Tricky Telecom Contracts

Term contracts are a part of the telecom landscape. There’s no way to avoid them, really – it’s very capital-intensive to install and turn up new telecommunications services, so companies like require a minimum term in order to make sure we can get that investment back, and make a profit.

When our contracts expire, they go month-to-month.

But there are still telecom companies out there that have contract clauses that automatically renew your service agreement for a year or even for the original term, possibly up to three years, unless you cancel within a narrow time window. These clauses are known as “auto-renewal” clauses, though I’ve heard of them as “greenfield” clauses too.

These terms are purely for the carrier’s benefit, and what they do is put incredible time pressure on you, the customer, to quickly make a decision. Many of these auto-renew clauses only give you a 30-day window. You can’t cancel before, and you can’t cancel afterward! It’s like having a high-pressure salesman baked into the agreement. And it’s tricky. It’s usually buried in the fine-print of the contract, and the sales reps never point it out. It’s in their interest to have you virtually locked in forever, except for small windows.

Something these companies don’t like you to know, however, is that most of them will strike those clauses if you request it.

Although sometimes it depends on the sales rep. I recently had to argue extensively with one carrier who tried to stick us with an auto-renew clause. I said, “I won’t sign this, all of our other carriers have agreed to remove auto-renew language, I need you to as well.”, and I got back a slew of the most ridiculous rationalizations I’ve ever heard, for why it was in my interest to have the auto-renew. Well, I stood my ground and took it to the sales manager, and got it removed.

So, be wary! Read your telecom agreements carefully! And don’t put up with any guff. Demand that your contract go month-to-month when its term is up.

( has never, and never will, use ‘auto-renew’ language. Once the term is over we will earn your business anew, every single month).