October 29, 2011
I want to add to the more than 400 complaints here regarding Rent-a-center business practices. I had read Rip-off report and decided to take a risk, what a nightmare THAT has been. I have never been a customer but have been in and out of this store in the past. My credit is bad because of Medical debt I could not pay. In today's business commerce a computer is a necessity.
I went to Rent-a-Center and asked if my payments could be made online and the employees had no clue. I had to go to the coporate site to find online bill pay options. I made my first two payments on time for the rental computer, and when the third one was due my child became ill. I decided I would pay one week late because of the financial strain of her illness.
I went to my local Rent-a-Center Friday to explain in person why I was late, and offered to write a check, it was near close. The manager there said I could not leave, and he would not except a check, he needed cash or debit card right now or he was picking up the computer. I was only five days late. I told the manager because he was cancelling my contract and refusing to except my method of payment, then I would pay him on Monday when the bank reopens, and meanwhile return the computer at that time. He then accused me of trying to write a bad check and steal his equipment! I told him I would call corporate due to the accusation. Corporate has been very helpful and I spoke with the District Manager, telling him that this Manager in Blue Springs was a jerk and I planned to return the computer to another store. I wanted to return it to a different store so the Jerk couldn't say I had damaged something. The district manager agreed.
Meanwhile, the store manager sent his wolves to my home the following morning, they were knocking so loud and hard it was jarring the windows. They repeatedly rang my doorbell although they knew the computer was being returned Monday. I asked the district manager if he heard the commotion through the phone and he did. The Jerks kept knocking for a full five minutes! It was so loud I could barely hear myself talk to the District Manager on the phone. I told the district manager I didn't trust the Blue Springs store would accept the returned laptop without causing further problems. I told the District Manager I was having the computer inspected before I returned it.
Meanwhile, the people from Rent-a-Center would not leave the porch! My husband opened the door and they stood on my property stating that I attempted check fraud! They said it was check fraud because I refuse to use my debit card in the store, making the erroneous assumption that I only had a debit card that links to my checking account! I have American Express!
My child was home and became very upset at the situation. My husband had to yell at them and say he was calling the cops for them to leave! I filed a police report, called the corporate office and reread my contract. The contract clearly states the only consequence of CHOOSING to be late with a payment is that a $5.00 late fee would be charged, NOT harrassment and accusations of fraud! The contract says nothing about refusing to accept checks. Further it was my FIRST late payment!
I am a working and college educated professional who fell into some hard times and ended up renting from Rent-A-Center, I understand they take risky accounts but then again, if you treat all your customers like criminals then HOW can you expect to have a decent reputation? Further ALL items from Rent-A-Center have a 400 percent markup! My computer retails for $400 and my contract says if I complete the lease I would have paid $1,636.00 for an Acer Aspire laptop! I had no intention of leasing for more than a month and already had it for four weeks, I can buy the computer with cash at Walmart!
I wanted to let people know that the manager of this store, like many other stores from Rent-a-Center, has bad business practices and uses a late payment as an excuse to reposess the merchandise and resell it, STEALING the money a consumer has invested in the final product. Further, the RAC contract does NOT disclose how late someone can be before reposession, this lack of disclosure encourages bad business practices. RAC states that if the leased computers are taken they don't even have to give the same one back! If you don't backup the files before you return it to RAC you just lost all your data!
I have never done business with these loons and now I know why. I hope this complaint helps someone else. I found the RAC corporate Consumer's line EXTREMELY helpful. RAC corporate phone number is: (800)422-8186