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Post date: February 10 1999

Attorney General Takes Syracuse Limo Company To Court

Attorney General Spitzer announced today he is filing a lawsuit against a Syracuse-based limousine company seeking restitution on behalf of 15 dissatisfied customers who complained of shoddy service and unauthorized charges to their credit cards.

"New Yorkers must have confidence that when they sign a contract for services they will be treated with respect and the services they have agreed to pay for will be provided in a courteous professional manner," Spitzer said.

In documents filed today in Onondaga County Supreme Court, Spitzer is seeking some $3,000 in restitution from "A Pampered Limousine Service," which is owned by Nicholas J. Masterpol Jr., of Syracuse. The company lists a business address at 1912 Teall Ave., Syracuse.

Consumer fraud staffers working at the attorney general’s Syracuse regional office received numerous complaints in late 1997 and the first half of 1998 about poor service and unprofessional treatment at the hands of Masterpol and his limousine company.

In one case a bride and her wedding party were forced to crowd into a family van and race to the church when a contracted limousine failed to arrive.

In another instance a customer contracted for a white stretch limo to take her and a group of friends to a high school formal. Instead, A Pampered Limousine Company sent a small van to the customer’s home 20 minutes after the agreed-upon pick-up time.

In a third case a customer complained that the limo the company sent to her home was littered with half filled glasses and empty champagne bottles.

Many customers complained that Masterpol refused to provide them refunds for poor service. Others said the company used credit card information they supplied on deposit forms to make unauthorized charges to their accounts.

"They were defrauding customers," said Betsy Sawyer, the assistant attorney general handling the case. "They were over-booking their limos and then racing around trying to cover all their commitments. It was very poor management and consumers shouldn’t be expected to pay for that."

Court action was initiated after Masterpol ignored offers for a negotiated settlement.