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

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2014

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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