Legal Question in Telecomm Law in New York

cancelled phone bill payment

I recently cancelled my local phone service after a promotion they ran for long distance @ $60.00 per month.My husband called them about this sevice and cannot recall if he agreed to the cancellation fee of $300.00 ( The phone bill is in my name) They stated I had made a verbal agreement with them,which I did not,and will not let me hear the so called tape which I said i ageed to a cancellation fee.It's not even on any bill they sent stating there would be a fee.My question is is this legal (verbally by someone who is does not have his name on the bill)Or are only signed contracts legal?

Asked on 4/22/07, 8:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Friedman Law Office of John K. Friedman

Re: cancelled phone bill payment

Verbal contracts are legal and binding. What you have is a semi-written contract as the terms and conditions of your service are required to be posted on the provider's web site and available for inspection in physical form at their office.

It's not clear if they have an obligation to let you listen to or receive a copy of your recorded authorization to accept the service (including the $300 termination fee). If you feel you were wronged in this way, you can do file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission as well as the public service/utility commission in your state (you indicate you are in NY so it is the New York State Public Service Commission in Albany).

As to their accepting instructions from someone whose name is not on the bill -- the service provider can do this if they can reasonably verify that the person requesting the change is in a close enough relationship with the person whose name is on the bill -- such as a spouse, adult child of an elderly parent, etc.

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Answered on 4/23/07, 10:14 am

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