Can I cancel a contract with a dating service?

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Question:

What are the legalities of canceling a contract for which services are no longer required? Specifically, the contract was for the services of a matchmaker who would arrange for nine matches. However, after only three weeks and one match, the individual who had entered into the contract met someone -- not a client of the matchmaking service -- and no longer had need of the matchmaking service. Only about 50% of the service fee had been paid up front. Is the person obligated under the contract for the remainder of the service fee -- about $800? The matchmaker has threatened to take this person to small claims court if the balance is not paid.

Answer:

Here, you have noted that the contract at issue clearly obligated a person to pay the full amount even if he or she decided to terminate use of the matchmaker's services. If the person who signed the contract knowingly and intentionally agreed to this, then you are -- uh, rather, the person is -- stuck.

Even though true love has prevailed in this case, one must still reckon with contract law. No one can simply terminate a contract because he or she becomes uninterested. If the balance is not paid in this situation, the matchmaker may very well win the threatened small claims lawsuit.

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