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Columbia House Contract Question

Old 01-08-01, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Greensboro, NC, USA
Posts: 221
I don't know if this is the proper forum but I have a law question for anyone who knows about law or contracts. We learned in a Business Law class I took last year that minors can enter into a contract but the contract will not have the capacity it needs to make it a contract, unless the goods or services of the contract are a necessity, which is a valid contract. My question is this: Can minors that have entered into a contract with Columbia House void their contract due to lack of capacity? Is there some kind of clause that does not allow this? Please help, I'm sick of being a member in the VIDEO club for two years and not wanting to buy anything.
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Old 01-08-01, 06:39 PM
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If you are just sick of having to return all those cards so you don't get mailed a video, try calling up customer service and asking to become a preferred member. They'll stop sending you the selection of the month automatically. Or you should be able to just cancel your membership.

Check the CH thread in the DVD Bargain forum for the customer service number if you need it.

If you still have to finish buying a movie(s) to fulfill the deal, then I think it depends on how you signed up. If you used a credit card, I imagine it would have been your parent's and it would be they who CH would hold responsible, not you. Otherwise, I think you could claim that you are under 18 and get out of it, but I think you'd also be required to return any items you had received already.

However, I'm not a lawyer, so the above is just my opinion. Regardless, it seems a shame to start reneging on your promises at such a young age. You should just fufil your obligation and then cancel the membership. Buy some family members some birthday gifts.

Good luck.

Moving to Online Store forum.

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Old 01-08-01, 06:55 PM
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Location: Greensboro, NC, USA
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Well I used my debit card which is under my name so I assume it's my responsibility. I've always fulfilled my commitments with BMG and Columbia House, but entered into the VHS club before I got a DVD player. Of course, I have no need for VHS tapes anymore, especially for 20 bucks a pop. So I was just looking for a way out. I know it's immoral, but I know morals are often overlooked at DVDTalk...
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Old 01-09-01, 12:42 PM
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Buy some presents for some friends. Yes, I'm sure legally you could probably get out of it, but it could turn messy. You got your free/cheap movies, just fulfill the obligation and move on.
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Old 01-09-01, 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by Cisco Kid:
Can minors that have entered into a contract with Columbia House void their contract due to lack of capacity?

Generally yes unless the contract is for necessities (food, clothing, shelter). This is the common law answer (may differ by state). However, if you signed up for the club prior to turning 18 and continued to use the club after turning 18, that is treated like a new agreement and is enforceable.

Red Dog is offline  
Old 01-09-01, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Couldn't hurt to ask, but I bet you might be able to fulfill your obligation by buying DVD's instead.
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Old 01-11-01, 03:48 AM
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Well, I remember reading something about this quite a few years ago when some friends of mine had the bright idea of singing up for these things and having the stuff sent to empty houses and such. I'm only repeating this and I don't know if it's true or not. However...

If you sign up for any of these Columbia House services as a minor and then reneg on the contract without fulfilling it, YOU personally won't be responsible, however, Columbia House or whoever has the option of laying responsibility on your parents. As they are responsible for your actions as a minor, they are also responsible for any contracts you may have entered, especially if you fraudulently entered them by claiming you were an adult if you weren't.

Now, I just tried to repeat what I heard as closely as I could remember it. Those aren't my personal thoughts above. But personally, I tend to think that if that is all true, it's more likely that they'd just write you off even if you claimed to be a minor. You'd prolly have to have been a habitual offender for them to waste time on you. Such as if you did this numerous times. Like that idiot I saw on tv a couple years ago that, if I remember correctly, signed up for the same service nearly a hundred times or so to get free tapes. The company finally caught on and the fella got his tail handed to him.
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