Annual renewal agreements seem convenient right?. You sign up for a software service or a subscription, give your credit card and there are no worries. The first year might even offer a discount on that sign up cost. However, let the subscriber beware!
I learned the hard way on a couple accounts that I signed up for and this is isolated to me specifically, however I wanted to identify this is pretty-much in the small print of most annual renewal contracts you might have been signing up for.
For starters these annual renewal fee software/streaming services give you a discount to get your financial information. A lower price at the beginning and a discount if you pay for the year in advance. However come that 365 day renewal you realize you don’t need that service anymore or you no longer want to keep going with your subscription. Specifically in one case I experienced, TeamViewer software, in their terms and conditions, from their support services
“Unless otherwise specified in the Order, the Contract has an initial term of twelve (12) months (“Initial Term”) and shall subsequently be renewed automatically for additional periods of twelve (12) months (each a “Renewal Term”), unless either party notifies the other party no less than twenty-eight (28) days prior to the end of the Initial Term or any Renewal Term that it has elected not to renew the Contract.”
As your request was sent outside of the contractual renewal period, cancellation is not permitted for the current invoice. “
Along with a few other annual fee subscribed software services have a clause that you can cancel at any time but must do so 28 days prior to the actual renewal date. What’s interesting is that they will tell you on the 30th day that they are processing your credit card payment and according to the terms and conditions deems this is legal. Meaning you just paid for another year of service whether you want it or not.
I consulted with a few legal experts, specifically MTS paralegal services, and advised that I might still have a chance to get out of the agreement. If you cancel on the day of the contract, you should be able to allow yourself the ability to get out of it if your in the Province of Ontario. According to certain laws Ontario has protection on most renewal agreements. Especially when the cost is altering from the initial purchase.
Also remember in certain states and provinces credit information is NOT legally allowed to be stored and if it is, you need to have the rights to have your credit card information removed from their database. This could be a huge issues with identity theft.
Be extremely cautious and wary about renewal agreements and the tech support scammers and signing up with your credit card on a yearly basis. Keep an eye on that small print, as it will come back and possibly haunt or drain your bank account depending on your situation. And trying to fight it at the bank or the credit card company isn’t going to be an easy task. According to the legalities you would be liable and required to make the payment. I highly suggest if you need legal assistance you can give MTS paralegal services a phone call or send them a known as I have had them represent me on a few occasions that have got me through some contractual obligations.
Regardless of what service you sign up for the small print will always get you in the details. Be cautious and in the case where TeamViewer renewal at the end of the year, caught many subscribers with an increased by more than 200% on the cost and advising two days after you were allowed to cancel.