With Low Cost Comes Great Responsibility
To steer clear of danger, a general rule of thumb most consumers adhere to is the belief that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. In the article, “It’s buyer beware for online legal services” Daniel Lublin writes about a couple who learned this lesson the hard way when they purchased an online “contract” for a discounted price.
After purchasing what they believed was a temporary contractor agreement, the couple had it printed and signed by the worker. Six months later when all of the work had been completed, they were surprised when the contractor demanded payment for the remaining 6 months of the year. Why? The contract they had purchased was for a defined period and it lacked an early termination clause – something that Lublin says “most employment lawyers should spot as a matter of course”. As is often the case with a “good deal”, rather than save a few dollars, the couple ended up paying a lot more than they bargained for.
Online lawyers might argue that a part of the purchase entails a responsibility on the part of the buyer to be well-informed about the product. Although there may be a demographic that fits this target market, it is unrealistic to expect a client to know the particulars of employment law.
Individuals considering the purchase of online legal services should be aware of the risk they run in abnegating legal consultation. Consider saving yourself the uncertainty and remember that “people often get exactly what they pay for.”