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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12205
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I reside in Florida. I signed a contract with an air conditioning

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I reside in Florida. I signed a contract with an air conditioning company to install duct work in my home. They originally came out to repair my a/c unit. The cost was $2900 for the duct work inwhich they were going to include the repair job they did to the a/c unit (approx $400 work). I placed the amount of $1400 on my credit card for 1/2 the full amount. After they left, something didn't seem right about them. I had researched this company before I originally called them and they came back with an "A" rating with the BBB. However, I had misread the newspaper clipping and I accidentally checked the wrong company. The company that I had contracted with actually had a "F" rating and more complaints then you could shake a stick at. I called the company a day later to cancel the contract and emailed them a letter stating such. They told me they were going to keep the amount of $1400 that I given them because I cancelled. I thought Florida had a consumer protection law that entitled the consumer 3 days to cancel a contract. CitiCard, with whom I placed the $1400, held the funds but are planning to release them because I signed the contract. Can I do anything about this?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Did you sign the contract at your house, or did you go to their place of business? This is an important distinction in the applicable law.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I signed the contract in my home.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Are you still there?

Hi again.

That is good that you signed in your home. Many people incorrectly believe that there is a 3 day rescission for any contract. That is actually not true. In almost all cases, contracts are final when made. The few exceptions however, include sales that occur at a consumer's house rather than at the place of business. It is both a Florida law and a Federal law.

This is from the Attorney General's website on how to cancel: "Cancellation of a home solicitation sale must be made in writing to the seller by no later than midnight of the third business day after the day the buyer signed the contract. A written notice sent by mail must be postmarked by no later than midnight of the third business day after the contract date. In the case of a home solicitation sale, a refund must be mailed within 10 days after the sale has been canceled."

Clearly, using certified mail is the best practice to prove when it was mailed. If the business refuses to refund the money, then you'll need to sue in small claims court.

Does that answer your question? Let me know if you need clarification, and please remember to rate me positively so that I receive credit for my efforts.

Thank you and good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I sent them emails to two different people with the company. I did not get an acknowledgment from the email online. But, I did get a phone call from the guy who was at my house telling me that although the job that was done would only cost $400, his company was going to keep the entire $1,490 deposit because I canceled. I told him that I would send the company $400 for the repair but I was not going to pay for work that was not done.

Hi again.

I would not rely on the email. Judges would not likely consider that to be written notice, unless the seller specifically asked for communications to be via email. I would mail the notice of cancellation on paper, and get proof of when it was mailed. As an aside, if you were not given a notice as to your cancellation rights from the company when you signed the contract, then that may be a reason to get out of the contract even if more than 3 days have passed, and even though the work was already partially done (a fact which I didn't realize when first reading your question).
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