I entered into a contract for services over the phone and was charged nearly 13,000 dollars! I was under extreme duress at the time and cannot move forward as I have legal and medical bills coming due early next week and need this money to pay those expenses. I have called and emailed the company and am sending a certified mail letter of cancellation today. I have also called my credit card company to put this charge in dispute. I am in Virginia, this company is in Idaho. What can I do ? I am in desparate need of immediate help. Thank you,Customer
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.
I certainly understand your situation. What type of services did you sign up for? Did you sign anything? Do you have the contract in your possession? If so, does it state within the policy for cancellation? What have they said in response to your attempt to cancel the contract?
I signed up for educational services but have not opened any emails that carry any proprietary information. They say the contract cannot be cancelled due to receiving proprietary ino. but I have not rec'd any. I have the contract online at the docusign website. Everyone I have spoken with at the company has either told me there is nothing I can do, that I should just start the program . I am awaiting a call from the president of the company now but do I not have 3 days to cancel per the "cooling off" period per law or is this valid for telephone or online agreements? I was under extreme emotional distress at the time I signed these papers as my child was gange raped last week and I am also involved in a custody battle with my ex for custody of my son. I must have $3000 cash by next tuesday to pay my attorney and now I do not have the funds.
The three day cooling off period would normally apply to courses of instruction or training. However, the fact that the entire contract was done over the telephone, may take this outside of the three day period and prevent you from canceling it, once you signed the contract. At the same time, you may have defenses to raise, which could render the contract void, as a result of the duress which you state you were under OR do to the fact that you did not receive this proprietary information, which they said was a condition to not being able to cancel it. Moreover, there should be something stated within the contract, that talks about your right to cancel, if any and the time in which it needs to be done, if you wanted to. If you signed the contract online, it should have disclosed everything and placed you on notice to the obligation and commitment that you were making. The Federal Trade Commission talks about the colling off period and when it applies, so I have added that text to my response for you to review. If there is no basis to cancel the contract, the next step would be to try and negotiate with them a settlement to get out of it to prevent any type of lawsuit from possible being filed.
If you buy something at a store and later change your mind, you may not be able to return the merchandise. But if you buy an item in your home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business, you may have the option. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel purchases of $25 or more. Under the Cooling-Off Rule, your right to cancel for a full refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale.
The Cooling-Off Rule applies to sales at the buyer's home, workplace or dormitory, or at facilities rented by the seller on a temporary or short-term basis, such as hotel or motel rooms, convention centers, fairgrounds and restaurants. The Cooling-Off Rule applies even when you invite the salesperson to make a presentation in your home.
Under the Cooling-Off Rule, the salesperson must tell you about your cancellation rights at the time of sale. The salesperson also must give you two copies of a cancellation form (one to keep and one to send) and a copy of your contract or receipt. The contract or receipt should be dated, show the name and address of the seller, and explain your right to cancel. The contract or receipt must be in the same language that's used in the sales presentation.
Some types of sales cannot be canceled even if they do occur in locations normally covered by the Rule. The Cooling-Off Rule does not cover sales that:
Also exempt from the Cooling-Off Rule are sales that involve:
To cancel a sale, sign and date one copy of the cancellation form. Mail it to the address given for cancellation, making sure the envelope is post-marked before midnight of the third business day after the contract date. (Saturday is considered a business day; Sundays and federal holidays are not.) Because proof of the mailing date and proof of receipt are important, consider sending the cancellation form by certified mail so you can get a return receipt. Or, consider hand delivering the cancellation notice before midnight of the third business day. Keep the other copy of the cancellation form for your records.
If the seller did not give cancellation forms, you can write your own cancellation letter. It must be post-marked within three business days of the sale.
You do not have to give a reason for canceling your purchase. You have a right to change your mind.
If you cancel your purchase, the seller has 10 days to:
Within 20 days, the seller must either pick up the items left with you, or reimburse you for mailing expenses, if you agree to send back the items.
If you received any goods from the seller, you must make them available to the seller in as good condition as when you received them. If you do not make the items available to the seller - or if you agree to return the items but fail to - you remain obligated under the contract.
If you have a complaint about sales practices that involve the Cooling-Off Rule, write: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580. The Rule's complete name and citation are: Rule Concerning Cooling-Off Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other Locations; 16 CFR Part 429.
You also may wish to contact a consumer protection office in your city, county, or state. Some state laws give you even more rights than the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule, and some local consumer offices can help you resolve your complaint.
In addition, if you paid for your purchase with a credit card and a billing dispute arises about the purchase (for example, if the merchandise shipped was not what you ordered), you can notify the credit card company that you want to dispute the purchase. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the credit card company must acknowledge your dispute in writing and conduct a reasonable investigation of your problem. You may withhold payment of the amount in dispute, until the dispute is resolved. (You are still required to pay any part of your bill that is not in dispute.) To protect your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you must send a written notice about the problem to the credit card company at the address for billing disputes specified on your billing statement within 60 days after the first bill containing the disputed amount is mailed to you.
If the 60-day period has expired or if your dispute concerns the quality of the merchandise purchased, you may have other rights under the Act. If you have questions about the Fair Credit Billing Act, see the FTC's brochure, Fair Credit Billing, or order a free copy by writing to: XXXXX XXXXX Center, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580.
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions orneed any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for myhelp. I hope you found it to beExcellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100%satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on theleft, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUECONVERSATION "button. I wantto make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible andthat you are satisfied with the help I provided.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).