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I am a PA resident and purchased the services of a career service company based in FL for 5k. The payments were deferred for the first month, so I have neither made any payments nor received any services from them. I decided to cancel on the second day after some unexpected news changed my financial situation.

The contract had a part about recission:

Customer may rescind this Agreement, without any penalty or obligation, within three (3) business days after the signing this Agreement. To do so, Customer must mail or deliver a signed and dated copy of the cancellation notice found at the end of the signed version of this Agreement, or any other written notice of cancellation, or send a telegram containing a notice of cancellation to XYZ no later than midnight of the date of this Agreement.

The contract had a notice of cancellation attached and said

You may cancel this transaction, without any penalty or obligation, within three business days from the above date.

Later in the notice of cancellation,

To cancel this transaction, mail or deliver a signed and dated copy of this cancellation notice or any other written notice, or send a telegram, to XYZ not later than midnight of 6/18/23

The above date mentioned was listed as 6/15. 6/16, I notified them via email, phone call, and sent a 1-day shipping printed, signed and dated copy of the notice of cancellation. However, the company uses a rented mailbox service which won't be open until Mon. 6/19 (which happens to be a new federal holiday).

I have three questions:

  1. What is the correct date of "three business days?" Excluding weekends and federal holidays, it appears that three business days would be Wed. 6/21!
  2. What is the date the notice is "mailed or delivered?" Is it the postmark date or the date that it shows up in their mailbox? It will be delivered 6/17, but they wouldn't receive it until 6/19 at the earliest.
  3. Will I still be on the hook for payments due to a typo in their notice of cancellation stating 6/18 was three business days ahead?

3 Answers 3

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The reason for the "mail or deliver" language is that it encompasses the possibility that you walk into the company's offices and hand an employee there the required notice letter, without using the postal system. The date "mailed or delivered" is the postmark date if you mail it, or the date the letter goes from your hands to the company's if you deliver it yourself. It isn't the date that the postal service makes their delivery.

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1.) Correct. 2.) Typically, if there is a postmarked, it was mailed on the day of the mark, not the day of receipt. 6/19 is a federal holiday so the mail won't be delivered until 6/20 at the earliest. 3.) Likely not. The mis-info is likely because the computers calculating the expected date did not factor in the 6/19 Juneteenth Holiday. It only became a federal holiday 2 years ago.

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  • Their calculation didn't even get as far as June 19. And it apparently included Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18 (assuming this is now in 2023) which have never been business days. Jun 17, 2023 at 0:38
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“Mailed” is when you post it, “delivered” is when they receive it

You mail something when you deposit it in a post box or hand it over to the post office. Not when it is postmarked (which would normally be the same day) nor when it is delivered (if it ever is). If the Post Office loses your letter and the recipient never gets it, it has still been mailed.

You might need to prove that you mailed it. A receipt from the Post Office or photos of you putting it, stamped, in a post box, for example.

We can’t tell you when 3 business days without seeing how the contract defines a business day

There isn’t a standard definition of “business day”, or rather it can mean different things in different contexts. A well drafted contract will define terms that can be ambiguous.

Absent a definition, the context will determine what days are and what days are not business days. Weekends might be business days for a business that holds itself out to be a 24/7 operation, for example.

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    Pro-tip. You should send it certified mail (even if not return receipt requested) to get proof of mailing, ideally affixed to a copy of the envelope and a copy of the contents which were affixed to the certified mail receipt contemporaneously.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 16, 2023 at 22:44

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