If a professional services firm gives a verbal quote (in line with market rates) but then bills for services that, by an order of magnitude, exceed the original quote (and market rates) – what recourse does the recipient of the invoice have to rectify the issue?
Assuming the recipient of the invoice formally notifies the issuer within 21 days or receipt of the invoice that they dispute the amount – and then fail to hear back from the issuer of the invoice, how can the recipient move forward to a satisfactory resolution from a legal standpoint?
Should the recipient pay the undisputed amount in the mean time? Or does payment of the undisputed amount imply acceptance of the wider charges of the disputed invoice?
More generally, is it legal for a professional services firm to stack up additional charges and services beyond the initial quote without informing the client of their intention either verbally or in writing?
Finally, if the issuer responds and refuses to enter into a satisfactory dialogue with the client to re-issue an invoice in line with the initial quote, how will a mediator look at the body of evidence to determine a final charge?