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Over the past few months I paid for a 1 year subscription to an online tabletop roleplay gaming service. The seller had no ToS to be signed and recently after critique about the service began circulating, the seller made a ToS. The first condition was was that any complaints about the service was to be brought up only to staff(the seller) as well as making mention of punishment to violations to the terms. From what I knew of the seller with my personal interactions with him over these past few months he was basically telling me(and the other customers) to not speak poorly of his service in the public domain of his server.

When confronted with this ToS, I responded with how I did not agree to such restrictions and that I would be withdrawing from his service if this was the way he intended to go.

Not 7 hours later I receive an email stating that my subscription was being terminated. Before this I had intended to just walk away and leave it at that. But after seeing as how he was banning multiple people who spoke out about being dissatisfied, I decided I would be requesting a refund for the 9 months of service I will not be able to get now.

I went through paypal's refund claim process and was met with the seller stating that the services I paid for had already been delivered in full(his company has not even existed for a full year yet) and with his mention of resorting to a lawyer in his response, though not directly saying he would. I recalled him once bragging about how good his lawyer friend was and can not say I'd put it past him to try to sue me if he thought he could.

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You entered into a service contract of sorts with the provider, which obligates both parties to particular performance. The customer's obligation is to provide money, which you seem to have done, and the provider's obligations is a bit vague, but would clearly include the right to access the product for a year. By terminating your access, the service has breached the contract. They might argue in court that they have the implicit right to terminate the contract without a refund, but that is wishful thinking.

You cannot be sued for demanding a refund, nor can you be sued if you sue him for breach of contract ("can't be sued" means, he almost certainly won't succeed, not that he can't file a suit against you).

  • He could be sued for violating the non-disparagement term once it was put in place. I don't think it is a strong claim, but it isn't nothing. Of course, the deeper problem is that the cost of bringing a lawsuit far exceeds the amount likely to be in controversy with no likelihood of getting attorneys' fees if he prevails. Suing is a lose-lose proposition. – ohwilleke Jul 2 '18 at 18:13
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    @ohwilleke If the OP didn't agree to the non-disparagement term, then there is no cause of action for violating it. – Acccumulation Jul 2 '18 at 18:19
  • @Acccumulation There is a colorable argument that continued use of the service once that TOS was established would be viewed as consent at that point. Not the strongest argument, but not a total loser either. – ohwilleke Jul 2 '18 at 18:23
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    @ohwilleke It sounds like the OP didn't continue using the service after the ToS were presented, and even if they had, a contract requires mutual consideration. "I'll let you continue using a service you've already paid for" is not consideration. – Acccumulation Jul 2 '18 at 18:30
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    If a service terminates a customer for complaining about a unilateral change in the contract, and doesn't continue to use the service (per the factual description), and refuses to refund the subscription, I don't see how that could constitute "acceptance" rather breach. – user6726 Jul 2 '18 at 18:48

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