BALTIMORE (December 6, 2018)—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced that his Consumer Protection Division has settled charges against Maryland Speed LLC (Maryland Speed), an online retailer specializing in the sale of auto parts, and its owner, Branden Farthing.
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Charges against Maryland Speed and Farthing were initially brought in September 2018, and alleged that the retailer, based in Hollywood, Maryland, violated the Consumer Protection Act when it accepted payments for parts that it failed to provide to customers and refused to issue refunds. According to the settlement, at least 671 consumers placed orders with Maryland Speed but never received their purchased parts. Although many consumers were able to get refunds by contesting the charges on their credit cards, according to the Consent Order, at least 235 of those consumers are owed refunds totaling at least $220,877.14.
The settlement requires Maryland Speed to stop selling parts it cannot provide and to provide the Consumer Protection Division with a $100,000.00 surety bond if it continues doing business in Maryland. The company and Farthing must also return all of the monies they owe to consumers and pay penalties and costs to the Division in the amount of $100,000.00, which may be reduced if full refunds are made to consumers.
"This case demonstrates exactly why the Maryland Consumer Protection Act is so important," said Attorney General Frosh. "Without the protections of the Act, customers who did not receive purchased goods from Maryland Speed, and were also denied refunds, had little recourse. Affected customers will now be able to obtain some restitution."
In making today's announcement, Attorney General Frosh thanked Consumer Protection Division Deputy Chief Philip Ziperman, Administrator Hanna Abrams, and Investigators Chris Waldt and Patrick Tormey for their work on the case.
Consumers who are owed refunds from Maryland Speed may call the Consumer Protection hotline at 410-528-8662 or 888-743-0023.