Paul is a financial analyst for King Investments, Inc., a brokerage firm. He uses the Internet to investigate the background and activities of companies that might be good investments for Kings’ customers. While visiting the Web site of Business Research, Inc., Paul sees on his screen a message that reads, `Welcome to businessresearch.com. By visiting our site, you have been entered as a subscriber to our e-publication, Companies Unlimited. This publication will be sent to you daily at a cost of $7.50 per week. An invoice will be included with Companies Unlimited every four weeks. You may cancel your subscription at any time.
Did Paul enter into an enforceable contract to pay for Companies Unlimited?
Contract has been defined as “an agreement between two or more competent parties in which an offer is made and accepted, and each party benefits” (The Lectric Law Library, n. pag.). It is essential that both parties agree on the terms and conditions of the contract and it is enforceable only if four elements are present. These elements are agreement, consideration, legal and serious purpose, and capacity (Boone and Kurtz, p. 145).
In the case of Paul, the contract to pay is not enforceable. This is so because the essential elements of an enforceable contract are not satisfied. It may be said that there is a consideration. However, the mutual agreement and capacity is wanting and dubious. Paul did not agree and did not even have a chance to review the offer. The website immediately concluded their visitors as subscribers. The capacity is dubious as Paul is uncertain of the legal capacity of the web administrator or the people behind Companied Unlimited. Without the consent of Paul, the contract to pay is invalid. Thus, the contract is unenforceable.
In order that a contract be said to be valid and enforceable, it is necessary that the parties entering in such contract are capacitated and consented or agreed to the contract. In addition, there should be consideration and purpose which is legal. A contract which has been summarily executed is unenforceable because the essential elements are not met.
Boone, Louis E, and Kurtz, David L. Contemporary Business 2006.
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“Contract”. (2008). The Lectric Law Library. 28 July 2008 http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c123.htm