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Price Dispute Between Supplier And Store Owner

Question

I had a customer that requested pricing on a specific product(labels). My staff reached out to my supplier for a price which was received verbally but written down by the staff member. This was relayed to our customer who accepted which meant we went back to our supplier to request that manufacturing starts based on the price received which was +-R1000. 

When the job was done, we received an invoice from the supplier for 10 times the amount at about +-R10 000. 

The supplier called me to discuss which I confirmed this is the price we received and I’ve already quoted my customer. The supplier then said that he found out (from an alim) that I can change the price. I immediately declined this from an Islamic and business perspective as unethical.

I asked him to go back and check his notes and come back to me with a solution but I cannot change the price to my customer but also cannot afford this invoice.

On the 2nd call received from the supplier I specifically stated that either we split the bill 50/50 as joint responsibility for the mishap or I will pay the full amount but I will need payment terms to settle the invoice mainly so as to not destroy the relationship, we have professionally and personally. I asked that he take some time, think about it and get back to me.

After more than 3 weeks I received a call from the supplier creditors department asking for a settlement of the invoice. I was surprised and advised that this was a conversation with the owner and he needed to get back to me. The call ended with me waiting for the owner to call me

The last call I received was from the owner to which he demanded I settle the full amount on payment, completely disregarding our last conversation. I advised as per the last call this is what I can afford even though I feel I am not wrong. He said you can keep the money as sadaqah and put the phone down.

That was the last time I heard from him.

I am concerned that I may be wrong and wanted the ruling based on the above.

Answer

When you called your supplier to request manufacturing, at that time the transaction was regarded complete according to the Shariat because Ijaab (offering) and Qabool (accepting) took place. It is necessary for the supplier to charge the amount that was discussed at the time of offering and accepting.

Therefore, it will be necessary for you to only pay him the initial amount that was agreed upon (R1000). Since he told you to keep the money as Sadaqah, there will be no need for you to worry, nor will you be sinful.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

البيع ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول إذا كانا بلفظ الماضي الباب في شرح الكتاب ٢ 

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