Business owners would no longer need to worry about hidden automatic renewal clauses in service contracts, under legislation approved in the state Assembly this week. The bill would require service providers to disclose if a contract includes an automatic renewal date and to also remind a business when that deadline is approaching.

Metz of Wisconsin Independent Businesses says the protection is badly needed, because many of their members can’t keep track of when multiple contracts may be up for renewal without a reminder. He says it’s a common complaint from business owners, who often find themselves locked into another long-term deal that can be expensive or out of date simply because they didn’t know the contract was set to renew automatically.

The legislation does not ban the practice of automatic contract renewals, which Metz says can be helpful for businesses when they are used properly. He says it’s just meant to provide better disclosure.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Metz says it is expected to pass.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:59)


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