How do I get out of a verbal contract for magazines?

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How do I get out of a verbal contract for magazines?

A company called and said I won a $1,000 prize to spend on-line. While telling me about said prize, I was told that I could get all these other things and all I would have to do is cancel later if I didn’t want them. When I tried to cancle the magazine subscription they said that I couldn’t because it was a contrac -t I agreed to over the phone and the call was recorded. I was able to cancel everything else, the magazine subscription was the only contract.

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If one term of the contract was that you could cancel later, that term is itself enforceable--you can cancel under the contract.

If cancellation is not a term under the contract, but they told you it was, then they lied--or in legal terms, committed fraud (knowingly made a material misrepresentation to induce you to enter into a contract). Fraud invalidates the contract; is something you can sue over, if you've suffered losses; and may even give rise to criminal liability. If they truly said you can cancel, you should be able to--and if they won't let you, you can report them to the police, to the state attorney general's office, (for whateve it's worth) to the better business bureau, and sue them.


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