• Report: #248880

Complaint Review: A-1 Leasing - Bond Corporation - Startup Essentials

  • Submitted: Wed, May 16, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, July 20, 2007

  • Reported By:Richmond Virginia
A-1 Leasing - Bond Corporation - Startup Essentials
2007 Eastern Ave SE Grand Rapids, Michigan U.S.A.

A-1 Leasing - Bond Corporation - Startup Essentials Fraudulent 3rd Party Leasing Sales, In partnership with Startup Essentials Homebased Business Opportunity ripoff Grand Rapids Michigan

*Consumer Comment: How can I get supported in my effort to be free from these monsters?

*Author of original report: Update on Startup Essentials and A-1 Leasing

*Consumer Comment: What's the Latest?

*Author of original report: Update on termination of contract status

*Author of original report: Update of my actions against A-1 Leasing, Startup Essentials, and National Business Advisors

*Author of original report: Update, My Actions Against A-1 Leasing, Startup Essentials, and National Business Advisors

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I just learned that I have been a victim of a 3rd Party Leasing Sales scam involving the slick sales department of Startup Essentials, based in Dallas Texas and A-1 Leasing, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I received an unsolicited call from Startup Essentials sales department responding to a generic request I had posted about wanting a legitimate homebased business. I don't have the salesman's name but he was slick and had an answer for everything.

Yes, I felt like I was put under pressure to "respond now or forever lose this opportunity." He was very clear on that fact and mentioned supporting references from JP Morgan and another investment firm. I was skeptical and flagged him off due to time restraints and he offered to call me back the next day at 4pm EST.

On the second call he continued with his spiel and pitch about what a successful and great homebased business opportunity this is and offered me the choice of an ATM credit card sales business or an Internet online webstore of my choice. There is NO upfront money involved only a short 48 month lease of $140 per month and included all of the services and support of Startup Essentials and a new laptop computer.

I'm not a stupid or gullible person and he seemed to have good answers for all of my probing questions. No red flags were coming up during our conversation albeit the pressure to act "now" and complete the lease agreement online, "if I was approved." I do not have good credit and even had claimed bankruptcy back in 1999. He checked with his supervisor, supposedly to run a credit bureau report. It didn't strike me then but I had given them NO information to be able to run a credit bureau report. He came back on the line and said my credit was great and I was approved for the lease.

He did not allow me the time to read the online lease agreement telling me it was just a "standard" closed-end lease and had me initialling and signing blanks throughout the document. He then turned me over to Shannon Ward, a representative of A-1 Leasing, who confirmed the information and advised me this was a non-cancelable lease. I really didn't know at the time what that meant and what it entailed. They told me not to worry about it that I would get a hardcopy in the mail within a week.

I asked how this would affect the state of Virginia's three day free look policy and again they said that it wouldn't affect it at all that the time wouldn't start until the day I received the hardcopy in the mail.

I received the "free" laptop in the mail about three days later. A very cheap one at that and very slow. I could have bought the same make and model on the Internet for under $500. As it ended up I didn't and don't even use it as it is too slow. I called them back and couldn't reach my original salesman, as I wanted to return it to them and use my own computer as everything is done on the Internet. They would not accept it and said I was bound by the lease agreement for the 48 month duration even it I did return it to them. So it sits on the side of my bookcase unused.

On 5/15/07 I received an email from a well intentioned friend who is also looking for a legitimate homebased business advising me that what I had gotten into was a scam. Commonly referred to in legal circles as a "3rd Party Leasing Sales Scam." He directed me to ripoffreports.com and it was at that time I learned the truth of my situation. I had been scammed big time!

I contacted a local attorney, who I was referred to me by a friend who has a successful homebased business, and on his advice I am closing out my bank account and protecting any further access by A-1 Leasing by giving the bank specific instructions and securing my financial information as password protected. I will also be sending, certified mail return receipt requested, to the BBB in Virginia, Michigan, and Texas as well as the involved Attorneys Generals Department of Consumer Affairs requesting a full investigation.

To cover myself I will also be launching a pre-emptive attack by notifying all three of the credit bureau companies of what this situation is and that it is a verifiable fraudulent scam. At the same time, my attorney will be sending a cease and desist letter to A-1 Leasing to head off any attempts by them to attach any other financial assets, derogitory statements on my credit bureau reports, and demanding release from the lease agreement or face legal repercussions.

I have since learned that there have been 678 other people who have been in the same situation as I and have had their leases terminated while at the same time, a class action suit is pending against both A-1 Leasing, LLC and Startup Essentials. 992 people have also canceled their relationship with Startup Essentials and returning their equipment to them as the vendor in this case. Startup Essentials is also facing a pending class action law suit for its participation in the fraudulent scam and the "non-cancelable lease" tactics of their sales.

I hope placing this report on Ripoff Reports lets other people know what is happening and can happen to them if they get involved with either of these two companies.

Craig
Richmond, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/16/2007 07:41 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/A-1-Leasing-Bond-Corporation-Startup-Essentials/Grand-Rapids-Michigan-49507/A-1-Leasing-Bond-Corporation-Startup-Essentials-Fraudulent-3rd-Party-Leasing-Sales-In-248880. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

How can I get supported in my effort to be free from these monsters?

AUTHOR: Caitlin - (U.S.A.)

I have done all the things you have done, but with less success. I have now received a collection letter from Coface Collections in Louisiana threatening me.
I too, have a tiny income and my husband is on a fixed income. Bank accounts are closed, letters to AGs in NM, TX and MI have gone out - none of those agencies seem interested in assisting me. What's a girl to do?
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#2 Author of original report

Update on Startup Essentials and A-1 Leasing

AUTHOR: Craig - (U.S.A.)

Well, it is now over 60 days since I have made all of my complaints to the different AGs in their respective states, BBB, FTC, and to the individual companies involved with copies of my complaints to the above.

They since only tried to draft my old checking account one time and received a message from the bank that the account is closed. I also notified both Startup Essentials and A-1 Leasing that neither is licensed to do business in the state of Virginia as per the State Corporation Commission and therefore all contracts are null and void.

I instructed A-1 Leasing to "assign" the contract back to Startup Essentials and to apply "full recourse" against Startup Essentials for all funds dispursed and their collection of same.

I have not heard anything from any parties. Plus I understand that they will not be able to post any type of negative notification on my Credit Bureau Reports as I have listed them a fraudulent companies.

I look at this as no news is good news. I have in my back pocket on last resort is they should try and take action against me. With my attorney's assistance I will file individual suites against the people I have delt with including the original salesman, his supervisor, and the contact at A-1 Leasing. Sueing them as individuals would ruin them financially and I would ask for punitive judgements of $100K each. To settle out of court I would accept termination of my lease contract and removal of any derogitory remarks on my credit reports.

Time will tell but I think they got the message and just gave up on me because I really had my act together. I haven't received the first phone call, certified letter, or mark on my credit bureau report. So I don't plan on taking any other action unless they throw the first blow.
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#3 Consumer Comment

What's the Latest?

AUTHOR: Caitlin - (U.S.A.)

Hi there! I have filed Report: #261374 today. I've done everything that you have done, including filing a complaint with the FCC. The AG in my state said that they could not help me, even though they told me to file this report anyway.

Sadly, my attorney thinks that I might as well have given A-1 my first-born along with that d***d contract.

Before I go negotiating with the devils, I wanted to know what the latest is with your case.
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#4 Author of original report

Update on termination of contract status

AUTHOR: Craig - (U.S.A.)

I have now completed, mailed return receipt certified mail, and gotten confirmations back from the credit bureaus, Attorneys Gernerals, BBBs, and FTC.

I also have confirmation of receipt of returned laptop to Startup Essentials, via UPS which I included a copy in my Final Termination letter to A-1 Leasing letting them know to "assign" the lease to Startup Essentials and to file for "full recourse" on the contract collecting any funds due or disbursements from National Business Advisors and/or Startup Essentials.

Copies of the above letter were also sent to Startup Essentials for verifiecation.

Next step is to wait to see what they try to do at which time I will have my own attorney step in. I did learn that none of the involved companies is registered to due business in the state of Virginia which adds severe clout to my charges of fraud.

Craig
Richmond, VA
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#5 Author of original report

Update of my actions against A-1 Leasing, Startup Essentials, and National Business Advisors

AUTHOR: Craig - (U.S.A.)

I have now filed with the AGs in Michigan, Texas, and my own state of Virginia including a copy of the A-1 Leasing contract, my letter of termination of the lease and closing of the account due to fruad and compliscity with Startup Essentials and National Business Advisors. The Michigan BBB would not investigate my complaint due to the fact that it is a contract dispute. Virginia BBB would not accept a complaint because the companies involved are not in Virginia. Texas did accept and will investigate my complaints against Startup Essentials and National Business Advisors.

I have packed up and shipped my laptop back to Startup Essentials as they are the Vendor in this case. I included a letter of termination for my account and advised them not to send the laptop back because any unsolicited merchandise received by a resident of Virginia is considered a "gift" under Virginia law.

To my regret I found the documentation for Startup Essentials the listed my checking account information, SSN, and DOB. I have since closed the checking account and filed a fraud complaint with my bank and they indicate I should get two months worth of payments, $134.35, redeposited into my account and they will pursue A-1 Leasing.

In sending the laptop back I have completed a necessary legal step per my attorney, where by I will send another termination of lease letter to A-1 Leasing with a copy of the confirmation of delivery to Startup Essentials. They will be advised to "assign" the lease back to Startup Essentials and apply for "full recourse" against them for recovery of any and all funds.

Since the lease is in my name only, I have bad and/or no credit to my personal name except for a bankruptcy in 2000. I'm on total disability, homebound, and on Social Security only for income. Everything else is in my wife's name as financial institutions are not suppose to count and allow Social Security income as income for application purposes.

Again, I have a local personal homebased business oriented attorney helping me on this case. I would also suggest that anyone in this situation with the listed parties to contact leasebreaker on Google and see what guidance they can offer. They've been a great help to me.

If anyone knows of any class action suites pending against any of these companies, please let me know so I can become a party to them.
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#6 Author of original report

Update, My Actions Against A-1 Leasing, Startup Essentials, and National Business Advisors

AUTHOR: Craig - (U.S.A.)

I have now filed with the AGs in Michigan, Texas, and my own state of Virginia including a copy of the A-1 Leasing contract, my letter of termination of the lease and closing of the account due to fruad and compliscity with Startup Essentials and National Business Advisors.

The Michigan BBB would not investigate my complaint due to the fact that it is a contract dispute. Virginia BBB would not accept a complaint because the companies involved are not in Virginia. Texas did accept and will investigate my complaints against Startup Essentials and National Business Advisors.

I have packed up and shipped my laptop back to Startup Essentials as they are the Vendor in this case. I included a letter of termination for my account and advised them not to send the laptop back because any unsolicited merchandise received by a resident of Virginia is considered a "gift" under Virginia law.

To my regret I found the documentation for Startup Essentials the listed my checking account information, SSN, and DOB. I have since closed the checking account and filed a fraud complaint with my bank and they indicate I should get two months worth of payments, $134.35, redeposited into my account and they will pursue A-1 Leasing.

In sending the laptop back I have completed a necessary legal step per my attorney, where by I will send another termination of lease letter to A-1 Leasing with a copy of the confirmation of delivery to Startup Essentials. They will be advised to "assign" the lease back to Startup Essentials and apply for "full recourse" against them for recovery of any and all funds.

Since the lease is in my name only, I have bad and/or no credit to my personal name except for a bankruptcy in 2000. I'm on total disability, homebound, and on Social Security only for income. Everything else is in my wife's name as financial institutions are not suppose to count and allow Social Security income as income for application purposes.

Again, I have a local personal homebased business oriented attorney helping me on this case. I would also suggest that anyone in this situation with the listed parties to contact leasebreaker on Google and see what guidance they can offer. They've been a great help to me.

If anyone knows of any class action suites pending against any of these companies, please let me know so I can become a party to them.
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