Article

Absurd terms

18-Dec-2012

“Avtalet mellan oss och kunden skall för alla ändamål anses ha gjorts vid (leverantören) Plc:s säte och utgör det fullständiga avtalet mellan kunden och oss och ingen representation, sikt eller uttalande, muntligt eller på annat sätt, som inte finns i detta avtal kommer att vara bindande för oss mindre samma ges skriftligen och undertecknas av en styrelseledamot (leverantören) plc"

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  Unless you are one of our very rare readers who is fluent in Swedish, it’s absurd giving this to you, isn’t it?  It doesn’t make a lot more sense in English.

In the Office Equipment industry there are some wild and whacky contract terms, many of which can be found on suppliers service and maintenance agreements. These are often cobbled together by over-enthusiastic salespeople when they start their company or a new guy who ‘knows all that stuff’.   Today, we are going to look at a couple of terms found in maintenance and support agreements from a photocopier supplier based in Edenbridge, Kent, but they are not the only culprits.

 Clause 11:

(Quote) ‘The agreement between us and the customer shall for all purposes be deemed to have been made at (the supplier) Plc’s registered office and constitutes the entire agreement between the customer and us and no representation, term or statement, oral or otherwise, not contained in this agreement will be binding on us less the same is given in writing and signed by a director of (the supplier) Plc’ (Unquote)

Rough translation – This document is deemed to have been signed at our offices, even though it wasn’t, and you can’t change it in any way, shape or form, unless you get another document, signed by a director of our company, also deemed to be signed at our offices.

Ask yourself, other than being ridiculous and unfair, leaving sole traders completely without protection under the terms of the Consumer Credit Act, what could possibly be the point of such a wildly worded statement?

And here’s another one, I promise, I didn’t make it up – I couldn’t, it’s just beyond my imagination:

Clause 2.3:

(Quote) ‘The supplier reserves the right to vary the agreed cost per unit at any time to cover the increased labour, consumables and spare costs. You may terminate this agreement upon giving a written notice to us should the variation in the cost be more than an increase of 20% in any one year other than if the retail price index or subsequent replacement of that indices by 5% or more, (the supplier) Plc reserve the right to increase their charges. Such an increase will be limited to the actual rate at the point of calculation plus 20% backdated to the beginning of the agreement. Invoices or further invoice may be raised at any time during or after termination of the agreement to reflect such increases (unquote)

Rough translated: you can terminate this agreement if any annual increase is 20% or more, unless the RPI (or whatever it might be called in the future) increases by more than 5% in which case, you cannot terminate the agreement and you get the RPI increase plus of course 20% for good measure and as you are a good customer, it will be backdated to the beginning of the agreement, Oh, and if you happen to have completed the agreement and moved on somewhere else, no problem, they can still get you.  That is basic supplier economics, good people!

We don’t sell office equipment or arrange finance, we do write contracts, although not ones with clauses like these.  However, if you want to avoid contracts like these or you believe you may already be in one, we offer a free contract review for all of your office equipment, call us on 020 8695 7301, it’s a free review so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

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