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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I paid money franchise but never got a franchise contract

Customer Question

I paid money for a franchise but never got a franchise contract from the organisation. They sent me equipment but I did not use or even open the package due to not having the contract.
I paid the amount one year ago and now their asking for the yearly renewal fee!
In the past year I have asked them many times for the contact! Also in the past year they moved premises and one of the directors left, both which I was not notified of but found out from another franchisee.
Would like advise as to where I stand. Don't want to pay the yearly renewal fee. Willingly send back the equipment. As I have not signed a contract where do I stand legally ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this. Have you used their service at all in the last year?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What does the contract say about renewal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't have a contract and have never seen it
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, but did you agree anything verbally?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They probably would have said this when I made enquiries but was expecting all of this in writing and the contact.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I suppose you haven't tried to cancel?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I have not tried to cancel. As I haven't had contract and not opened packages can I say to them they have packages back etc, can I then say I won't pay the yearly fee or can I even request refund of fee I initially paid? Just wanted to know where I would stand legally?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
On the face of it, you are liable.
It depends what was agreed. They are almost certainly saying that there was an automatic roll over and you accept not cancelling. The only challenge you could bring on that point is to argue that they should have written to warn you of the roll over and there is some case law in support of that.
However, there was clearly a contract at the outset. You might well have found it unsatisfactory but you have to cancel to escape and you did not.
You might be able to invoke the cancellation clause now even though the anniversary date has passed.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?