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When a contract end date is not a contract end date

Telecoms contract

Month in and month out we experience the frustration of clients who thought that they were out of contract with their current supplier, only to discover that they or not.

All the work that they have done in evaluating new suppliers and new options has been wasted. What is more, in serving notice on their existing supplier they have sent the message that they wish to end the current relationship. Only to discover that they can’t! This doesn’t exactly set the tone for a harmonious relationship going forwards does it?

But how can this be so, as on the face of it you would think a contract expires when it expires, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately for many the answer to that question is no!

The challenge lies in the notice period element of the contract, which few remember, or can often be lost when people change roles within and organisation. Many contracts require the customer to serve notice at a given point if they are to cease the contract, or the contract rolls over into a new term. And what is more this notice period can vary in length and can be extremely specific. For example ‘at least 90 days before the end of the contract term’ or ‘no more than 45 days before the end of the term’. Some require the customer to provide notice in the form of a letter to a specific address… and on it goes. And what happens if you do not serve notice in the contracted way? Well, for most companies that will trigger a rollover into a new term, which more often than not is another 12 months. Oh yes, and 12 months later you have to re-enact the pantomime all over again.

Many companies are just too busy, or experience staff move and change roles meaning that this can be missed once and again. Indeed, some companies do not even have access to the contract that they signed in the first place and so do not have visibility of their notice requirements.

So, what can you do to avoid being caught in this trap?

  • Well, the first thing to do is check what your notice requirements are at the end of your term.
  • If you do not have a copy of your contract, then request a ‘clarification’ from your provider. And then when you have this, make sure you note it in your diary.
  • If you have missed the required notice window but are still within contract, then it is always worth asking if you can serve contract and leave. Some suppliers do not want to lock in an unhappy customer.
  • Finally, you might wish to serve future notice early (perhaps even there and then) and ask the supplier to communicate with you around termination requirements as the new term nears its end.
  • Or, you might just carry on and accept that you need to ‘make a good fist of it’ and crack on.

So, what is it like when you contract with Evoke, we hear you ask?  Well, we typically ask for between 30 days’ notice and 90 days’ notice of termination, depending on the service that you take from us.  However, where we are different is that we never ever include a roll over clause in our terms and conditions,  so once your contract has expired you only need to serve your notice period, should you (its unlikely I know 😊) choose to leave.

If you have been subjected to an ‘involuntary’ roll over, and don’t think that this should be so, then you can of course seek our guidance. We will happily take a look and offer counsel on what you might be able to do next.
So, for fair and equitable terms, from a reliable and ethical provider, you know where to come.

Should you have any queries about your current contracts or terms with your current provider, then why not drop our capable team a line at [email protected] or smile while you dial 01509 278278 – we might well be able to offer you that pearl that you were looking for 😊

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