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Verbal service agreement contradicts written contract. Is the verbal agreement enforceable without the signed contract?

Tucson, AZ |

My client verbally agreed to a VoIP service based on misleading promises by the service provider's sales associate. However, the service provider has a physical (paper) contract they are requiring my client to sign prior to activation of service. The physical contract contains conditions, restrictions, stipulations, and disclaimers that void asseveration's claimed by the service provider's sales associate.
Is my client's verbal agreement to use this service provider enforceable without a physical contract? Furthermore, would the false claims and promises made by the service provider's sales associate void the physical contract? I am concerned this will evolve into a "he said she said" situation, but which party would the courts favor? Company or consumer?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Hello, not sure what a VoIP is. However, your initial question is a good one. If there was sufficient detail in the oral exchanges -- such that the material terms of the agreement were before your client -- and he agreed to that, the subsequent non-conforming written document cannot be used to vary those terms. A caveat -- if the agreement is for a period that exceeds one year, the written agreement would prevail because of the statute of frauds. I'm talking now about the oral contract, not the written. If the oral agreement was for a period specifically exceeding one year, the statute applies. If not, it doesn't and the client's oral agreement prevails.

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Posted

Thank you, that answered my question. FYI, VoIP is "Voice Over Internet Protocol," so basically an Internet based phone. Cisco is a major player in the hardware, but VoIP phones can be used with any Internet connection. For example, "Magic Jack" is considered a lower end Internet phone service provider.

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