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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 118779
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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The Better Business Bureau reached out to our company

Customer Question

The Better Business Bureau reached out to our company relating to a perceived 'negative option plan' we have. We initially invited companies to purchase a subscription from us and we included, clearly, that the plan continues until cancelled.
The BBB has created 'policies' that they use to force companies to use specific language and methods of doing business that isn't often the right or only way of doing something. Yet, if you don't do it that way, the business reputation will suffer.
So, the question, are there specific laws related to language used by businesses who use recurring billing. If you sign up for a phone line, for example, does the phone company have to include specific language and, if so, what statutes govern that can and can't be used.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Maryland does not have a statute for automatic renewal or evergreen contracts for service plans, only for health clubs. So, for any other type of business the courts merely look at whether or not the contract is clear and unambiguous and provides notice of the period of time the consumer/client has to cancel the contract.

BBB hates those contracts, because they do not think they are fair to consumers. However, if the contract clearly has a clause stating that the contract automatically renews unless canceled by a specific date and it is in bold and conspicuous type in the contract, you are fine and not committing any violations.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If serving customers in all 50 states, how would that work? We are based in Maryland though.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.

You can insert a clause in your contract stating the laws of Maryland apply to your contract, to save yourself from having to go to research the law of every state you operate in to determine their particular laws about these evergreen clauses.