Ask Finney: Security software renewal, furnace repairs, recycling center closure

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1:

Michael from San Anselmo asks: A computer security software company automatically renewed my subscription 30 days before the expiration date. They charged my credit card, but I never authorized the transaction. Can they do that?

Answer 1:

Yes they can do that, but not for much longer. Right now if you agreed to a recurring renewal with your paid subscription, they can charge you without asking you first. This has caused a lot of complaints, so this summer, july first, the law changes. It says before you can be charged again, you must be notified and told how much you are being charged. That way you have an opportunity to cancel.

Question 2:

Robert from Pleasanton asks: I had my furnace repaired, but the repairman never gave me a written quote for the cost. He did tell me verbally, though. Is this okay?

Answer 2:

It all depends on how much it cost and who was doing the repairs. Under $500 and anyone can do the repair and there is no need for anything in writing. Unless they are licensed then the must put the contract in writing. The rules get complicated but above $750 you could be entering into a home improvement contract. If that is the case, then the repair company cannot charge more than $1,000 or 10 percent of the contract price, whichever is less.

Question 3:

Marta asks: Why are so many recycling centers closed in Contra Costa County? I want to redeem bottles and soda cans. We are still paying a fee.

Answer 3:

The current law says that most major grocery stores must have a recycling center with in a half mile or do recycling itself. However there are exemptions to the rules so it is hard to make it stick. The easiest way to find a nearby recycling center is by logging onto Cal Recycle's website.
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