Md. order includes penalty of $778K

Bryan Cohen Jul. 23, 2012, 3:17pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced an order on Friday against the owner of a medical alert company for allegedly failing to provide services or refunds.

Glenn Chumley allegedly preyed on elderly consumers through his company, Medical Alert Buyers Alliance Corp., by selling them emergency alert devices and one year service plans. Chumley allegedly promised that the devices would connect the consumers with an emergency alert center if they fell or experienced other emergencies. The consumers allegedly received no response when help was requested.

"There is no excuse for businesses and individuals that show such wanton disregard for the health and safety of their customers, particularly those who are vulnerable," Gansler said. "Consumers should not have to worry that the services they purchased will not be provided when they need it most."

The Consumer Protection Division ordered Chumley to return the payments he received from consumers for the services he allegedly failed to provide, along with a $778,000 civil penalty.

Chumley allegedly ceased providing emergency alert services to more than 1,000 customers when he could not afford to pay his service provider. Despite no longer providing the services, Chumley allegedly continued to send annual bills to his customers, made unauthorized charges on consumers' credit cards and failed to honor refund guarantees.

Under the terms of the division's order, Chumley must pay a civil penalty of $778,000, representing a $1,000 penalty for each of the 778 consumers who were allegedly billed for services not provided. Chumley must also return at least $36,257.98 for services allegedly not rendered and unauthorized credit card charges. Additionally, an injunction has been filed against Chumley preventing him from continuing unfair and deceptive trade practices.

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