Can a business legally refuse payment from someone that is using their contracted for services?

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Can a business legally refuse payment from someone that is using their contracted for services?

Almost 1 year ago, we signed a year agreement with a veterinarian. About 3 months later, we sold our dog and tried to transfer our commitment to the buyer. They agreed to pay the monthly fee and use the vetrinarian service. There were no problems for about 6 months. They paid regularly, used the service, and the company accepted payment. About 3 months ago the vetrinarian refused to accept payment even though the buyers of the dog were willing and tried to pay for the services they were using. Now, the vetrinarian is threatening to hurt our credit if we don’t pay.

Asked on September 17, 2014 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your question would be answered by your agreement, the one you'd signed with the vet. If the agreement stated that it could not be assigned (transferred to another), then the vet would have the right, as per the terms of the contract, to not allow the buyer to take over; or if it stated that if transfered, the original customer is still responsible for payments, they could hold you liable and insist on you paying. In the absence of terms like this, you should be able to assign the agreement to a new person, so that person becomes obligated under it, but you can only do that if the agreement didn't prohibit you from doing so. Therefore, you need to review the terms of the agreement you signed to understand your rights and obligations in this situation.


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