I'm curious about the theory and practice behind paying for a monthly subscription and not being able to use it for no fault of your own. I had purchased a 4 month gym pass. The gym is part of a school and there is a 30 day period where it is unavailable between semesters. This was not explained to me before I paid. Is this legal? What if certain parts are still available?

What if a phone or internet provider has weekly outages? I once heard that a particular ISP had in their contract, if you get 1% of the advertised speed for your plan, it's still considered to be working. Is this legal?

1 Answer 1


There is no hard and fast rule and the language of the contract (usually drafted by the provider of the service) matters. A breach of contract must be "substantial" or "material" to be actionable, something that is determined on a case by case basis by the judge or jury.

But the dollar amounts involved in consumer contracts are often too small to make it economic to litigate over. Most of the time consumers "vote with their feet" instead.

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