My local donut shop once offered a “Buy 11 donuts, get the 12th donut free” punch card. “Terms subject to change on 30 days’ notice.”
A new owner terminated the punch card program. I had nine punches, but it was not a big deal. After all, it was only a donut.
The first Internet Service Provider (ISP) I ever used offered one year of service at a very reasonable price.
Three months into the contract I received notice that my monthly rate was doubling. I wrote to the company’s president: “I still have nine months to run on my one-year contract, so this letter was sent to me in error.”
More than two decades later I am still mad about his reply: “I sold my company and the new owners have new rates. As you can see your contract is subject to change on 30 days’ notice.”
Replacing my ISP was such a huge hassle that I ended up eating the difference. This was a bigger deal than just a donut, so I started paying more attention to “subject to change on 30 days’ notice.”
Most reps I know have a horror story about a big order and a “subject to change on 30 days’ notice” rep agreement. They had signed a contract with a manufacturer whose character was beyond reproach, but later faced a new owner eager to find a way to avoid paying commission on a very large order.
That’s why many reps now only accept agreements with extended post-termination commission or Life of Part/Life of Program (LOP/LOP) language. After investing years of work to earn a big order, “subject to change on 30 days’ notice” rep agreements are too big a risk.
And a six-figure or seven-figure commission is not just a donut.