Dear Consumer Ed:

I hired a company to clean up some water damage. I had to sign an agreement by using a computer device the company brought to my home. It turns out, I agreed to more than I thought.  Are there any safeguards for consumers when signing an agreement on a computer screen?  Is it the same as signing a piece of paper?

Consumer Ed says: 

Based on the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which has been adopted by the Georgia legislature, a signature is not considered invalid solely because it is in electronic form.  If a signature is required on a document by law, an electronic signature satisfies the law.  Therefore, your signature on the computer device could have created a binding contract between you and the company that cleaned the water damage in your home.  However, it has to be an otherwise legal contract, which means it must contain all elements of a legal contract. These include: appropriate and clear recitals of subject matter, consideration, price and key terms. If you suspect that the contract was deceptive or fraudulent, or that the company failed to provide the service it promised, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options.

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