Why your signature can be very costly?


It has happened to many persons, and it could happen to you too.

A salesperson may call at your door and offer to demonstrate a vacuum cleaner or some other appliance, assuring you that there will be no obligation to buy.

When finishing and about to leave, he may say something to this effect:

By the way, would you please sign here. It is just for the record, so that I can let the boss know how many demonstrations I have conducted.” 

Many persons have quickly scribbled their names or signature sometimes just to get rid of the salesperson.

Would you do so?

Some have later discovered that their signature can be very costly.

The dishonest salesperson simply has to fill in the terms of a contract in which the signer agrees to buy the appliance for a given amount which, of course, is an exorbitant price that the salesperson inserts.

It is next to impossible to prove that the contract was filled out after the signature was fixed to it. So the signer may be required to pay.

If one refuses, his salary can be garnisheed, so that the amount due is taken from his salary.

When a person appreciates the importance of his signature to what it can legally obligate him he becomes very cautious about signing anything.

He will read carefully before he signs; and more than that, he will keep a copy of all signed documents in his own personal tile.

Exercising this precaution can save one many hundreds of dollars

Many other persons experience a financial tragedy because of failing to read carefully the fine print.

Only afterward do they discover that they have signed up to pay exorbitant interest rates, or that what the salesman promised is really not provided for in the contract.

One con salesman had a desk full of cheap watches, none of which work.

The salesman usually did business in a parking lot, at a bus stop or in a bar.

“Wear it at home,” he would invite. 

“No charge. Just give me a buck or so, and bring the watch back tomorrow if you don’t like it.”

Then the salesman would present a “receipt,” as the salesman called it: “Just sign here.”

He would say.

Sadly the unsuspecting customers thought they had signed a “receipt” or something of the sort, but in reality they been conned.

One should remember that it is what is on the paper that one signs that counts; not what a salesperson promises, or what he says is there.

Beware of anyone who explains, “That’s only there for special conditions,” or “Pay no attention to that because we never enforce it,” or “This clause doesn't apply to you.” 

Do not accept such explanations.

Have the contract changed before you sign it, and keep a copy of it.

For example, one family was induced to sign an inflated $1600 contract for house repairs, with the promise that they would receive a $100 check for every person in that area who, after seeing their home, placed an order for similar improvements. Later, however, the company salesman denied any knowledge of such a promise, and the family was stuck with paying the entire price."

Another thing to watch for are blank spaces in a contract or illegible writing or figures that can be doctored up later.

It is a common practice of some, after you sign, to fill in these blank spaces with terms that alter the contract altogether.

The numbers can easily be changed.

One woman customer complained that her contract was for $1360, but it came through as $1560.

Here is an example of where having a carbon copy in legible form can save you from being cheated out of hundreds of dollars.

This emphasizes how careful one must be.


Never forget that your signature holds you legally responsible to fulfill or submit to all the provisions of the contract you sign.

So in order to avoid being cheated, or forced to submit to what is in violation of your principles, do not sign anything unless you clearly understand what it obligates you to do.

Do not let anyone hurry you into signing.

Take your time and read carefully even fine print.

 Always remember to get and keep a copy.

This may save you much trouble and a great deal of heartache.