Contracts, Warranties, Buying Tips

questions & answers

Question: Can a company automatically extend a contract for an additional year (original term 5 years) without the senior's consent. Note: The language to extend was included in the small print in the original agreement.

Answer: Senior citizens can be victims of consumer fraud. The best rule for consumer protection is this: NEVER SIGN ANYTHING YOU HAVE NOT READ AND FULLY UNDERSTAND. Make sure the written contract describes exactly what you think you are buying. If you do not understand a contract, do not rely on a salesperson's explanation: Ask someone other than the salesperson to explain it before signing. When you buy goods from merchants, you have certain rights which exist unless you sign them away or "waive" them. You also have rights which you cannot sign away even if you try. Here are some examples: "Cooling Off" Period . If you buy something on credit costing more than $25 from someone away from a place of business (for example, from a door-to-door salesperson), you have a right to cancel the sale until midnight of the third business day after the credit agreement is signed. You must give the seller notice of this cancellation in writing. Protection from Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices . For example, a merchant cannot "bait and switch." That means the merchant cannot advertise a product or service without a good faith effort to sell it, as an inducement to sell you something more costly. False, Misleading and Deceptive Advertising . Anything advertised as "free" must be free. No strings can be attached unless they are stated with equal prominence on an advertisement. Unconscionable Contracts or Clauses . If a contract or clause is "unconscionable" (that is, unfair because it is too one-sided), a court can refuse to enforce it. In summary, there are certain instances where a contract can be void as noted above. Make sure to review the contract to determine if there is any ability to argue that it should be void.

QUESTIONS

  • Can a company automatically extend a contract for an additional year (original term 5 years) without the senior's consent. Note: The language to extend was included in the small print in the original agreement.

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