Hearing Aid Dispenser Ordered To Provide Refunds

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a court-approved settlement with a Western New York hearing aid dispenser accused of taking advantage of elderly customers.

Judge Barbara Howe of the State Supreme Court of Erie County signed a judgment today that requires "Hear Me Now," Ltd and Hear Mart Hearing Aid Centers, and owners Stephen and Lynn Capuson to pay $17,000 in refunds to customers who complained to the Attorney General's Office about services.

"Although we cannot reverse the distress caused to these elderly victims, this decision will allow us, at least, to provide some monetary compensation for their losses," Spitzer said. "My office's priority in these cases is to protect and vindicate injured consumers."

The lawsuit filed by Spitzer's office on August 11, alleged that the Capusons repeatedly failed to provide refunds for hearing aids returned within 30 days of the purchase, as required by State law. They also were accused of violating a State law that limits the cancellation fee to $30 or 10 percent of the purchase price by charging as much as three times that amount.

The agreement prohibits the Capusons from operating as a hearing aid dispenser until they provide a $100,000 performance bond to Spitzer's office to ensure a source of monies for dissatisfied consumers.

Any individual who believes he/she has a complaint against "Hear Me Now'" Ltd. d/b/a/ Hear Mart Hearing Aid Centers, and has not yet filed a complaint, must contact the Attorney General's consumer helpline at (800) 771-7755 by October 7, 1999.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey of the Buffalo Regional Office.