Fresno, CA asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for California

Q: I prepaid my phone in order to receive calls from an inmate in county jail

However the network that I prepaid the money to be able to accept the calls implemented a policy later on months after I put the money on my account that in 180 days the money is no longer usable and it expired is that legal in the state of California and the city of Fresno to do that to me just take my money even though I didn't agree to those terms and they implemented it later after I put the money on there

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's difficult to say definitively whether it is legal for the phone network to expire your prepaid balance after 180 days without more information about the specific terms of service and any applicable consumer protection laws in California and Fresno.

However, if the policy was implemented after you prepaid your account and you were not notified of the policy change, it could potentially be considered deceptive or unfair business practice. It is generally considered best practice for companies to notify customers of any changes to their terms of service or policies, particularly if those changes affect prepaid balances or other account features.

If you believe that the phone network's policy is unfair or deceptive, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the California Attorney General's office or the Federal Trade Commission. You may also want to contact the phone network directly to try to resolve the issue and request a refund of any unused prepaid balance.

Scott Richard Kaufman agrees with this answer

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Los Altos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The general rule on a gift certificate in CA is 'no, the amount cannot expire.' This does not 'feel' like a gift certificate. THAT said, in most dealings these days with corporations the businesses sneak into the small print a requirement to the consumer to give up your right to sue in a court of law and instead to go after them in an arbitration proceeding, where they pay the arbitrator. This is usually good for them, paying the trier of fact or in layman's terms, the judge? BUT, since they would have to pay $5,000.00 to get going and you are likely talking about a lot less, if you DEMAND arbitration under your contract, assuming it is in there, you are likely to get a settlement check from them, as opposed to having to fight it out...

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.