Match 15, 2004
OF SPECIAL APPEALS AFFIRMS ORDER REQUIRING PRINCE GEORGE’S
MIRROR COMPANY TO REFUND DEPOSITS, HONOR CANCELLATION RIGHTS
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that the
Court of Special Appeals affirmed an April 2002 Order by Curran’s
Consumer Protection Division requiring a Prince George’s
mirror company to cease its unfair and deceptive trade practices
in connection with the sale of customized mirrors. The Division
found that Sterling Mirror of Maryland, Inc., 182 Log Canoe Circle,
Stevensville, and its president, Michael Kaperst, violated the
Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act, the Retail Installment Sales Act
and the Consumer Protection Act by failing to disclose consumers’ cancellation
rights and refusing to refund consumers’ deposits.
Mirror sells customized mirrors and installation services to
consumers in their homes, and offers financing to consumers.
Under Maryland law, consumers who sign contracts in their homes
have the right to cancel the contracts within three business
days. Also, consumers who are making a financed purchase from
are not obligated to pay for the items until their financing
is approved and they are provided fully executed contracts setting
forth the terms of the financing. The Consumer Protection Division
found that Sterling Mirror violated Maryland law by denying consumers’ cancellation
rights and refusing to refund deposits to consumers who were denied
financing and sought to cancel their contracts. It also found that
Sterling Mirror deceived consumers in the first place about the
availability of financing for their purchases.
I am pleased that the Court affirmed the Order in this case," Attorney
General Curran said. "It is illegal for a business to deny
a consumer’s right to cancel a contract and keep the deposit
when the promised financing is not provided."
Mirror must now return deposits totaling approximately $44,000
to more than 400 consumers, pay a $50,000 civil penalty,
and adhere to an injunction that requires it to disclose
rights and the terms of financing it offers and to return deposits
to consumers who are denied financing.