Judge short-circuits electronics seller

Keith Loria May 17, 2010, 2:41pm


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - A court injunction has been issued at Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper's request against an electronics seller that will require the company to set aside $200,000 in a court account to pay for remedies.

Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon issued the injunction in a consumer protection case against the Nashville-based Consumer Depot LLC and its owners and operators Martin Fike, Carol Fike and Michael Hinds, as well as related entity Auction Logistix LLC.

Consumer Depot and its owners and operators are also alleged to have done business under the names Consumer Depot, Bargain Depot, Factory Dealz, Return Dealz, Surplus Dealz, bargaindepot04, Ubid-It, techgraveyard, surplusdealz05, swdiscounters, Mr-Appliance, Music-n-DVDs and Ubid-TN-01.

The injunction requires the company to work on customer service and prevents it from misrepresenting products. The money will go towards consumer refunds and other monetary relief in the case.

"We hope this court order serves as a reminder that Tennessee does not tolerate unfair or deceptive business practices, especially in today's difficult economy," Cooper said.

The injunction comes on the heals of Cooper's win against the company from earlier this year, when the attorney general defeated Consumer Depot after the State submitted more than 30 consumer affidavits alleging the company's deceptive business practices, which included misrepresentation of products, refusing to resolve complaints or give refunds and retaliations against consumers who posted negative eBay feedback.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006. The owners of the company were added to the suit a year later when it was alleged that they were part of the deceptive conduct.

Still to be decided at an upcoming hearing are several remedy issues, including consumer restitution, civil penalties, costs and attorney fees. The state of Tennessee must also decide if Consumer Depot will have its business license revoked, which is dependent upon the company's compliance with the injunction.

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