Thursday, September 1, 2011

Contracts vs Expectations

No matter how many times one get's burned on the fine print, it can happen again and again (no matter how old or how often you get scammed).   The triple witching hour hit last night as I spent too much time messing with contracts. 

First - the HUD settlement statement for the refinance loan that Susan and I are closing on today.
Second - the 2 year contract I entered into for Direct TV - and the resulting impact of cancelling the 2 yr Price Lock Guarantee with Time Warner.
Third - the 2 year agreement that I now have with Verizon after Ellen acquired her i-phone.

(1)  Guardian Saving Bank states on their web site that refinance costs are $250 (with some fine print about recording fees, credit score and LTV dependency).  My out of pocket - $740+!  There will be some $#%^&@ to pay at the closing today!

(2)  The Cable and Direct TV guys are in hot competition to steal and retain customers (the benefits of capitalism).  I price locked Time Warner in July 2010 for 2 years.  Tuesday the Direct TV salesperson in Sams Club convinced me to switch and lock into their 2 yr contract.  Trust me the common man's head would spin in the complexity of answering the question - did I really save any money and/or get better services.  I'm still trying to complete the analysis.

(3)  When I added Ellen to our Verizon plan with the i-phone, I established the time clock on a 2 yr agreement with all kinds of penalty clauses (that I really didn't read).  I'm sure not paying attention to the fine print on this one will "burn" me as I update my phone and when Jenna updates her phone.

The hard lessons of life are when you discover your expectations were unrealistic to what you signed - because you didn't spend the time to read the fine print.  Always be prepared for the customer service rep to say "Did you read what you signed when you ......."

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