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Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

I'm floored by the number of people who are angry when they decide to cancel their service before the two year contract is up and then, as they agreed to, are required to pay an early termination fee. And/or have to return the equipment they leased.
Or the people who claim they never signed a contract. Hughesnet, or any company, would not be delivering service to you without a signed contract.
I'm also surprised at the number of people who are surprised by these things. Do people really sign contracts they don't read?? (I suppose that's a rhetorical question.)
I am old enough to remember when a handshake was good enough for both sides to honor an agreement. It seems now that even a multi-page written contract is not enough.
People seem to think that they can simply ignore a contract when it suits them to do so. Does a person's word mean nothing anymore? (also rhetorical)
This is not a problem unique to Hughesnet. I see it in many areas of life. A young woman recently told me she isn't going to repay her student loans because she didn't get a job after graduating. I explained a) the student loan contract explicitly states that not getting a job in your field after graduating is NOT a reason for not repaying the loan, and b) nothing will ruin your credit more, and for longer, than defaulting on a student loan. She didn't care. She felt she had been given a raw deal, even though both federal student aid and the school had upheld their end of the contract. I'm stunned that people can just decide to not honor a contract.
Except in very rare cases, the deal with Hughesnet is explained clearly by the salesperson over the phone. The installer then explains it again (at least in my case he did). Then you have the opportunity to read the entire contract before signing it. Every prudent person should read any contract in its entirety before signing!!! I don't care how long it takes. Don't worry about keeping the installer waiting. Read the contract! That also goes for buying a car, a house, etc. Read the contract!! And understand it. Don't sign it until you understand every word of it AND agree to it.
Don't like the terms of the contract? Don't sign it. It's that simple. No one is forcing you to have home internet service. Life is possible without it. I don't love everything about the Hughesnet contract, but since my choice for internet where I live is Hughesnet or Hughesnet, lol, I decided I could live with the things I don't like. If I couldn't, I'd have the option to go to the public library, Starbucks, McDonald's, or my school for free internet.
When I sign a contract I honor it. This doesn't make me some kind of hero (or it shouldn't!). That should be normal adult behavior. If I had decided to cancel within the first two years I would have paid the early termination fee. If I ever move, or if Comcast ever gets out here to the boonies, I'll return the leased equipment, because it isn't mine. That's called being a responsible citizen. That's how you end up with an excellent credit score even with a low income.
And I guess that's my rant of the day. :-) Honor your contracts. Make your word the most valuable thing you own. Thanks for listening.
7 REPLIES 7
MarkJFine
Associate Professor

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

What you’re seeing is a thing that’s been trending for quite a while. It’s based in people having a general lack of responsibility for their actions, as well as the implications of their actions.

People see others on ‘reality’ TV that do or say whatever they want without having to deal with the repercussions, nor caring what those repercussions are. Then they think they can also get away with it.

To me, it represents a total breakdown in people’s personal ethics and morals, which seem to revolve around whatever’s good for them at the time. Incidentally, it’s also why the psychology of post-truth politics is so effective.

* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?


@
@debbie.jean.bro wrote:
I'm floored by the number of people who are angry when they decide to cancel their service before the two year contract is up and then, as they agreed to, are required to pay an early termination fee. And/or have to return the equipment they leased.

  I seriously considered it because of my data usage problems with Gen5
.
Or the people who claim they never signed a contract. Hughesnet, or any company, would not be delivering service to you without a signed contract.

  Did the Gen5 upgrade over the phone  I'm likely still under contract even though I didn't sign anything .

 Contracts run both ways.  If Hughes is not doing their part, you should be able to cancel.  I imagine there's enough "fine print" to cover them though,



Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?


@MarkJFine wrote:
What you’re seeing is a thing that’s been trending for quite a while. It’s based in people having a general lack of responsibility for their actions, as well as the implications of their actions.

  Unfortunately  for our society, you're right.  Turn on the radio and you'll soon hear:  "Don't let the credit card company trick you into paying off all of your debt".

  And BTW Linux will conquer the world!
maratsade
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

"And BTW Linux will conquer the world!"

 

I pay homage to our penguin overlords.

 

linux.jpg

debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

Agreed. The deal with a contract (peace treaty, trade agreement, etc.) is BOTH sides must do/provide what the contract spells out. When one side violates the contract, the contract is voided (i.e., if you don't pay your bill, Hughesnet doesn't have to keep providing you with service). If you can prove Hughesnet failed to provide what they promised, then indeed you are entitled to some sort of remedy, as specified in the contract and under state and federal law.
debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?

"We'll settle your IRS debt for pennies on the dollar!" "Pay less than half of what you owe on your credit cards!"
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Re: Do people no longer understand what a contract is?


@debbie.jean.bro wrote:
"We'll settle your IRS debt for pennies on the dollar!" 

Ninety-nine pennies on the dollar, plus their fee.   Smiley Tongue  


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