New Jersey Automobile Dealer Fraud

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A press release by the Division of Consumer Affairs discusses consumer fraud.   If you

have been a victim of consumer fraud by a dealer, you may be entitled to compensation.



NEWARK – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that a Middlesex County car dealership has agreed to pay $136,000 and change the way it does business in order to resolve the Division’s consumer fraud investigation of the dealership’s advertising, sales, and leasing practices.

Sansone Hyundai, Inc., located on US-1 in Avenel, entered into the settlement to end the Division’s investigation of its alleged activities, including failing to disclose the total price for certain advertised vehicles, and charging consumers for aftermarket merchandise that was listed at “no charge” on certain leases and sales contracts.

“Consumers should be able to purchase a new car without having to worry about misinformation and hidden costs,” said Attorney General Porrino.  “This settlement ensures that consumers will receive transparency and honesty from this dealership, as required by law.”

​“Dealerships must fully disclose all costs and fees associated with the purchase or lease of a vehicle before consumers sign on the dotted line,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.  “We will continue to enforce the laws and regulations in place to ensure consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions.”

In a Consent Order with the Division, Sansone Hyundai, among other things, agreed to:

  • comply with all applicable state and/or federal laws, rules, and regulations, including the Consumer Fraud Act, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, the Automotive Sales Regulations, and the Consumer Leasing Act;
  • not misrepresent the terms and conditions of any financing or lease plan;
  • not add and charge for aftermarket merchandise, such as window etch or service contracts, without consumers’ knowledge and/or authorization;
  • not represent to consumers that certain dealer-installed options and/or aftermarket merchandise are mandatory when, in fact, they are not;
  • not sell consumers aftermarket merchandise that overlaps or provides similar benefits in part to merchandise the consumer has already purchased through the lease or sale transaction;
  • accurately reflect in leases the “gross capitalized cost” as required by the consumer leasing act;
  • provide consumers with an opportunity to review all leases and/or sales documents and/or aftermarket contracts prior to signing; and
  • not identify the advertised prices of a motor vehicle by reference to the MSRP sticker, when the motor vehicle includes an addendum to the MSRP sticker that reflects a higher total price.

Sansone Hyundai also agreed to make a $136,250 settlement payment to the State.

Investigator Patrick Mullan, of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection, conducted this investigation.

​ Deputy Attorney General Cathleen O’Donnell from the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law represented the State in this matter.

Overpayment Claim Against Health Care Company

 

The New York Attorney General announced a settlement with a health insurance company regarding overbilling  consumers.

The company charged its insureds improperly out-of-network rates for certain medical providers, including radiologists, pathologists, and anesthesiologists.  Many of the people faced debt-collection lawsuit as a result of overbilling.  The company was also required to  Diagnostic Center, Inc. (“NYMDC”), a New York City health care provider, agreed to cease its practice of balance billing.  When a health care provider “balance bills” a patient, it sends the patient a bill for any amount of its charge that an insurer did not cover—despite the fact that the provider is required to accept the insurer’s payment as payment in full.  New York Attorney General Settles Balance Billing and Overpayment Disputes    http://healthlawsidebar.com/?p=842

If you believe you have been a victim of overbilling, call for a free consultation.

 

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Common Fraud Complaints

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The FTC issued its report on common complaints.
https://www.ftc.gov/policy/reports/policy-reports/commission-staff-reports/consumer-sentinel-network-data-book-2017/top-ten-fraud-categories-id-other

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/03/ftc-releases-annual-summary-complaints-reported-consumers

Sometimes victims may be able to obtain recovery from the perpetrator or others.  We provide a free consultation on fraud claims.

TOP 10 FRAUD CATEGORIES

RANK

CATEGORY

# OF REPORTS

% REPORTING $ LOSS

TOTAL AMOUNT LOSS

MEDIAN $ LOSS

1 Imposter Scams 347,829 19% $328M $500
2 Telephone and Mobile Services 149,578 4% $17M $223
3 Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries 142,870 9% $95M $511
4 Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales 126,387 58% $94M $261
5 Internet Services 45,093 14% $19M $183
6 Foreign Money Offers & Counterfeit Check Scams 31,980 33% $34M $1,008
7 Travel, Vacations, and Timeshare Plans 22,264 18% $38M $1,710
8 Business and Job Opportunities 18,702 34% $47M $1,063
9 Advance Payments for Credit Services 17,762 74% $15M $318
10 Health Care 10,321 8% $1M $175

 

Call or email us for a Free Consultation.

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ONLINE OVERCHARGE

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This is not what they said it would cost.  

Nearly nine months ago, a federal court in California ruled that an online grocer must refund customers the amount of money they were overcharged when the company broke its own terms and conditions by marking up prices of items ordered online. We finally know how much the supermarket chain will hand over: about $30.9 million.

The fine marks the end of a four-year legal battle in which the plaintiffs alleged that the company  marked up prices for home-delivered groceries by nearly 10% in apparent violation of its own online customer agreement.

Our office is evaluating claims and class action for undisclosed charges, late fees, and unauthorized add-ons.

Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation on Your Claim

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CABLE COMPANY OVERCHARGES

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When you get promised one rate and charged another, it’s frustrating. When it happens to thousands of customers getting service from the same company all at once, it’s probably a sign of a systematic problem. And one report now says thousands of AT&T and DirecTV customers have been complaining about exactly that for years.
When CBS News went digging, it found more than 4,000 complaints against AT&T and DirecTV (the two merged in 2015) over the last two years relating to overcharges, deals, and promotional pricing gone awry.
https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/att-directv-reportedly-overcharged-thousands-of-customers/

If you have been deceived by your cable company, you may be entitled to compensation.

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OVERCHARGE CLASS ACTION

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Are you getting fleeced on appraisal charges when you buy a house or refinance? Could you be paying as much as double what the appraiser is receiving for actually doing the work, with the excess going to an undisclosed third party? Many appraisers say yes. And they’re eager to let consumers know that when the appraisal charge is $500 or $800 or $1,000, they’re frequently being paid just a fraction of that. The rest is going to an “appraisal management” company under contract with the lender to oversee the appraisal process. Management companies hire the appraiser, negotiate fees, review the appraisal and send it to the lender. Management companies often select appraisers willing to work for relatively low fees. In exchange, they make assignments available to appraisers that they might not otherwise receive.   Controversy arises when management companies add 35 to 50 percent surcharges — or more — onto the final bill to the consumer.

Have you been overcharged for goods or services.  Call (973) 598-1980 for a
Free Consultation

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New Jersey Automobile Dealership Investigation

Two New Jersey car dealership have agreed to pay $50,000 to settle claims that they violated New Jersey rules.  www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases15/Newton-Audi-VW_Redacted2.pdf. .  This claim involved something called packing involves telling the consumer the price of the vehicle and then adding additional costs to the purchase.    The dealerships agreed that they would not add additional costs to contracts for car purchases without the customer’s consent.  Other typical claims involve,

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  • Sales of Defective Cars
  • Breach of implied or express warranties or service contracts,
  • Sales of salvage vehicles,
  • bait and switch

    Here is a list of dealership where we or other counsel have presented claims, or state records show investigations.*

    Sansone Galleria  www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Pages/08182017.aspx  (failing to disclose the total price for certain advertised vehicles, and charging consumers for aftermarket merchandise that was listed at “no charge” on certain leases and sales contracts.)
    Loman Ford
    Autoland
    21th Century Auto  www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/News/Pages/05012018.aspx
    Cars on 21   (dealership allegedly engaged in a host of “unconscionable and deceptive business practices,” including “bait and switch” schemes where the business advertised vehicles at low prices and then refused to sell the cars at the advertised prices.)

    Call for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Claim

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This is my third call, can I speak with someone about my purchase.  .

 

 

 

*The listing is not intended to express a statement about the dealership practice or assert that they been involved in deception in a particular case.

 

 

 

Towing Company Fraud

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A New Jersey Court recently allowed a class action for towing company overcharges.  If your vehicle has been recently towed, you may be entitled to compensation.

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Towing Company Defenses

The towing company argued it was authorized to tow vehicles by the town.  The Court rejected the argument,

Here, Pisack is not complaining about the authority of the police to move her illegally parked car. Instead, she complains about certain of the towing charges. The police did not supervise the towing charges. Moreover, the municipal ordinance allowing towing and storage charges does not insulate from challenge a towing company’s actual charges. Indeed, the statute that authorizes municipalities to regulate towing services requires each municipality to provide a dispute resolution procedure, effectively recognizing that towing companies will sometimes overcharge or charge for services  hat are not permitted. N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.54. Furthermore, Pisack did not sue Newark. She sued a privately-owned towing company that charged her for towing her car.

If you have been Overcharged by a towing company, Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation

Frustrating Phone Conversation
The law says the charges are supposed to be $134.00, but they told me they would not release the car till I paid them $247.00 cash.

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