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In order for a contract (executed electronically) to be legally

Resolved Question:

In order for a contract (executed electronically) to be legally binding, are both parties required to sign?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for requesting me. What is the subject matter of the contract - i.e., real estate, services? Also, could the contract duties be completed in less than a year by their terms. I'll at least need this information to give an accurate answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The contract was for "educational services." I had responded to an e-mail link forwarded by a family friend (later discovered that his computer had been hacked, messages had been sent to people in his address book, and he hadn't sent the message at all) to do computer work from home for an income. This is the company that I had inquired about earlier re covertly recording telephone calls. I have filed a complaint with the BBB regarding sales practices which were devious and disingenuous. In the contract, there was a "3-day" period beyond which the contract couldn't be cancelled. This period did not give sufficient time for the "buyer" to assess the integrity or quality of the program. When I called to cancel, I was refused and there is a significant of money on the line. Help!

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
When a merchant, online or otherwise, offers a sale of some product or service, it is not necessary that the merchant, or even the customer, sign a written contract for the sale to be binding. Generally, only the sale of real estate, contracts that cannot be performed in less than a year and assignments of debt must be signed to be binding. But this is not to say the terms of the sale are any less binding on the parties. The writing in the documents that conveyed the terms of sale to you show that the sale necessarily involved a 3-day grace period.

Maybe an example will help. I go into a gas station, see a pack of gum with a 25cent sticker on it, I take quarter out of my pocket and give it to the cashier....we completed a contract there and nothing was signed...there was agreement on the term of sale both parties accepted.

In your case, you saw the email with language that you could change your mind in three days and made the payment. You have a contract, with that particular term in it; not everything has to be signed in writing etc.

Hope this helps.
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2822
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney.
John and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is there any way to void the contract?

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Contracts are only void or voidable when they are against the law in some way. These work from home programs are from my own personal experience useless, but they're not against the law. What you could do is sue for breach of contract alleging that the program was not as promised or for fraud in that you were induced into the agreement with intentionally false information.
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2822
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney.
John and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. I've already spent WAY more money (charged to 3 credit cards) than I should have and feel like a complete fool. The company and their sales staff are very slick, and I feel they take advantage of people like me who are looking for ways to supplement their social security. I'm hoping the BBB is able to help. Within the past year, there have been 2 complaints filed against the company for deceptive business practices. One of the practices, which I encountered, was having someone constantly speaking to you when you are "reading" the contract. I suspect most people, like me, scanned it. Unfortunately, with the distraction, I did not see the ADDITIONAL $40/month for "tools" that they said were included in the total amount of the program.


 


I'm sure that as time goes on, there will be more complaints. According to BBB records, they have not been in business that long. It has been a very difficult and expensive lesson learned.


 


When I "clicked" on the link to "learn more" and provided my contact information to have it sent to me, a red flag should have gone up when I received an almost immediate phone call. From that point on, the sales pitch was high energy and high pressure.


 

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Under the Consumer Protection Act you may be entitled to a refund of your purchase . This law provides recourse where the salesperson misleads the consumer as to the true nature of the product and or its abilities. There are two ways to pursue the matter. One is to file a complaint with the Mass Office of Attorney General (OAG). To file a complaint with the OAG, retain as much evidence of wrongdoing as possible, including brochures, advertisements, records of related transactions and notes about conversations with company representatives and pursue the claim at this website. Note that the OAG will only prosecute your case as a class with other consumers...so unless they have other complaints against the store, you may not get personal recourse through the OAG.

The other is to file a claim in court against the company under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If you decide to pursue litigation you have to first send them a letter demanding to refund your money and the reasons why. If they refuse you can then pursue a lawsuit against them in court. If the seller fails to send you the amount requested within 60 days of receiving your letter, a suit can be filed. If a court finds that the conduct of the seller was committed "knowingly and intentionally" a court may also award not more than three times the amount of economic damages.

 

 

John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2822
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney.
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