Md. AG says medical emergency requests went ignored
BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a cease and desist order on Thursday against a medical alert service provider for allegedly failing to respond to emergency requests by customers.
The Consumer Protection Division issued the order against Glenn Chumley and his business, Medical Alert Buyers Alliance Corp., for allegedly preying on elderly consumers by selling them emergency alert devices and one-year service plans promising to connect them with an emergency alert center if they fell or had other medical emergencies. The company then allegedly failed to respond when its customers needed help.
"Taking advantage of vulnerable Marylanders who depend on their medical alert devices is an appalling act that could lead to serious injury or even death and it must not be tolerated," Gansler said. "Consumers rely on emergency alert providers for help when they need it most."
Chumley and his company entered into contracts with more than 1,000 customers promising to help them, but after going more than $100,000 in debt with a vendor, Chumley ceased providing the emergency alert services for which consumers had already paid, Gansler says. Consumers say when they experienced emergencies and pressed the buttons on their emergency alert devices, nobody responded.
The division alleged that Chumley continued to bill consumers for emergency services that he did not provide, made unauthorized charges on consumers' credit cards, and failed to honor guaranties and warranties that he made to his customers.
The division's order requires Chumley and his business to return any payments they received without the authorization of customers or for services they neglected to provide. Any penalty Chumley and his business must pay will be determined by the division following a hearing scheduled for March 27 at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley.
Chumley and his business have also been ordered to stop selling emergency alert services to consumers unless they post a $20,000 bond or other security with the division. The business must also provide the services they sell.