From gym memberships to pest control service, there are rules for the sellers of annual contracts
Companies can't automatically renew your contract
8:15 PM, Nov 21, 2013
TAMPA - Wesley Chapel homeowner Jim White says he followed the cancelation clause on his contract when he attempted to terminate his pest control service.
Per White's contract customers must cancel in writing with in 30 days of the renewal date.
The date on White's registered letter reflects he did just that but the letter came back unopened.
What White did not know was the burden of cancelation was not on him.
Florida state law mandates any seller of service contracts notify the customer of the automatic renewal no less than 30 days before the cancelation deadline. The law provides that the seller would have to provide a refund after that fact if they did not give a customer the notice that is required.
The White's say First Class Pest Solutions dinged their bank account for service in spite that law. We tried calling the company. No one answered the phone. Then we visited their Land O' Lakes offices and found the gates locked. The Whites felt they had no choice but to file a dispute with their bank.
Similar complaints can be filed with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Consumers who live in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties can report their cases to consumer protection offices in those counties.