Tolley Seminars Online

Unfair tie in?

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We have used Tolleys' Online seminars for our CPD for over 10 years.  I have been very happy with the content and so no issues there.

It is quite expensive and the annual fee increases are up to 15% which is crazy.

Anyway, approx 60 dyas before the renewal date we had an invoice for the renewal for the 2022 year.  I immediately contacted them and said I did not want to renew this year but was told that the terms of the contract stated that it would auto renew unless 90 days notice was given! I have checked the small print and this is correct.

I emailed them in 2019 and asked them to stop all automatic renewals but I have signed a new contract in 2020 and 2021 so I think that my request is no longer valid?

This is such poor business practice from Tolleys.

Has anyone had a similar issue and has any advice?

Replies (6)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
19th May 2022 15:36

One of the reasons we don't use them was a billing argument some years ago involving unsolicited books sent out.

We just stopped responding to them, and eventually they left us alone.

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By Tornado
19th May 2022 20:57

I had a similar problem with Wolters Kluwer a few years back. I basically told them that it was illegal to have this 90 day period before the subscription finishes where there is automatic renewal for the next year with no opportunity to cancel. In fact, my research showed that regardess of what a contract says, there is always a 30 day period after a subscription has been renewed to opt out.

They backed off in the end but I have never done any business with them again. This 90 day deadline for opting out of renewal not only seems very unfair, it is unfair, and I was prepared to test it in court if they persisted. They obviously did not want to be shown up in Court for their sharp practices.

Check the current law online and think you will find that my view is correct.

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Replying to Tornado:
By djn
20th May 2022 09:14

I spoke to a commercial solicitor and they have said that even though it's very bad practice that they are able to do it and the fact that it's a business contract means that I can't argue with it.
Looks like we are stuck but we will never use them again for anything.

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By DKB-Sheffield
19th May 2022 21:22

Excessive notice periods are now rife though.

I recently had an issue with a refuse firm. They needed 90 days notice of intention to give 90 days notice to terminate a rolling 2-year contract! I asked if I could just give notice to terminate 180 days out but was advised that was not the policy as the 'actual' 90-day notice (as opposed to the 90 days notice of notice) could only be submitted a maximum of 120 days out!

I submitted a single '180-day notice' anyway and emailed saying:
"Your refuse company cannot refuse to accept this notice as notice of notice and notice of termination and I believe a judge would refuse to pass judgement in your refuse company's favour".
The response was a simple "termination agreed". They clearly didn't wish to acknowledge my sarcastic approach to the matter.

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By D V Fields
21st May 2022 10:42

Not had this issue with them yet. But thank you for the reminder and upfront information. Think I will put the 90 day reminder date in the diary and use “signed for” to communicate if required. However thus far the service has been quite good - but only my first year with them.

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By enm5
18th Feb 2024 12:53


Just want to check if anyone got any further with Tolleys?

I've had a similar situation recently with respect to the 90 day renewal clause and I'll be going to the small claims court to take matters further upon advice of a contract lawyer.

I've also engaged with the CMA to investigate this unfair term. If anyone would like to get involved with the intention of re-claiming renewal fees - let me know.

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