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Old 01-10-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
MoneyGuy
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Iím in Alberta so Alberta law applies.

Lawn-care companies do this as do some others. Contract is signed for a specific period of time and if you donít cancel before expiration they automatically renew for the same length. In this case itís five years which is a hell of a lot of time for something you donít want.

Can they do this? Thank you.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:20 PM   #2
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Well if they aren't, insurers in Alberta (and across Canada for that matter) have been breaking the law for a veeeeeeeery long time.

And with how frequently people forget to renew their registration, it's probably not a bad thing.

**edit**

Wait, now I'm getting the sense you mean automatic renewal? Thought you meant auto insurance......

Point still stands I guess. Insurance policies automatically renew unless they get a written request not to.

Last edited by GoinAllTheWay; 01-10-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MoneyGuy View Post
Iím in Alberta so Alberta law applies.

Lawn-care companies do this as do some others. Contract is signed for a specific period of time and if you donít cancel before expiration they automatically renew for the same length. In this case itís five years which is a hell of a lot of time for something you donít want.

Can they do this? Thank you.
I'm willing to bet its in your contract that you signed. So you would have agreed to the terms.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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I'm willing to bet its in your contract that you signed. So you would have agreed to the terms.
Yup, anything I have on auto renew has mentioned it in the contract/ToS.

I can't see it being any different than paying full price if you don't cancel before the end of a free trial, which Canadian Telcom companies do (or used to).

XM, SPOT, and other companies also have an auto renewal if you don't cancel. It's not like it's just little mom and pop/fly by night companies that do it. I have my doubts it's illegal if it's in your ToS.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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I've come across this in a couple of agreements, I just crossed that part out. The salesperson at the time complained that you can't change the agreement, I told them no deal then and they backed down.


Always read what you sign.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:17 PM   #6
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I would think it would need to be clearly laid out in the contract.

I had Green Drop try to pull this on me when I'd requested a year of service by phone (when I moved in the lawn was in rough shape) and they came back the next year. I told them that I hadn't requested renewal of the service and wasn't going to pay; they didn't have anything in writing from me so they had no way to make me pay.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:10 PM   #7
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In Alberta, don’t you get an automatic 10 day “free look” or “cooling off period” where you can back out and get your money back?
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:32 PM   #8
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In Alberta, donít you get an automatic 10 day ďfree lookĒ or ďcooling off periodĒ where you can back out and get your money back?
Would that even be valid if you already signed to those terms and paid for years of the service prior?
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:55 AM   #9
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This thread might not be relevant anymore but it's worth scrolling through:

https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=80009
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:23 AM   #10
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Would that even be valid if you already signed to those terms and paid for years of the service prior?
Well I donít know? It just seems like there should be a period where you could reconsider though. I know what youíre saying with things like Sirius, and other online kinds of subscriptions. At least most of them remind you ahead of time though, so you can always cancel if you no longer want it.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:34 AM   #11
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Well I donít know? It just seems like there should be a period where you could reconsider though. I know what youíre saying with things like Sirius, and other online kinds of subscriptions. At least most of them remind you ahead of time though, so you can always cancel if you no longer want it.
I remember a few years ago when a direct energy guy came by to try and get me to switch.
he wanted me to do him a favour and sign up so he got credit for the sale. his selling point was that I had 10 days to cancel with no penalty so it was a win win for everyone.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:44 AM   #12
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I've come across this in a couple of agreements, I just crossed that part out. The salesperson at the time complained that you can't change the agreement, I told them no deal then and they backed down.


Always read what you sign.
Did the contract state that the salesperson could alter the terms? I know in the early cell phone contracts there were clauses that the contract could not be modified by the sales person so something crossing out the clause might not work.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #13
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Did the contract state that the salesperson could alter the terms? I know in the early cell phone contracts there were clauses that the contract could not be modified by the sales person so something crossing out the clause might not work.
Well obviously you cross that clause out first.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:08 PM   #14
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Further on this, I’ve instructed this company to cancel a service for something we’ve been using in my office. They say they will bill me for the service to the end of the current term. I own the business and someone else ordered the service and signed for it; I just accepted it although it wasn’t my wish. She signed a five-year agreement that renewed in July 2018 for another five years. Cost is about $1,800 over five years.

They can bill me but the invoice will not be paid. If they sue (I doubt they would) my argument would be that I didn’t sign and the one who did didn’t have my authority therefore it’s not valid. I could offer 10% if they call it a day but I’d be reluctant to even do that.

Any opinions whether my case is strong?
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #15
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Further on this, Iíve instructed this company to cancel a service for something weíve been using in my office. They say they will bill me for the service to the end of the current term. I own the business and someone else ordered the service and signed for it; I just accepted it although it wasnít my wish. She signed a five-year agreement that renewed in July 2018 for another five years. Cost is about $1,800 over five years.

They can bill me but the invoice will not be paid. If they sue (I doubt they would) my argument would be that I didnít sign and the one who did didnít have my authority therefore itís not valid. I could offer 10% if they call it a day but Iíd be reluctant to even do that.

Any opinions whether my case is strong?
No - could you imagine if that was how business worked? "Well, Bill signed that agreement last year, but he retired last year. I'm not honoring that agreement anymore - Bill's not around anymore!"
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #16
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Further on this, Iíve instructed this company to cancel a service for something weíve been using in my office. They say they will bill me for the service to the end of the current term. I own the business and someone else ordered the service and signed for it; I just accepted it although it wasnít my wish. She signed a five-year agreement that renewed in July 2018 for another five years. Cost is about $1,800 over five years.

They can bill me but the invoice will not be paid. If they sue (I doubt they would) my argument would be that I didnít sign and the one who did didnít have my authority therefore itís not valid. I could offer 10% if they call it a day but Iíd be reluctant to even do that.

Any opinions whether my case is strong?
Internet lawyer alert

Does she buy other things for the office of a similar nature? Is there a written approval structure that she violated? Would the company entering the contract have any reason to doubt that she had the authority to make the contract?

I think you lose on the first 5 year contract becuase you didnít attempt to cancel based on the person who didnít have authority making the deal in the first 5 years.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:20 PM   #17
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@mrkajz44 - she’s no longer here.

@ggg - the automatic renewal in July 2018 was for the third five-year term. She has signed for things with permission in the past; permission not given this time.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #18
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@mrkajz44 - sheís no longer here.

@ggg - the automatic renewal in July 2018 was for the third five-year term. She has signed for things with permission in the past; permission not given this time.
way back in purchasing classes, I thought they mentioned assumed/implied authority.
So if I've been signing off on purchases with a company, they have the right to assume going forward I have authority to do so, and the contract would be enforceable.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #19
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IDK, man. Sucks you're in a contract you don't want, but delegating away signing authority on anything is not the greatest. I run a business, too, and I'm the only one that signs anything. Every bill hits my desk, I verify and initial it. Then 30 days later I see my initialed bill again when it's time to pay, so every bill I'm literally double checking. It's a bit of a PITA, but at least I can see everything before it's paid. Then at month-end I print off my statement and go through all of my cheques one by one to make sure everything I paid is something I actually wanted to pay.

This contract thing is lame, but would be lamer is somebody embezzling from you. Letting anyone other than you have signing authority is the quickest way to compromise your company's finances.

I did have the contract extension thing happen to me once. Luckily it was just a year I had to pay and not five. They let me negotiate it down to their lowest monthly service charge in exchange for me not taking any of the service (since I didn't need it). Maybe there's an opportunity to pay them something to get out of it?
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:30 PM   #20
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....Maybe there's an opportunity to pay them something to get out of it?
Yeah, maybe Iíll offer six months or 10 cents on the dollar, take it or leave it.
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