Price information for services
Before you enter into a contract for a service to be carried out, businesses are required by law to give you information about the price of the service. This is to allow you to decide whether you want to buy the service and/or to compare prices for other similar services. Under consumer law, you must be given the total price of the service including taxes (for example, VAT). If it is not possible to calculate the price in advance, you must be given information on how the price will be calculated, for example, cost per hour/per day for the service.
This applies to services agreed in a shop, online, over the phone or during a visit to your home.
The business must give you price information for the service in a way that is relevant to the method of sale. So if you are agreeing to a service online, you must be given the price information for that service on the business’s website before you complete the transaction. Get more information on buying online.
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Should the price of goods and services include VAT?
When a shop tells you the price for a service either verbally or in writing, it must include VAT. If you are given a quote for a service or if you see prices advertised for a service, the price should include VAT.
Under consumer law, a shop should give prices for goods and services that include any applicable VAT charges. However, for services like your phone and electricity bills, the VAT can legally be shown separately, as long as the total amount is clear.
Shops and businesses that sell goods to commercial customers, for example marked as ‘trade only’, are allowed to show prices that exclude VAT.