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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10215
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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Elderly mother and daughter were coerced into signing contract

Customer Question

Elderly mother and daughter were coerced into signing contract to stucco home for $ 14,500. Contractor ended up just painting with a stucco /coating. Numerous complaints online of elderly people being charged excessive amounts for $ 2000 paint jobs. Finance agreement is do in June is there any recourse.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.
Dear Customer,I am sorry to learn of this situation.While I see that you have made some phone calls regarding this conduct, I recommend that you actually file written complaints (complaints in writing have far more likelihood of reach a resolution than those that are verbal or telephonic alone, plus you will create a written record for your own records and use in later litigation/dispute resolution). To file a written consumer complaint with the California Contractor's Board, use this link: is a series of escalating things you can do to deal with this situation. You do not need to do each of these, do only those that you believe will be helpful to assist you in reaching a resolution based on your interaction with the contractor in person (you have worked with him, I have not).*First: start with the company's customer service and dispute the claim. Keep your complaint in writing. If you speak to someone by phone, follow up promptly with a "confirmation letter" (see my note below).**I see that you have a financing agreement so this one may not apply to your situation, but I am including it in case it does.*Second: (you can do this at the same time), if you paid by credit card (not debit card) you can open a dispute with your credit card carrier (follow the instructions with your credit card company). (Some banks do allow for charge disputes on your debit card - but not all, the laws are not the same and debit card purchases do not have the same protections, if you paid by debit card, contact your bank and see if they do have dispute resolution remedies). *Third: open a dispute with the BBB. The BBB offers consumer dispute resolution that is fast, free to consumers, and is usually effective, they have no enforcement authority, but all BBB disputes result in a public report regarding resolution so businesses do respond to them. You can open a BBB dispute here: *Fourth: if you believe that the company is acting fraudulently (not just charging high rates), you can report them to the state Attorney General. The AG's office does not prosecute individual claims (so they will not get your money back for you), but they will investigate and potentially take administrative and/or criminal action against the company.*Finally: you can file a small claims action against them for breach of contract. Small claims actions take approximately 3-8 months to go to trial. There is no guarantee of success in these disputes, but filing a small claims action does open an opportunity to negotiate a resolution (in addition to the above opportunities and can lead to mediation - many courts offer mediation programs for their small claims docket). letters: Keep written records of all communications - so if you speak to someone by phone, promptly send a follow up "confirmation letter" summarizing your conversation, who you spoke to, when, and any agreements you reached. Keep copies of your outgoing correspondence, as well as anything that you receive.I wish you the best of luck with this dispute, and hopefully a speedy resolution.

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