- Report: #1097573
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Lease Finance Group
Lease Finance Group132 W. 31st Street, 14th Floor New York, New York USA
Lease Finance Group Eliot Management Group, Rene Herrera,Julian Driver of Lease Finance Group Deceptive practices from beginning, Never told of "non-cancel" lease. Refuse to accept returned equipment after lease fulfillment. New York New York
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In August 2009, my wife Nicolasa K**** was approached by a Rene Sanchez of Eliot Management Group. My wife runs a small business called I Love Nutricion, a health and nutrition club in Tucson, AZ. Rene convinced my wife to sign up for credit card processing services, claiming it would help her business by allowing her to sell items to people wh didn't have cash. She was told the contract only lasted for one year and could be cancelled at any time. I was working in Iraq at the time and wasn't present to see the contract.
When I did come home, I discovered much tomy dismay it was a FOUR year contract, declared as non-cancellable, with payments of 81.97 a month for 48 months. The retail value of the machine she was given was barely $800. Incredible. It will be noted here the contract is all in English. My wife only speaks and reads Spanish. [continued below]....
She had continuous problems with the machine. It would not keep a charge, it would fail on transactions, or bill incorrectly. Rene offered to help a couple of times, but then became hostile towards her, implying she was too stupid to know how to use the machine. After a time, he replaced her original machine with a Nurit 8020 machine. It worked well for a month or two, but then began to exhibit problems as well. We must have purchased half a dozen ac adaptors for the machine, all of which failed shortly after receipt.
It would also drop transactions, not connect, etc. When my wife contacted Rene about this machine's problems, he refused to help and would not return her calls. She was very upset about paying for a useless piece of merchandise, and was even more upset when learning of the lease she was deceived into signing. Lease Finance Group did not care what she was falsely told by Rene, they didn't care that she wasn't able to read the contract, they only wanted their money. Fine.
I determined to pay out the lease and return the equipment when done. This I did. Now, about the two agreements; one from Eliot and one from LFG. Eliot's was for three years, ending in late 2012, and LFG's was due to expire in August 2013. Thanks to Rene's lies, my wife had thought there would be only one agreement, found there were two. Again, that wasn't a challenge, I would pay them both out. Eliot wanted to charge a $495 early cancellation fee.
After numerous emails between Rene's supervisor at Eliot, a Ms. Cheryl Ruff, I was able to get the Eliot Management Group contract finished early, in the August 2011 time frame. I now had one contract to deal with. Ironically, my wife had little to no use for the machine. She initially had many clients with debit and/or credit cards, but as time went by, almost all of her customers paid cash. Additionally, the parent company through which she operates her club, Herbalife, came out with rules concerning signage on the front of their nutrition clubs, which prohibited displaying, among other things, credit card logos on the windows of the establishments.
Thus, her need for the machine was no longer justified. I was very rankled at having to pay for the machine month after month while it sat unused in our home, but a contract is a contract, no matter how deceptively and disingenuously it was contrived. Rene had virtually disappeared by this time, as a host of other Latino businesses in Tucson lodged complaints against him for the same deceptive, dishonest business practices he exhibited with my wife. At the one year point prior to expiration, I called LFG to verify it would expire on time and that there would be no issues.
They told me, yes, it would automatically terminate as long as the equipment was returned. If the equipment wasn't returned, we'd have to pay a buyout consisting of an adjusted price of the equipment. No problem. There was one small hitch in the payment of the contract. My wife had to close the banking account LFG was billing due to another credit card processor trying to bill her. This occurred in the summer of 2011. There were some missed payments to LFG as a result of the bank account closure.
We corresponded with an Ivan Miranda at LFG, and got it straight. I used my Discover card to pay the contract for the duration. In June 2013 I contacted LFG again to verify that the contract would end upon receipt of the equipment. When I mentioned the name and model number of the equipment - Nurit 8020 - they at first said, that's not the original equipment leased out, but then said, ah, okay, no problem, we see where it was changed out early in the contract period, send us what you have and you'll be fine.
I didn't get the name of that person. In retrospect, I should have. She gave me the address of 132 W. 31st, 13th Floor, NY, NY 10001. Good deal. In August I sent the equipment back with return receipt mail to make sure it got there. In mid-August I followed up on it. I was told they received the equipment a couple of days late, and would assess me a final charge of 84.21 to terminate the contract. I agreed to that. At that time I thought, we're done with this, finally.
Well, I was mistaken. In September my wife began to receive constant phone calls from Julian Driver of LFG, insisting she continue to pay on the lease as the equipment returned was not what was issued in 2009. Since my wife speaks very little English, she asked for a Spanish speaking rep. They didn't give her one, and continued to harass and harangue her with calls, mainly in the early morning hours. I wonder if they realize AZ is three hours behind them? I was in Afghanistan at this time. My wife told me of these calls and gave me Julian's contact info. I called LFG and had a fairly congenial chat with Julian.
He initially said nothing was ever received from us, and we owed some two months of lease payments. I tried to explain what I did, but he would step over my words and say nothing was ever received, or the address I gave wasn't valid, etc. Then he said, the warehouse people don't care what comes in, they don't account for it. I was put on hold multiple times while he checked my story out. Finally, he admitted they received a machine, but it wasn't the right machine.
He offered to renew the lease and send a new machine out, or charge me $583 as a buyout. I indicated I would lean toward a buyout, but he was pushing the new lease angle. He pushed it very hard. He claimed it would earn us tons of money and make our business explode with growth. When I told him all of my wife's customers pay cash now, it was like talking to a wall. On and on he rattled about the wonders of a new machine, only $49.99 a month for four more years, excellent support, just say the word. I had already told him my wife was not interested in continuing any more agreements, she just wanted out of this one.
I gave him chapter and verse about Rene Sanchez, the lies, the slick talk, everything. Julian admitted there were unscrupulous agents out there, but that wasn't LFG's problem, she signed, she's liable. I did not like this cavalier attitude, but I maintained my civility. We chatted a bit about Afghanistan and I told him I would consult with my wife. This was in early October. I asked my wife what she wanted. She said no more, I don't want to pay anything more, we're done, nobody told me I had to turn in the machine I was originally given, if LFG wants that machine back, they can contact Eliot Management Group to get it as it was an Eliot Management Group employee - Rene Sanchez - that changed it out.
I was home on vacation in mid to late October. LFG continued to call. The person who called was asking for someone in the business accounting department. When my wife responded she only spoke Spanish, the person disregarded her and repeated the request for someone in the accounting department. Ireturned to Afghanistan at the end of October. I was predisposed to just pay the buyout and be done, but my wife said,no, they will just take your money and later make up some BS technicality to continue to get money out of us.
This week another letter from LFG came, threatening legal action and reporting to a collection agent if the lease went into default. I've had it. I'm prepared to pay the buyout, but why? We've paid mountains of money for that machine, way more than it was worth. I'm submitting this report to see what happens.
The prevailing attitude among LFG personnel is one of combativeness and a defensive against the public, an us vs them mentality. They're out to make money and don't care what they do to get it. They claim innocence on agents in the street hooking people into these ruinous contracts, but I don't buy it. If that were the case, they'd express shock and outrage over the crookedness. However, I didn't feel that. What I felt was an atmosphere of aggressive venality as in, too bad, we can't do anything about that, we pride ourselves in winning judgements brought against us and will continue to forge ahead, regardless of people's lives and credit histories being damaged.
I'm reminded of the crooked health insurance company Great Benefit in John Grisham's "The Rainmaker" In the story, they unilaterally denied all health claims for a year, just to see how much they could rake in. I see LFG doing that with these leases, denying they were illegally obtained, just to see how much money they can rake in. They are SCAMMERS, it's beyond a doubt. The staggering amount of reports here and on BBB attest to that.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/06/2013 11:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lease-Finance-Group/New-York-New-York-10001/Lease-Finance-Group-Eliot-Management-Group-Rene-HerreraJulian-Driver-of-Lease-Finance-G-1097573. 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.
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