Better Call Behnken

Elderly woman says she continued to get bills for emergency equipment she no longer needed

TAMPA, Fla, (WFLA) - Lorretta Kuhr is 91-years-old and found herself stuck in a contract for services she didn't need or receive.

"Between a rock and hard place, and I don't think I belong there," Kuhr said. 

Kuhr contracted with Life Alert in December after a bad fall at her home that left her lying on the ground for hours. She said the system made her feel secure. 

"Wherever I was, I would just have to touch a button, and help would be there," Kuhr said. 

But then her health deteriorated and she moved into a nursing home with full time nursing care. Her room even comes with emergency buttons so she can alert staff if she's in trouble.

Kuhr's contract with Life Alert allows her to cancel if she moves into a facility with 24-hour care. Her nephew, Kevin Kuhr, says they've tried to cancel since March, but his aunt continues to get billed nearly $90 a month for the service. 

"When she tells me, 'Not so good news today,' I know exactly what she means. 'Another bill on the credit card.'"

Kevin Kuhr says the family has called Life-Alert numerous times and that the nursing home faxed letters stating they offer his aunt 24-hour nursing care.

"She qualifies to get out of her contract, yet she's stuck paying this money," he said. 

After a call from Better Call Behnken, a Life-Alert spokeswoman called to say Kuhr will be released from her contract and get a refund. She said she was still investigating to find out why this confusion occurred. 

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