Troubleshooters: The case of the never-ending contract

EMBED </>More Videos

The case of the never-ending contract. (WPVI)

It is the case of the never-ending contract.

Whether it's with your cell phone provider, cable company, or home security service, be careful.

Maryann Lockyer of Limerick, Montgomery County felt frustrated when trying to cancel a contract for her brother, who has a disability.

"I spoke to a minimum of five people. I have names, dates, and telephone numbers," Lockyer said.

And it was all to no avail.

"My brother Fred lived in Philadelphia and he was going to move and he had signed a contract," Lockyer said.

The contract was for five years for Monitronics Monitored Security Systems.

Lockyer says her brother can't read beyond a first-grade level so she read the fine print to prepare for his move.

"The contract indicated you must send a letter two months prior to moving to disconnect," Lockyer said.

Lockyer says she typed and sent a letter in January of 2015, but Monitronics continued withdrawing from her brother's account until July then sent bills.

"The next bill said you must pay immediately $261. The next bill said $314.85, it just kept going," Lockyer said.

Finally, she sent a letter to someone else.

"I sent one to Nydia Han asking for her help because I had spent nine months trying to solve it and it didn't do any good," Lockyer said.

Mission accomplished for the Action News Troubleshooters.

Monitronics canceled the contract and gave the family a refund for payments debited after the service was disconnected, approximately $400.

Monitronics says, "Our focus on superior service has helped Monitronics to earn an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau."

But actually, after the Troubleshooters' inquiry, the BBB tells us Monitronics has no rating right now.

It does have 2,246 complaints filed against it in the last three years, 791 closed in the past 12 months.

The BBB has posted it has "identified a pattern of complaints that allege Monitronics continues to auto-bill and/or auto-debit consumers' accounts after they have cancelled services...Monitronics has indicated they are implementing a streamlined process for customers to discontinue their service and prevent continued billing."

"We're very happy with what your team did," Lockyer said.

Any time you sign a contract, read the fine print first to see how and when you can cancel. Check for any termination fees or penalties.

Also, search a company's complaint history to see if others have had trouble cancelling.

If you have a case for the Troubleshooters, you can contact me via social media, or through

You can also call 1-866-978-4232 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Related Topics:
homeaction news troubleshootersconsumer
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)