At Hoopers, we like to keep things simple. We don’t inundate potential clients with large volumes of unnecessary leaflets and self-promoting literature, and we hope you find our form of agreement to be concise, clearly-worded and comprehensible.
Stated very clearly in that form is confirmation of your right to cancel your agreement with us within 14 days from the date of signing. This is your statutory right, which can be exercised with no obligation on your part to give any reason for doing so.
This legislation was introduced for very good reasons - an individual may have felt pressured into making a quick decision by a pushy salesman, or signed on the dotted line without being given all the pertinent facts. They might have subsequently received notification of a better offer, or just had a change of heart. Whatever the reason, there is a two week window in which you can withdraw from most contracts, and the probate genealogy business is no exception.
So what, you may ask? Hoopers aren’t being generous by including a cancellation clause. It’s the law, they have no choice.
Quite right. Sadly, that hasn’t prevented an increasing number of probate genealogy companies, some of which are very prominent and long-established, from using tactics designed to discourage heirs from exercising their right to cancel.
These methods vary from company to company, but the most common strategy is to stipulate that by signing their agreement, you authorise them to begin work immediately, but that if you then cancel the agreement they will charge you for any work carried out between receiving your signed agreement and receiving your written notice of cancellation. The statement about cancellation charges is not always included in the body of the form of agreement itself, but instead buried in paragraphs of text printed on a separate information sheet - however, the agreement will stipulate that you should have read any such information sheet before signing!
Hoopers consider such practices to be inappropriate and misleading, and completely against the spirit of the cooling-off legislation. For that reason, if you have signed up with us and subsequently wish to cancel within two weeks, we will accept that, and certainly will not attempt to charge you for any work carried out. Of course ideally we would prefer not to lose a client, and if you had any issues or concerns, then we hope you might consider contacting us to discuss the situation before making a final decision - in most cases we would be able to provide any necessary reassurances, or address any perceived issues.
Nevertheless, once your mind’s made up, you can walk away without any fear of penalties or charges. We are one of a rapidly dwindling number of probate genealogy companies who offer a 100% guarantee that you will not be liable for any costs or expenses, whether you cancel or not - we will only receive our agreed percentage fee if and when we successfully prove your entitlement.
Remember, your statutory rights are important and should be respected - a reputable company will not attempt to circumvent them.