They Can Do What!? Limitations on the Use of Change-of-Terms Clauses

Posted: 29 Oct 2009

See all articles by Peter A. Alces

Peter A. Alces

William & Mary Law School

Michael M. Greenfield

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Abstract

Almost every contract that calls for ongoing services to consumers contains a provision that authorizes the provider of those services to modify the contract at any time, without any constraint on the modification. With some exceptions, the courts have not been very responsive to arguments that seek to enforce constraints on the provider’s discretion. In the recently enacted Credit CARD Act, Congress has declared that there are indeed some limits on the changes that may be made to one kind of ongoing consumer contract, viz., a contract to provide open-end credit. In this article, to be published in a forthcoming symposium issue of the Georgia State Law Review, we review several statutory rules and common-law doctrines that suggest limits, applicable to all kinds of consumer contracts, on the freedom of service providers to change the terms of the contract.

Suggested Citation

Alces, Peter A. and Greenfield, Michael M., They Can Do What!? Limitations on the Use of Change-of-Terms Clauses. Washington U. School of Law Working Paper No. 09-12-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1496525

Peter A. Alces

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
757-221-3842 (Phone)
757-221-3261 (Fax)

Michael M. Greenfield (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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