In November, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued Cleveland-based TV retailer Northeast Electronics, Inc. for multiple violations of Ohio consumer law.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office received more than 45 consumer complaints against the business dating back to 2005. In their complaints, consumers generally said they paid for televisions or television repairs that they never received. In some cases, consumers said the owner, Carl Chuppa, took advance payment for a television repair, picked up the television from the consumer's home, and never returned it.
In 2007, the Ohio Attorney General's Office entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (out-of-court settlement) with Northeast Electronics and its owner Mr. Chuppa. As part of the settlement, the business agreed to clean up its practices and provide restitution to consumers who had filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Mr. Chuppa failed to live up to the terms of the prior agreement, necessitating enforcement action by the Ohio Attorney General.
The Attorney General's lawsuit charges Northeast Electronics and Mr. Chuppa with multiple violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act, including failure to deliver, failure to perform repair services, failure to provide or honor warranties, and failure to pay consumer judgments. The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
To protect themselves, consumers should research companies with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and Better Business Bureau before doing business with them.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.