In Your Corner: Unfair Sales Practice?

By Ryan Elijah

July 8, 2010 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 4:49 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter)
Patrick Chesbrough knew he had a wet basement so he agreed to a free inspection when a salesman from Everdry Waterproofing came to his home.

After about 4 hours, the salesman told the Chesbrough's they could sign to lock-in the price of nearly 11-thousand dollars, but not before what Patrick described were some hard sales tactics

"it started to feel like it was turning into scare tactics", said Patrick Chesbrough.

Two days later Patrick called to cancel, but was told it had to be done in person, at that point two Everdry workers showed up. While he thought it was over, over a month later, Patrick was sent a bill for nearly 4-thousand dollars for cancelling and supplies, even though work was never done

"we felt they went through the back door to get us to commit to the work"

Across town, another young couple had a different complaint about the same company. They bought a home that Everdry had done work on 12 years ago and had a lifetime warranty. They called Everdry over concerns about water and crumbling walls, after paying $45, which they said was to transfer the warranty, Scott says the company wouldn't honor the warranty from two franchises ago. He also said the corporate office in Ohio refused his attorney's letter. He paid another company 13-thousand dollars for the repairs.
"they said it was two franchises ago and they don't honor past warranties"

The question of lifetime warranties is not new to Everdry or the state of Indiana for that matter, back in 2005 then Attorney General Steve Carter sued the company for not honoring lifetime warranties.
Everdry did not respond to several requests for comment, we found the state's lawsuit came after a number of consumers complained that franchises were not honoring lifetime warranties, the company lost an appeal in 2008.
In Patrick's situation, a Federal Trade Commission "cooling off" rule applies giving the consumer 3 days to cancel the purchase it the contract was not signed at the company.

Mike Coil of the Better Business Bureau said "they have to give you a 3-day write of rescission, that's what the law says"

The FTC rule states no reason is needed for cancellation and the form can be mailed back if dated. The new franchise has an A- rating with the BBB and is not connected to the earlier lawsuits, but at least two local consumers say they weren't treated fairly.

Click here to read the FTC's Cooling Off Rules for Consumer Contracts.


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