I would like to thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer. I am not sure if this is the right thread or not.
I am an individual who has a small dba landscaping company and last year I contacted by a local yellow pages for advertising. I told them that I was interested. The sale person and I discussed ad size and price. Once I settled upon an ad size it was designed and I proofed it. He had me do a voice authorization over the phone. It had me state my name and phone number, the sales rep then stated the size of my ad, the monthly amount and the heading to which is was under, he then had me state yes if I agreed. At the end of the voice authorization, basically after my voice signature, a recording comes on and say that your sales representative will send you out terms of your agreement. This all happened in August of 2006 I never received any terms of agreement, and never really thought about it until now.
So after nearly of year of having the ad I wanted to cancel my ad because, it was a cell number that was costing me more than I expected, I had a new landline number which I want to propagate and I was getting better performance off local free advertising anyways. I called in June of this year and they stated that the cancellation had to be in writing. So I then sent my written notice in. I was then told it could not be cancelled now because that phone book was still in print. Which was fine as my year was not up. In July I start to receive phone calls from a new sales rep for the same company. I stated why I was unhappy; he then told me that I would be much happier with a lager ad, because I was so far back in my section I was not receiving the optimum amount of calls. We discussed the cost of larger ads. I ultimately told him no. He continued to call, not taking no for an answer, offer better pricing. I told him that I was not interested and that I would call him if I changed my mind. He continued to call and I soon ignored all his calls as I was busy with work.
My ad was renewed for 2007 anyways at a higher rate. I contacted the customer service number and to ask why. They stated that automatic renewal was part of my contract. I told them I sent in notice to cancel and that I told the sales rep I did not want a new ad. I told them again that my ad was for a year and I did not authorize a new one. They then asked them where does is state that I am subject to renewal. They said in the terms of agreement. I asked for a copy of my agreement they stated that all they have is copy of my voice authorization, but the standard terms of the agreement are available online, they had been revised on 7/07. After viewing them I had notice that I sent my cancellation letter to the wrong place and that all ads are subject to renewal.
Below are some of the terms.
“2. Notice/How To Contact Us. All notices, including cancellation notices to us, must be in writing and mailed by U.S. mail or overnight carrier to: XXX Media, Inc., P.O. Box XXX, Peoria, IL 61614. For questions or concerns about this Order, please contact us at the toll-free number for our Customer Care Center on your bill or at 1-800-XXX-1234.
3. Cancellation/Automatic Renewal. To cancel an Ad other than listings, your notice must be in writing and received by us at least thirty (30) days before the sales close date of the Publication listed on the Order. To cancel a Service, your notice must be in writing and received by us at least thirty (30) days before the start date of the Service listed on your Order. We may automatically renew your Ads and Services listed on this Order for successive Terms unless you notify us in writing at least thirty (30) days before: (1) the sales close date of the next issue of the Publication for Ads or (2) the anniversary of the start date of your Services. The sales close date for each Publication and the start date of your Service are available from your sales representative or by calling our Customer Care Center. The cost of any renewed Ad or Service will be our then-current standard published rates (unless we agree in writing to a different rate at that time). We cannot cancel any listings in print, CD-ROM, internet or equivalent classified directories. “
I have proof of the mailed letter in June but I am told it doesn’t matter because they have no record of it. I can take it to there binding arbitration if I wish, but it they get to pick the company however I am subject to law suits for collections.
So I a few questions:
1. Am I subject to this contract as the terms of the agreement where never fully disclosed at the time of my voice signature and where never mailed as they said they would be?
2. They claim that the terms where sent but are unable to prove they sent them. Who has the burden of proof? Them saying they sent the contract or me saying I didn’t receive the contract?
3. I have a dated receipt from the letter I sent and a copy of the letter on my computer is that enough proof to prove I sent my cancellation request?
4. Can I take them to small claims court for the new amount?
5. What is my best course of action as I am refusing to pay and they say they will send me to collections and it is my credit?
C From Utah