In many countries the amount of services makes up more than 70% of total output. Therefore, it is impossible to give precise guidelines to find suitable solution at once for every possible case, which may arise. It must be taken into consideration also, that in the divestment contracts (purchasing of goods) are also considered the problems which are created with buying out ordered goods or with universal services. At the same time, among the variety of services are also such ones, where the cost of materials makes up the main part of total price of service and therefore payment for a service has a big similarity with purchasing goods.

As to proceed from above mentioned, in following we shall explain the answers to the frequently occurring questions, with on the circumstance that when consumer contracts for doing some service he/she cannot always foresee the service itself that is the result of a job or a modified thing, or a produced new thing as we are used to look over goods when e'we make our choice before purchasing in the shop.



1. I don’t have a written contract, but only a verbal agreement. Can I present a pretension to the contractor?

You can present a pretension, but the other side may ignore the existence of agreement if you after payment have not insisted a document that proves the buying a service and must indicate at least:

   1) Name of the doer of service or business name and address of location;
   2) Date of sale;
   3) Price of every service and the total sum.

2. In what case the written agreement is obligatory?

   a) When you don’t attend close to doing the service and therefore you can’t give instructions.
   b) When the service contract requires that the thing with properties requested by consumer must be made - urgently needed is to check rightness of all measures (dimensions), specifications of materials and color tones, descriptions of surface structures and the other properties.
   c) When the complexity of service requires from contractor recommendations, explanations and calculations.

3. What must be included in a service contract?

   1) Name of the maker of service or business name;
   2) Identification code or register number,
   3) Post address,
   4) Numbers of communication means;
   5) Date of ordering and the date of fulfillment;
   6) List of works to be done according to agreement and their price;
   7) Quantity of materials and tools and their price;
   8) Figure of caution money;
   9) Payment requirements;
  10) Figure of surcharge to be paid for every day that outlasts the day of fulfillment.

4. How big is the payment in advance that the contractor may exact from consumer?

Payment in advance is not allowed to exceed a half of the total sum to be paid to the contractor - Law of Obligations Act § 637.

5. I have contracted with a contractor, but he/she didn’t fulfill the contract for the term. Now the term is outlasted for two weeks already. What must I do that he/she fulfils the contract?

According to the - Law of Obligations Act § 636, passage 4 the contract is considered essentially violated by the maker of service when he/she has not delivered the thing to consumer on fixed date.

a) When, however, the contract is essentially violated, then according to the Law of Obligations Act § 116, passage 1 the other side can back off from the contract. In the case given above, consumer can insist on repayment.
b) But considering, that our Estonian entrepreneurship is young and just trying to introduce new services into market, then, depending on behavior, consumer should think about the possibility to give to the contractor a new time limit for fulfillment his/her obligation. In the Law of Obligations Act § 114, passage 1 is written about reasonable complementary time limit. In practice is accepted that reasonable complementary time limit should not exceed a half of previously agreed time limit. At the same time giving of the complementary time limit doesn’t disengage contractor from responsibility for the violating of obligation (§ 114, passage 2).

6. What must I do when I am not satisfied with the quality of service?

When the person who ordered a service (job) is not satisfied with the service, that means that the quality of the service (job) didn’t meet his/her expectations about quality. The first thing to do, when the service is unsatisfactory, is to contact with contractor and to find from contract the points that are not corresponding fulfilled.

1) According to the Law of Obligations Act § 644, passage 1 consumer must inform contractor that the result of the service (job) is not in conformity with the requirements of contract during two months.

2) According to the Law of Obligations Act § 646, passage 1, when the quality of job is not corresponding to the requirements of contract, then consumer can insist employee on improvement or on doing a new service (job)

When the elimination of the shortcomings of quality may prove to be complicated, then present your pretension in writing:
a) Into pretension write from which company and what you ordered, what was the time limit, did the service (job) was done on time and when you observed the defect(s). Pretension must be written in duplicate - one copy for contractor and another for you. You must register you copy in the office of contractor.
b) According to the Law of Obligations Act § 646, passage 4 contractor must cover expenses for elimination of defects or for making a new service, especially expenses for transport, traveling, work and materials.
c) In the same paragraph, in passage 5 is enacted, that the client may do the improvements by himself/herself or let to do by another person (or company) and insist on payment of costs by contractor because he/she has not improved the defects in reasonable time.
d) In case of controversies comparisons with the same kind high quality services can be used or ask for the help of experts.

7. Additional expenses were needed during fulfillment of order, but I was informed about these expenses just a moment of delivering the service. Must I pay these expenses?

In the course of service jobs, especially repair jobs the costs of course may arise. This situation is regulated on the basis of the Law of Obligations Act § 649.

In the Law of Obligations Act § 649 passage 2 is enacted, that when it was not possible to foresee the overdraft of budget (for example, new circumstances appeared when the motor was dissembled), then the contractor must immediately inform client about the significant overdraft. Informing is necessary to come to an agreement about further business. When the client agrees with a new budget then his/her written acceptance is also needed. When the client has not given a written acceptance and he/she wants to cancel the contract because the overdraft of budget, he/she must not pay for overdraft.

8. Contractor used a subcontractor, who’s work is unsatisfactory for me, what to do now?

   a) Call out contractor to whom you paid or shall pay money and present your pretension to him/her.
   b) Be careful! Your contract must not include a point according to which subcontractors are themselves responsible for their jobs.

9. What are my rights when the service is performed unsatisfactory?

You have the right to insist upon:

   1) Reduction of the price of service;
   2) Elimination of defects free of charge;
   3) Making a new thing or doing a new service;
   4) Compensation for loss of damage.
   5) According to the Law of Obligations Act § 101 consumer may refuse to fulfill his/hers indebtness obligation.

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