When I got to my mailbox, I had a whopper of a surprise. I've been doing battle with a home security company for several months now. I won't name them for obvious reasons. I purchased a system when I was in Kansas City. It was a three year contract, but I talked with the salesman about it, knowing that I wold not be in KC more than a year, and not knowing where I would settle. The company is nationwide ... actually international, I think ... so it was probably that I could use the full three years. However, because I didn't know where I was moving, I wanted an out, if I needed it. The sales person said that if I paid a year in advance, I would be able to cancel if I needed to do so.
When I knew where I was going to live, I called the company, anonymously in case they wanted to trap me, and was told that they did not have service in this little burg, and especially not rurally. When I called back as myself I was told that they wouldn't forgive the final two years! I argued about the "out" clause. Well,, yes, they could cancel the contract, but I had to pay the balance, about $650. Oh, and if I could get service (I found out later that I could; I just don't need it), my contract would be extended another year!!!!
I was then referred to the "early termination office," with advice to send a fax explaining my situation. I never heard from them despite sending the request three times over 4 months. And no one else could give me a satisfactory response as to why I was still in limbo. Meanwhile I began getting bills for the second, the current year of service which I've not used since March. And of course, the bills became more urgent with each one received. Yet no one would/could tell me why I was not being released or at least responded to.
I finally lost it and sent a certified, signature-required to the CEO and president of the company. I explained the whole situation, including accepting responsibility for not reading the contract to be sure that I had an out clause. But I also quoted part of their mission statement which talks about trust and ethics. I stated that I did not believe the company was operating on those grounds based on the faulty information given by the sales person, the manner in which my requests were handled (or ignored), the lack of response in general, and the inability for them to fulfill their end of the contract yet requiring me to do so. In spite of their lack of integrity, I paid the full balance, just to get them off my back and to save my excellent credit standing.
In the last three weeks I have been talking with and emailing information to a gentleman whose job is to resolve such situations on behalf of the CEO. It took some significant discussion, along with his inquiries as to why I had received misinformation and then ignored. I was not actually trying to get money back; honestly, they had me dead to rights, my fault for not reading the contract well (I hope all of you are listening to this!!!!). But I hoped to at least get some sort of corrective measures for future customers.
I'm very lucky. The tantrum paid off. (No, it really wasn't even close to a tantrum; I was professional on all counts.) Today I received a check for the full amount I paid for the final two years of the contract!!!!!
All I can say now is ... W.H.E.W!!! And ...
... Isn't life beautiful????