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“Help! I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Out of This Contract!”: Life Alert Allegedly Failed to Alert Consumers to Their Cancellation Rights

  • New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with personal emergency response company Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. (“Life Alert”) to resolve allegations that it failed to provide customers with service contract cancellation options required by law, in violation of New York consumer protection laws.
  • According to the assurance of discontinuance, Life Alert required customer to sign a 36-month monitoring service agreement that did not include certain mandatory cancellation provisions required by New York law, which specify that emergency response companies must notify consumers, both verbally and as a written provision in the agreement, of their right to cancel the agreement within seven days of receiving the notice. According to the AG’s office, more than 16,000 New York consumers were not given these notices and Life Alert refused to cancel contracts when consumers requested the cancellation to which they were entitled.
  • Under the terms of the assurance of discontinuance, Life Alert must offer refunds to affected consumers; pay the state $750,000 in penalties, costs, and fees; send notices to all current New York customers who are in the first 36 months of their contracts to notify them of their right to cancel their contracts immediately; update its customer agreements and employee training; and promptly investigate and address consumer complaints, among other things.