I went to my barber and asked him to slightly trim my hair and moustache. He trimmed my hair too short and ended up cutting half of my moustache. I had no choice but to get the other half removed. When I threatened him with legal action, he said I had no contract with him. I tried reporting it to the police, who surprisingly refused to even record my statement. I am getting married soon and am not sure if I should proceed with the ceremony. What should I do?
26 March 2012
Whilst we sympathise with you, we do not understand why you are unsure about getting married after this mishap at the barbers’ shop. Surely, both your hair and moustache will grow back. We are also unclear as to what the connection is between your marriage and the haircut, and cannot comment on whether you should or should not proceed with your marriage.
As for the police complaint, our opinion is that this is not a criminal matter. If the police start entertaining such matters, they would be flooded with complaints. The police actions are justified.
We now come to the main issue, the cutting of your moustache and the hair. We believe that, when you sat on the barber’s chair, you entered into a contract with them: it was agreed that you would have a haircut, and it would be paid for. We therefore believe that you can sue your barber under the law of contract. However, this might not be as simple as it sounds, because you will have to prove that there was a breach of the contract, and you suffered damages.
We did not find any local precedents on this. We are therefore unsure how far the Courts in Tanzania will entertain this matter. Your lawyer can guide you further.