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Company with unfair contract terms, advice please

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  • Company with unfair contract terms, advice please

    Hi guys! It's been a while since I posted, not sure if this is in the right section, but I wonder if anyone can give me some advice on a company trying to force me to renew a contract.

    ​​​​​​In my business I use accounting software, I won't name the company in public for now.

    Each year they usually send me a renewal notice informing me of the cost to renew the software licence for another 12 months.

    They are meant to give me notice, within enough time as so I can decide whether to cancel the renewal or not.

    Their terms state i must give notice no later than 90 days before the current licence expires.

    Here's the issue, this year, I received no notice of renewal, the first time I was made aware of the following 12 months licence fee was when they sent me an invoice on 27th March.

    My current licence expires on 4th April.

    When I emailed them 1 day later on 28th to cancel the renewal because the price had gone up by £700! They told me I hadn't canceled in time and would have to pay for a further 12 months.

    Surely they must have to inform me of any price increase by way of notice and allow sufficient time for me to decide whether I wish to renew or not? They can't just simply email me an invoice 4 days before it's due and use the excuse I didn't cancel in time?

    How would I be able to make an informed decision?

    Would this fall foul of ant unfair contract or consumer rights law I could be made aware of incase they persist?

    Any help would be appreciated. And hope everyone is doing well at AAD!

    I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

    If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

  • #2
    I guess they will say that they sent a renewal notice, so maybe you should send a DSAR to see what their records show.
    I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

    If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

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    • #3
      Well they may, but that doesn't change the fact they require 90 days cancellation notice, which is unfair.

      I've been doing some research and according to the consumer rights act, a lengthy period of cancellation is deemed an unfair term.

      Anyway I've told my bank to not allow payment to them so they can demand what they like, I won't be paying lol
      I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

      If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

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      • #4
        Is it a consumer contract or a trade/business contract.- less protection for trade I believe.
        but the contract would still be unfair without the consumer act if they require more from you than they are willing to give. ie 90days notice.

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        • #5
          Well technically its business, but I was self employed at the time, so I believe it would fall under consumer.

          I got a reply to them today. They said, I'm made aware of price increases when an invoice is sent, and I have to cancel before 90 days prior to renewal.

          Basically skirting over the issue.

          I have subscriptions for 4 seperate types of software with them, each one apart from the one I'm disputing, they manage to send a renewal notice 4 months before the expiry date, but this one they never did, the last I one I received for this peice of software was last year prior to that renewal.

          Their point in today's email is flawed, they can not just increase the price issue and invoice within the period you are unable to cancel unless first telling someone what that increase will be so they can make a decision.

          Regardless of the terms I agreed to, if they are deemed unfair then I have a right to break those terms.

          Anyway, Ive told my bank to not allow any payments to them, I'm going to ignore them now and see what they do next.

          I can't see them issuing court action personally, and if they did, I think I'd actually want to challenge it.
          I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

          If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

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          • #6
            i agree with you that contractually and legally they are lost, you just would't use a consumer rights act to defend it. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
            Interpretation


            2.—(1)

            “consumer” means any individual who in relation to a commercial practice is acting for purposes which are outside his business;

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            • #7
              Fair enough! Do you happen to know which legislation I could refer to?
              I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

              If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

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              • #8

                For now, I would be very vague in quoting contract law in your communications with them.
                You could just refer to
                'contract legislation'
                and that a term
                'should be fair and reasonable to allow reliance on it, having regard to all the circumstances'
                or that there requirement fails
                'the reasonable test' in contract law.

                At the very least it makes it look like you are being 'reasonable'.

                Until there is a claim you won't know how to defend.
                I would not like to be the person to suggest the most appropriate legislation to be referring to.

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                • #9
                  Ok cool thanks for your help
                  I'm an official AAD Moderator and also a volunteer, here to help make the forum run smoothly. Any views or opinions are mine and not the official line of AAD. Similarly, any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability. If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional - Find a Solicitor or go to the National Probono Centre.

                  If you spot an abusive or libellous post then please report it by Clicking Here. If you need to contact me, for instance if I've issued you a warning, moved, edited or deleted your post, please send me a message by clicking my username.

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