July 14th, 2009

On contracts

Amitha recently was looking at some contract writing work, and one of the potential contracts (from IC Romance, in case you're interested...) was quite odd. It contained 8 pages worth of entirely reasonable terms, but in the middle of the "Termination by Notice" section, contained this gem:

This Agreement can be modified by the Contracting Party [note: that's them] at any moment and can be terminated by either party in writing with 14 days notice.

Is that for real? What is the point of a contract that can be modified at any moment, unilaterally, by one party? (I'd take that to mean without any notice or ability to opt out, as well...) When called out on that sentence, they claimed that it's a generic contract, and they will not agree to any change in the terms whatsoever.

I do hope they aren't actually taking advantage of less acute readers of their contracts, but it seems very sleazy to put that kind of wording in a contract, even if you aren't planning to use it for immediately evil purposes. I'm certain they would never agree to a contract that she could modify unilaterally at any moment! I really can't imagine doing business under those terms, and it does somewhat make me wonder whether they're even a legitimate company.

PS: A Star Wars quote seems somewhat apropos: "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."