Getting Out of a Contract - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Getting Out of a Contract

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You sign a contract and within a few hours, you realize, 'I don't need that, or I am getting ripped off.' Can you cancel the contract? It's why we keep Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser around.

WSVN -- If you went online and typed in Big Irish family, a picture of Frank Cunningham's clan might pop up.

Patrick Fraser: "How many brothers and sisters do you have?"

Frank Cunningham: "Two of each. Four."

Patrick Fraser: "How many kids do you have?"

Frank Cunningham: "I have 8."

Patrick Fraser: "Big Irish family."

Frank Cunningham: "Pretty big."

All of Franks brothers and sisters are in their 80s. And all are doing great.

Frank Cunningham: "Yes, which is a miracle itself. My mother's family had a lot of good genes."

And those good genes let them stay active. 88-year-old Frank plays a little golf, a little swimming. A lot of relaxing, watching TV, and reading the newspaper. And that's where he saw an ad for a company that would check your air conditioner for $20.

Frank Cunningham: "And my son said this is pretty cheap to have them look at your airconditioner. So I called them."

Two men showed up. Quickly checked the air conditioner, told Frank it was fine. But his AC vents were not.

Frank Cunningham: "He said, 'Well you need all your vents cleaned.' I said, 'What do I know? I am a snowbird and I'm down here for a short time.'"

The company wanted $200 to clean Frank's vents. He gave them $20 for checking the air conditioner and an $80 deposit to come back and clean the vents.

Patrick Fraser: "Did you sign anything?"

Frank Cunningham: "Yeah I did, yeah I did. But they never gave me a receipt."

Patrick Fraser: "Never gave you a copy?"

Frank Cunningham: "No, never gave me a copy of anything."

Then Frank told his son he had hired the company to clean the vents.

Frank Cunningham: "My son says they don't need cleaning. They are fine. He does something with them with Lysol periodically. And they are fine."

Frank says it's clear to him what is going on.

Frank Cunningham: "Obviously they are shafting me for sure. I mean I am a senile old man and they took advantage of me."

Frank does not mind paying the company $20 to check his air conditioner. But, he doesn't want his vents cleaned and wants that $80 deposit back, but no luck from the company.

Frank Cunningham: "I would say I'm an old man. You took advantage of me and blah, blah, blah. What am I gonna say? I would like to get my $80 back. That's for sure."

Well Howard, Frank says he was convinced to sign a contract to get his vents cleaned but didn't get a copy of the document, so can he get his $80 back?

Howard Finkelstein: "You cannot cancel a contract unless, and it's a big unless, the company convinces you to sign the contract in your home. Then legally you have a right to cancel within three days. Since Frank didn't get a copy of the contract, that three day clock never started running, so Frank is entitled to get his $80 back."

I called the company and they were easy to deal with. They said Frank signed a contract not only for vent cleaning but an annual inspection as well. That their employees said they did give Frank a receipt. Frank says no they didn't.

When I asked them to give Frank his $80, they quickly sent this check and to make Frank happy, they offered him free duct cleaning or a free annual service. Frank said no thanks, just the $80.

Frank Cunningham: "Very happy. More than happy."

Frank has his $80 back and soon will be heading back to Chicago to see many of his eight children. He will be leaving behind the swimming, the golf and taking with him the one liners.

Frank Cunningham: "These old ladies down here ask me how many wives I have had when I tell them how many kids I have."

He's 88 and he calls them old ladies. He's a character. Now, if you change your mind and want to cancel a contract that someone convinces you to sign in your home, you have to do it in writing within three days. And you can't cancel all contracts signed in your home.

To see which ones you can and which ones you cannot, the link to the information is on our website at wsvn.com under this Help me Howard.

Contracted a problem you want to be released from? Don't get heated, let us cool you off. You don't need to sign on the dotted line with us. Just dial us up. And you can cancel at any time.

Contact Help me Howard:

E-mail: Helpmehoward@wsvn.Com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.Com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-wsvn

Broward: 954-761-wsvn


http://myfloridalegal.com/__85256CC5006DFCC3.nsf/0/18C35B713ADBD1AD85256CC90053B3BC?Open&Highlight=0,home,solicitation>

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0176-protections-home-purchases-cooling-rule  ;


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