Podcast

Episode 105 • Deals & Contracts

105

Terms

Catch

Fine print

Forge someone's signature

The deal's off the table

Story

Josh: Morning partner!
Luke: Morning, Josh! Guess what? I signed the contract to get the investors on board! We got it, Josh! We got it!
Josh: What do you mean? They accepted our terms? How did you get them to do it?
Luke: I don’t know… but we’re in. This is our big dream! We can finally make this our full time job. They’re giving us 1 million dollars.
Josh: Are you-? Are you sure? Let me see the contract they want us to sign. There’s gotta be a catch.
Luke: Here.
Josh: Okay. Alright… Luke. Did you-? Ugh. I knew that. Did you read the fine print?
Luke: Well, sorta. Why?
Josh: Here they say that they would own 60% of the company.
Luke: Wait. What? Let me see?
Josh: Well. The good news is that they need both our signatures so…
Luke: Uuuhm. I ehm…
Josh: What?
Luke: I may have forged your signature .
Josh: You did what?!
Luke: I was in a hurry. They were only giving us 24 hours to sign and you were gone! It doesn’t matter. Let’s just tell them the deal’s off the table.
Josh: You can’t just tell someone the deal’s off the table after signing a contract. That would be breach of contract!
Luke: So .. uhm… I’ll just save the champagne for another time, maybe?
[cork pops] Oopsie. Too late…

Questions

Terms

'They accepted our terms?'

• What are we referring to when we talk about the terms of a contract? The people that are mentioned or the set of rules and conditions that are listed?

The terms of a contract are the set of rules and conditions that are listed in the contract.

• Can you change the terms of a contract?

I mean, you can if the other party is okay with it, but you cannot change them after it’s been signed.

• What’s the latest contract you’ve signed? What were the terms?

I think the last contract I signed was between me and the company I’m working for right now. And the terms basically stated how much I had to work every week, what my responsibilities were and how much I would get paid.

Catch

'There's gotta be a catch.'

• Where would a catch usually be? In deals that look really good or really bad?

A catch is usually hidden in a contract that looks really good, in fact the contract looks too good to be true.

• Is a catch something good or bad?

I mean, a catch refers to a problem or a difficulty that is hidden in the contract. Something that I don’t see at first, but that’s there, so it’s bad. I’ll give you an example because I think it’s going to be easier for you to understand. Imagine you decided to join a gym, everything looks great, it’s affordable, the people are nice… Well, then… What's the catch? If you read the contract carefully, you might realize that say… you can’t cancel your membership for two full years, no matter what. That’s the catch. Something negative that maybe you wouldn’t realize unless you read the whole contract. So every time you want to sign a contract that sounds too good to be true, always ask yourself “What’s the catch?”. Hey, maybe there isn’t a catch but oftentimes there is.

• Is finding a catch in a deal or contract a good thing or not?

Yes, I mean, one would hope that there is no catch, but if there is, you’d want to find it. of that crap. What can I tell you? I’m hooked! I can’t stop!

• Have you ever signed a contract with a catch?

Yeah, in order to work for the company I used to work for last year I had to sign a contract and based on the contract, like, once I had created something for them, like a course or a blog post whatever, then that would become their property, so I wouldn’t make any money off of it, which I didn’t think it was a catch back then, but now looking back, I think maybe I could’ve asked to change the terms of the contract. Ooph, that was a tough expression to explain!

Fine print

'Did you read the fine print?'

• Where is the fine print usually located? At the beginning or at the end of a contract?

It’s usually at the end, so you’ll have the whole contract and then, you’ll see a few lines that are typed out with a smaller size font, that’s why it’s called fine print, with a bunch of extra information.

• Is it important to read the fine print or can you skip it?

Absolutely, you should always read the fine print! Because usually if there’s a catch, that’s where you’ll find it.

• Do you read the fine print?

Nope, I know I just said you should read it and you should! But yes, in all honesty, I’m often too lazy to read the whole thing. I am sometimes even too lazy to read the contract, let alone the fine print! No, but seriously, if you’re going to sign something, don’t do what I do, read EVERYTHING.

Forge someone's signature

'I may have forged your signature.'

• If you forge a signature, which signature do you write? Yours or someone else’s?

If you forge a signature, that means you’re signing with the name and last name of someone else.

• Why would you forge someone’s signature?

Well, first of all, forging someone’s signature is a crime so don’t do it. Uhm, well, I think most people that forge a signature, they do it because they want to pretend they’re someone else and gain some advantage from that.

• Have you ever forged someone’s signature?

Yep, back in the day. When I was in middle school, there was a period, maybe a few weeks, when I wasn’t doing too well in school. And the way it used to work is that the teachers would write our grades on a notebook, then we would have to bring this notebook home, show it to our parents and have them sign it to prove they’d seen it. Well, yes, I did forge my mom’s signature a few times, in fact, after a few times, I’d become really good at it. Eventually she found out and yeah… that wasn’t good.

The deal's off the table

'Let's just tell them the deal's off the table.'

• If you say that a deal’s off the table, are you still offering a deal to someone?

No, if you offered someone a deal but then you say that it’s off the table, that means they can no longer accept it.

• Why would you take a deal off the table?

There could be a bunch of reasons, maybe the other person took too long to accept or maybe they did something that made you angry and made you decide to take the deal off the table.

• Was there ever a time when you decided that you would take a deal off the table?

Yes, uhm, when I had decided to quit my job, I had a call with my bosses and we were trying to find a compromise so I could still work for them, just not as much… Only halfway through the call, one of them said that they weren’t going to pay me what they said they would pay me. I got really angry because I thought I really didn’t deserve to be treated the way they were treating me and so I told them that the deal was off the table and I decided to quit entirely.

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