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Attorney2
Attorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6038
Experience:  28 Years In General Practice,
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I have a lease contract on an office printer that expired

Customer Question

I have a lease contract on an office printer that expired May 2016. Prior to the expiration we contacted the office to notify them via phone that we wanted to close the contract. They now automatically renewed and said we have another year 2 months post expiration and said that because we did not put it in writing we are obligated to the new renewal term. Is this legal?
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this.
Customer: Is there someone available to consult?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: They say it is on the back of the original contract.... we asked for a copy and they have not sent.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Welcome to JA and thank you for your question. Can you tell me the State that question pertains to?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
North Carolina
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Do you by any chance have a copy of the contract that you signed. First I want to see if there is an automatic renewal and if so what can be done to terminate this contract.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We have misplaced the contract and requested the company to send us a copy but they have not done so...
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

There are many contracts that have automatic renewals. There are usually very specific procedures you need to follow as far as providing them notice to cancel to stop the renewal.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
what I really need to know is if NC law allows for automatic renewal without written notification from the company. We verbally told them to cancel but they never informed us it needed to be in writing.
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Let's start with the law in NC on these awful auto renew contracts:

"Chapter 75 - Monopolies, Trusts and Consumer Protection.
§ 75-41. Contracts with automatic renewal clauses.

§ 75‑41. Contracts with automatic renewal clauses.

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose the automatic renewal clause clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer.

(b) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose clearly and conspicuously how to cancel the contract in the initial contract, contract offer, or with delivery of products or services.

(c) A person, firm, or corporation that fails to comply with the requirements of this section is in violation of this section unless the person, firm, or corporation demonstrates that all of the following are its routine business practice:

(1) It has established and implemented written procedures to comply with this section and enforces compliance with the procedures.

(2) Any failure to comply with this section is the result of error.

(3) Where an error has caused the failure to comply with this section, it provides a full refund or credit for all amounts billed to or paid by the consumer from the date of the renewal until the date of the termination of the contract, or the date of the subsequent notice of renewal, whichever occurs first.

(d) This section does not apply to insurers licensed under Chapter 58 of the General Statutes, or to banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, savings banks, or credit unions licensed or organized under the laws of any state or the United States, or any foreign bank maintaining a branch or agency licensed under the laws of the United States, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof.

(e) A violation of this section renders the automatic renewal clause void and unenforceable. (2007‑288, s. 1; 2007‑507, s. 17.)"

http://law.justia.com/codes/north-carolina/2009/Chapter_75/GS_75-41.html

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Let's start with the law in NC on these awful auto renew contracts:

"Chapter 75 - Monopolies, Trusts and Consumer Protection.
§ 75-41. Contracts with automatic renewal clauses.

§ 75‑41. Contracts with automatic renewal clauses.

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose the automatic renewal clause clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer.

(b) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose clearly and conspicuously how to cancel the contract in the initial contract, contract offer, or with delivery of products or services.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

So what we want to know is if the contract provided the proper disclosures to you for them to legally automatically renew the contract. Companies are permitted to do this provided they follow the law. I am with you I don't believe in automatic renewals and I feel it is not a good business practice as just lie in your case now you are very unhappy with the company and I doubt you would use them again or refer them.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

They MUST have this written in their contract and they MUST set out what is required for you to cancel.

What is the name of the company maybe I can pull up their contract?

Here is the law again for your reference

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose the automatic renewal clause clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer.

(b) Any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce that sells, leases, or offers to sell or lease, any products or services to a consumer pursuant to a contract, where the contract automatically renews unless the consumer cancels the contract, shall disclose clearly and conspicuously how to cancel the contract in the initial contract, contract offer, or with delivery of products or services.

(c) A person, firm, or corporation that fails to comply with the requirements of this section is in violation of this section unless the person, firm, or corporation demonstrates that all of the following are its routine business practice:

(1) It has established and implemented written procedures to comply with this section and enforces compliance with the procedures.

(2) Any failure to comply with this section is the result of error.

(3) Where an error has caused the failure to comply with this section, it provides a full refund or credit for all amounts billed to or paid by the consumer from the date of the renewal until the date of the termination of the contract, or the date of the subsequent notice of renewal, whichever occurs first.

(d) This section does not apply to insurers licensed under Chapter 58 of the General Statutes, or to banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, savings banks, or credit unions licensed or organized under the laws of any state or the United States, or any foreign bank maintaining a branch or agency licensed under the laws of the United States, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof.

http://law.onecle.com/north-carolina/75-monopolies-trusts-and-consumer-protection/75-41.html

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

What I want to know is if the cancellation period and the requirements on how to cancel were reasonable. If not you have a consumer protection complaint against them and if there was no disclosure they have no legal justification for the renewal. These are also referred to as Evergreen Clauses. Are you still with me?

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Expert:  Attorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Please ignore the premium services request. Just wanted to make sure that I answered your question. Please let me know.

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