Consumer Complaints
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3. He took his computer to a shop for repair. When he collects it later he can't believe that the service charge is so high. He would never have agreed to the job if he had known it would be that expensive. Can he refuse to pay the repair charge?

If the price has not been confirmed before completing the job, the repairer is entitled to charge a "reasonable" rate for the work (section 7 of the Supplied of Services (Implied Terms) Ordinance). If Mr. B does not pay what the repairer asks, the repairer is legally entitled to hold onto Mr. B's computer until he pays the fee.

Even though Mr. B may think that he is being overcharged, he will have to pay the money if he wants his computer back. But in the meantime, Mr. B can make it clear to the repairer that he pays the fee "under protest" and that he intends to dispute it .

Mr. B will need to find out what other repairers would have charged for doing the same job. He shall then put it down in writing and send a letter to the repairer confirming that he was paying the bill under protest and demand a refund of the overcharged portion. If the repairer refuses to make a refund, Mr. B can take his case to the Consumer Council or the Small Claims Tribunal (please go to Channels for Consumer Complaints).

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