What is a Rescheduling Contract?
A rescheduling contract is an agreement that you do not need to attach the previous original agreement. This is a stand alone contract that you will send all on its own to your clients.
It terminates the pervious agreement and supersedes all other previous written and oral agreements. So, essentially once signed, the original contract for services is torn up and this one gets put in its place.
When to use This Contract
Use this contract when your clients do not have their rescheduled date selected, when your clients want to split services (like elope now and have you photograph for 2 hours and also have you photograph the reception later for 6 hours), AND/OR when you really want to update your existing contract because now you know that there are some clauses you need to modify or you’re itching to add in new protection clauses you should have had in there.
So What Exactly Does This Contract Do?
This contract is essentially a termination agreement that allows for rescheduling and keeping fees paid by your clients on credit. Thus, it keeps whatever fees your clients have paid thus far on credit with your company to be used within “x” period of time. Sometimes your clients have only paid the retainer, sometimes they’ve paid the retainer plus other fees, and sometimes have already paid in full. Make sure you document exactly what they have paid for up to the date of sending out this Rescheduling Contract.
What exactly is the “Transferability of “Retainer/Deposit/Fees Paid” Section?
The Transferability of [Retainer/Deposit/Fees Paid] section is the entire reason this contract is a “Rescheduling Contract” and not a pure “Termination Contract”. You will use this clause to input what fees your clients have paid up to the date of sending out the Rescheduling Contract, and will explain how long you will keep that amount on credit. Usually, with Covid-19 rescheduling situations, industry standard is anywhere between 12-24 months. Also, in this clause, the template contract allows you to put a date that your clients need to notify you of how they are using their credit. That’s usually around 6 months, which gives your clients a pressure release valve from rushing to make a decision right away but also allows you to get a new date booked on your calendar and taken care of within a reasonable period of time.
Can I modify this Rescheduling Contract?!
One thing people have asked is can you modify this clause?! OF COURSE! Each client situation is different and your business practices may be different than your friends. For example, if you are only allowing credit to be used in 2020 and not 2021, you will want to explain that in this clause. Or, say you will not increase package pricing if they reschedule sometime in 2020, but they will have an increase in pricing if they book into 2021, you will also want to add that specific language into the transferability clause.
What else is in this Rescheduling Contract?
- I also want to quickly explain the remaining clauses in the Rescheduling Contract so you’re aware of what they mean and why they are necessary:
- Company’s release of contractual obligations: This means that you, as the service provider, are no longer contractually obligated to perform on the date in the original contract
- Mutual release of claims: This is good for you and good for your clients. It says that you’ve come to an agreement with transferring all fees paid, that your clients won’t take legal action against you, and that you won’t take legal action against them for anything dealing with that previous contract and payments due or performance due on your part.
- Representations and warranties: This means that everyone has the capacity to enter into the contract, and that they are indeed the ones signing at the bottom and understanding what this document means.
- Confidentiality: This clause is important because you may be doing different things with different clients, so everyone should keep your mutual agreement to themselves.
- Venue & Jurisdiction: This clause makes sure your home county and state are the place where any dispute will be litigated and/or enforced.
- Severability: This is a catch-all clause that helps just in case one state law says that a clause in the template document is invalid then the remainder of the contract still stays intact.
- Counterparts/Facsimile Signature: This clause means that electronic signatures are okay and constitute a valid contract as if you were signing together on paper in person.
One last tidbit on adding in “Non-Disparagement” Type Language… I don’t recommend it!
- People have asked me if they can include a “non-disparagement clause” or something similar in this Rescheduling Contract in attempt to prevent clients from giving bad reviews online or posting anything testimonial wise about their experience working with you. First off, I don’t think putting this type of clause in your contract is a good idea because it looks bad on its face (you’re basically telling them you don’t like bad reviews and/or are worried about it) and, second, you can’t really keep your clients from writing a bad review. If you’ve done a bad job or they have something to complain about as a customer, that’s their first amendment freedom of speech right to say something. Non-disparagement clauses really only belong in business-to-business contracts, not client-to-business contracts. This is why this clause is not included in the template contract and I cannot in good conscience say it’s wise for you to add one in. Remember…. if you just SERVE SERVE SERVE and go above and beyond for your clients, you shouldn’t be worrying about bad reviews anyway. 😉
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THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract.
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