What is the best course of action to fight a contract for free/cheap?

I have a brand new business, we are not making much profit yet. We signed a
contract with a company, but feel their product did not deliver what was
advertised. They are refusing to allow us out of the contract, and are charging
us each month 1-year contract. I have issued a complaint to the BBB, is there
anything else I can do?

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Business Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF the other side either intentionally/knowingly lied about what they or their product could or would do, they may have committed fraud, and fraud can provide grounds to get out of (e.g. void) a contract and/or to seek monetary compensation. However, it's not enough that maybe they engaged in "puffery" or oversold themselves/their product somewhat, or that you had hopes which are not being met--you have to show a knowing lie to make out a case of fraud.
Or if there is some term or obligation in the contract which they are not fulfilling or doing, if that is an important or "material" part of the contract, their breach of contract could let you treat the contract as terminated.
The way you would go about the above, if you believe either of the above situations apply (and that, if necessary, you could prove it in court), you would tell the other side you are treating the contract as over and explain the reason, then stop paying and accepting their product. Be aware that if they disagree and sue you for breach of contract, to defend yourselves (i.e. to not be held to the contract), you'd need to be able to prove their fraud and/or breach in court.


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