ED Magedson – Founder
Rent-A-Center, Inc161 Garden Valley BLVD Roseburg, Oregon United States of America
I was fired today from Rent-A-Center after a little more than two years of employment there. I'm posting this here so that any future potential employee of Rent-A-Center may know some of the things they can expect.
When I started working at rent a center I was immediately made aware of my district manager (DM) hostile approach to his subordinate employees. Not only did I realize very quickly on that he respects none of them (except those who I suspect may have slept with him in the past), I personally saw two very good managers move to other districts or quit working for rent a center all together due to the hostile work environment he likes to operate under. Not only is this guy d**n near illiterate, he wears non-prescription glasses to make himself look SMARTER! I didn't believe it myself, but I picked them up one day when he was at our store and put them on. No difference.
I was always told that the intimidation of job loss from our district manager was only a D302 (district 302) thing, but as I have seen on this web page so many times I guess it's a company wide thing. Constant emails threatening job loss or demotion if you fail to meet a minimum amount of sales calls or some other unachievable goal. About a year and a half into my employment I was promoted to the credit assistant. This basically means that my job was usually the first one to call customers when they are past due, call their personal references after three days, and send collection letters to them stating how much they need to pay us, or in such cases as deemed necessary letters that stated customers needed to return the merchandise.
Naturally being the "manager" in charge of past due accounts will incur the illegitimate anger of a lot of the frequently past due customers. Most of our constantly past due customers refuse to admit that there is a problem and blame rent-a-center for changing due dates, harassing them, or any manner of absurd claims. All a customer needs to do is call the companies 1-800 number and complain about whatever they want and drop an employees name and that's it. There is no investigation, the customer is assumed to be honest and the employee is assumed to be a liar if he/she says that never happened. This happened quite a few times to me due to the fact that I was the one in charge of past due accounts. A customer came in the store, asked me a question about her sisters account, and I told her that I'm not supposed to talk to her regarding the account due to the fact that legally I can't without her sisters permission. Since her sister was about a month past due and refused to call the store to deal with the debt I obviously didn't have clearance to talk to her about it. She became agitated. She told me all she needed to know is if her sister could "re-finance" her agreement. I told her rent a center does not refinance, as rent-a-center is not financing at all the way you normall think of it. She asked if they could "re-sign". I told her no, once the agreement is signed it is final. She then asked if they could "re-negotiate". I told her no again. She became irate and told me that I had sent her sister a letter stating that rent-a-center would like to hear back from her regarding "something 're' her account". I told her the only thing in any letter I would send that has that prefix is "return merchandise" or "fail to renew the agreement". I told her that since we've had no contact with her sister in over a month that renewing the agreement would not be possible at this point. She then stormed out of the store.
Roughly a day or so later a complaint came in via mail about how they wanted to report me going to their house three times in a two hour period leaving dozens of door hangers and pounding on the door scaring their children and causing the neighbors to call the cops on them. Guess what? I was talked to about how I need to change my attitude regarding customers. So I go easier on them, although honestly I was just doing my job as I was trained. Soon I get calls from my district manager asking me why I took certain commitments from some customers to come in to the store when I know d**n well they can't afford it. Okay, so I crack back down on customers.
One came in while everyone else was out smoking (I was the only one in the store that didn't smoke) to make her payment. I noticed that she was usually four to five days past due. I asked her what had been going on because I've noticed her payments weren't late always, but have become that way. She yelled at me, "my husband is in Iraq and we're poor right now"! I told her I definitely understand, as a matter of fact I had deployed to Iraq twice in the Marine Corps. I told her that I noticed she usually pays around the 1st and 15th, which is when the military gets paid. I then asked if it would be easier for her if I changed her due dates to the 3rd and 17th. She indignantly retorted, "no, I just want to make my payment". I said okay and processed the payment. She left.
Another customer who was past due literally every payment since she started her agreement with us called me one day to tell me that she doesn't think I need to call her references or husband. Now to be fair she had a note on her husbands number saying, "don't usually call first". And we usually don't. But by the time her account goes 7 or more days past due it falls into my job duties to call her and I have to call all references per company policy. And since he is her husband he's just as responsible for the account as she is. So I have to call him. I told her all this and she told me that she still thinks I don't need to call her references, stating that she's not trying to rip us off or steal from us. I told her I don't assume that she is, nor would I dare to think so. I know she doesn't intend to do that. However, I said, I have to call your references and husband or I get talked to about not doing my job.
Another customer I was doing a pickup from (our delivery driver can't accomplish anything on time and since I go to lunch at 12 and get back at 1 I often times will go on the road schedule for a while since she's rarely back from lunch until 1:30 and the road schedule starts at one) and was carrying on a conversation with her mentally handicapped daughter or patient. She operates a house for mentally handicapped individuals I think. Regardless, I was carrying on a conversation with her trying to make her feel like part of the situation that was going on. As a matter of fact the lady was yelling at her patient/daughter to get out of my way when she was not in the way. I got the washer out of the house, into the truck and wrote the return receipt. I went to the gas station to get some gas and go pee. I got a complaint two days later about being rude to the customer.
These three and another I wasn't told about came in yesterday when I had called in sick due to the fact that I felt like crap. This morning when I showed up before everyone else (which is typical for me) I was told that my manager needed to talk to me. She told me that the complaints came in and that "due to the consistency of the complaints we have to do something". That something was fire me. Sounds more like the consistency of rent a center treating employees like crap and not appreciating a thing they do for the company.
I was later told by my managers boyfriend who is one of my co-workers (a situation I kept shut about because they were both friends) when he came by my house this morning after I was fired so I could meet his son he recently got back during a parental kidnapping case that it was entirely my district managers decision.
This is how rent a center works. The DM will all to often hire and fire at will and as he sees fit. Of course they have to wait for a favorable situation. With me it was four complaints in a day. And since rent a center doesn't investigate complaints they just discipline employees, it's a terminable "offense". So watch out anyone thinking about a job there, they do pay good. But is competing for your job and the constant fear of being fired worth it? I was often asked if I had the desire to stay. And to be honest I like most of our customers, and liked the job. The issue I had with rent a center is the constant fear of job loss. Every day, you wonder. Every day you think what will they use to fire me. And RAC wonders why they have such a high turnover rate.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/09/2010 07:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rent-a-center-inc/roseburg-oregon-97470/rent-a-center-inc-fired-for-doing-my-job-roseburg-oregon-567066. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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