Medical supply company changes business practices

Nick Rees Mar. 15, 2011, 2:53am


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow announced this week that a medical supply company has agreed to revise its business practices and be subject to state monitoring under terms of an assurance of voluntary compliance.

Community Surgical Supply -- which provides wheelchairs, oxygen machines and other healthcare equipment to consumers -- will pay $50,000 in civil penalties and $8,490 to cover attorneys' fees and investigative costs.

The assurance of voluntary compliance resolves actions taken by the state Division of Consumer Affairs, which was examining business practices at Community Surgical Supply for compliance with the state's Consumer Fraud Act, the Refund Policy Disclosure Act and related regulations.

The company is also required by terms of the agreement to employ a consumer liaison and to perform quarterly audits for a period of at least two years to ensure compliance with the state's consumer protection laws and terms of the AVC.

Additionally, any consumer complaints received by the division about Community Surgical Supply for a period of one year will be referred to the company for resolution. Unresolved complaints will be referred to the division's Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit for binding arbitration. Records of all actions the company files in small claims court must be maintained by Community Surgical Supply for the next seven years.

"The company is required to disclose its return and refund policies, both at its retail location and on its website, under the law," Dow said. "We expect full compliance, and we will be closely monitoring the company's business practices."

A 30-day grace period for the return of unused merchandise, excluding garments and rented equipment, is also provided by the assurance of voluntary compliance.

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