How many times have you been asked to “just sign here” to open an account with a supplier?
Well, one of our clients opened several trade accounts for his limited company only to find, when the business stumbled, that he’d effectively signed away his car and his house.
I personally walked away from an agreement recently because it said “if you don’t use the sessions within 90 days they WILL be forfeit”.
When I worked it out, it wasn’t possible to use the sessions within 90 days as my trainer was planning a break during Christmas and the gym potentially needs to close to do building work.
Despite verbal assurances that they have never enforced the clause, I wasn’t willing to sign up.
So, my trainer has lost the advantage of me paying up front – I’m still going to do sessions as the Battleaxe needs to keep fit to wield a rolling pin with full force!
Insurance policies are another classic of this. People shop around for the cheapest deal only to find that there is a reason for that – they’re not covered when they want to claim because of the various exclusions on the policy.
For example, you are only really covered for theft if you have window locks of a certain type fitted.
Oh, and don’t forget, in this season of goodwill, to check your rights to return goods that you buy as presents or in the sales. There may be time limits for returns; you may only be able to get a credit note unless the good are faulty; there might only be a limited time to activate an additional warranty.
So, whether it is business or personal, read the small print - or it could cost you dear!