Let's say someone purchased an item on an instalment payment plan from a company. They also subscribed to their services. The instalment scheme is separated from the monthly service fee. That means every month they pay for the service fee and the instalment for the item separately.

For e.g, the item costs $5000 with a monthly payment plan of $500. The service fee is $25 per month and is a pay-as-you-go service. The terms are that the customer can switch service providers anytime. They can use the item elsewhere too. There is no vendor lock-in.

Assume, for some reason, the company dropped the installment scheme and offered to have the balanced amount included as the monthly service fee instead. The customer can continue to make the monthly payment as usual but as a service fee.

It seems unaffected on the surface but I reckon service and the instalment payment plans are two independent contract terms.

What is the downside/upside to the customer accepting this offer to change the terms?

---- Added Info -----
Thank you for editing my post and rephrased the question with more clarity.

I understand it depends on the actual contract terms. I asked the question on the assumption that contracts have to work within stipulated guidelines to be valid. And based on the nature of the contracts, what are the tradeoffs one should be concerned with?

  • I edited the "I" to "They" and "the customer" Dec 17, 2022 at 23:09
  • Something in your description is missing. What do you mean by "dropped the installment scheme"? Since the company obviously will not "discharge" the remaining balance, what will it do if the customer declines the offer? Maybe "dropped" mischaracterizes the scenario. Requiring the customer to make a lump-sum payment would be an unilateral modification of the contract, something that a priori the company is not allowed to do. Also, are there any other terms attached to the company's offer? Dec 18, 2022 at 12:01
  • @IñakiViggers The reason provided is they have accidentally cancelled the instalment payment scheme and cannot be resumed. It will be treated as the payment for the service.
    – Skies
    Dec 18, 2022 at 23:07
  • 1
    "accidentally cancelled the instalment payment scheme and cannot be resumed." This scenario really does not sound like an offer. Basically the company messed up and now needs extra cooperation from the customer for free. What will the company do if the customer declines this so-called "offer"? Dec 19, 2022 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


Contracts can always be renegotiated

What appears to be happening here is that 2 contracts - one for payment for equipment and the other for payment for a service - will be replaced with one contract paying for both.

Whether this is better or worse for either party depends on the terms before and after and their assessment of those to their needs.


Contracts bind the parties; parties can also agree to modify a contract.

It appears that before the offer, there were two separate payments. If the offer is accepted, there will be a single payment.

We can't know all of the trade-offs without knowing the terms of the contract. And it is of course not possible to assess whether any of these things are upsides or downsides without knowing the customer's particular preferences.

  • 1
    "If the offer is accepted, there will be a single payment" merely paraphrases the OP's mention of "hav[ing] the balanced amount included as the monthly service fee". Also, the OP obviously knew already that "contracts bind the parties; parties can also agree to modify a contract". I see no point in posting an answer to say that. Dec 18, 2022 at 15:44

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