What exactly is a contract?

What exactly is a contract?

Just recently I had an interesting experience. A company called a friend of mine to get him to do some internet marketing. They had discussed it and my friend was sold on the idea that it would bring him business and therefore be a great investment. He waited for the documents.

To his surprise, the documents never arrived. Instead, they sent him their first bill and told him the marketing had already started. He thought he had to go along with it, and after four months of payment decided that since he wasn’t getting work, he should quit. He was told he had no right to cancel and it was in their contract.

After I pushed him off me, he went deeper. Finally the merchants, a large company, said that since there was a contract he should pay, and they seemed slightly threatening. I asked my friend to ask where the contract is. He was told that this was the voice recording of the interview with him and it was his consent.

I had my friend ask for a copy of that recording and any permission that this company has that shows he allowed the “voice recording for training purposes” to be his contract. Of course, nothing arrived except a recent copy of their Terms and Conditions of Contract. But that was about four months too late.

For there to be a contract, that contract must indeed be fair to both parties, and both parties must be equal in the contract. It seems incredible that a large company can claim that a person has a contract when he never knew he had one, and that a recording of a random interview for training purposes is his contract when he never knew it either.

The actual contract, by the way, is none of the above. A contract is an agreement between two people or two parties. One party will have an expectation of something and will be willing to give money in exchange for that expectation being met. The other party will have the expectation of making money in exchange for their exchange. That’s what happened in this case. My friend had the expectation that he would earn some money from their ads. In exchange for this expectation being fulfilled, he will pay the company for the marketing.

Since the company doing the marketing never sent him a written version of that contact and never took responsibility to ensure that he had or agreed with what they thought, then his expectations constituted the contract.

You see, it’s not the paper that’s the contract or the voice recording. This is the expectation that both sides have. This should then be recorded; the expectation. The company in question says it never entered into this agreement to provide him with a sales product. They say they only need to generate Facebook impressions, no matter how many clicks and leads it may get. But that’s not what he thought from talking to them. The law states that a contract is the expectation of both parties. But this was never agreed upon. In this case, the company in question somehow just concentrates on their own sales and doesn’t worry about what their customer wants. They hadn’t worried if he would actually get his payment back. Well, now they are experiencing something else. They have no written agreement to express their expectations.

Law is becoming more international. Earth’s legal systems evolve in a consistently fair way to deal with one another. The purpose of the contract is to establish what the expectations of both parties are. Each party should exercise its right to make sure that the other party really knows what to expect. It is important. A really good party will ensure that the other party really knows what to expect. And if both parties do, then what is written is completely secondary to what is performed, and what is agreed upon in a handshake becomes the rule. And that’s not a bad deal.


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