The following Best Savings Tip comes from reader, Alison:
As much as I save with coupons, price comparison, cutting back, etc., I realize I missed something huge. Twice now I have been taken by a small print in a contract. If I had been more diligent, I would have saved over $700 easily.
When signing a purchase agreement for things like internet service, cable service, cell phone or a security system, make sure you know exactly when and how you can end that agreement. It could save you hundreds!
Also be very careful if you see a move in your future. Some companies will not move your service, so if you move you may be made to pay through the end of your contract anyway. Also, even if your contract ended, it may be auto-renewed and you still may not be able to get out of it at the time of your move.
We did not want to cancel our internet service. When we switched our phone company our internet ended our service since it was somehow connected to our phone line (which was with a separate company). They refused to connect it to our new line and they still made us pay for $150 of no service!
We paid through what the full term on our security service, which was (we thought) a full 3-year contract. We called to cancel at 2 and a half years and were told on the phone to call again after 3 years. When we did so we were told it AUTO-RENEWED for a full year more since we did not give written notice 30 days PRIOR to the 3 year date. It would keep auto renewing each year until written notice was given at least 30 days prior to the anniversary date of the contract so we gave it 11 months early for the next year.
That mistake cost us around $560 of unwanted service. My advice on a contract like this would be to give your notice of cancellation and the date you wish it cancelled ASAP. Even if it is 3 years ahead of time. Keep a record of all documentation so you have backup to refer to.
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What great advice! How many times do you sign up and then never look at, or think about, a contract until you need to modify the service or agreement it in some way?
Perhaps setting up a spreadsheet of some sort with all contracts and notes on the terms would be helpful to avoid this issue. Then, you would just have one document to refer to rather than several at once when in a time crunch.
How do you remember all the details of your purchase agreements?