My 15 year old joined a music club. Not a bad deal. But isn’t filling out the form a contract? Being a minor, could he not pay the shipping/handling charge, or not fulfill the cds he’s supposed to purchase, then say “screw you, I’m a minor. The deal is null & void!”. ? There is nothing on the form that mentions having to be over 18 or having parents consent. Could he just walk away with the free ones?
Keep in mind, I would not allow him to do that. This is just a question.
When I was 14 or 15, I joined a CD Club and got a bunch of free CD’s. When the bill came, my mom wrote them a letter telling them my age and claiming what they did was illegal or something. I never heard from them again, kept all the CD’s, and never paid a dime. I don’t know if there was any legal grounds for what my mom did or not, or if they could have still made me pay, but it definitely worked.
By the way, I was fully prepared to pay for the CD’s and I could have afforded it. My mom was actually mad at the company for “taking advantage of me”. I think the only way she found out about the deal was that I needed her to write a check for me because I didn’t want to send cash.
This was typical amongst me and my friends in the 70’s (remember ALBUMS?). I know of many, many friends who did this with that logic in mind. Eventually, they’ll stop sending bills. Even those from their “collection agency” (which, if you looked closely, had the same address!). That’s one of the reasons it “costs” $3-4 for shipping and “handling”.
Leagally, in most states, a minor cannot enter into a contract, so legally there is no way they could collect. It is part of the cost of doing buisiness. Morally it is a differant story, although I can’t say my heart bleeds too badly for columbia house.
After mentioning in an earlier thread about how I used to send the records and tapes to vacant houses, then turn them in at local records stores as unwanted ‘gifts’, I just saw a Columbia DVD club add (guess they’re moving up in the world) where you STILL get a bunch of DVDs for a ‘low price’ but it was not a penny that you taped to the card any longer. It was something like $15.95 for five DVDs which is still a deal, but I think they are finally getting smart.
That is, unless you haul your ass down to a 7-11 or check cashing place to get a money order (and they may have finally gotten wise and stopped accepting those too), you leave a paper trail as to where you ‘really’ live preventing fraud. Plus, in the old scenario, it was no big deal if your records/ tapes didn’t come since you were out a penny. Now some people would think twice considering the $16 loss if the stuff doesn’t show up. My hats off to Columbia House for growing half a brain.
Of course, if I wasn’t such an upstanding adult now, I would probably still be perpetuating this scam with CDs today…
A person under the age of 18 cannot enter into a contract at all. Period. Even if the young person misrepresents himself and the merchant accepts the conract in good faith, the contract will never be recognized by any court and any consideration paid by the minor has to be returned as soon as the minor becomes known. Merchants have no grounds for relief and cannot sue for damages, and usually, the goods are never returned because they’re worthless to the merchant for resale purposes.
The classic example of this is the minor who buys a car, crashes it, and then goes back for a refund. If I remember correctly, the merchant is SOL for not being careful enough in the first place.