Law Trumps Troubled Contract and Saves Consumer
In Raleigh there was yet another example of a consumer who was almost sunk by not reading or understanding what he had signed. A construction company was seeking to hold the consumer responsible for a large deposit on home restoration/construction services but the consumer said he did not realize the contract he signed was directing the company to do any work. Fortunately for the consumer a local news station got involved in the situation and probably applied the pressure needed for the business to rescind or cancel the contract.
But alas the consumer here may have been saved by the company’s “mistake”. The “mistake” (and perhaps I am being generous here) was that some required contract language was in fine print toward the end of the contract signed by the consumer—-not really conspicuous as is required in North Carolina law. The North Carolina statute that saved the consumer provides a three-day right to cancel home solicitation contracts. Home solicitation generally means the consumer or person seeking to cancel was approached at his or her personal residence by the other party to the contract. This law also covers many of the agreements pertaining to work-at-home and multi-level marketing (ex: Primerica, Amway, Mary Kay) business opportunities.
NOTE: There is NO general rule allowing you three days or any certain period of time to cancel a contract; only a limited number of contracts in North Carolina must provide a right to cancel. In addition to the home solicitation statute referenced above there is a statutory right to cancel prepaid entertainment contracts which are typically health club and fitness membership contracts.
Generally speaking, READ THE ENTIRE LANGUAGE OF ANY AGREEMENT YOU SIGN AND BE SURE TO GET A COPY OF THE AGREEMENT. If you think there is or should be a right to cancel be sure to find it in the agreement before you sign. If you sign without reading you will be at the mercy of what was written in the contract and what is written in the law. Not a good place for you to be.
If you are in need of a consultation regarding a contract matter feel free to contact me. Best wishes to you.