Can a prepaid service enforce an expiration date?
I purchased a number of tanning sessions from a tanning salon. I have been informed by the salon that although I still have 3 prepaid tanning sessions on the books, they have expired since I didn't use them within 12 months of the date they were purchased. Is this legal?
Your purchase of the tanning sessions was a contract between you and the tanning salon. The terms of the contract apparently limit the time frame for usage. Is there a written contract for the sessions? Did you receive anything at all that states the terms of the contract? Did you sign anything or was it verbally explained to you? You may be out of luck.
Contracts do not have to be written down to be binding. But certain contracts must be written down in order to be valid otherwise they violate what is known as the Statute of Frauds. In California, contracts involving the sale of real estate, contracts concerning the sale of goods worth more than $500, contracts that cannot be performed within one year, contracts to pay someone else's debts, leases for more than one year, and contracts for marriage must be in writing.
I would go in and try and negotiate a deal with the salon. No one in this day and age can afford to turn away a paying customer and no business can afford a bad rep. Good luck.
What were the terms when you purchased the sessions? That's the critical issue. The salon must honor the terms in force when you paid the money. So first, check any/all paperwork you filled out or received when you bought the sessions. Also, what did their marketing material then say--since terms in prominent advertisements or promotional material could be incorporated into the agreement. Ask the salon to point out or show you the language which they say absolves them from having to honor your prepaid sessions. They cannot unilaterally change the terms or deny you the benefit of what you purchased after the fact--when you bought the sessions, a contract was formed between you and the salon.