Monday, June 18, 2012

Wine Club Contracts

I recently taught a class to a group of present and aspiring tasting room managers. Many of them were not aware that there wine club contracts were regulated by the state. With the abuses of recurring contracts by health clubs and CD of the month clubs, the State stepped in to regulate these types of recurring contracts, including your wine clubs.

California Business & Professions Code §17600:

       Effective beginning on December 1, 2010;

       Regulates an offer which includes an automatic renewal provision;

       Offer must include a clear and conspicuous disclosure; and

       Clear and conspicuous = larger type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks, in a manner that clearly calls attention to the language.

What Must All Wine Club Contracts Include:

  1. The subscription will continue until the customer terminates the contract;
  2. The cancellation policy for the offer;
  3. The amount of the recurring charges that the customer's credit card will be charged, and, if the amount will change, the amount that the charge will be changed by;
  4. The duration of the automatic renewal term or that the subscription is continuous; and
  5. If there is any minimum purchase requirement.

I know that many wine clubs only have a small form where they collect contact information.  You can add this information to the form, or you can post terms for your wine club membership on your site.  Lastly, you could include this information in your club shipment.