Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

January 26, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore -Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has entered into a consent order with Internet service provider, Capital City Cyberlink, Inc., which the Division had charged with violating the Consumer Protection Act by failing to honor consumers' cancellation requests. The order requires Capital City Cyberlink to refund money wrongfully taken from consumers and prevents it from engaging in such conduct in the future.

Capital City Cyberlink, which operated out of 1 East Chase Street in Baltimore City, sold Internet access for a monthly fee of $11 and advertised no long-term commitment. Consumers agreed to authorize Capital City to debit the monthly fee from their bank accounts or credit cards. Capital City told consumers they could cancel their service at any time by e-mail or fax within three days of their next billing. According to the charges, when many customers attempted to cancel, they were unable to do so. The Division alleged that customers who sent a notice requesting cancellation continued to see debits on their bank account or credit card statements, sometimes for months, and that their repeated phone calls, e-mail and letters went unanswered.

The consent order requires Capital City Cyberlink and each of its officers and managers, Deidre Pinnick and Roderick Pinnick of Germantown and Phillip Pinnick of Laurel, to refund any amounts received from a customer after the customer requested cancellation. In addition, the company is ordered to pay $5,000 in costs.

Capital City Cyberlink has ceased operations. If Deidre Pinnick, Roderick Pinnick or Phillip Pinnick provide any Internet service in the future, they are ordered to provide to each consumer, prior to the consumer becoming liable for payment of service, notice of the cancellation policy and both an Internet address and a mail address to which consumers can direct a notice of cancellation, and to promptly honor any cancellation requests.

"If a business solicits customers by promising an easy cancellation procedure, it must honor that promise if the customer decides to cancel," Attorney General Curran said.

Any Capital City Cyberlink customer who was charged after sending a cancellation request and who does not receive a refund within the next six months should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6574.