Consumer Depot ordered to pay $200,000 to consumers to settle charges

Consumer Depot ordered to $200,000 to consumers to settle chargesA Tennessee court has orderedConsumer Depot, a Nashville-based electronics retailer with a big online presence, to pay $200,000 in consumer refunds to settle charges that it ignored customer complaints, refused refunds and misrepresented its products.

The order, which requires the company to improve its customer service, is part of an agreement reached between the state and company. The state won its its lawsuit against Consumer Depot earlier this year after submitting more than 30 consumer affidavits describing the company's "unfair and deceptive business practices," including retaliating against customers who gave it bad reviews on eBay.
"We hope this court order serves as a reminder that Tennessee does not tolerate unfair or deceptive business practices, especially in today's difficult economy," Attorney General Bob Cooper said in a statement.

Sharon Curtis-Flair, communications director for the Tennessee's AG's office, told Consumer Ally that most of the complaints were related to the company's practices on the Internet or eBay, but some consumers also complained about misrepresentations made in the retail store.

The state filed its case against the company in 2006 after its Division of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau received hundreds of consumer complaints.

Also named in that lawsuit is the company's owners, Martin and Carol Fike, manager Michael Hinds and a related entity Auction Logistix, LLC.

The state will schedule a hearing to determine consumer restitution, civil penalties and other costs. It will also decide whether the company's business license should be revoked.

A spokesperson for the company could not be reached for comment.

Its website says the company has been in business more than 15 years and has more than 750,000 customers. It specializes in overstock, surplus and asset liquidations of computers and consumer electronics.

Consumers who have concerns or complaints about Consumer Depot can go to the Division of Consumer Affairs website or call 615-741-4737 or 800-342-8385.
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