Auto One Group responds to Attorney General's announcement on overcharges

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - After an announcement Monday morning from the State Attorney General's Office after an announcement agreement regarding overcharges and surcharges for credit card transactions.

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday an agreement with an Oneida County-based used car dealership that, as the Attorney General's Office said "ends its years-old practice of overcharging customers for Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) registration fees and then failing to refund leftover money. The dealership was also improperly charging surcharges on purchases made with a credit card."

As part of the agreement with Attorney General Cuomo's Office, Auto One Group, Inc, located on State Route 233 in Clinton, and its owner Matthew Crever, must fully refund consumers who were overcharged for DMV registration fees and pay $30,000 in civil penalties to New York. The Attorney General's Office estimates up to 1,000 consumers are owed restitution that could total $50,000.

"This company raked in tens of thousands of dollars by falsely inflating vehicle registration fees in an effort to dupe unsuspecting consumers," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "Slipping in deceptive and hidden fees into the purchase price of any item, including automobiles, will not go unchecked by my office."

Auto One Group Inc.'s President, Matthew A. Crever, released the following statement Monday:

"Auto One Group Inc. Applauds recent activities by the Attorney General's Office, in its effort to protect consumers. We were recently contacted by the Attorney General's Office, regarding consumer affairs. We freely and immediately opened all of our records to the Attorney General's Office. Together, we discovered that we had mistakenly not refunded to our customers the overage for the estimated fee for transferring registration and for obtaining new plates."

"Once we were aware of the situation we immediately amended our business practices and instituted procedures to refund our loyal customers any mistakenly collected overcharges. This was not done maliciously or intentionally as our records also showed that some customers were undercharged. We believe we have implemented the necessary procedures to move forward in these difficult economic times and look forward to serving our customers for many years to come."

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