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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
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Apparently, I have been told by my local cable company that

Resolved Question:

Apparently, I have been told by my local cable company that I have violated a contract by ending my service early. I did not sign any contract, but they tell me it was a verbal contract. From the moment I signed up with the service, I have been deceived by them. Monthly charges more than personally guaranteed by the sales rep., and extremely poor signal quality had forced me to cancel the service. They have turned my account over to a collection agency, who calls me daily, demanding payment. Is a (according to them) verbal contract binding?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 2 years ago.
This sounds like a violation of the FDCPA, see
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.shtm
which states:

§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
///
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

An oral contract that takes over a year to perform must be in writing, see
http://law.justia.com/codes/texas/2005/bc/003.00.000026.00.html

They have the burden of proof to show that there was a contract, and what the terms of the contract were.

From your description, it is possible that there was an oral month to month agreement, which can be canceled by either party by giving one month advance notice.

You can get a free consultation from some of the FDCPA lawyers listed by location at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Debtor_Creditor/Texas

There is a fairly detailed summary of the FDCPA posted at
http://www.expertlaw.com/library/consumer/fair_debt_collection.html
which states:
Within five days of their first contact with you, the debt collector must send you a written notice telling you:
How much money you reportedly owe;
The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
That unless you, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed valid by the debt collector;
That if you dispute the debt in full or in part within that thirty day period, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt and mail it to the consumer;
///

Please follow up on this with a local attorney. The contract itself sounds uncertain, and in my opinion, the collection agency is violating the FDCPA.

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8091
Experience: since 1983
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Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.

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