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Question DetailsAsked on 3/20/2018

Do I need to start a small claims? in court to waive the contract fee?

I signed up on the 12th of February, everything Michael Hart, your sales agent described sounded great but unfortunately after just a couple of weeks and not seeing this work!! I decided to cancel services with you, well!! not quite what I expected, I was told I was going to be charged a 35% fee for breaking a 12 month contract..What?? I did receive docusign papers through online but trusting your agent when he told me they were for background check and to submit payment "I believed him" (even the tile of email says background and the one to submit payment says "no subject) shady?? He did ask me if I wanted to pay the whole year and I said no, never did he explain "I am asking because its a 12 month contract" I feel taken advantage of.. I made it clear on emails to him before I said "yes, to advertise" I told him through email!!! "My husband is a afraid if no leads come in, we won't have the money to pay" and he said "it will pay for itself" WRONG!!!

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The Ask Your Question forum is for questions about projects, suggestions on methods to do things, etc - not Angies List contract questions, You need to address this with Angies List Business Services - log in and use the Contact button - and I would suggest getting everything in writing (eMail or letter).


It may well be you will need to take this, assuming you consider the advertising and/or sale to be fraudulent, either to an attorney or to a consumer protection agency - local district attorney's office or Federal Trade Commission - though since you are a business they may well not be any help to you. FTC less likely than local DA, as they do not address individual cases - just rack up complaints against companies and once enough are received (dozens or hundreds) then they may go after the offending company.


Your problem is a common one - trusting what the sales person says rather than going by the written documents only - because once you have a written agreement, it is VERY tough to argue that what was said should e considered part of the contract - a written contract is presumed by the law to incorporate the final agreement pretty much regardless of the initial sales pitch. That is why phone and door-to-door sales are hated so much and have so much opportunity for abusive sales practices and fraud. And of course add in that the sales person is usually on commission, so basically he gets a kickback for overselling you. Making commissions illegal would eliminate so much fraud and sales deception.


I would guess will take an attorney to find the flaws in their contract and correspondence to bail you out - if there are such loopholes. I don't know how much you got into for advertising - or if it was made clear to you (if not an existing business with reviews alreadyt) that you have to have so many reviews in the last 2 years, as I recall, and be rated A or B (or maybe C, I don't know) to be able to advertise. If you started a new business listing and that was not made clear, might be a legal out for you.


I probably don't have to tell you that counting on additional business coming in from advertising, unless that particular type of advertising has a proven success history for you (like coupons or customer appreciation days or such), is a risky business investment because a vast majority of small company advertising yields little or no revenue - especially for construction or home services type companies.


Though granted, just a couple of weeks exposure (if advertising has actually been exposed to the potential customers for that long) is not much time to tell how it is working. And what did you advertise in - if the local edition of the Angies List magazine, of course you would not get any leads until after the edition with your ad is put out.



Answered 7 months ago by LCD




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