I (stupidly) signed a 48 month lease with Northern Leasing for a credit card terminal, after 2 years of paying approx. $47.00 a month plus $7.50 for a statement, and hardly using the thing I tried to cancel the contract and was told it would be over a thousand dollars to do so.
I am a dog groomer and a very small operation, I didn't have access to that kind of money and was threatend with legal action and adverse credit reporting, so feeling like I had no choice I payed the lease out and never used the machine more than a couple of times.
As soon as the lease was satisfied I immediately sent the machine back and cancelled any further obligations (which there were none). The next month I noticed that they charged me the $7.50 statement fee!
I called and was told that because I didn't call them before the anniversary date of the original contract that it automatically renewed and I would have to pay the statement fee for the entire year.
I DIDN"T even have the machine and could not do any transactions what the H*ll do I need a statement for? She told me I could go ahead and fax them a letter cancelling the statement the next year after I paid the fee for 11 more months.
Once again threatened with legal action and adverse credit reporting I paid the $7.50 a month for the additional year without benefit of anything. I did however go ahead and fax the termination letter the very same day.
End of story right?
Noooo, while checking my account balance on Friday, April 8th, 2011 I see a $125.00 charge that I do not recognize which caused two overdraft fees, now I'm mad so I head out to the bank to clear up this mess.
Once I get there and she pulls up my account we see that it is an ACH debit under the name of SKS Associates, never heard of them. It was deposited in bank in Phoenix so I call them they tell me I need to call SKS.
So I try, once I call the number they ask for my SS# or my phone number, theyr'e not getting my SS# so I continue to put in my ten digit number and each time is omits the final number and I have to start over (IMHO, I believe they were just hoping I'd get frustrated and enter my SS#).
After about twenty tries I finally get connected to Alan who barely speaks English that I can understand. He tells me that after an internal review of my account that I owe five cycles of property tax @$25.00 each for a total of $125.00.
I tell him that my contract with Northern Leasing had expired over two years ago and that when I returned the machine our business was done. I told him that I had already been to the bank and disputed the charges and they had already been reversed and they would not get another dime because I don' t owe them anything.
He insisted that they paid these fees on my behalf and that I must reimburse his company, I told him I never asked anybody to pay anything on my behalf and I don't owe anything! He became agitated and told me there is no statute of limitations on collecting taxes and I am obligated to pay these charges.
I continued to tell him I didn't owe them a dime and he stressed over and over that there is no statute of limitations, I told him I was pretty sure that if I truely owed them money they would have been Jack on the spot asking for it they wouldn't have waited over two years. I also asked him where is the bill, I haven't received anything in the mail.
He said he would send me a copy of the contract I told him he could send out anything he wants but I have a copy of the contract and if I were him I wouldn't waste the postage.
He never answered the question about billing and reverted back to the statement about statutes and then added that he was going to report this to all three credit reporting agencies. I was so angry by now it had become a shouting match he told me I signed a contract and was legally bound by it, I told him that our contract ended over two years ago and again the statute statement.
I told him he couldn't just up and make up false charges two years later, nobody can, and you certainly can't just steal money out of accounts without authorization.
He again threatened with the credit bureaus and I told him that due to massive medical bills we are preparing to file bankruptcy and I would put his name on the top line of the creditors.
He told me I couldn't do that I have a contract I asked him didn't he think I had contracts with Home Depot, Sears, and Capital One etc.also, and theyr'e not getting any money either and I actually owe them money!
After 27 minutes he either gave up or got tired of arguing and told me he would be reporting to the credit bureaus and I told him that he could do what ever he pleases but wouldn't get anymore money from me and he repeated about the credit bureaus and the statute of limitations.
I finally had enough and hung up, I have NEVER been so mad. I paid these people a huge amount of money for a machine that could be purchased outright for a fraction of the cost and it would have been mine, I also paid for a statement for an entire year once my merchant account was already closed! I think they owe me money and if there is a way to get it I'm gonna get it!