Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:14 AM MDT
Get Gephardt: Bill Addresses Auto-Renewing Contracts
(KUTV) A major consumer complaint is being addressed on Utah’s Capitol Hill: It may soon be tougher for companies to snag you into auto-renewing contracts.
Many people have been auto-renewing contracts which are common for home alarm systems and companies that may spray your lawn. People that are happy with the services and want to keep them rarely complain, but people that are unhappy and don’t want to renew their contract sometimes find themselves automatically renewed anyway.
In 2007, we were contacted by Dale and Christy Taylor. The couple had hired Terminex to get rid of bed bugs that had hitched a ride home from an international vacation. The Taylor’s signed what they believed was a one year contract – but after a year, it automatically renewed.
In 2010, Shay East contacted us. She was actively trying to cancel her home alarm contract with Castlerock Security, but instead found herself automatically renewed.
In both those cases, they called us – and we called the companies. Ultimately, we were able to help resolve those disputes.
But, Utah Representative Derek Brown says it should be easier for consumers to fight on their own.
“We want people to know, before it renews that it’s about to renew,” said Brown.
Brown introduced a bill that, should it become law, will make it illegal for a company to renew a contract without giving ample warning. And specifically, it will give the Utah Division of Consumer Protection the power to step in on a consumer’s behalf when ample warning is not given.
Yesterday, the bill passed the Utah House and will now move to the Senate. The bill’s chief sponsor says he is confident the bill will become law – at which point if you find yourself in an auto-renewing contract of which you cannot get out, the Division of Consumer Protection will be able to help.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)