Troubleshooter: Elderly couple learns perils of contract's fine print

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Rita and Joe Such were moving and wanting to get out of a home-security contract they no longer needed.

When it comes signing a contract, how much do you pay attention to just how long your obligation is and what it takes to get out of that contract?

Rita and Joe Such said they had no idea the troubles they'd face when it came to the contract they signed involving their security system.

Moving out of the house they've called home for years was a big change for the Suches. Besides moving, the couple said a big stress was trying to end the security monitoring services on their home they sold.

They had to sell their Raleigh home because of age - Joe is 95 and Rita is 87 - and she said she could no longer take care of her husband on her own. So the couple moved in with their daughter.

Rita said when she contacted the security company they pay to monitor their home to end the contract, she didn't get good news.

"I called them and told them we were moving because of health reasons," Rita said. "They told me I had to pay $1,600, which was the remainder left on our contract. That's a lot of money for us."

Rita had her son Larry try to talk with the company.

"They were willing to cut the price in half from 1,600 to 800 unless somebody in the family took over the contract, which none of us wanted to do." Larry said.

He said he could understand keeping the contract if his parents were moving into another home, but they were moving in with family who did not need a security system.

Larry reached out to me, and I got in touch with Moni, the company the Suches paid to monitor a system they no longer had access to since selling their home. Larry said that after my calls, he heard from a representative from Moni and they agreed to let Rita and Joe out of their contract with no penalty.

"I'm grateful for you and TV 11 for the service that you offer," Larry said.

Larry has this advice the next time you sign on the dotted line: "Pay real close attention to the contract and make sure there is a way out if you move or become disabled."

In this case, Moni wasn't obligated to cancel the Such's contract without penalty, but it did. The company did not add any comment.
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financepersonal financetroubleshootermoneyRaleighWake County
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