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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 8714
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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An energy company fraudulently signed me up for their services

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An energy company fraudulently signed me up for their services and when I asked for cancellation they want to charge me for a cancellation fee unless I am able to prove that I did not sign up for the service. I have proof that I did not and very upset and not only do I want the service to be cancelled but want compensation for the fraud perpetrated against me. How do I go about this?

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum.

LegalGems :

Generally, in order to collect on a debt via the legal system, the creditor needs to prove that the debt is valid. If they do not have your signature or any other proof that you in fact signed up for their services, it is highly unlikely that a judge will rule in their favor.

LegalGems :

You can go to civil court, and get a declaratory judgment against the company, which would in essence declare that you did not sign up for services. Unfortunately, this cannot be done in small claims (the declaratory judgment) so it would be time consuming. Another alternative is to request, from the company, validation of the debt. If they do not provide this to you, then it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as a creditor must validate the debt within 30 days upon request. The sanction for violations is 1,000 per incident. However, again, a legal proceeding would need to be initiated in order to claim this.

LegalGems :

Another option is to send them a cease and desist, stating your evidence as to your position. If a supervisor reviews it, they may voluntarily close the account, rather than deal with the possibility of litigation.

LegalGems :

The nice thing is that Maryland offers mediation of disputes - a less time consuming, more amicable, and definitely cheaper alternative to litigation: http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/adr/aboutmediation.html

LegalGems :

Both parties need to be willing to mediate, as this is a voluntary process. This may be an avenue worth exploring, as mediation can often resolve disputes.

LegalGems :

Should you have any questions, please post them here. Otherwise, if I have satisfactorily answered your question, please rate me accordingly so that I receive compensation for assisting you.

LegalGems :

I am switching this to Q&A, but should you have any questions based on the above, you can post a reply and once the website notifies me, I will respond. If you don't have any further questions, please don't forget to rate my answer, as that is how I receive compensation for assisting you. Thank you!

LegalGems and 6 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your service

You are very welcome!
I wanted to be sure and thank you for using JA/Pearl.

I hope you found the information I provided useful.

If you would like to request me for your future legal inquires, please put TO LEGAL GEMS in front of the question, and I will do my best!
Take care.

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