If I accidentally agreed to a magazine contract because I couldn’t understand the telemarketer, is this contract legally binding?

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If I accidentally agreed to a magazine contract because I couldn’t understand the telemarketer, is this contract legally binding?

A few months ago I got a call from a telemarketer (who I thought was from Visa). I was offered a month of free magazines and stupidly I accepted. Now a few months later I am being told by this company that I agreed to a contract that totals to over $1,000. I feel like they took advantage of me, the telemarketer I talked to barely spoke English and I totally understood him. They tell me that they have a recorded conversation of me agreeing to the contract. I am paying the monthly cost now to avoid my credit being ruined. How do I get out of this contract?

Asked on July 11, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You might not be able to get out of the contract. If you can show that the telemarketer committed fraud in some way--for example, that he lied about the cost, subcription length, ability to cancel, the magazine(s) you'd be getting, etc.--then you would have good grounds to get out of the contract. However, if he did not lie, and the only problem is that you did not understand him, that it not a basis for cancelling a contract; it is the buyer's responsibility to make sure that he or she understands the deal--knows the terms, the cost, any kickers, etc. It is the buyer's duty, if there is any confusion or ambiguity to either ask questions to clear it up--or to refuse to do the deal. So if you think that the recording and any other evidence will show fraud or misrepresentation, that is one thing; but if you think it will show what the company says it does, and that you simply did not understand it, you probably will not be able to get out of the contract.


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