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"Evergreen" telecom contract


I have an issue with a telecom contract and I was wondering if anyone has dealt with anything like this before.

My old telecom company has an "evergreen contract," this is a clause in my contract that automatically renews every year. So when my initial 4 year contract was ending I found a much better deal and switched providers. About 15 days later I recieved a bill from my old provider for my next years service in whole. When I called about this I was told I had an "evergreen contract" and it automatically renewed but since I switched providers I was in breach of contract.

I have disputed this claim and they have denied it. They are starting in with some pretty good threats. Out of principal I can not bring myself to write this $400 check for a service they did not provide.

Any suggestions?
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PFG, Picture Framing God
A letter on a lawyer's letterhead always looks tougher than either a call or a letter from you...


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
It's kind of like "negative billing" -- the practice of giving consumers a product or service without their consent, and providing
an "out" only by action on the part of the consumer, for example unsubscribing by
phone. Here in Canada the government stepped-in and OUTLAWED "negative billing" after a fiasco involving the Roger's Cablesystems.

I find it hard to believe that the "evergreen contract" would stand up in court.

Bill Henry-

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I broke a contract with a phone company who promised me DSL (in another contract). They were unable to provide me with DSL – the salesman knew it when he got me to sign it.

When I switched companies, they tried to get me to pay the balance of the contract. I refused. They turned it over to a collection agency. After one phone call from them when I again refused, they dropped it.

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have such a contract with a satellite-music provider. It's for two years and automatically renewed. I've alreasdy sent the cancellation letter via certified mail, so that won't happen again.

Trash collection companies around here are famous for their evergreen clauses.

It may be different in other states, but in Ohio, if you give written notice of cancellation before a certain date (usually 30+ days before renewal) then the expiration date is real.

So now, when I get duped into a contract like that I just send the letter right away -- certified, so I have proof of the cancellation. No problem.

If I were in a contract-related business I would not have an evergreen clause. It's a cheap way to extend the contract for one more term.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

I just spent too much $$$ and time getting out of one when THEY made the error - the provider wrongly dated a contract and tried to stick us for 3 yrs remaining on a contract that had yet to end.

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Originally posted by Jim Miller:
Trash collection companies around here are famous for their evergreen clauses....

.....So now, when I get duped into a contract like that I just send the letter right away -- certified, so I have proof of the cancellation. No problem.
Our local trash company's contract states that you cannot cancel more than 180 days nor less than 90 days before the expiration date. However, since we moved at almost exactly the same time our contract was up they said we had to sign a new contract because of the new location. I said "Good, then we no longer have a contract." and they came and got their container (but not without a fuss). :mad:


Angry Badger
I had this problem with the provider of my security system monitoring service. They also sold and installed the system. It seems that the system became obsolete and no replacement parts were available for the wireless touchpad. They were unable to repair the touchpad, and there was no other way to activate the system. I gave them an opportunity to offer to replace the system with an up-graded one and they never responded, so I went about getting a different company to provide the hardware and monitoring services.
The first company continued to bill me for the monitoring, and I sent them the same letter every month saying why I wasn't going to pay them. It took about 16 months, but they got the message.
I also called ever month when the bill came and left a message for someone from customer service to return my call...never did.
I don't think that they are in business any more.
I was really POed when the monitoring contract automatically renewed well after they had stopped having anything to monitor.
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