13 People Who Were Really Glad They Read Their Contracts

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Ever sign your name on a contract without ever really reading it? Guilty. We all have! However, it’s really important to read that fine print. Otherwise, you might be signing away something you really, really didn’t mean to give permission for.

Just take it from these 13 people on Reddit, who were really glad they read their contracts.

  1. Buying a Home

    “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! Mortgage guy was a friend of a high school friend of my husband. Edit- Just talked to my husband. The man who tried to sell us on this mortgage got busted and arrested. Lost everything and had to have is parents bail him out. Also the mortgage lender we did go through for our FHA loan, he also got arrested for selling bad loans! DO YOUR RESEARCH!”

  2. Signing Away Your Patent

    “Had company I worked for bought by another. The handover included new contracts for all staff with the new owners. I went through every word, and glad I did, as one clause gave the new owners rights over ANY IP I had ever had; e.g., if I had a patent from before I even worked for the previous company, I was signing away all rights to it to the new owners without any compensation. This included if they ever moved into a new area of business – so, if I suddenly got successful in another field outside of work time and nothing to do with their business, they were allowed to just start a new field of endeavor and take everything from me. I’m extra glad I did check, because they later proved to be deceitful and dishonest. Kept on changing our salary payments, super contributions, accidentally forgetting to pay us, all sorts of stupid stuff.”

  3. Full Right to Work

    “Was sent a freelance contract for a job offer in the media industry. I was a graduate at the time with two years experience. Was offered £6.50 hourly pay and with the expectation that I must be available to work 37.5 hours per week. I had to use my own car for business purposes, but couldn’t claim expenses for fuel/mileage. And above all, the contract demanded “full rights” for the company to use any creative works I produced within two years BEFORE the start date of the position. I didn’t accept the job.”

  4. Quitting An Overpriced Gym

    “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 you’re a** I cancelled so fast.”

  5. New Car Scams

    “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.”

  6. And New Phone Scams

    “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 too $300 while the document was sitting in a desk overnight :/ Called them out on it and got it from somewhere else.”

  7. Tricky Termination Fees

    “We were getting ready to move from the US Midwest to one of the US Island territories back in 2000. We had five cell phones that I was going to have to cancel and I was looking at some hefty cancellation fees. Then I remembered a clause, not in the contract, but that was printed on our bill a month or two earlier. Previously they had not charged per minute rates for calls if they were automatically forwarded from the cell number to another number. I had mine set up to transfer to my landline. The notice had two important points. First, they would now charge for the duration of the call even if it was forwarded. Second, if I didn’t agree to those terms, I could terminate the contract with no penalties. Remembering that I saw that saved me almost $1,000 in termination fees. I was prepared for a hassle when I contacted them, but the termination went smoothly.”

  8. Phone Search Permission

    “At my high school, they set up Wi-Fi for us to use. However, in the terms of service, it said that by signing into 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.”

  9. Paying Back Two Years of Salary

    “I got a job offer from a company that I had never heard of but had a decent salary. I was reading the contract and if I ended up quitting before my two-year anniversary of the company I would need to pay them back for every cent I earned and pay them a fee for the training they would give me. I am so glad that I look more into that contract other than the salary.”

  10. No Contract At All

    “Was in a rental sublease at an apartment room where the tenants were trying to get me to pay for the months I was vacated if I could not find a replacement. I asked for a copy of the lease because the sublease had ended and they were citing the old lease rather than the new one. The tenants would not provide one, sending me the old lease. The property management wouldn’t send me one, even after multiple requests from a “answers emails immediately” agent. Two days before the rent was due, the agent finally sends me the new lease after I send a stern email with “legalese” phrases. Turned out I wasn’t even on the lease at all, as sub-letter or tenant. And based on tenancy laws, I could just leave if I was vacated and gave notice (I gave 2 months notice). So I left.”

  11. Forking Over Your Songs

    “Musician type person here. Label wanted to sign me. The entire contract was in very, very broken English. Amongst the idiocy on the contract were such gems as signing over my name, copyrights to all of my past songs, and being held accountable financially for any physical albums that didn’t get sold.”

  12. Nonrefundable Engagement Rings

    “I went to a reasonably well-advertised jewelry store to pick up an engagement ring. Knowing that I wanted to be a surprise, and that she would want to pick out her own ring in due time, I made sure that the ring would be returnable for full price, and even for a full refund from that store when I bought it for about $900. After the proposal, my then fiancée found a ring she liked better at a different jeweler, so I went to return the ring. When I said I wanted to return the ring, the clerk said “no problem, just sign this and we’ll get you sorted out.” I read the small paper, and it stated something very close to ‘I now confirm this sale to be a final sale, and cannot be refunded or returned for any reason’. I read it, pen in hand, looked at her, and said “Why would I sign that?”. She took the slip back, got her manager, and I was able to get the full amount returned via the same way I paid, on my debit card.”

  13. Avoiding Auto-Renewals

    “I noticed a lot of contracts have the following clause: you can cancel when your contract is up for renewal, but if you fail to do so, your contract renews for another year. I set several reminders to prevent that auto renew thing from kicking in.”

Have you ever read a contract with something fishy in it that you later were so glad you noticed?