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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Circuit Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against
Around the Clock Locksmith
Locksmith Ordered to Provide Estimates

BALTIMORE, 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 its Order.

“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.

   

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