Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office reached an agreement with a Binghamton business to reform its practices in delivering accessibility equipment to consumers. Following the receipt of several consumer complaints, the Attorney General’s office looked into whether Access Unlimited and Craftsmen Mobility, owned and operated by Thomas Egan, had collected deposits for the purchase and installation of lift equipment while failing to deliver these products in a timely manner. As part of the agreement announced today, the business must improve disclosures to consumers, allow consumers to cancel certain orders for a full refund, and pay $10,000 in costs and penalties.
“Consumers deserve to be treated fairly, and that starts with businesses delivering on the promises they make to customers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The agreement announced today will ensure that consumers buying mobility equipment will receive clear disclosures about their purchases and may obtain a refund when they don’t receive what’s promised.”
Some of the equipment that consumers allege were not installed in a timely manner include lifts for vehicles, bathrooms, and beds, as well as steering wheel mounted control pads to operate motor vehicles. The complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office allege that consumers either did not receive the equipment they ordered, or did not receive it in a timely manner. Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation revealed that on at least two occasions, consumers had to wait over a year for delivery of equipment for which they already paid a deposit. In many instances, consumers had to wait more than 150 days after paying deposits to obtain equipment. In a few instances, family members had to wait so long for delivery of a product or service that they no longer had a use for the equipment because their loved one either passed away or their health deteriorated to such an extent that they could not use it. These consumers had a difficult time cancelling the order and obtaining a refund.
As a part of the agreement, Mr. Egan will inform consumers at the time they order products or services of the expected date for delivery or installation. In the event that he is unable to meet that date, he will notify consumers in writing of the exact nature and reason for the delay and the date by which the delivery or installation will take place. Consumers will be given no less than 10 days notice that they have the option to cancel the order and obtain a complete refund. If a consumer chooses to proceed with the order, Egan will deliver the product or complete the installation within that timeframe or, again, give the consumer the opportunity to cancel the deal and obtain a full refund. Egan also agreed that he will refund consumers within 30 days of cancellation. As a part of the agreement, Egan paid $10,000 in costs and penalties.
The investigation was handled by Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Danaher, Jr. from the Binghamton Regional Office led by James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Binghamton Regional Office and Martin J. Mack Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs.