Brothers accused of unfair business practices

Pair performed shoddy work and misrepresented their services, AG says in lawsuit.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Nov 29, 2013

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a lawsuit against two brothers who operated Toledo Appliance Repair.

Roger Sutherland and Shawn Wheeler, both of Toledo, are accused of performing shoddy work and misrepresenting their services. The Attorney General is seeking consumer restitution, an injunction to stop further violations, and civil penalties.

“These individuals came into consumers’ homes, made repairs without providing estimates, and then surprised consumers with the bill,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Because consumers filed complaints, we were able to detect a pattern of violations, and we encourage any other consumers who believe they were treated unfairly to contact our office.”

The brothers advertised on Craigslist and in the yellow pages, often using the names Toledo Appliance Repair, Toledo Appliance Guys, or Brothers Appliance.

About 15 consumers filed complaints against the business, reporting total losses of $5,844.50, including a $2,200 loss and a $1,300 loss. Consumers generally said that after the business repaired an appliance, the appliance quickly broke again, often within hours or days of the repair.

The business advertised a one-year warranty but Sutherland and Wheeler never returned to make the additional repairs. They also claimed to accept credit cards but once in a consumer’s home, they said they only accepted cash. Some consumers said they were expecting only an estimate but that the business quickly made the repair and handed the consumer a bill.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit charges the brothers with multiple violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. Counts include shoddy work, misrepresentation, failure to inform consumers of their right to an estimate, and failure to deliver.

Attorney General DeWine encourages consumers to research a business before making any payments. Consumers can check for complaints on file with the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. They also should check with the Ohio Secretary of State to determine whether the business is properly registered.

Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.