising that the cost of the service would be $779 (or higher than the amount you paid)?"

    Assuming no, it seems pretty unreasonable to ask you a week later to pay roughly treble what you paid on the day. Supposing also that they had in fact meant to charge you $779 on the day but a bit of carelessness/miscommunication in their processes let them down and cost them revenue, understandably it's disappointing and frustrating for them, however it doesn't justify a demand for further payment one week later when you paid in full what they actually charged you on the day.
     
  7. hlly

    hlly Well-Known Member

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    Was the service a kind that would ordinarily cost about $779 or $279?
     

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