Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Senator Dawn Addiego, which would allow for the cancellation of certain service contracts without paying early cancellation fees when a customer passes away, passed the Senate today.
The bill, S-2801, would require service providers of cable television, cellular telephones, direct broadcast satellite, electric generation, heating oil, internet access, propane, telecommunications and voice over internet protocol to allow the executor of a deceased customer to opt-out of a service contract without paying early cancellation fees.
“It is wrong for service providers to continue to charge the families of deceased customers, even after being notified of their deaths,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “No family member should be subjected to contract termination fees when they did not enter into the contract personally, and particularly not in a time of grieving. This service needs to be canceled for no fault of anyone, and they should not be penalized for their loss.”
“This legislation would provide some alleviation of the financial burden many face when a loved one passes away,” said Senator Addiego (D-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “It is a painful responsibility handling a deceased loved one’s affairs and cancelling service contracts due to a death should be viewed in the same regard as a standard cancellation without tacked on fees.”
With this legislation, the executor would be required to request the contract cancellation in writing and to submit the request along with documentation proving the customer is deceased.
A person or company who violates the provisions of the bill would be liable to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 with additional offenses applicable each day when a violation continues to persist.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0.