Limo Companies Cited For Shoddy Service

Attorney General Spitzer today announced separate legal actions against two upstate limousine companies that were the subject of dozens of consumer complaints about poor service and unprofessional behavior.

"These limo services promised a memorable experience for brides, grooms, and prom-goers," Spitzer said. "But what they delivered was memorable for all the wrong reasons."

The two companies - one based in Syracuse and the other in Troy - repeatedly failed to show up for scheduled service, leaving brides and prom-goers without transportation to important events. In other cases, limo drivers were late and were rude to consumers. In still other cases, the companies provided limos that were filled with refuse from previous customers. The companies also failed to provide refunds or otherwise address legitimate consumer complaints.

In Syracuse, Spitzer's office filed contempt motions against Nicholas J. Masterpol, Jr. and five companies under his control: A Pampered Limousine Company; CNY Limousine; Carey Syracuse; Carey Limousine; and Masterpol Development Corporation. Masterpol is accused of violating a 1999 court-approved settlement that ordered him to reform his business practices. The court ordered Masterpol to deliver rental vehicles promptly in a manner that conformed with service contracts. He also was required to respond to consumer inquiries and provide refunds to consumers.

Spitzer's office seeks to hold Masterpol in both criminal and civil contempt and to fine him for his violations of consumer protection laws and previous court orders. The Attorney General requested the court to bar Masterpol permanently from the limousine and transportation business in New York and order him to provide an accounting of all persons with whom he contracted. Spitzer's office also seeks more than $6,000 in restitution for ten consumers from Onondaga, Broome and Cayuga counties who complained about Masterpol's limousine businesses.

In Troy, Spitzer's office cited Paul Meyer, Jr., owner of American Limo Service and Good Times Limousines, for failing to provide contracted services, failing to provide refunds, failing to return phone calls from customers, and using limousines in poor condition.

The Attorney General's office received at least 20 complaints against Meyer. In at least two cases, brides nearly missed their weddings because Meyer stranded the wedding parties without transportation.

Spitzer's office is seeking refunds of over $4,100 for the consumers who have already complained to his office about Meyer and American Limo, plus additional unspecified amounts for consumers who have not yet come forward. In addition, the lawsuit calls for $15,500 in civil penalties and court costs and seeks to ban Meyer from the limousine business in New York state unless he posts a $10,000 performance bond.

The case against Masterpol and A Pampered Limousine Service is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Judith C. Malkin of the Syracuse Regional Office. The case against Meyer and American Limo Service is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Barbaro of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.

Individuals with complaints against limousine companies are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

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