Fred (not his real name), a retired octogenarian, used his trailer for about two weeks each year. He was a member of a trailer park resort in Lewiston, New York. Fred hadn’t used his trailer for about a year, and he wanted to cancel his membership. He called repeatedly to do that, but was told different things: first they said that he had to pay twice the usual annual dues to get out of the contract, and then they told him that he could NEVER get out of the contract because he was a lifetime member.
A few months later, Fred got a letter from the trailer park saying that his dues were “seriously delinquent”, and threatening to turn his file over to a collection agency, affecting Fred’s credit rating, if he did not pay the full amount within thirty days.
Exasperated and dispirited, Fred made an appointment with Michael Maddalena, at our St. Catharines office. Michael reviewed the letter and suggested that, even though he was a Canadian lawyer, he might be able to help.
Michael wrote directly to the owner of the trailer park, explaining that his client wanted to terminate the contract, asking for a copy of the contract, and warning the owner to take no enforcement action until he had a chance to review the contract.
Shortly thereafter, Fred received a letter from the trailer park confirming that the owner agreed to cancel Fred’s membership and release him from any further obligations. Fred did not have to pay anything!
The fees for the services Michael provided were covered by his Plan “prepaid” benefit, so the total cost to Fred was $32.46, for HST.
But for the Plan, it may have taken Fred a lot longer, and cost a lot more, for the peace of mind that Michael provided.
Submitted by Michael Maddalena,
St. Catharines Office