For nearly every service and product that spans over a period of time, we have to sign contracts. This is because of an unfortunate distrust between consumers and big businesses. Businesses want to ensure that their customers stay with them. And, customers want to be protected in case of the company’s troubles or their own finances. Contracts do benefit us, and it’s good to use them. But, it’s easy to get trapped in a contract, if you’re not careful.
Some companies are very open and honest about their intentions. But, others, can be more secretive. Of course, they have to present you with information that applies to you. They can’t withhold information about your agreement. But, they can make it tricky to find. Agreements can be steeped in legal mumbo jumbo that the general population struggle to understand. The contract will be filled with useless information, to make it harder to read. And, it will be very long. This combination causes fast deterioration of attention, and makes a lot of customers ignore the small print.
For certain contracts or agreements, you will probably need the help of a lawyer. Contracts involving large amounts of money or assets should always be read over by a professional. The other side of the table will also have a lawyer to look over documents, which is why you should, too. For other agreements, that aren’t so big, you can probably handle it yourself. Read guides about online agreements, and learn to look for the bad clauses. Eventually, you’ll be able to scan over the documents and determine their quality with ease.
This sort of preparation will give you a chance to avoid complications in the future. If you know what to look for, you can choose agreements that suit your needs. For example, getting into a 12-month phone contract when you’re moving home soon could be a bad idea. You’d have to make sure that you can get out of the contract early, without having to pay huge fees. This is just one of the things that you have to look out for.
A common inclusion in service-based contracts is cancellation fees. These fees are designed so that the company is able to make a similar profit return if you’d stayed with them. Basically, once you sign the contract, you have to pay the big bills! In this case, there are a few ways to get out of it. If you have moved to a new house, for example, and, the company doesn’t provide the same service at your new home. This will usually mean that you don’t have to pay any fees. But, that could be on the condition that you keep using their other services. In some cases, you may not have known about these fees. Here, you may be able to claim ignorance, and that you can’t afford to pay the fee.
It can be incredibly frustrating to be sold an onerous a contract;however, in some cases it’s due to being provided the wrong information. Thankfully, in most countries, misinformation may be covered by law. This means that you will usually be within your right to cancel a contract if it’s sold to you with misleading information. Of course, in this sort of situation, you may have to prove that you were lied to. So, it’s worth recording phone calls, where it’s legal to do so, and keeping emails whenever you can. This gives you the evidence that you need to get out of a contract, if you’ve been trapped in it wrongfully.
Of course, preparing with lawyers is all well and good. But, at the end of the day, they’re still only human. And, humans make mistakes. Financial advisor negligence is a common cause of contract troubles. Thankfully, though, you can get help in these circumstances. If you were to buy a business, for example. But, you later found that the earning reports were entirely bogus. The accountant or other professional who advised your decision could be held responsible for the losses. This would help you to escape the contract and get some of your money back in the process.
Any legal matters should be taken very seriously. Even the minor contracts that you sign on a day-to-day basis shouldn’t go ignored. It’s easy to get yourself into a very expensive situation, with no way out. But, with proper research and dedication, you can protect yourself from these pitfalls with ease.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start reading the T&Cs and scouring the agreements that you make online. It’s important to understand what you agree to, even in small matters.