Chapter 7- FAIR GO FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Dave’s business has been performing very well lately, and he decides that he wants to set up a store online, so that customers can see what they have in stock and shop online. It also allows them to book appointments for Dave to visit their home to inspect their pool.
To do this, Dave requires an internet provider. After some investigation he decides to use Exetel, who is a major player in the internet market.
Dave signs a standard form contract with Exetel. The contract contains a clause that says ‘Exetel may vary any part of the agreement for any reason ’.
A few months later, Exetel nearly double the amount that they wish to charge Dave for the service. He feels this is unfair, but is worried that he may have to pay because he signed the contract.
In 2016, new legislation was passed to protect small businesses owners like Dave from unfair contracts, provided certain conditions exist.
The above contract will probably be considered unfair, as only one party was permitted to vary the terms. In this case the offending clause would probably be removed, thus preventing Exetel from increasing the fee.
Q and A
Q: I signed a contract that I don’t understand, am I bound by what it says?
A: Generally, yes, if you sign a contract that is not unfair you are bound by the
terms, even if you don’t understand what it says.
Q: How do I avoid entering into a potentially unfair contract?
A: Before entering into a contract that includes terms that are not acceptable, it is important to seek legal advice.
How can E Berman & Co Solicitors help me?
E Berman & Co Solicitors is a Chatswood law firm that has been providing quality legal services to the public since 1984. Contact our office on 9412 2493 – we’re more than happy to have a quick chat! You can also visit us on our website for more information.
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