I've been renting different items at my local Rent-A-Center for about 2 years now. Every time I was finished with an item or could not pay for the item, I would either call the store manager to make payment arrangements, have them come and pick it up, or take it and drop it off myself. No muss, no fuss!
Back in September '06, I decided to rent a big screen tv from RAC, since I had always had good luck with them. Everything was well and good, until the manager that I had been workig with was replace by another guy. I beleive his name is either Josh or Chuck, one of the 2.
Around the middle of November, I was late on making a payment. The payment was due on Friday, and I was unable to make it in until Monday. After listening to 6 messages on my machine on Saturday, I called the new manager first thing monday morning. The first thing I said to him was "I should have called to let you know I was going to be late, and I apologize for it."
I made arrangements to pay my balance owed the following week. I thought everything was good until on Tuesday, RAC showed up at my door to collect their merchandise. After arguing for abot 20 minutes, I called the manager to clearify, and he denied he ever spoke to me. I have talked to this man many times since he had been in charge, since I normally call in to make my payments via phone, so I know what his voice sounds like. He was flat out lying to me, but we did come to a compromse that I would pay my balance owed exactly when I had previously told him I would.
Everything was well and good from then. During the first week of January, I ran into the same problem, and called and spoke to the manager again. This time, I made the same arrangements with him, except this time, I would pay off a month of my payments. That was fine, I went ahead and paid off my balance owed, plus an extra month.
Less then a month later, I come home to 8 messages on my machine, plus 4 door tags on my door. I listened to the messages, and it stated that I was late again on my payments, and they wanted thier TV back. The next morning, I called and spoke with the manager, wondering how my account could be late. I told him that I had went back and balanced out my payment schedule with what I paid and the late charges I incurred, and I was still a week ahead on my payments. He insisted that I wasnt. I then asked him if it was ok for me to come by the store and pick up the reciepts for my past payments and for him to show me how I was behind. He stated he didn't have time, and wanted his TV back.
Now call me crazy, but something didn't seem right there. He refused to show me how I was late, refused to give me any reciepts, and demanded his TV back. After I had went back several times to make sure I was correct about what I was telling him, I called him back and told him that until he showed me proof that I was late, and proof that my payment had went toward my merchandise, I would not give him any extra money and would continue to make my regular payments on time. He wasn't happy at all toward that.
The following week, I make my regular payment on time. The day afterwards, RAC showed up at my door on a Saturday afternoon. The were absolutely pounding on my door, and on top of that, they were screaming "RENTACENTER!!". I was on the phone at the time, and I opened the door, told them to hold on a minute, and closed the door. As soon as I closed the door, the pounding and screaming got worse. When I finished my phone call, I opened the door, and they said they were taking the TV. I told them that they weren't going to touch it, and they proceded to tell me that "I would be sorry if I didn't". Needless to say, I shut the door on them. They stood in my hallway for about 5 more minutes, beating on the door, yelling, and making idle threats. They did finally leave, however.
After they left, I immediately called the RAC manager and tried to straighten things out with him, but to no avail. I then proceded to tell him that if anything like his happened again, I would refuse payment on the TV, and they could take me to civil court to get their merchandise back. He was very short with me and told me "OK" before hanging up.
The very next day, I come home to find 5 of the door tags not only on my door, but on my building's door and my neighbors door as well, all with my name on them. Absolutely rediculous and uncalled for. They let my apartment building know what exactly was going on. My neighbor came out and told me about his converstion with them. I was furious. I didn't bother calling the manager. I planned on doing exactly what I told him I would do.
Here in where the story gets tricky. A few days later, I come home to no messages on my machine, but to 15 door tags taped/stuck all over my frond door. I was more annoyed then anything, but I did take a picture of my door for further proof.
The following day, I was sitting in my office at work with a customer of mine, and low and behold, RAC pulls into my parking lot. I couldn't beleive it. I was in the process of closing a deal, and they just walk right in the building and have a seat about 10 feet away from me. The entire time, they just kept staring at me. After what seemed like an eternity of them being there (in reality, it was about 5-6 minutes), I tell them to leave. Instead of leaving, they proceed to head out into the parking lot and wait. They just stand there in the window looking in at me.
About a half hour later, I had closed my deal and my customer had left, so I proceeded to head out and talk to them. They gave me the same "we want the tv now!" spew that they had said before. I asked them what right they had to stop at my privately owned place of business, and thier response was "It doesn't matter." At that point, I was absolutely infuriated, but instead of blowing up at them, I told them "I'm not doing this. Have a good day gentlemen", turned around, and started to walk back inside when one of them said "Fine, we'll do it our way, f*****!" I continued to walk inside. They proceeded to sit in thier truck for another 10 minutes before they left. I couldn't beleive they had just shown up.
The next day, when I arrive to work, my boss informs me that she was just called by RAC and they told her the entire story about how "Im a deadbeat" and "I don't pay my bills". I shrugged it off.
At 8:30 the next moring, before RAC even opens, I am awakened by RAC pounding on my door and screaming in the hallway. I opened the door and told them "I don't know how much more clear I can make this, so bye." and proceeded to close the door. They then informed me they were calling the cops. I then proceded to get dressed, and head out the door for work. At the bottom of the stairwell, one of the RAC guys stood, and he said "You're not leaving until the cop gets here." He was physically blocking me from leaving my building. Rather then fight, I chose to wait for the office to arrive. When he did, he pulled me to the side and tried to convince me to give them the TV back. I explained my situation, and he bluntly told me that he couldn't make me give it back, and all they could do was file it in Civil Court. The RAC guys were upset, and after the officer left, told me that "We will get our TV back one way or the other."
That latest incident was 2 days ago. All of this because the RAC manager refused to prove to me where my payments stood.
Now what I do for a living is very similar to what RAC does. I operate a small, family owned Buy-Here-Pay-Here car lot. I will probably get flamed for that, but that is life. I have many different duties there, including reposessions. I have done this kind of work for a number of years, and am very aware of what the procedures and laws are in my state. RAC violated several of them. These include harassment, disturbing the peace and refusing to let me leave my own building. They also violated many privacy laws by telling both my boss and my neighbors about my situation. I gave them authorization to contact my references, not my boss and neighbors. Those privacy laws were also violated when they made a visit to my workplace (which was captured on out CCTV system).
Like I said, I have been in a similar business for a number of years, and know they cannot do any of those things. If I were to reposess a car, I cannot stop by thier place of employment and harass them about it. I cannot stand outside thier house and beat on their door, nor can I yell or cuss. I cannot give out any of thier personal information to anyone that is NOT on thier reference list, and even then, it is still a tricky situation.
Their bullying tactics did not work. Im wondering what they will do next. If they want to sue me, fine, more power to them, but I will not pay them another dime until I get a formal apology from the company. This may seem childish, it may seem immoral, but then again, so is RAC.
For any of you in the Lebanon, Ohio region, be very, very leery of RAC, especially Josh or Chuck. No matter what they will do or say to you, they WILL lie to you. Always, always get proof of payment. Never pay via telephone. If at all possible, always pay cash for what you purchase, and never use RAC.
Thanks for reading, all...
Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?
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