If it's a .uk domain then - as others have said - you can go to Nominet (the .uk registry) and get them to transfer the domain for you for £15 plus VAT. If it's a .com/.net/.org then unfortunately you're going to be stuck with paying Easyspace's rip-off charge. Lots of complaints about his in other forums too!
Originally posted by othellotech This is why it pays to read the T*C's *before* you buy something !
From what I've read elsewhere I understand Easyspace changed their T&Cs after they got taken over by another company, and that the rip-off transfer fee was brought in at that time.
We don't know if we're talking about a .uk domain or a GTLD one. Charging £49 (= USD 86) is unreasonable in either case, but if it's a .uk then there is a way round it which is to use the Nominet transfer form and pay Nominet £15 plus VAT. With a GTLD domain the OP is stuck because Easyspace won't unlock domains unless you pay the fee.
While neither ICANN rules (for GTLD domains) nor Nominet rules (for uk domains) prohibit such transfer-out fees the amount being charged is definitely unreasonable and well out of line with what is industry practice. I wonder if this is something UK Trading Standards would be interested in - or is it too much of a minitory interest?