TV/Internet deal falls through but consumer stuck with the bill

How often have you signed up for some service, and then wish you hadn't.

That's what Stuart Stoloff was thinking after checking out a booth at a Fountain Hills fair.

He says a business called First Choice Communications offered him a television and internet bundle deal.

It was a good price, but Stoloff says he told the salesperson that he didn't think the internet provider actually serviced his area.

He says he was told that wouldn't be an issue and that the internet service would be just what he wanted.

It's even written on his order.

But while the television service wasn't an issue, the internet company would not service Stoloff's area, just as he had told the salesperson.

"They said, 'oh, we made a mistake. But unfortunately, the mistake can't be rectified,'" Stoloff said.

He didn't want his TV service if he couldn't get the TV/Internet bundle price. He says that was the whole point.

But he says First Choice Communications says once the TV service started, they couldn't stop it. He'd have to do that himself and likely face a large penalty fee.

So Stoloff let me know what happened so that I could warn others.

We went to the First Choice Communications office in Tempe.

We found a manager and asked about Stoloff's situation.

She admitted there had been a mistake. "His representative failed to inform him clearly."

I told her the business should have been able to remove the TV service if Stoloff didn't get exactly what he was promised.

She said what he signed was just an order form. And she says the business doesn't even know what's available in a particular area until they run the order.

She says Stoloff is getting a good deal on his TV service.

But Stoloff says it's not the deal that was promised.

He says he never would have changed the service he had, if he knew he wouldn't get that deal.

My advice, after hearing this, don't sign up at fairs or anywhere else you're expected to act quickly.

Take the information, call the providers yourself, and if you still think it's a good deal later, then sign up.

E-mail me with any consumer problem you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there. And if you "like" the page now, you could win $500 in a new contest!

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