June 7, 2012
To Whom It May Concern;
This is regarding a consumer complaint against Lease Finance Group, a credit card processing equipment leasing company. My business, Healthy Touch Massage LLC was deceived into signing an unwanted long-term, high-rate contract with Lease Finance Group. For reference, the lease number is listed as #1869530.
In November of 2007, I moved my business and required credit card processing. I was approached by a representative of LFG regarding leasing processing equipment. In the flurry of moving, I was handed a contract and told it was a one-year deal. Not long after, when I noticed the contract was for four years I tried to contact the salesperson and was told he no longer worked for the company. Customer Service told me that I had signed the contract and I was legally held to it. Realizing that I had been in error, I paid the lease every month for four years, a total of almost $2,000. All for a machine that I could have bought for about $250. But, I realized that I had signed the contract and I made good on my end.
In January 2012, I noticed that in spite of the contract being done, LFG was still taking the same amount out of my checking account each month. I called them and spoke to a salesperson named Francis, who also goes by Frank. He explained that once the contract was up, the agreement switched to month-to-month and thats what was being charged. Before I could say that I just wanted to return the equipment and be done with the company, he stated that I was eligible for a discount in monthly charges. I explained to him that I did not wish to sign another contract with the company. He offered me a month-to-month deal of about $19 per month. I agreed, thinking that I could have a bit more time that way to find a lower-cost process machine and buy it outright. I would then send the current machine back to LFG and be done with them. I asked Frank THREE TIMES if he was sure that this was a month-to-month lease each time he assured me that it was and I could end the agreement at any time. I signed the document online with him on the phone guiding me through the process. It was impossible to read specific details of the document, especially given the manner in which the signature process took place.
When the call was over, I immediately opened the document to make sure that it was month-to-month. To my horror, it was again, a 48 month lease. I IMMEDIATELY called Frank back and told him he needed to destroy the contract and Id be sending the machine back to LFG. He then stated that he would send me a different document amending the contract to month-to-month. The original document took him less than 60 seconds to email to me, but 2 hours later, no such amendment had appeared in my inbox. I called him again. His story this time was that the computers were down and he would do it first thing in the morning. Of course this never happened. The following day when he made even more excuses, I asked to be connected to a supervisor. I left message after message on both the supervisors extension and Franks and no one would return my calls or destroy the contract. I emailed, faxed and finally sent a certified letter to the company. I got no response. I called every number available on the website, and still got no response. Even when I left messages asking where I could send the equipment back to, I got absolutely no response.
This left me no choice except to call my bank and cut off their ability to take the monthly payment out of my account. I sent a certified letter to LFG letting them know that they were forbidden from taking any more money from the account. LFG used a different code and was able to access my bank account three more times. They used different amounts each time so that it wasnt the amount I had listed when I had the banks ACH department stop payment. Finally, I had to close the account altogether.
During the last two months, LFGs Collections department has called me numerous times daily and on the 2 occasions that Ive spoken to them, they basically told me that this was all my fault for signing a document that I did not read first. I told them I should not have to read something if Ive asked a specific question and they say no salesman is authorized to do a month-to month lease, even though Ive assured them that this one did. I have explained my situation to them at length and each time they threaten my credit and also threaten me with legal action. They claim my only way out is to 1.) make the monthly payments, (2.) Settle with them for over $900, or (3.) have someone else assume the lease. I told them none of these are an option, that if they were a decent business, they would tear up the contract and leave me alone and to take me to court if they wanted to. What else can I do? I also told them to stop calling me or I would bring a harassment suit against them and they told me they would not stop until their legal department filed suit against me. They continue to call me and I continue to not answer.
I run an honest business and I paid four years on a lease that I got conned into because I felt it was my mistake and did not want to get sued. And yes, maybe I am stupid for not reading the contract before I signed it, but I asked SPECIFICALLY the terms and was assured what they were. So are they implying that I shouldnt trust their sales department? Well, obviously, I shouldnt have.
LFG has the lowest rating of F by the Better Business Bureau. The internet is full of angry consumers who have complaints against them. My current credit card processor won my business because in their ads they caution against businesses who rush consumers through online contracts. LFG does this type of thing all of the time and they get away with it. They need to be stopped and other people need to be aware of not only them but businesses that practice the same low tactics.