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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    I would like to thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer. I am not sure if this is the right thread or not.

    I am an individual who has a small dba landscaping company and last year I contacted by a local yellow pages for advertising. I told them that I was interested. The sale person and I discussed ad size and price. Once I settled upon an ad size it was designed and I proofed it. He had me do a voice authorization over the phone. It had me state my name and phone number, the sales rep then stated the size of my ad, the monthly amount and the heading to which is was under, he then had me state yes if I agreed. At the end of the voice authorization, basically after my voice signature, a recording comes on and say that your sales representative will send you out terms of your agreement. This all happened in August of 2006 I never received any terms of agreement, and never really thought about it until now.

    So after nearly of year of having the ad I wanted to cancel my ad because, it was a cell number that was costing me more than I expected, I had a new landline number which I want to propagate and I was getting better performance off local free advertising anyways. I called in June of this year and they stated that the cancellation had to be in writing. So I then sent my written notice in. I was then told it could not be cancelled now because that phone book was still in print. Which was fine as my year was not up. In July I start to receive phone calls from a new sales rep for the same company. I stated why I was unhappy; he then told me that I would be much happier with a lager ad, because I was so far back in my section I was not receiving the optimum amount of calls. We discussed the cost of larger ads. I ultimately told him no. He continued to call, not taking no for an answer, offer better pricing. I told him that I was not interested and that I would call him if I changed my mind. He continued to call and I soon ignored all his calls as I was busy with work.

    My ad was renewed for 2007 anyways at a higher rate. I contacted the customer service number and to ask why. They stated that automatic renewal was part of my contract. I told them I sent in notice to cancel and that I told the sales rep I did not want a new ad. I told them again that my ad was for a year and I did not authorize a new one. They then asked them where does is state that I am subject to renewal. They said in the terms of agreement. I asked for a copy of my agreement they stated that all they have is copy of my voice authorization, but the standard terms of the agreement are available online, they had been revised on 7/07. After viewing them I had notice that I sent my cancellation letter to the wrong place and that all ads are subject to renewal.

    Below are some of the terms.

    “2. Notice/How To Contact Us. All notices, including cancellation notices to us, must be in writing and mailed by U.S. mail or overnight carrier to: XXX Media, Inc., P.O. Box XXX, Peoria, IL 61614. For questions or concerns about this Order, please contact us at the toll-free number for our Customer Care Center on your bill or at 1-800-XXX-1234.
    3. Cancellation/Automatic Renewal. To cancel an Ad other than listings, your notice must be in writing and received by us at least thirty (30) days before the sales close date of the Publication listed on the Order. To cancel a Service, your notice must be in writing and received by us at least thirty (30) days before the start date of the Service listed on your Order. We may automatically renew your Ads and Services listed on this Order for successive Terms unless you notify us in writing at least thirty (30) days before: (1) the sales close date of the next issue of the Publication for Ads or (2) the anniversary of the start date of your Services. The sales close date for each Publication and the start date of your Service are available from your sales representative or by calling our Customer Care Center. The cost of any renewed Ad or Service will be our then-current standard published rates (unless we agree in writing to a different rate at that time). We cannot cancel any listings in print, CD-ROM, internet or equivalent classified directories. “

    I have proof of the mailed letter in June but I am told it doesn’t matter because they have no record of it. I can take it to there binding arbitration if I wish, but it they get to pick the company however I am subject to law suits for collections.

    So I a few questions:
    1. Am I subject to this contract as the terms of the agreement where never fully disclosed at the time of my voice signature and where never mailed as they said they would be?
    2. They claim that the terms where sent but are unable to prove they sent them. Who has the burden of proof? Them saying they sent the contract or me saying I didn’t receive the contract?
    3. I have a dated receipt from the letter I sent and a copy of the letter on my computer is that enough proof to prove I sent my cancellation request?
    4. Can I take them to small claims court for the new amount?
    5. What is my best course of action as I am refusing to pay and they say they will send me to collections and it is my credit?


    Thank you

    C From Utah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,825

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    Did the renewal occur before or after 7/07? What did they say when you asked for a copy of the 2006 terms, which would have been the ones in effect when you signed up? Are the 2006 terms the same as the 2007 terms, at least in relation to automatic renewal and notice of termination?

    If you sue them, you have the burden of proving that they breached their contract. If they sue you and you file an appropriate answer to their complaint, they will have the burden of proving that you owe your bill.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    Yes the revision came out before my renewal. I am not sure what the other one said but customer service states "they are the same the newer one is easier to read"

    My stance is there is NO agreement/contract, because they did not disclose any of there additional terms of the agreement. They didn't read them to me over then phone, they didn't send them to me via fax, mail or email, so how can I agree to terms that I have not seen nor have any clue that they exist, until after my agreement was signed verbally over the phone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,825

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    If you sue them, you can argue that to the court. There was unquestionably a contract for the first year; the issue becomes whether that contract included the automatic renewal clause and special address for termination of the contract.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    I agree there was a contract for the first year, which was meet by both parties.

    Are there not laws for disclosure of terms of a contract? Because it seems like if this is legal that anyone can add terms to a contract once the contract is signed and all they have to do is tell they will be sent out to you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    They say they disclosed the terms by mailing you the contract, and by making the terms available on your website.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    Don' they need to make one aware of the terms prior to signing the agreement?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    Unfortunately, I wasn't there and I don't know what you agreed to. You can present your side in court, they can present theirs, and the judge will make a decision.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    So what is the answer to my question? Are there laws pertaning to full disclosure of terms, if so where can I find them and can I take it to small claims court or does it have to goto a higher court?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Full Disclosure of Terms and Automatic Contract Renewal

    You can look up Utah's statutes here.

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