Dad closed his business, some provider is asking for ~$3,700
Recently my dad retired and closed his convenience store business. He had an ATM machine and when we notified the service provider that we’re closing down, they asked that we pay $3,700 in lost revenue. Here are the details:
1. The agreement with them was signed on April 2008 (10+ years ago).
2. It states that the contract is for 48 months and automatically renews at the end of each term. Therefore it effectively went from 2008 to 2012, 2012 to 2016, and 2016-2020. It also states that we have to give them 120 days prior notice to the end of any given term to terminate the contract.
3. Because we no longer operate the ATM machine, they want us to pay for the revenue that will be lost for the ~17 months that remain on the current contract term. We fully own the machine, they only process the transactions.
4. My dad is the sole proprietor so he is on the hook for anything the business is liable for.
5. This came to us as a surprise because since the signing of the contract in 2008, there was zero contact with them so we weren’t thinking that there was an auto-renewing contract. We had expected to at least receive some sort of documentation or notification of the auto-renewals.
My dad is old, still has debt, and the business was not doing well (we weren’t able to sell it) so this is incredibly difficult for us to have to consider settling this. I was thinking that the whole auto-renewing aspect seems a bit shady so I’m wondering if there’s anyway that the contract isn’t binding? They’ve not once notified us about renewal. My dad’s old and doesn’t speak English very well, so catching something like this was hard. Looking for advice. Thank you.