Battling a service provider - Legal advice needed!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Lunja, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Lunja macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #1
    Hi all -


    To cut a long, agonizing and frustrating story short, I've signed up for a free trial with a website hosting company, and during the trial I have "3 months" to cancel or amend the service, otherwise they will sign me up to a 2-year, £35 a year contract.

    I signed up for the service on 19th March 2008, and yesterday (19th June 2008) I tried to amend my service to a cheaper tarriff, and I was told that my three months were up.

    My question is this: in English law, what does "3 months" actually mean? To me, this term is ambiguous, because it does not state whether I have until the beginning of the day, on the same date three calendar months forward of signing up (ie. by 12:01am yesterday); or the end of the day three calendar months forward of signing up (ie. by 11:59pm yesterday)? And also, is '3 months' a legally binding term anyway? If someone took up an account in January, would they be entitled to less free time because February has only 28 or 29 days?

    I would be extremely grateful for any advice that could be given.
     
  2. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #2
    Common sense would suggest that if your three month trial started on the 19 March that it would end on 18 June, in the same way that if a week starts on Monday, it ends on Sunday.
     
  3. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    IANAL, but your first move should be to read the small print. It may specify a number of days. However, even if it does say 3 months, that would have been up yesterday, as these restricted get-out periods start on the day the original contract was agreed, so today - from the dates you give - would be three months and 1 day - you're not within the 3 month period, sorry.

    Having said all of the above, it does seem a little OTT not to provide some compromise walk-away clause, and, dependent on the terms of the contract, you may have other alternatives.

    If you believe you're being treated badly, print out a copy of the contract + small print and take it to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau. They should be able to advise you what to do next.

    Good luck :)
     
  4. dotcomlarry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Akron, PA
    #4
    If you're looking for legal advice, consult a consumer rights group or a lawyer. Don't look for 'legal advice' on a message board, of all places.
     
  5. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #5
    Thanks for the speedy responses guys!

    I've read over their small print many times, and "3 months" is all that is stated.

    This is the exact wording:
    " The Trial User account is a Trial of the Unlimited User account. It is free for 3 months and at any point during the 3 months can be cancelled or Upgraded to any package. If the account expires it's 3 month trial then the customer will be automatically moved onto an Unlimited User account (2 yearly) and billed accordingly"

    The fact that the above statement contains a spelling mistake ("it's" instead of "its") makes me wonder if the contract is in some way void because the wording is not clear.

    It also doesn't specifically state when the three month trial starts or when it finishes. As I said, it is this ambiguity that makes me question whether this is legally binding.
     
  6. Lunja thread starter macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #6
    I appreciate your concern, but I'm looking for opinions on how the term "3 months" should be interpreted. I'm about to speak to Citizens Advice and clarify my position, and a formal letter of complaint has been sent to the company in question.
     

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