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Certified Security Systems Deceptive tactics in contract signing and billing. Jacksonville Florida

My family was first moved to Tallahassee, FL in July, 2004 and entered into a rental agreement of one year at a house. The landlord had security system installed and still had one year of prepaid service with Certified Security.

He asked that I come in to put my info in the system for emergency service contact.

When I was there, I signed some kind of paperworks which I was not informed that it was a 3 year contract.

A year later, the landlord took the house back to sale. He also took possession of the security system remote. By not remembering/knowing that I was under a contract, I moved without contacting Certified Security in July, 2005.

During the next two years, my wife and I, from time to time, received phone calls from Certified Security systems' call center informing us of system malfunctions or alarms. Each time, we informed Certified Security that we no longer reside at the address. No one informed me at all of contract or billings.

In June 2007, we started receiving collection calls from Certified Security of unpaid services (for the past two years). There had been no bills in writing.

I had attempted to contact Certified Security Systems multiple times and spoke to multiple personnel and they had not informed me of: I need to cancel the service in writing and without this, billing will continue as well as a new contract is to be automatically renewed.

Not until Sep. 2007, that's when I was informed of the cancellation requirement but that was already too late to stop the contract to get renewed for another three years.

Certified Security will no longer speak with me and referred the account to Collection Agency. Collection company had been calling and only just sent a one-page letter of collection.

Thanks in advance.

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Since no one has responded, I'll take a shot...

First off, not to be the bearer of bad news or be at all redundant - whenever you sign any type of paperwork, you need to read through it carefully. Surprisingly, this stuff happens all of the time, which is why consumers need to be incredibly careful when they put their signature on anything.

The biggest problem that you have is that you entered into a legally binding service agreement. Within that service agreement, there is most likely a section regarding your contractual obligations which should include their cancellation policy. Because you signed this agreement without reading it fully, you unknowingly agreed to be financially liable for their monthly fees and additionally agreed to cancel the service contract in writing in order to avoid future billings.

My question to you is this...When you were receiving phone calls from the company prior to being sent to collections and you notified them that you were no longer residing at the address, did you ask them about any balance due? Or were you relying on them to inform you of this information?

Because you signed a contract, the company is not going to take responsibility for the situation. You're going to be told what almost every other consumer is told in this situation: read everything before you sign it! By signing that little piece of paper, you put yourself into a situation where you have very few options...If their cancellation policy is in writing, on any of the paperwork that you signed when you moved in, their practices aren't considered deceptive. If you didn't take it upon yourself to ask them about billing or cancellation, and you were expecting them to inform you of this information, their practices aren't considered deceptive. You signed the contract, therefore you're liable.

I would write a letter to the OC, requesting an investigation into the account. I would request copies of any paperwork that you signed that you do not have in your possession, including any contractual agreement which includes their cancellation policy in writing. Thanks to the FCRA, they are legally obligated to respond to your request within 30-days of receiving it - so make sure you send it CMRRR. If they cannot provide you with any type of signed contract or signed paperwork, you'll have a little bit more leverage to push forward to have the account removed from collections...

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