The fine print and details can get us all from time to time. These people share when they were so glad they read the whole contract.
When Reading The Contract Actually Works In Your FavorGiphy
Bought a car and they offered bi-weekly payments if you signed up. Read the contract and there were no extra fees so it seemed like a no-brainer. After a few months, I compared my payments to the reduction of the principal and it looked like an entire payment and a half was missing. When I called to inquire about it, I was told that the $750 was an enrollment fee.
My jaw dropped. I never would have signed up for that fee for something I could do on my own for free. Went back, pulled out the paperwork and found that there was never an enrollment fee disclosed. The line for the amount was left blank. Sent the contact back to the company and they honored it.
I was offered an opportunity to contract with the state where I live. They had a clause in the boilerplate that said if they paid me within 10 days of receiving my invoice they could cut the amount they paid me by 10%. I brought it up to the person contracting with me and she had no idea the term was in there.
Not only had she never had anyone complain about it, she had never read the boilerplate herself. I got her to remove it and the contract went well...though it did take far more than 10 days to get paid.
The Spy ClauseGiphy
This was back in 2002-ish, when it wasn't entirely uncommon for people to not even have their own e-mail address, and it was basically unheard of for people to have work computers they took home or even the ability to work remotely at all.
So the company I worked for came out with a new computer use policy that was rather poorly written and became overly broad. What they meant to say "We can read your 1) business or 2) personal e-mails that use 1) our computers, 2) our physical network, 3) our digital network."
It was to cover themselves if you, say, got issued a laptop to go on a business trip (which my position would never be) and you signed into your personal e-mail from that laptop when you were off-site and IT sniffed the text then they wouldn't get in trouble.
What they actually said was "We can read your e-mails, personal or business, on our network or not, on our machines or not." Obviously they weren't going to hack into my personal e-mail that never saw a whiff of their machines or network to read my e-mails, but the policy they wanted me to agree to gave them the right to do it.
I refused to sign without striking out and re-writing the offending bits to say what they actually meant. They refused to accept that correction.
Eventually they decided that the original computer use policy I signed as a new hire was sufficient and I didn't have to sign the new policy. Apparently that was an easier sell to corporate than me fixing their oops.
No Thank U, Next
The AT&T next program is pretty trash. I sent both mine and my wife's phone in via UPS to trade in because we got new phones. I tried to trade them in via the store but was told I had to send them. I had tracking numbers saying they were delivered but AT&T insisted that the phones never arrived.
I paid close to $400 bucks after calling several times and trying to talk to a manager for hours. I paid it to make it go away and I had the money. I felt extremely ripped off and switched to Verizon shortly after.
Where There's Smoke
Almost got an apartment that I thought was non-smoking, but definitely wasn't non-smoking.
The website and the sales rep both said it was non-smoking, but...
- The lease clearly states that older tenants with legacy leases could still smoke.
- When confronted, the sales rep refused to tell me whether I would be near units with legacy leases or when the apartment complex switched over from legacy leases.
I don't react very well to being willfully mislead and that felt like a case of being willfully mislead.
Thank God I looked at the contract.
Sticking It To The ManGiphy
Nothing like anyone else's story, as it's more funny than surprising. Our school hands out these handbooks with every little rule so that they can tell you to "check the handbook" when you disagreed. Everyone's least favorite section was on cell phones. Phones had to be off and in lockers during school hours.
Last year, the teachers decided to strike and were forced to come back, so they protested by not letting students into homerooms until 7:45, as that was when their shift technically started. This means that because homeroom started at 7:45, so from 7:30 until then, it technically wasn't "school hours". Pick up on it yet?
My friend's girlfriend got her phone taken at 7:43 and was going to get suspended until I let her in on the secret. She told the office and she got it back alongside an apology from the teacher. That was probably the most justifying thing I've ever seen in that school which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.
Just to see if I was right, I asked my history teacher who was studying school centered law. He said I was entirely right and that he, even as a teacher, has given teachers crap for that stuff from the beginning. It was kind of amazing to hear that I was right and had outsmarted a teacher and to have it confirmed.
(Side effects may include: teacher hating you for cheating the system and being a smart *ss)
Ain't Got No Money In My Pocket And I'm Already Here
I was buying a car and the woman kept trying to get me to buy the extended warranty and service plan. She kept acting like not getting them would be the biggest mistake of my life, and I was like, "Are you telling me my brand-new car is going to s*** the bed in three years?"
After some more trying to convince me she printed a contract and told me where to sign. I spent 15 minutes reading it in front of her despite her insistence that it was just standard legalize, and lo and behold it had me agreeing to an extra $5,000 getting the extended warranty and service plan. She feigned ignorance ("Oh, I thought you finally decided on those,") then made a sad show of ripping up the contract and printing a new one.
So around 2009 I was working in a warehouse as a warehouseman / local delivery driver. Wasn't a bad job but it was salaried instead of by the hour which is unusual for that industry but when you had 30 min of overtime a month I was happy enough.
2008-9 with the economy and building trade gone to sh*t, we all had to sign to take a 10% pay cut or they'd have to pay more people off, I accepted my fate but I never signed the paperwork.
Few months later boss says at 5 minutes to close he needs me to go make a rush delivery. I said sure I want time and a half, he argued that I'm salaried, I argued that if he can change the terms of the contract then so can I and if he can show me where I agreed to the pay cut then I'd make the delivery.
After checking then the next day he gave me the paperwork to sign again, I added in writing that all overtime will be time and a half while wages are cut and asked him to sign and return a copy. Funnily enough I never did get a copy nor was I asked to do overtime again.
Sleazy Agency ExtraordinaireGiphy
This was in China. I signed up to work as an English teacher. There was an agency that handled the contracts, so they sent me a contract, I read it, it was ok, so I signed it.
In the contract one clause said I could have any three days off with pay during each semester for whatever reason. So when late spring rolled around I checked out the summer schedule which had all kinds of holidays and irregular scheduling dispersed, and I realized that the way my schedule and the school's schedule lined up so that during two weeks, I had only three days of work, and they just happened to be my busiest days.
So I told the administrator I would be taking those three days off, as per the contract, which would give me two whole weeks off. She said OK. I reminded her every week for two months about this, she said ok every time.
So I planned a vacation, two weeks of sight seeing. I even went to Mongolia by the trans-siberian railway.
I come back two weeks later to the last week of work, and the administrator is fuming! "Where have you been the last two weeks!?" she asks. I tell her I have been off, as I had told her 8 times already and which she agreed to. "You can't do that!" she claims. So I calmly show her the clause in the contract that clearly state I can, and she is flabbergasted.
The contract the school had with the agency didn't have that clause at all. So the contract I signed and the one the school signed didn't match. The agency had added and removed clauses in both the Chinese and English version in order to get both parties to sign, so the contracts didn't match at all.
Also while we compared contracts, the administrator grudgingly mentioned how much money she paid for me and for that price I better show up and yada yada. "Excuse me, how much did you say?" Turns out the agency charged the school 5 times more for my salary than what they actually paid me. They just pocketed 80%. So the school paid through the nose and I got a sh*tty salary and no one of us knew. No wonder the admin was so b*tchy.
But the admin let me be and went after the agency instead. They never renewed contracts with them after that. So I didn't get into trouble at least, but it would have been nice with a 500% raise, had I been able to read Chinese.
Old day spa I worked at tried to get me to sign a new contract that basically said that if x amount of products (skin care) were found stolen/missing at any time, the amount total would be divided between the therapists and taken out of our wages until the amount was paid back.
Told the girls how f*cked this was and that this is what insurance and stock take is for. Got written up for telling the girls the problems with the contract and that I was being disobedient for not signing.
I told them to shove it and to f--- off.
They were already doing shady sh*t and I kept getting "written up" every time I brought up that "that's illegal".
This spa chain is owned by Thais and were operating this hotel and spa in Australia, but running on thai laws, not aussie laws. I was also the only qualified therapist there and the only aussie.
I was constantly butting heads with the manager, and also cutting a lot of corners to make sure she made her bonus.
The laundry bill had gone from 1000 p/m to 100 p/m. The common complaint from clients were "stains on sheets/towels/linen".
SO F*CKING GROSS. I made a point that if I was closing to strip the beds and change sheets.
I had a pet service that would come and check on our cats when we were gone. We moved down the street, and they came over to get new keys, check out the new location and so on. They also wanted me to sign an "updated contract."
The new contract was almost exactly the same except listed a long section on "Non-disparagement" which essentially said they could sue me for however much they wanted if I left ANY bad review AND pay for their attorney's fees. (See here)
Obviously unenforceable, but definitely didn't sign it. After talking to the owner for like 20 minutes on the phone (yes, I mentioned the Streisand effect in passing), they agreed to just use the previous contract. As I was going away in a few days, I used them for that trip and then never used them again.
Turns out they later tried to sue a couple for $1 million. It got dismissed quickly (because duh), but having to deal with that wouldn't be my favorite thing. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2016/08/30/1m-lawsuit-plano-couple-one-star-yelp-review-dismissed
I work for a reasonably well known cellphone company that specializes in low cost service with no contract. That's all fine and dandy but people often don't want the low to mid tier phones we offer cheaply and gravitate towards the more expensive phones for quality. Naturally... the prices on apple products and upper tier droids are up there and that's where the bullsh*t comes into play.
We partner with progressive leasing (a separate company) and you only pay $49.99 that day to start the lease. Cool right? No....absolutely not. After applying in store they authorize you for a certain amount of money and blah blah, you get your phone (+accessories if you want) and AFTER the sale the customer reads the leasing terms.
Say someone gets an iPhone 8+ which we're currently selling for $799.99. You have a few options for leasing ranging from a 3 month buyout option to spreading it out over a year or two. Most opt for the year because it sounds reasonable but in reality the company ends up charging you over $2000USD thanks to their insane interest rates...even if you knock it out in 3 months with the buyout you still pay them an extra $250 or so. It's utterly insane and takes advantage of people in a terrible way.
TLDR Companies charge crazy interest rates but only show the nonsense after the sale is processed. Basically doubling the cost of phones.
A Piece Of Paper Ain't A Contract
Some woman rear ended me and wanted to pay for everything in cash to avoid going through insurance.
I was fine with that, but it ended up being like 3000 dollars in damage from a minor bump.
She paid for it, and then tried to get me to sign a sheet of paper that said she paid for it and she was no longer liable. One of the lines in the contract stated that I was accepting responsibility for the accident.
I never signed it, she was already pissing me off telling me she isn't going to pay for X and Y and we should go to her shoddy *ss family repair guy to fix it for a fraction of the cost.
Went to sign up at a martial arts school that had tae kwon do and brazilian jujitsu under the same roof.
I was handed a contract and told, "it's just like all the other 12 month contracts out there".
For those that don't know, usually you sign an agreement to pay in advance so that the owner of the school can budget month to month. There is also, usually, a discount for paying in advance. If you pay month to month, and break the contract, then you can be sure that you won't be getting hit by anything in court as not having to teach you is not an injury in most cases. You don't pay, they don't teach, nobody is out anything, especially when you're talking about less than 1 grand in tuition.
This contract, said that I was financing a year of lessons through another company. I noped out immediately. I assumed (and later found out I was right) that the owner of the school owned the financing company as well.
Since the finance company paid the martial arts school for the year in advance, the finance company was out of the money and did have an injury to claim in court if you broke the contract. I told the owner of the school that I wasn't interested, and he got belligerent with me and asked what I would do if I was attacked by somebody that knew martial arts. I told him, "I'll shoot them", and then I walked out.
I've had to break martial arts school contracts before because of moving or injury. This guy was just shady as f*ck all the way around.
Not so much a "read the contract" but at an corporate induction training session for a cruise liner, someone from head office said that we, as performers, had specific privileges pertaining to being officers despite it being our first contract for that company. When we boarded, we received further training and were informed none of the information delivered on land was applicable to us, and that theres no chance it was even mentioned...
That is until one of our singers went to on board HR having recorded the session without anyone's say so. She broke a lot of bull sh*t data protection rules within the company and they threatened to fire her. But we all threatened to walk for their treatment of us. So we got some ridiculously petty telling off, and all our privileges reinstated. Glorious
I previously worked for a managed services company for a total of 5 years, for my last 2 years there I utterly hated it. We knew they were going to make us all redudant, but they kept telling us our jobs were safe and we had nothing to worry about. They kind of made the dumb move of giving us the jobs to deploy the infrastructure in India where the jobs moved to. Fast forward to the day it happened, we were all locked out of the building and told we could collect personal items with an escort. When it came to getting our exit packages which is required by law here there was a retroactive NDA to sign, most people signed it blindly because they were so pissed off, one of the clauses in it basically read.
'You may not disclose any information about the company', not exact wording but the clause was so vague that it literally covered anything and everything that happened in the company during our time there which would have stung me hard considering i'm quite a vocal person when it comes to unethical practices.
I refused to sign it unless they re-worded it, still got my package, never heard from them. To this day I have nothing nice to say about their final few years of business practice, and if anyone asks me, I tell them very bluntly about my experience and if it comes to professional dealings with them I avoid it and recommend using other companies. Very glad I read that one.
Interesting How We Could Just Not Hire You Instead
While preparing for our wedding, my fiance and I went super nitty-gritty, reading every word of every considered vendor's contract.
One of the bands we considered came highly recommended, but had some pushy contractual demands. Have to hire their whole 8-piece band when we'd been looking for a 3- or 4-piece. Minimum of six hours' performance charge. Then we found the "unlimited booze" clause. Literally, their contract called for them to be entitled to unlimited food AND LIQUOR throughout the period of the reception - not even limited to the period of their performance, so they could pregame.
When called on it, they doubled down and tried to put it back on us, saying they'd never before had anyone try to force them to perform for hours on end with no food or water.
We quite liked the DJ we ended up with.
Get Off My LawnGiphy
This happened about 10 years ago during the housing crisis. My parents were in some deep sh*t with the payments. Some day out of nowhere a person shows up at our door and talks to my parents about a lowering our payments through their program. My parents call me to help them translate (they can understand English but can't read it). I was only 12 at the time and hated reading legalize papers but something struck me odd about the situation. I read through it a few times and understood it to be something like this.
You will sell us your house for free and you will pay us rent. I was twelve, I thought, "no way we would ever do this".
Sure I was young reading legalese to translate it to Spanish, but I told my parents let's take this paper to someone that can understand it because what I'm understanding doesn't seem right. So we ask the person if we can keep the paper and sign it later. He says that they can't do that. I ask why. He says they just can't. I say we won't sign it now until we know for sure what signing this means.
He says that's the only one he has. I ask if we can make a copy and he still says no. So he takes the paper back and gives me a paper that is a copy of a copy of a copy and says we can have that and says he will come back (this paper was something completely different with the same logo of the company).
So we take that paper and take it to our bank where our house loan is from and ask what this was about. The banker takes one look at it and tells us that whatever it is this was, not to sign anything as it seemed like a scam.
Thinking back to it what it appeared to be was some scammers trying to get people to sign up for a loan under the name of a real bank or financing company. I guess keeping the paper would allow someone to trace the scam back to them. The next time someone showed up was a lady asking the same exact thing and showed us the same papers. We told her no and to stop coming back. They kept sending agents over but we never answered the door and eventually they stopped coming.
Eat My Shorts, Man
I have a few but the biggest one was when I was looking for housing in a city I was about to move to after landing a new job. I decided to go through craigslist since I had a specific budget in mind. One guy called me with a place that was a duplex, I would be in the upper floor with 4 other people. I asked about the room and he said it had total privacy and my own bathroom. I said sweet and asked for the lease.
What I got back was a generic contract with an appendix about 5 pages long of rules and what I would actually get. The room was the entire second half of the duplex and it was divided by curtains. The bathroom was a shared bathroom. The rules included no guests, loud music, video gaming, or watching movies at night. I called the guy back up and told him no. He threatened to sue for backing out. I laughed and told him to pound dirt.
Taking Advantage Of You Skimmers
We get a lot of "electricity suppliers" here and I'll admit that I don't fully understand the concept. Representatives for the suppliers go door-to-door and these ones seemed nice and affordable. I was paying more for electric since the supplier thing happened so it made sense to sign up. My husband agreed we should make the switch so I was on the phone with the electric company and beginning to give the information as I began to scan the sheet.
The suppliers yelled "nooooo" and "you don't have to do that" out loud as I got to the part that says there is a cancellation fee of $200. I knew we'd likely be moving soon and have to cancel. I apologized the woman on the phone, hung up, handed back the paper unsigned, and learned a good lesson about reading contracts. Who knows what else it even said but they were clearly banking on me not reading it. Too many of us don't and we should!
We Got Each Others' BacksGiphy
Our advertising agency bought another and merged the companies. The new employee contract had sneakily included a non-compete clause. Which meant we wouldn't be allowed to get another job in our field with anyone in a 100 mile radius for at least a year after separation - regardless of whether it was termination or by choice.
My original agency didn't have non-compete clauses and was a huge reason why people stayed with the company for so long. The moment we all saw it, about 15 people (including myself) threatened to leave if it wasn't changed. The CEO immediately said they'd omit it.
Granted, any new hires were required to sign non-competes after that day. But talk about a CEO and CFO who almost sh*t themselves.
Tearin' Up My Funds When I'm With You
I was recently in California for 10 days...
I love lifting, and didn't want to go that long without working out, so I wanted to see if my gym had a location near where I was. I didn't have a car and was staying with my cousin, who lived downtown. There was a different gym where he was a member a few blocks away, so I figured I'd get a trial pass. That was 20 bucks. A little pricey for one day. I asked how much for a month, and the guy told me 45. He told me he'd sign me up for a membership, but waive all the fees, and cancel the membership on the day I leave. I figured it was worth it if I go 3-4 times, considering how much I was already spending on food etc.
I signed up, and spent 3 hours there my first day. I got home, and looked at the contract. It said I paid 45 dollars, but it also said there was a balance of 120 or something in fees etc.
He didn't actually waive them, just pushed them back.
Since I was in CA, I had 3 or 5 days to cancel (the language was unclear) and get a full refund... On the third day, I went in, got a nice 2 hour workout in, and walked up to the guy and told him I wanted to cancel. I got 2 really good workouts in, and didn't even have to get a guest pass. It totally wasn't my intent to be kind of a scumbag, but f*ck that guy for trying to screw me over...had I not read the contract, I would have been out another 120 bucks.
Dad is a contractor, he always reads the contract, which always boggles the people he works with. One day he was reading one for a new job and there was a clause that... If I remember correctly, it went that if something went south in some way, he was financially responsible? I don't remember exactly what it was, just that if it went badly he'd be liable.
Dad basically told them to change it or he'd decline the job.
They were really confused by this ultimatum. "But everyone else signed it!"
Dad stood his ground, said he'd nope out.
They caved and changed it.
Advice for people who sign contracts regularly:
- READ THE CONTRACT. You know that, right? But what about:
- After you've requested a change? READ THE WHOLE THING AGAIN. People can and will sneak clauses you asked to be removed into other parts of the contract. I had a teacher who told me about a time he was signing on for work and it took four attempts and a threat to walk before they finally removed the part he didn't like.
House Of WoesGiphy
I was looking to book a holiday house for a week with some mates. When I asked about the bond they said that they will take my credit card details and that there was no upper limit on how much they could charge.
Not only that, if we were to cancel at anytime after we booked, the deposit (50%) would not be refunded unless someone else booked the house for the same period.
I backpedalled very fast.
Know The Game AND The Player
I worked for a company that owed me money, so I sued them to get it. They settled, but wrote a nondisclosure clause into the agreement, which I was assured was pretty typical by my lawyer. However, they worded this clause to be retroactive, so anything I had said about them prior to the signing of the contract would also be a violation of the contract, meaning they would be able to sue me into the ground the second I signed.
I'm contractually prohibited from saying that this entire company is run by inept *ssholes, so I won't say that, but I had said it beforehand, and I think they knew that. They played it off as an error, but I am 100% positive it was an attempt to trip me up. My lawyer didn't catch it. I did and saved myself a bunch of money and a huge headache. I'm getting a different lawyer if I ever need any legal work in the future. Read everything you sign, kids. And don't just read it, understand it.
When Legalese Becomes Self Defense
I was trying to rent a simple duplex in San Diego and everything looked pretty good. I was looking the contract over before signing and began to see a few red flags.
The apartment was strictly no smoking (no problem I don't smoke and never have) but the language was very specific. I'm going from memory here but it said something like:
"IF at the landlords sole discretion, it has been determined that the apartment has been smoked in, the renting parties will be liable for all repairs (new carpet installation, repainting, deodorizing) AND will pay prorated daily rent until such time said repairs are able to be completed."
There were multiple other similar red flags that basically would have put me on the line for unlimited liability. I requested that with some reasonable changes to the contract I would be more than happy to sign, but the response was very defensive and curt and implied I was just trying to screw the landlord over. I can understand trying to protect your asset, but I'm not going to sign up for unlimited liability at the sole discretion of somebody that seems reasonably unhinged.
They'd Tricked Us AllGiphy
I was starting work at a major chain restaurant and was going through my on board papers signing what I needed to. One clause that we were supposed to sign under basically said that we wave our right to a break even on a double shift that could last 12 hours. I didn't sign that.
After I was done reading through the paper work and signing what I agreed to I gave it to my hiring manager. He went through my packet then said, "You missed this one. I need you to sign here."
I replied, "No, I didn't miss that. I'm not waiving my break."
He didn't push the issue. After that I would take my break when I needed one. Eventually one of my coworkers noticed that whenever I asked for a break I got one and asked me what was up. I let her know, and then she let everyone else know. People were pissed, but they learned to read before they sign.
Mmmm, Meat Pie
New owner took over our apartment building, and wanted everybody on new leases (not necessary, but cleaner) . The accompanying cover letter stated the new least was "substantially similar" to the prior lease, just subbing in the new names of the new entities.
On my line by line comparison, I discovered it converted all month-to-month tenancies to year-long leases. No, that's a pretty substantial change, my friend.
My favorite part was that in addition to prohibiting illegal activities on the premises, this new lease wanted the tenants to covenant they would not commit "immoral acts" of the premises. record needle scratch
Uh, huh. No
Tooodles. I've got debauchery to plan and morals to corrupt, and tiny children to bake into a meat pie.
I Love Getting Paid In Exposure
-was commissioned to paint a legal mural for a client.
-gets an email a few weeks later from a random ad agency who did a photoshoot for their billion dollar fashion client and forgot to get a release signed by me so they can run my ip as their cool factor backdrop.
-I'm in the middle of school midterms so I need this drama to disappear, so I tell them i'll settle for x amount and they can only use it for x and y.
-first contract sent was way below discussed amount +worded to prevent me from suing them if they broke contract. called them out got a revision sent.
-2nd contract was correct amount but worded to allow them to run the work as billboards, bus benches, the full nine yards. Nowhere near what we discussed as usage.
-called their bluff one last time and told them I'm out, no thanks this low pay and exposure bucks is not worth my time.
-(billion dollar client loved the photos with my work in them and wants them)
-next day my phone blew up and I got to quadruple my payout while cutting their usage down to just social media.
Lived happily ever after, got a crash course in negotiation. Put some money away and had a chill summer so far.
The Yikes Olympics HereGiphy
Worked at a part time job, like 20 hours a week when I was 16. After a year, they tried to force me to sign a piece of paper that said I agreed to work over 40 hours a week. I said I can't work those hours, they said it's ok they won't schedule me for them but I have to sign it anyway..
Being young and dumb, but still having enough sense to say "um can I bring it home and read it first?"
They were really pushy and kept saying they needed it now. It was in a kitchen in mid rush mode.
After a while of "ummm I really don't have a chance to read it, I would feel more comfortable reading something before I sign it.."
The manager finally did a huge eye roll and I went home the night and googled it. Yup. Illegal. You can't force me to sign a piece of paper that says I will work more than 40-48 hours a week if I don't want to.
I brought it back without a signature and politely explained I did not want to.
After getting injured by their faulty deep fryer for putting down the 188364 order of fries that day, they tried to write me up saying I was burned by the grease because I wasn't wearing proper equipment? What? Where in the world does a kitchen staff in a fast food place ever put on welders gloves before dropping a small basket of fries? It would have happened to anyone. I refused to sign "injured due to unsafe handling". Uh what?
Then an employee was having serious signs of a stroke (with recent history of a stroke, and just lost custody of his kid) and I asked to call an ambulance. They kept saying no, it's illegal to call and ambulance because he doesn't want one. I explained that a lot of choking victims will go in to the washroom alone because of embarrassment and choke to death. Recognize the signs of stroke early.
I'm in Canada, and if the ambulance comes and checks you out, and doesn't bring you to the hospital it's FREE. If they do bring you to the hospital, it's $50. But it's a STROKE.
Well, whatever happened to him ended up fading away, I think? He went on with his shift. Even though he said his face felt numb, his arm was numb, is vision and speech was being effected, and he was an extreme hot head, he got angry so quickly during busy hours.
Next day I was fired after 2 years of never being written up ever. No lates. No missed days. Just because I:
- Didn't want to sign illegal paper.
- Was injured because their equipment is garbage.
- Argued that we should call an ambulance for our fellow coworker having every sign of a stroke.
Ahhh. The memories.
Why Wouldn't You Pay For Overtime? Idk Brenda
New job opportunity. Had a rough interview session but eventually they wanted me. So I went to the HR and they presented me the contract, which I started to read. The HR lady was confused, because I was "the only one who reads the whole contract" . I said "Yeah, but I've experience in contract law (which I haven't) and I always check any contract I'm going to sign (which I also don't)". I said this stuff to sound... more professional.
Then I read a term that says that "wages include overtime". I asked the lady if this means that, if I work 60 or 80 hrs the week I won't get more money. She said yes.
Then I said that this is an immoral contract (in the sense of german laws) and that I'm unable to sign the contract. The HR-Lady got super nervous. I continued reading and found a non competition/exclusive clause, which means that I was not allowed to start working at a competitor for 2 years after the end of contract.
I told the lady I also won't sign the contract because the contract was limited for 2 years and I would get trouble by the german employment bureau because I signed something that doesn't allow me to apply everywhere.
HR lady called her boss, boss came over and asked if there is any problem. I told him why I won't sign the contract. He just nodded.. and finally said "Ok", gave the HR lady the order to delete all passages I dislike and went back to his office. 2 days later I started the job and as far as I know I was the only one who got paid for overtime.
Funeral Service Contract. A few years ago my buddy's brother passed away. While my buddy was at the funeral home to organize the burial, they asked if his brother had any life insurance.
He said yes and they went into a sales pitch about how they assist bereaved families with life insurance claims. "You just leave it to us, we take care of everything for a small fee. Just sign this agreement...."
When my buddy read the terms and conditions on the agreement it turns out the "small fee" is 18% of the total life insurance claim!
180 000 for filling out the forms on 1 million claim!
They prey on bereaved families.
Once Again, Capitalism Messes With Us AllGiphy
A few years ago, my Verizon Wireless contract expired and it was time to renew. This was during their whole 'no one needs unlimited data' scam. As I went to "renew" my contract, I get to the very end and the guy says "just click accept." No, I read that because Verizon has been trying to take away my Unlimited for years.
Reading the contract carefully, it effectively stated I'd be relinquishing my unlimited data and going to a 2 gig plan. The price was the same - 400/5 lines, but the data went from unlimited to 2 gigs on every line. I brought that up to the VZW rep and his answer was basically "Yeah, take it or leave it." I left it. I bought a phone at retail on their payment program thing and ended up keeping my unlimited data. It's been 12 years of unlimited, and I'll continue to use as much as I want.
Before anyone goes off on how "I'm the problem with unlimited... etc" It doesn't actually cost Verizon any significant profit if I use more data than the average user. (Maybe a penny for a few gigs, but it's negligible when you consider my bill is 400/month). The real problem is one of two things... either A) Verizon doesn't want to admit they can't support unlimited on their network, or B) Verizon wants to line shareholder's pockets.
Exploring The Borders Of The Contract
My last restaurant job had a non competition clause in the new handbook. I pointed it out to coworkers, few signed, and it was revised in a week.
When The Gym Tries To Scam You
I signed up for a gym membership on a whim and got sketched out when they initially charged me 250 instead of only the 90 for the month. I went home and legit didn't sleep because I was so mad I went through with it. I called and asked the next day to see if I could cancel and almost everyone I spoke to said either no it was impossible or only if I moved to an area that didn't have the gym. I checked the contract and you could cancel within the first 2 weeks and I was only 3 days into the contract. You bet your a** I cancelled so fast.
All They Want Is Your MoneyGiphy
When I bought my car new 3 years ago, the finance department processed and had me sign paperwork at a certain price. Then they called me 3 days later and told me that their lender fell through and I would actually have to pay an additional $100 a month. I brought in the paperwork with the price I signed for and the keys. Told them they would stick to the contract or they could have their car back with the additional mileage. Apparently this is a fairly common practice at car dealerships. Beware.
When The Interest Is More
I had taken some helicopter flying lessons and was considering switching careers to that. So I found a flight school and applied for a student loan. Sally Mae was the only one that would cover it. And when I got the final paperwork, the interest rate was higher than they told me over the phone and the total payment to them was going to be well over $200,000. So I cancelled and didn't go to flight school.
When The Terms Are Sketchy
I was looking at a job 350 miles from home, family and friends. Everything looked great. Interview was awesome. I even knew one person there from working with them a few years ago (major coincidence).
I liked it so much, I signed on for a great apartment minutes away from work before signing all the paperwork on my job, because they formally offered the job, but were awaiting my signature.
The day before it was due in, I gave it a passing glance. There were a few giant red flags. I'll paraphrase as I don't recall the exact wording.
The job you are signing up for is the only job you'll have with the company. Though you may periodically get raises, you'll never be promoted, or allowed to make a lateral move. We need people for this position who are committed to it.
When You Almost Gave Everything AwayGiphy
At my high school, they set up wifi for us to use. However, in the terms of service, it said that by signing in to the network, the school had permission to search the phone and look at its contents. I did not sign in, and have not to this day.
When You Don't Lend Info
Went to pick up my car from the dealership and it said by signing the paperwork it gave them permission to 'lend' my information to third parties. Nope.
When You Almost Lose Your Car
We were in the process of selling our business. My wife's car was registered under business. We sat down with our lawyer to discuss what is included in the sale (equipment, supplies etc..) and we clearly told him the car is not included in the sale. Well guess what we receive the typed up contract from our lawyer and he had added the car along with other things. Thank God we read it and had it removed before signing it and sending to buyer's lawyer.
Went to buy a new phone for $200, the employee told me they were closing soon and asked if I could come back the next day to sign the paper work.
The $200 mysteriously changed to $300 while the document was sitting in a desk overnight. Called them out on it and got it from somewhere else.
Interest rates are key points...
Buying my house. Husband signed the paperwork and I went in later that day to sign. I started to read through the loan application. Mortgage lender said " What are you doing? You don't have to read it! Your husband already signed it!" I was like, no I want to make sure it is what I want. Loan was a 250,000$ at 25% . Yeah right! Didn't sign it and got out of there. Mortgage guy said he was going to take me to court, I said go ahead it would be cheaper then what he wanted me to sign. Took over all the mortgage stuff from than on!
When global domination was involved
My employers tried to get all of us to sign a non compete that geographically encompassed the entire globe as well as any profession even closely related.
One of those details that could cost youGiphy
Negotiated a house rental contract to keep rent fixed for 3 years with no increase. While reading the fine print found out that they snuck in a penalty clause of 9 months rent if I decide to leave before the 3 years were up.
When they try to gouge you
Not sure if this counts, but Spectrum (like most big telecom) sent me an email saying that they are increasing by bill by $10/mo. When I called in they tried to convince me I was on a promotional period, which I was not since I was already a customer of three years and read to them my bill and customer agreement with dates. After explaining to them that they are, indeed, lying to me and being transferred around to three people within Cancellations they miraculously found a way to reduce my bill by $15 going forward. Even though they backed down it makes me sad to think about those who aren't apt enough, like my grandparents, to notice these moneygrabs and how much money these companies make by pulling this.
Get that money
My HR told me that I did not get paid for jury duty. I talked to my dad and took his advice to review my contract. I replied to HR with a screenshot of my contracting saying I get paid.
When you almost jeopardize your drinking plansGiphy
Once got an offer to live close to campus but not too close right after turning 21. Was about to sign and noticed the clause that said "no alcoholic drinks on the premise". So I could get hammered down the street but not drink there... no thanks.
When they may have costed you your acting career
I'm a professional actor. Last summer, I auditioned for the local ren faire, not realizing that it wasn't a paid gig. Found out a week into the rehearsal process. "Oh well," I thought to myself, "I agreed to this, I should've done better research."
So, about a month and a half later, the contracts come out. They're standard stuff for the most part: we won't hold the faire accountable if we get injured, we acknowledge we represent the company and thus won't do x, y, and z unprofessional things during faire hours, etc. etc. But buried in the middle of the contract is a non-compete clause, which basically forbade the signer from working for any other ren faire or Halloween event within 100 miles for a full year.
The other folks at the faire were a lot less concerned about it, but I was absolutely not okay with that. They weren't paying me, and I wasn't going to sign off to not make money in a part of the industry for a solid year. I bailed basically as soon as the contracts were given to us.
When you owned and changed the fine print
Had a non-compete in a radio contract that said I would have to sit out 90 days if I left for any reason. Wouldn't sign it until it was revised to be non compete only if I quit. When they asked why, I told them if I sucked so bad that they fired me, Wouldn't it be to their advantage to have me work for their competition? They had no answer for that.