Is a service contract valid if the service is not offered in your new location?

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Is a service contract valid if the service is not offered in your new location?

We had a 3 year renewal contract with a security systems company in our former state of residence. We moved out of state where its services are not offered. We called and explained the situation and we were told that we would be let out of the contract. Now 9 months later we received a bill in the mail saying we owe the balance of the contract. Is the contract still valid if the service is not offered where I am living now?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The contract would be enforceable unless the contract itself had some terms in regards to  the "portability" of the service, which were violated under these circumstances. That's because when you sign any sort of a service contract--e.g. for an alarm system, for a gym, etc.--the contract is valid so long as the service provider continues to offer it in the location where you first contracted for it. The contract is judged by the circumstances under which you sign it, not by future changes to location, finances or lifestyle which you make. One party to a contract may not get out of it by moving or otherwise changing circumstances so it cannot get the benefit of the contract; only if the other party (the security systems company, in this case) stopped providing the service in locations where it was supposed to, could that provide grounds to terminate the contract without penalty.


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