Emergency Repairs and PA Unfair Trade and Consumer Protection law
     I have a question regarding the PA Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
    You have provided us with a  Standard Residential All in Oneand several of the legal forms that go with it.  After reviewing the PA consumer law packet, we fortunately were provided with the Notice of Cancellation.  The PA law is also mentioning anEmergency Work Authorization Form.  Can you please advise me on what this form is as well as if you have this type of form available through your firm.
I look forward to hearing from you.
    Pennsylvania has a strict unfair trade practice and consumer protection law, but it is certainly not alone. You need to know about similar laws in your state and be mindful and careful to comply.  Providing the 3 day notice of cancellation is just the beginning of what you need to comply with.  Violation of the consumer protection law subjects you to large civil penalties. permits the subscriber to cancel and in some jurisdictions renders the agreement void, raising enforcement of the protective provisions as an issue.  So the message here is, know what's required and be sure to comply.  

    Part of the PA law is below and you can see it's comprehensive, yet easy to comply with as long as you're not intent on operating your business outside customary practices.  So let's see what stands out, and we'll get to the emergency repair issue below.

  • law applies to alarm agreements for residential subscribers
  • buyer must be provided with fully executed contract in same language as sale took place and English
  • contract must have your company name and address, in addition to license compliance [another law]
  • notice of cancellation statement in statutory form and font size
  • actual notice of cancellation form

    Some rights can be waived by using an emergency authorization form.  Here's what you need:

  • transaction must be buyer initiated [buyer had to call you]
  • services contracted must remedy a bona fide emergency on the buyer's residential real property
  • you can take immediate preliminary steps necessary to remedy a clear and immediate danger that may cause death or serious bodily injury to the buyer, the seller or other persons without having to obtain the emergency authorization form
  • you must furnish the buyer with an emergency work authorization form and written estimate

    The emergency work authorization form must

  • be on form preprinted card at least four inches by six inches in size
  • In at least ten-point bold face type the following statutory form: Emergency Work Authorization

(Enter Date of Transaction)

You, the buyer, having initiated the contract for the goods and services of (enter the name of the seller), the seller, for the remediation of a bona fide emergency hereby authorize the seller to immediately proceed with the delivery of goods or the performance of services necessary to remedy the bona fide emergency. By providing the seller with this authorization, you agree to make full payment for the goods or services provided. You agree not to exercise the rights afforded you by the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to cancel the contract within three business days from the above date.

You, the buyer, attest that the attached estimate is an accurate description of the goods and services which will be provided by the seller for the correction of the bona fide emergency:




(Buyer's Signature)
    The following definitions may also help:

  •     (n) As used in this section, “bona fide emergency” means any condition existing on the buyer's residential real property which renders or has the capability to render the residential real property uninhabitable. The term includes, but shall not be limited to, conditions significantly affecting the heating system, electrical system, plumbing system, ventilation system, roof or outer walls of the residential real property.
  •     (o) As used in this section, “immediate preliminary steps” means only those steps necessary to eliminate a clear and immediate danger that may cause death or serious bodily injury to the buyer, the seller or other persons. The term includes, but shall not be limited to, termination of the carrying of gas, oil or oil product, sewage or water through an underground pipe or the carrying of electric or communication service through an underground conductor, pipe or structure. The term shall not be construed as including any other steps necessary to repair and remedy the bona fide emergency.

    There are other contractual requirements and our Standard Form Residential All in One is customized for you state by state to meet your local requirements.  Contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 ext 312 to assistance or go on line at www.alarmcontracts.com to order the forms.