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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111548
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I purchased an item online from a company in New York, who

Customer Question

I purchased an item online from a company in New York, who has admittedly not delivered the item but refuses to refund my money. I disputed with my credit card and the company provided fraudulent information about delivery, and forced me to cancel the dispute as a contingency for a full refund. I've canceled the credit card dispute, and the company refuses to refund, citing several accounting excuses. Unfortunately I found hundreds of other complaints online about this company. My question pertains to filing a small claims suit, which I have done before and I am fairly familiar with the process. In this case however, I cannot find the company registered on the New York Secretary of State website, nor will the company provide a physical mailing address for a registered agent or legal representative of the business. Specifically, my questions: 1. Since this transaction occurred entirely online, can I file the small claims suit in Washington DC (my home) and have papers served to the business in NY? 2. How can I file a lawsuit against this company who has hidden all registration and legal identifiers?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Company is www.appliancesconnection.comFor what it's worth I have volumes of objective information against the company (including months of recorded phone calls with promises that are not honored, lies, and information that is directly contradictory); customer service emails; copy of falsified information submitted to my credit card company; recorded three-way conference call with company as well as American Express, confirming that dispute was closed per my request, and company representative promising refund. They continue to create excuses (the supervisor will call you, our"system" can't process a refund today but we're working on it) but there's never been a good faith attempt at resolution.I honestly feel that this could be worthy of class action after reading hundreds of other stories online -- at minimum the state regulatory body needs to be aware of the fraud that is occurring.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 6 months ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can. This site is for educational purposes only. Sometimes - although certainly not always - experts have to give you what you deem “bad news” but that should not be a reflection of how satisfied you are with the assistance your expert provided. My goal is to make sure you are completely satisfied before you submit your rating so please let me know if you have additional questions or you need me to clarify anything If there is a delay in the time it takes me to respond it is because I am working with a customer or I am not online - but rest assured I will respond to your follow up question, if you have one. Also, occasionally I will respond from a mobile JA unit, which automatically asks you to submit a rating once I submit a response - but please don't feel like you need to do so until we are done speaking. I'm not exactly following what happened with your credit card company? It sounds to me like a very straightforward thing - you didn't get the item, you dispute it with your credit card, the credit card refunds your money pending investigation. When you say they "forced [you] t cancel the dispute as a contingency for a full refund" do you mean the company you purchased from or the CC company. If it's the former, why wouldn't you just reinstate the dispute. That's exactly the situation credit card protection is meant to address.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
When I said they "forced" me to cancel the dispute as a contingency for a full refund, what I meant is that the company claimed that the funds from the transaction were "locked up" in the dispute process, and they couldn't refund until I cancel the dispute and the funds come back to their system (this, of course, is very likely a lie as well). Nonetheless, I canceled the dispute, and the company has continued to make excuses for over a month as to why they still just simply aren't able to refund my money.I would rather escalate this to small claims court, even if I'm able to file a dispute with American Express. The reason is because American Express dropped the dispute in their favor the first time because the company submitted blatantly false, fraudulent information (a falsified delivery record claiming the item was delivered). When I called American Express to explain, they reopened the case, but I can recall a similar situation where American Express didn't allow for further dispute after many back and forths responses of this nature. I'm guessing this is what the company is hoping for.Nonetheless, this is why I wrote in asking for guidance on locating the agent for this company, and guidance on where to file in small claims.Thanks.
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 6 months ago.

I won't be available to search for the information you need for much of today so I will open your question up to the forum. There is no need to respond b/c that will lock the question back to me.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR.
The company Appliances Connection has a physical address at ***** Brooklyn, NY 11214. Also,***** Section A, Brooklyn, New York 11236
The VP of the company is Elie Fouerti.
If you cannot find their registered agent, because they do not have any registration in NY under that name (I checked as well) you can serve any corporate officer at the corporate address AND also serve a copy upon the NY Secretary of State as well.
I would also report this to the NY Attorney General's office for unfair and deceptive business practices.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. A few clarifications:
1) The delivery address of the item I ordered and my billing address are both in Washington DC, while the merchant is located in NY. The transaction occurred entirely over the internet. Can I file the small claims lawsuit in Washington DC?2) Is certified mail adequate for proof of service of the court documents, or is a process service agent necessary?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I am afraid that small claims is a court of limited jurisdiction and has no long arm jurisdiction. Thus, in order to get personal jurisdiction over the company you have to file in NY where they are located. You cannot file in DC just because you live there as proper jurisdiction is the location where the defendant is located.
Actual service is required in NY, personal service.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've made some progress... there are several associated addresses in their online history and via anecdotal associations I've found online. It seems that either/both 1StopCamera.com (NY DOS ID(###) ###-#### ***** APPLIANCESCONNECTIONDISCOUNTERS Inc. (NY DOS ID(###) ###-#### ***** DBA "AppliancesConnection.Com" (No NY State Registration). I have filed a small claims "statement of claim" with King County (Brooklyn) small claims court and I'm awaiting a case number.I'm anticipating that the next step, once a case number ***** ***** will be process service of the court notice. As you mentioned, this is possible via directly serving the NY Sec of State -- however NY Sec of State requires the specific, correct NY DOS ID number, and the two registered entities I mentioned above have completely different DOS service address/contacts listed... How can I ensure that the recipient doesn't claim "no affiliation" with the appliancesconnection.com site?For example, the AppliancesConnection.com site specifically mentions the*****address as the mailing address, and likewise the 1StopCamera.com site specifically mentions the same address as mailing address. However, 1StopCamera.com (NY DOS ID(###) ###-#### ***** a different (unique) service address and agent, as does APPLIANCESCONNECTIONDISCOUNTERS Inc. (NY DOS ID(###) ###-####. The NY BBB states that both AppliancesConnection.com (site I'm trying to sue) and AppliancesConnectionDiscounters Inc. are both DBA aliases of "Appliances Connection" with a mailing address of***** This is a huge mess that I'm afraid is deliberate with the hopes of evading contact.I can tell my perusing sites online that there are hundreds -- if not thousands -- of others in my same situation, and it's clear this company is trying to scam consumers. How can I be sure I'm naming the correct defendant?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Please remember that the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback, so please do not forget to do so as it has now been 6 days since your last response . Thank you.
It is not a "huge mess" since you found the service address for the agent, that is where you send your process server to serve them. You serve them through their agent at that service address and you name in your suit ApplianceConnectionDiscounters D/B/A Appliances Connection or you can just sue Appliance Connection Discounters or you can sue Appliances Connection, any of those means are a correct way to serve them.
You will need a process server in NY to serve them with the suit and a summons now you filed it. You give your process server all the information and they will serve them properly.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I found multiple addresses and service addresses, with 2 different State of NY companies that may be the correct entity to serve and I don't know how to verify which is correct.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The correct company is, as I told you above, Appliance Connection Discounters (DBA AppliancesConnection). That is the company address to use, which I also provided you information on above.