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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33397
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am trying to cancel a contract with a waste management service

Customer Question

I am trying to cancel a contract with a waste management service for my retail store. The contract was signed in 2002 for a 3 year period, with automatic renewal for an additional 3 years. In order to cancel, the provider is to be notified by certified mail 60 days before the end of the contract period. Apparently I should have sent the certified letter in June, but since I could not find my copy of the contract, I did not know about the 60 day notification period. I did send a certified letter that was delivered on July 28, 2001. This letter stated that it was notice of cancellation and gave them 5 days to respond with a copy of a valid contract, if no response was made within the 5 days it would be assumed that there was no valid contract. The service company responded 8 working days later, stating that there was a contract that was valid because I did not send the cancellation letter within the 60 day time frame.
My question is, do I have a legal claim to cancel the contract, or can they make me stay with the service company for another 3 years?

Thank you, XXXXX
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
Most courts frown on automatic renewals so you have that going for you, particularly when it is from that long ago. If you never received a copy of the contract then you have a better argument but a lot of this depends on the local judge. Some would let you out and some will sat it is valid. The best solution is to ask a local lawyer what their take is on how the judge will look at it.

As far as your letter to them with the 5 day language, it really doesn't have much legal effect. You can't unilaterally change a contract.

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Several customers have asked how they direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to provide information for you just put “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line and I will pick up the next time I am online.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Your answer was not any help, only common sense. I already knew this much.


Thanks anyway. LR

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, it's a correct and complete answer. We have no idea what you do and do not know unless you tell us.