Attorney general pursuing action against speed shop
Injunction and penalties possible
The Maryland Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday its pursuit of an administrative injunction and penalties against a St. Mary’s speed shop and its proprietor, who said he’s work- ing to resolve any issues with his customers.
The attorney general’s office alleged in a release that Maryland Speed LLC, an online retailer based in Hollywood that
specializes in the sale of auto parts, accepted “payment for parts that it failed to provide to its customers, and … refus[ed] to issue refunds to purchasers.”
The administrative action follows an earlier alert posted on the website of the Better Business Bureau, stating in part that its “files indicate that Maryland Speed LLC has a pattern of complaints concerning a failure to is-
sue refunds, return calls, provide effective customer service, and/or provide ordered parts. Maryland Speed’s responses to these complaints often referred the consumer to its terms and conditions of purchase on its website with excuses for delays.”
The trade monitoring organization’s “staff contacted the business on July 20, 2018, regarding the nature of complaints filed with our office and the lack of effective responses,” the BBB’s website states, “however, they have not provided
a reply to our request.” This week, BBB’s website posted the attorney general’s release, describing its claim as alleging that the parts shop engaged in “unfair and deceptive practices, … which put them in violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.”
On Thursday morning, Branden Farthing, the owner of Maryland Speed, said, “We’re working to do everything we can to make our customers happy,” and to resolve concerns involving the business organization.
“We have been working with the Better Business Bureau,” Farthing said. “We’re doing our best to resolve complaints, … to make sure we don’t have this moving forward.”
The attorney general’s release alleges that “after accepting customers’ payments, Maryland Speed often failed to order the purchased parts from suppliers or manufacturers, failed to arrange for the delivery of the purchased parts to customers, and refused to refund customers’ payments when refunds were requested.”
In addition, the release states that the attorney general’s Consumer Protection “Division alleges that Maryland Speed represented that it was an authorized dealer for suppliers who, in fact, did not do business with Maryland Speed. The Division further alleges that Maryland Speed offered false excuses for the delayed or unfulfilled orders to its customers, or communicated to customers that the products were delayed by the supplier when, in fact, Maryland Speed had failed to place the orders with its suppliers.”
Maryland Speed’s website states that the company “does not imply or represent itself as having any kind of relationship/ affiliation with the manufacturers of parts sold on this site unless expressly stated.”
The attorney general’s office’s claim of alleged violations of Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act is set for a hearing in early December, the release states, before the Office of Administrative Hearings in Baltimore County.