July 14, 2006
CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION SETTLES WITH SELLER
OF DESIGNER WEDDING GOWNS
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today
that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement
with a Hagerstown business that sold designer wedding gowns over
the Internet but failed to provide the specific gowns after accepting
payments from consumers.
The Division signed an Assurance of Discontinuance with Melody
and James Row of Hagerstown, Maryland, who had operated a business
through the Internet under a variety of names, including Bridal
Elegance, Heavenly Accents, Elegant Creations and The Bridal Suite.
Under the settlement, the Rows have agreed not to conduct any further
business selling consumer goods until and unless they post a surety
bond with the Division and comply with the requirements of the
Consumer Protection Act. The settlement requires them to pay restitution
to consumers who did not receive the gowns they had paid for and
pay the costs of the Division.
It is unfortunate that these consumers did not receive the wedding
gowns they were promised as they prepared for such an important
event in their lives,” said Curran. “Businesses cannot
advertise and offer to sell specialty goods such as designer
wedding gowns if they do not have the ability to provide these
Weddings can be very expensive, and brides-to-be may look for
designer wedding gowns at bargain prices through Internet Web sites
and chat rooms. Attorney General Curran advises consumers to understand
the risks of dealing with and doing business with individuals in
cyberspace. Attorney General Curran also advises consumers to:
out the seller–make sure that
you are dealing with an established business;
a written agreement with a detailed description of the goods;
the return policy–ask the seller if the policy is not
clearly posted on the Web site.
by credit card, even if you use third-party payment services.
It is easier to
recover your money if the seller doesn’t
deliver as promised;
record of e-mails exchanged between you and the seller
and keep a copy of the listing for the
a charge with your credit card company within the required
time period to protect your rights.
Consumers may file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division
by calling (410) 528-8662, or by going online at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/complaint.htm or by writing to Consumer Protection Division, Office of the Attorney
General, 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.