And let them...
have no descendants.
Springer of unwelcome family tree surprises and favorite of investigative genealogy hunting uncles everywhere, Ancestry.com has tried to invoke an arbitration clause to fight off a 77-page false advertising lawsuit accusing it of violating California auto-renewal laws. Among other things, the would-be class-action lawsuit …
AFAICR from contracting in the UK an invalid term could invalidate the entire contract, at least in some circumstances. I don't know if that's the case in the US but if it is then it might knock out the arbitration clause as well.
Bought out by private equity? Worrying news for genealogists.
I'm not a lawyer, and my contract law classes were a long time ago, but it depends. Sometimes the court will just interpret the contract in a way to make the invalid clause valid. For example, if a parking garage says that they assume no liability for vandalism and/or thefts from your car, then in most circumstances the court will just ignore that clause if there was obvious neglect (there is an implied contract, even if if it is not fully written and signed, and generally speaking people can not sign away certain rights), In other cases, particularly in a situation where one party is obviously in an inferior situation (big corporation in dominate market position versus individual consumer, for example), the court may decide that the terms are so onerous that the contract is null and void. Also, if the contract term is contrary to law or against the common good (sorry, I forget the legal term), this may also cause the court to throw out the whole contract.
Again, I'm not a lawyer and the law does change. Also, different states may have different tweaks, and different courts may interpret differently. Contract law is very complicated, and I haven't had a job negotiating and writing contracts for over 40 years. Even then, we always had a lawyer review every contract.
In a sense it's a race condition but think the logic, if the particular legal system accepts it, is that if the clause is severed it's as if it was never there and if it was never there then it couldn't have invalidated the rest of the contract.
In practice I suppose it would depend on how the contract could function without it; for instance the contract might consist solely of the invalid clause and the severability clause.
"Contracts here tend to have clauses saying that it one clause is invalidated, all the others are still valid. "
Legalese bullshit at least here in North. Every clause in contract *must* be valid in order to contract be valid.
US system is different, but if that flies there, that would be odd.
Just an example of one of those subscription scams a close friend fell for: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/bilablau.com
She had to cancel her credit card to stop payments being sent
They've been going on at it for years and the authorities don't seem able to stop them - although they've been reported to the police in 2018 (and probably earlier, they most probably are the one that has complaints from across Europe)
There literally should be a law against auto-renewal.
I always check for it in any paid for service, a lot of insurance companies play that game in Spain.
If you want to change companies you need to send a dead tree letter at least 2 weeks before the renewal date, it has to be worded in a particular way (and they have to receive and read it in time).
If they have taken the money out already if you do it soon enough you can get your Spanish bank to rescind the payment and block further demands, that often leads to letters from a collection agency.
My wife has had the problem twice with different companies.
Found the what? Oh, apparently you probably mean someone sent in to make statements solely to support the villains of the piece despite the fact that everybody knows they are lying.
Just because you are too lazy to read and understand the terms and conditions does not mean they should be declared invalid. If it takes you too long to read the terms and conditions and you are not prepared to accept the consequences , don't buy the product. It is actually quite a simple concept to grasp.
I'm pretty sure the example given in the article - and the court papers - states that quite clearly too.
But obviously expecting people with the attention span of a dead goldfish to remember what they agreed to a year ago is far too onerous. Besides, if it wasn't for crap like this, what would all those lawyers do? There aren't enough real jobs for them to do.
The saddest part about the whole Ancestry.com thing is 99% of the data that it "helps" you search is in the public domain, mostly government census, burial and other public records which companies like Ancestry.com have heavily lobbied to keep those same public agencies from publishing that data in a consumer friendly way. These same companies then request and get on the cheap copies of the entire databases. All the more grating is that by law, in the US most records kept by government agencies is supposed to be accessible to the public.
the problem is, you sign up for ancestry.com you've signed up for ancestry.com, I think it's clear it charges until you cancel. The DNA kit is sold off the shelf in a store, then it's mailed in, you go to a site to get the results that THEN pump the user for credit card info -- many assume it's to tack on like $5 for results and don't realize it's to charge for ancestry.com until the end of time.
Binding arbitration clauses should be illegal. At least auto-renewal occasionally has a valid use (Netflix or the like).
Which is more likely to give you a fair shake? A court or an arbitrator that is wholly paid by the company (eg your opponent)?
Iirc, the "no court" clause has never been tested but it would likely be a very expensive lawsuit as any company fighting it would likely get lots of help from all the other corporations that just love binding arbitration agreements.
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