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We were signed up with a company for social media monitoring

Hello, we were signed up...
Hello, we were signed up with a company for social media monitoring - the contract is up on 29 September and I told them this week we wouldn't be renewing it. They replied by saying it was too late as they automatically renew it 1 month before -I wasn't aware of this and we haven't been contacted to discuss a renewal. They say we have been contacted to offer us special deals on the renewal but we have no record of that.
JA: Are you in the UK or are you in the States?
Customer: Here are their t&cs - https://www.pulsarplatform.com/terms We're in the UK.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not yet - my boss just asked me to try here first
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: There is a clause on the T&CS that says they're a cooling off period after the start of the renewal - I've tried to argue that with them but they say that's for new subscriptions - I don't think the clause is clear enough on that but as I'm not a lawyer not sure its argueable!
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9/19/2017
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,538
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

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I will take a closer look at the terms and get back to you shortly

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you Ben. Let me know if you need any more information.

When did you initially enter into this agreement?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hi, our 2nd year with them is just about to end (29 Sep).

Was it initially a 2 year contract or was it a one year contract which has already automatically renewed once?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
It was a 1 year contract which we then renewed but it wasn't automatic - they contacted us to offer us special deals. They offered us either 1 year for a certain price or 2 years for a reduced price - we took the 1 year.

And just to be clear - which term are you saying relates to a cooling off period following renewal?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
It's this one - 10.3 Without prejudice to any other rights or remedies available to it, the Customer may terminate this Agreement on or prior to the tenth Business Day after the Subscription Start Date by giving at least three (3) Business Days’ prior written notice to PULSAR.

Thank you. So looking at the terms the relevant one is 10.1, which states that “The parties agree that the term of this Agreement shall renew automatically for an additional twelve (12) month period, …unless the Customer provides PULSAR with written notice of its intention not to renew the terms of this Agreement at least one (1) month prior to the expiration of the Term.”

There is no requirement on them to have contacted you in advance to remind you of an upcoming renewal and it would be entirely down to you to ensure the termination is communicated in good time. This is a typical rolling contract, which is quite common and can be legally binding, assuming you knew of the renewal terms in advance, which you do.

The cooling off period would indeed most likely be related to new subscriptions as it is unusual to have a cooling off period for renewals. However, you can try and check to see if you are issued with a Statement of Works by them following this renewal and it contains the new Subscription Start Date. If you look at the wording in 10.3 it states that this date is relevant and looking at the definitions:

- Subscription Start Date means the subscription start date set out in the Statement of Works;

- Statement of Works means the statement of works to be completed and executed by PULSAR and the Customer.

So if they issue you with a new Statement of Works with a new Subscription Start Date you can try and argue you have met the requirements to be able to cancel it within 10 days.

However, if it was to go to court I am not too convinced they will necessarily agree because as mentioned cooling off periods are mainly used at the start of the contract rather than for renewals.

So if you renege on the contract they could pursue you legally for damages. However, they are not entitled to the full amount of their service until the end of the contract. They are entitled to compensation/damages which is their loss of profit. So it would be the actual profit they may have made, not the direct cost of services to you. This will be much less than the fees you would have had to pay for the full year. You can also try and cancel the contract and send them a cheque or payment and tell them it is in full and final settlement of the fees you would owe them and if they cash or accept that payment then you can argue that they cannot claim further against you. At least try that, you have nothing to lose. If they reject that and wish to continue pursuing you there is nothing stopping them from doing so and even going to court. However, they would have to justify that hat they are after is fair and reasonable and as mentioned that will almost certainly be a much reduced amount than what they may be after.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thanks Ben, I'm going to discuss with my boss and check if she needs any more info. If not I'll leave the rating.

No problem, thank you

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Sorry for the delay - I've been in meetings this afternoon. Will sort now.

No worries at all and thanks for coming back to me

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Morning Ben, my boss has asked me to check something with you...We’ve been sent a copy of the contract we originally signed (attached) – this states that the contract ended on 29 September 2016 and we haven’t signed another contract since. We also have emails between us and the company when we resubscribed last year which clearly states we want to renew for 12 months. The emails are below for reference. Does the rolling contract still stand?EMAILS:
Hi Alicia, (THIS IS FROM US)
I did email on Friday RE one year renewal, however I received an out of office message for both you and Hannah! Just wanted to confirm that we would like to sign up contracts for one more year only, if you could send these over we will get them signed and returned ASAP!
Thanks,
Charlotte AltyFrom: alicia maravic [mailto***@******.***] (THIS IS FROM THE COMPANY)
Sent: 19 September 2016 13:14
To:***@******.***
Cc: Hannah Ball
Subject: Re: 2 Year Renewal [Scanned by Freecom.net]Hi Charlotte,Great news! I will catch up with Hannah once she is back. We look forward working with you over the next 12 months.If you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to reach out to me.Have a great day and all the best,Alicia

Hi, it would all depend on whether you were still bound by the terms on question (the ones we looked at yesterday). Even if last year was not an auto renewal from the previous year, you still entered into a new contract for 12 months. If the same terms applied to it, then at the end of these 12 months there would have still been an auto renewal this year, regardless of how the contract started a year ago. So it all comes down to whether these were the relevant terms, or if you were issued with some other different terms when you renewed last year

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sorry for the slow response Ben - I've been in meetings/out of the office. Thanks for all your help.

No problem and you are most welcome

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