Beware the Contract Trap
23rd March 2015
How many of us really fully read the small print on any contracts that we sign. Very often this is so small it is almost unreadable and doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, so what do we do? Well, all too often we take the sales persons word for it, then find ourselves regretting this when we are tied in for years to a company providing less that satisfactory service.
No where is this more true that in the area of the provision of a ladies sanitary disposal service. A recent programme on the radio highlighted the plight of customers tied into long term contracts, with a national supplier, who were faced with regular inflation beating price increases when they thought they had a fixed price, as well as receiving an unacceptable level of service. The only way that many of them were able to get out of the contract was by going through the courts.
One company, however, has turned this on its head. VR Sani-Co Ltd a leading washroom services provider in the South East and based in Herne Bay, have been providing specialist washroom services including sanitary and nappy disposal, air freshening, vending and sanitising services for almost 20 years without asking customers to sign any contract whatsoever. Martin Crowther, managing director says “I have always hated contracts myself so did not see why I should expect my customers to sign them for our services”. VR Sani-Co Ltd believe in retaining our customer base through a combination of quality, reliable service and a competitive and stable pricing policy Martin Director of VR Sani-Co LTd also has a bit of advice for those people thinking of tying themselves into a contract with a supplier.
a) Tell them you will not sign up for more than one year – if they really want your business they will probably agree to this.
b) Very carefully check what wording is in the contract that allows the company to increase prices – if there is any doubt get clarification in writing
c) Check if you are able to reduce the number of sanitary bins on service if your business changes or you need to downsize – again any doubt get this in writing.
d) Check the number of service visits that you are promised and the intervals between. You may be promised say 8 visits a year, but the supplier may have met their obligations even if for example it varies form a few days to several months.
e) Make sure that you receive a service sheet at every visit and put complaints in writing, this is vital in the event of any disputes.
f) Finally, beware of promises made by the salesperson that are not backed up in writing.