Contractual dispute between two businessmen

Two businessmen were introduced at a coffee shop by a mutual friend. They entered into a business agreement, which soured after one side accused the other of overcharging him for supplies. At the mediation, it was discovered that Party A assumed that since they were introduced by mutual friend, preferential rates would be given. As such, he had not bothered to check market rates for the products he had bought. He was shocked to discover later that he was paying premium rates for the supplies and was sure that Party B was out to cheat him. Party B expressed bewilderment at the expectations of preferential rates. As far as he was concerned, this was a normal business deal and he charged the market rate for the premium product that he had supplied to Party A. He brought documentation to prove that he did not overcharge Party A. Mediators discovered that there was no formal contract signed between the two parties and that the dispute arose because of difference in perceptions of the verbal communication that was conducted at the coffee shop. The mediators also felt that the parties were somewhat embarrassed by the lack of professionalism in the way they had conducted their business, and were reluctant to lose face by accepting the options on the table in spite of the narrow difference. There was a long awkward silence when it came to finalising the settlement amount. At that point, the mediators decided to change the dynamics of the session by informing parties that they had exceeded time (which was true). The mediators then said they would take a short five minute break outside and if no agreement was reached when mediators returned, the parties could then proceed to litigate. When the mediators returned five minutes later, the parties had independently agreed on an amount and were jovially chatting about their mutual friend. A settlement agreement was quickly drafted and signed, and both parties left with their business relationship restored. Disclaimer: Some names and identifying features have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.