We know you don't read the terms & conditions before signing. At least do this

Consumers agree to contracts for goods and services like phones, vehicles, cable/internet service, and gym memberships every day but most don't take time to read them before signing on the dotted line.

Experts at the Better Business Bureau say the top contract disputes involved phone carriers, car dealers, cable companies, and insurance companies. They say many of the disputes come up because consumers fail to read the fine print in those agreements.

"It's so important to read the fine print because there's a lot of important information there. Everything from what's covered, and most importantly, what's not covered in that contract. It will also tell you how long the agreement is in place so you just really want to make sure to read those details," said Mallory Wojciechowski, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Eastern NC.

A complete contract should address all of the expectations for both the buyer and the seller and should include specific information about service, timelines, delivery methods and price.

Remember these Troubleshooter Takeaways before you sign your next contract:

  • Read the fine print. Get familiar with the details of the agreement and think about what the best and worst case scenarios might look like.
  • Get everything in writing. Make sure all verbal promises are included in the contract. It can be difficult to prove what someone said after the fact. Contracts only cover what's included, not what's implied.
  • Don't sign until you're comfortable. If something in the agreement bothers you or is a deal breaker ask if it can be rewritten or amended before you sign.
  • Keep a copy. Make sure you have a copy of the signed agreement you can refer back to if any issues arise.
  • Investigate before you invest. Contracts are legally binding once they are signed. Before you agree to anything make sure you understand the contract and the company you're working with. Ask for references and look for reviews.
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