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legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Signed up as lifetime member organization (circus Fans of

Customer Question

signed up as lifetime member for national organization (circus Fans of America) several years ago. Recently told I must pay annual dues to remain a member in good standing. I paid the required fee at signup. They said they have now discontinued lifetime memberships. can they legally do this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

A company cannot arbitrarily terminate a life time membership; rather, if at the time the customer signed up, if they paid for a life time membership and thus annual dues were not required, then the consumer would continue to be a life time member and would be entitled to all of the benefits that came with that membership; while the company is under no obligation to offer new customers this option, it is under obligation to continue to honor the lifetime membership.

Failure to do so is a breach of action; the consumer can request either a refund for the membership fee, or may file for specific performance-basically a court order directing the corporation to honor the lifetime membership.

Small claims is for cases under $5000:

Generally one can first write a demand letter, requesting the desired relief; then if they fail to provide that, one can file a civil suit to enforce one's rights.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.