Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the filing of a lawsuit today against Cleveland-based retailer Northeast Electronics, Inc. for multiple violations of Ohio consumer law.
Northeast Electronics, operated by sole proprietor Carl Chuppa III and located at 5746 Broadway Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, is an electronics retailer specializing in television sales and repairs.
"The Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau of Cleveland have had a history of problems with this company," Attorney General DeWine said. "Typically, consumers pay about $280 for a TV that is never delivered or make payments for TV repairs that they do not receive."
The Ohio Attorney General's Office currently has 47 complaints against the business dating back to 2005. In their complaints, consumers generally say they paid for televisions or television repairs that they never received. In some cases, consumers said Mr. Chuppa took advance payment for a television repair, picked up the television from the consumer's home, and never returned it.
The Cleveland Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports on its website that it received 63 complaints against the business in the last three years. The BBB gives the company an "F" rating.
In 2007, the Ohio Attorney General's Office entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with Northeast Electronics and Mr. Chuppa. As part of the settlement, the business agreed to clean up its practices and provide restitution to consumers who had filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General's Office. It also promised to resolve unpaid judgments from private consumer lawsuits. (Currently, there are at least 11 unpaid judgments against Northeast Electronics and/or Carl Chuppa III.)
Mr. Chuppa failed to live up to the terms of the prior agreement, necessitating this enforcement action by the Ohio Attorney General.
The Attorney General's lawsuit charges Northeast Electronics and Mr. Chuppa with multiple violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act, including failure to deliver, failure to perform repair services, failure to provide or honor warranties, and failure to pay consumer judgments. The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
Attorney General DeWine thanked the BBB of Cleveland for its role in the case and reminded consumers to research companies with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and BBB before doing business with them.