State Files Charges Against Hollywood, Md.-Based Online Auto Parts Retailer

Charges Allege Unfair and Deceptive Practices in Violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act

BALTIMORE (September 05, 2018)—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has filed charges against Maryland Speed LLC (Maryland Speed), an online retailer specializing in the sale of auto parts, for accepting payment for parts that it failed to provide to its customers, and for refusing to issue refunds to purchasers. Maryland Speed's principal office is located in Hollywood, Maryland. Branden Farthing, the owner of Maryland Speed, was also charged.

According to the Statement of Charges, 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.

"Failure to deliver a product after payment is made is a flagrant violation of the law," said Attorney General Frosh. "It is a good time to note that, if possible, customers should play it safe by making purchases with a credit card that allows charges to be disputed when a product isn't delivered as promised."

The 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 also allegedly misled its customers for lengthy periods of time, making it more difficult for customers to dispute charges for delayed or unfulfilled orders with the customers' credit card companies and banks.

The Division is seeking an injunction, as well as the payment of restitution, penalties, and costs for the alleged violations of Maryland's Consumer Protection Act. A hearing has been set for December 4, 2018, at the Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Rd, Hunt Valley, MD 21031.

For more information, consumers may call the Consumer Protection hotline at (410) 528-8662 or toll free at (888) 743-0023.

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