Last year I answered an ad "Own 5 ATM Machines for $12000. Locations included. Continious cash flow. Financing available w.no credit check". They talked me into buying 5 cashless atm's from American Data Solutions, I put $9000 (cashier's check) down and financed $3000.
I had checked the BBB Denver before, they said, this company had no unusual number of complaints and all had been resolved. In December 2004I paid the total to ADS, but $3000 were for the location company. I talked to the owner(? not sure) of North American Location company, who assured me, that all locations (stores, gas stations, restaurants etc.) were carefully screened and selected and that they had long time experience doing that. And if I don't get 400 transactions a month I can have them relocated for a $10 processing fee.
That way they made it sound like it was a pretty good chance to get 400 transactions per atm and 2000 on all 5, which would have been a profit of $2000 a month...but naturally they couldn't give me any income guarantees.
The awakening came with a very long e-mailed list of "Frequently Asked Questions" and the list of locations to choose from.
I had to make a selection based on nothing more than the town, the business type (retail, pawn broker, grocery, market, convenience, bar, restaurant etc.) and the way, the atm fee (usually $2) got divided, like owner gets $1, merchant gets $-.35. Every other information is considered confidential and will not be given out. So there I am supposed to put equipment worth thousands of dollars in a location I don't know!! And I have no way to find out, if this business has the necessary traffic (it is assumed, that 2% of the customers will use an atm) to be profitable.
I tried to reason with both companies about this subject, called, left messages, wrote letters, to no avail. Then I gave in and just "picked a number", hoping for the best.
In April I received my first transaction report. My worst fears were confirmed, a total profit of $107.85! Substract my monthly payment of $83 and I earned $24.85! This wonderful and experienced location company selected a grocery store, which did 5 transactions, a restaurant with 11 etc. I called ADS and complaint, but all they say is, have the atm's relocated or find your own locations. And no, I will not get the $3000 I paid for the locations back.
I wrote to North American Locators (nobody ever answers the phone), no response. So I requested to have them relocated. They answered, send $125 per machine and the downtime can be up to 30 days for the relocating process. I complaint, they agreed to do it for $10 per machine and sent a new list. Much shorter and even less promising looking, so I have not picked anything yet. Nonetheless they already cashed my check.
In May I didn't get any money, I supposedly failed to sent in the required monthly report to ADS. All these little ifs and whens one can find after careful study of that very confusing "FAQ" e-mail (41 pages). Also, if I should ever be even one day late sending my monthly payment, I will not get any revenue that month, plus have to pay $25 penalty.
In short, this is, how this scheme works: ADS sells atm's, 5 or 10 or more, in combination with supposedly profitable locations, provided by North American Locating Co. Since you pay with cash or cashiers check you don't have the chance to get your money back as you would with credit cards. The locations turn out to be bad, so there is hardly any income. They refuse to take the machines back or refund the money you paid for locations, they just tell you to go and locate them yourself, if you don't like it.
This is not, what I wanted to do, I would never have bought the machines under those conditions. This is no business opportunity and I feel cheated.