Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against
Around the Clock Locksmith
Locksmith Ordered to Provide Estimates
MD ( August 5, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F.
Gansler announced today that Judge Michelle D. Jaklitsch of
the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County granted the Consumer
Protection Division’s request for a preliminary injunction
against Around the Clock Locksmith and its owner Joseph M.
Horton. The preliminary injunction enforces an administrative
order entered by the Consumer Protection Division to protect
consumers while an administrative proceeding against the company
and Horton is pending.
In April, the Division charged Around The Clock Locksmith and
Horton with committing unfair and deceptive trade practices by,
among other things, charging consumers excessive fees for basic
locksmith services without first providing estimates. While a hearing
on the charges is pending, the Division ordered Around The Clock
Locksmith and its owner to provide customers with an estimate before
performing the services. When the Division continued to receive
complaints from consumers who were charged exorbitant amounts for
locksmith services without a prior estimate, the Division commenced
an action in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County to enforce
“I am pleased that the Court has ordered Around the Clock
Locksmith to comply with the Order issued by my office,” said
Attorney General Gansler. “Consumers should never be surprised
by exorbitant fees after the service is completed.”
The Circuit Court found
that Around the Clock Locksmith and Horton violated the Division’s order by failing to provide accurate
estimates of the costs of their services, charging consumers’ credit
cards before the consumers knew what the charges would be, pressuring
consumers to sign documents by holding onto their personal documents
and keys, and misrepresenting their affiliation or other status.
The Court’s Order requires Around The Clock Locksmith and
its owner to provide estimates and to perform the work for the
quoted estimate or face contempt of court.
Attorney General Gansler advises consumers to ask for price estimates
before requesting any service. To find out if complaints have
been filed against a business by other consumers, call the Consumer
Protection hotline at (410)528-8662 or toll free at (888)743-0023.
The April 2010 release
announcing the Consumer Protection Division’s
Administrative Order can be found at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2010/040710.htm.