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Bogey helps settle contract dispute
BARSTOW • Heidi Hernandez wanted to protect her home. So four years ago, she engaged APX Alarm Security Systems, Inc. to install a security system.
Hernandez thought that the contract was for two years. Upon closer scrutiny, she realized that it was a five-year contract. She called her sales representative at Vivint, Inc., which now owns APX, and the rep assured her that she could still cancel at the end of two years.
When Hernandez contacted Vivint, Inc. two years later, trying to cancel the remainder of the contract, the salesman’s previous reassurances meant nothing.
Hernandez sought help in a May 14 letter to Daily Press consumer advocate Michael “Bogey” Boguslawski. She explained to Bogey that the company said the only way to cancel was if she wanted to pay off the balance in full.
Bogey called Vivint on July 2. He received an email the next day from Megan Herrick in the public relations department with Vivint.
Herrick’s email to Bogey stated that Hernandez was asked, “Are you aware the term of this initial agreement is 60 months?” (Many companies have taped third-party verification systems to confirm the consumer’s transaction.) By Vivint’s account, Hernandez confirmed the length of the contract and that no other representation had been made to her. That would cover the salesman’s assurance that Hernandez could cancel early.
“Contracts exist for a reason and it would be fiscally irresponsible for us to not work with customers to find an appropriate solution during times of difficulty,” Herrick wrote in part. She vowed to work with the family to try to find a solution.
To Bogey, the solution was to cancel the contract, as he wrote to Herrick on July 31, his third letter to the company.
“Heidi Hernandez wants out of her contract immediately,” Bogey wrote to Herrick. “Please terminate Heidi Hernandez’s contract and let’s get this behind us.”
Though the security company tried to maintain the contract by offering Hernandez a reduced payment plan, they finally gave in to Bogey’s request and canceled the balance of the contract.
“It was an absolute pleasure working with him,” Hernandez said of her interaction with Bogey. “They had given me nothing but the runaround. Once he took over, it was a breeze. He knew what to say to them.”
To seek Bogey’s help, write a letter that clearly and concisely describes the problem, with your full name, mailing address, daytime phone number and email address, if available. Include the name, address and phone number for the opposing party. Include a statement granting Boguslawski full permission to investigate and handle the case under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and related laws.
Boguslawski’s services are free of charge, but only select letters will be chosen for investigation and follow-up. Absolutely no phone calls, please. Letters may be sent to “Bogey,” Daily Press Consumer Advocate, 2645 N.E. 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306.
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