• Report: #32264
Complaint Review:

rent a center

  • Submitted: Thu, October 10, 2002
  • Updated: Wed, November 26, 2003

  • Reported By:georgertown ma
rent a center
220 cabot street beverly, Massachusetts U.S.A.

rent a center ripoff beverly Massachusetts

*Consumer Comment: 99% of lending institutions WILL charge a higher fee, payments, points, interest rate, etc to people with sub-prime credit

*Consumer Comment: Rent-A-Center is exploitative. They lure in people who can't afford certain products to begin with

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Cost+Retail Markup+RAC Rent Markup=Big $$$ ..those with bad credit, low income should not be gouged this way.

*Consumer Comment: Truth in Lending disclosures

*Consumer Comment: Please! ..don't fool yourself

*UPDATE Employee: SOURCE OF PROBLEMS ..not in buisness to rip anybody off

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I have been paying rent a center for 3 years. i was in a boat accident and fell behind in payments. I wrote a letter to them from the hospital, explaining the situation. The manager, kathy call and harrasses us 4 time a day and then when we do pay they say it is not enough. Then on Oct 7 they filed a report with the court saying "larceny of rental property" Mean while I call repeatedly for them to pick up the crap(T>V)

they said they were to busy to come and get it. These people are crazy. Then I get a message from Kathy the manager saying if I pay 98,oo to them we can keep the crap and they will drop the charges. I told her that i want a written letter from her saying she will dropp the charges.

I am sick of the calls and threats and her swearing at me. I was an abused wife (divorced the creep) and suffer from post tramaitc stress. This company used that against me. do not rent from them if yuo want your soal

georgetown, Massachusetts

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/10/2002 05:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rent-a-center/beverly-massachusetts-01915/rent-a-center-ripoff-beverly-massachusetts-32264. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

99% of lending institutions WILL charge a higher fee, payments, points, interest rate, etc to people with sub-prime credit

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

First a statement.

There are a few people out there with bad credit (hey, I had to declare Bankruptcy at one point in my life - so I'm not talking down to anyone).

99% of lending institutions, be they banks or retail stores WILL charge a higher fee, payments, points, interest rate, etc to people with sub-prime credit. Why? Risk. The lender in question is taking MORE risk with a borrower that has a PROVEN history of not paying their bills.

Now is it right for places like RAC to charge 300% of an item's value? No. On the other hand NO ONE is holding a gun to someone's head when the walk into a RAC or Check Into Cash or any other such establishment.

Now my question:

For all those that believe people are being taken advantage of (and I am one of them) how do you propose sub-prime credit applicants be handled? Same advantages of someone that has paid their bills on-time, all the time? I can't speak for RAC, but most lenders have to sell their loans on the secondary market and the market as proven that people with a poor credit history are more likely to continue to not pay their bills.

Obviously this does not apply to everyone with a poor credit history. I realize it's a double edge sword in some cases - Bad credit usually (but not always) means loss of job, medical problems, etc and then the higher costs of loans result in this same person being unable to pay due to reduced income.

That's why credit is SO important in the lending industry. It shows the history of the person's ability to pay their bills and their money MANAGEMENT. Hey, things happen I know, but that's where the MANAGEMENT comes in. Don't live beyond your means.

In closing, I'm not ragging on the original poster. I also believe they are being ripped-off with exhorbitant fees. Everyone is quick to complain (and rightly so), but what do you propose as a solution?
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#2 Consumer Comment

Rent-A-Center is exploitative. They lure in people who can't afford certain products to begin with

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

Getting ripped off by choice.

I admittedly have a general bias toward siding with the consumer, and a place like Rent-A-Center would seem to be a perfect target for my down-with-the-big-guy approach. However, I am torn.

From the consumer end, Rent-A-Center is exploitative. They lure in people who can't afford certain products to begin with, and end up charging them at least double the retail value in the long run. I'm sure there may be some other contractual elements that are grossly against the consumer's best interest as well.

But who exactly is Rent-A-Center exploiting? It would seem that if you can't afford something in the first place, then you need to suck it up and live without it! Sure, you may really want that nice leather couch, but for about twenty bucks you can get a couch at Goodwill that will support your behind just as well. Additionally, if your past history with paying off creditors has been so shoddy that you can't get a department store credit card to buy an appliance on reasonable terms, is it wise to assume that you'll be able to handle Rent-A-Center's unreasonable terms?

It seems that the people who are being taken advantage of by RAC are the people who can't accept the phrase "If you can't afford it, don't buy it!"

From the business end, RAC is in the rent-to-own business, not standard sales (with exceptions) and not leases. Whenever you rent something you end up paying substantially more on a per-time basis than what the product is actually worth, Like when you rent a tuxedo for $100 per day. A single use of a tuxedo, in the life of said item, is certainly not worth $100 retail, but many other factors (certainly including profit) go in to the rental figure. Likewise with RAC, they have to figure in many expenses in a rental agreement that wouldn't be necessary under a sale or lease, such as reconditioning, administrative, delivery, and sometimes repossession fees.

I'm sure RAC makes a hefty profit from their business, but such is their perogative, as long as they actually charge what they say they are going to. The consumer has agreed to be charged exhorbitant rates, and has agreed to have items repossessed if he can't pay. To then turn around and complain about the bad bargain is like asking for a punch in the face and then complaining about how you got punched in the face. The best advice: don't ask to be punched in the face, and don't agree to pay double or triple retail when you can't even afford the regular price. A nation of wise consumers would quickly put this place out of business.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Cost+Retail Markup+RAC Rent Markup=Big $$$ ..those with bad credit, low income should not be gouged this way.

AUTHOR: C.S. - (U.S.A.)

I am a former employee of RAC and a former Retail Manager for various other companies. I was thinking about some of the rebuttals that favor RAC from current employees and realized there is something missing. As everyone knows it costs companies a certain dollar amount to buy something to sell in their stores, then there is the retail markup to make a profit, nothing immoral or wrong there just good business. Now, you consider RAC has 2 prices on everything, a Total Rent to Own Price and a Cash Price. Let's say a 32" TV costs them 200 bucks to buy from the manufacturer, they Cash sell to you for 400 bucks (that I dont think is unreasonable considering all the costs incurred to get the merch. to the store) now you decide you want to just pay it off over time, they will double the Cash price! So you pay 800 bucks for a tv that intially costs them 200 dollars. They just made 600 bucks if you go the term of the contract! This is not right at all, those with bad credit, low income should not be gouged this way.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Truth in Lending disclosures

AUTHOR: Anon - (U.S.A.)

Rent a Center francises are preying on the poor, just like those payday advance gougers.

Hopefully it is spelled out (as legally required) in the Truth in Lending disclosures a consumer must see and sign for financing. It is hard for me to believe that someone would pay $4000 for a $500 couch, but to the financially unsophisicated or those who want to keep their options open, perhaps this deal is okay for them in the short term.

I'm sure they get lured in by focusing on the low monthly payments and they don't focus on the big picture and how much the deal is really costing them for the item. If they put all that together, they'd see they'd be much better off saving the money upfront and buying their furniture for cash without the financing.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Please! ..don't fool yourself

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

I worked at a Rent-a-Center several years ago, it was a Colortyme franchise. We would on average make 5 or 6 times what a retail store would make on a couch for example. When I watched someone come in and make their final payment (36th) on a couch @ 80.00 or 100.00 per month, did I feel like I was helping them, hell no, anytime you charge someone 4000.00 for a 500.00 couch your just ripping them off. They really don't have any where else to go, so you are the vultures that cure that. If you "think" that you're actually doing them a service you're a sick individual. Your providing a service, but your not doing anyone any favors, don't fool yourself into thinking that.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

SOURCE OF PROBLEMS ..not in buisness to rip anybody off


Rent a Center is not in buisness to rip anybody off, We are in buisness to help people. Many people with credit problems just cannot afford to come right out of the pocket with large amounts of money. We provide our customers with quick fast service, with a payment as little as one week. For this service there is no law against making money off their irresponsibility. We are here for any situation a customer may need. To the people that have complained about RAC, I am sorry you feel this way towards us.

I know at my store we try to please everyone, but In buisness it's impossible to do so. People complain everyday about paying thier debts, but I'm helping people keep their merchandice everyday , and I find myself helping the same people.

The reason most customers are angry with us is when they are late we call them. We call because when you are renting your payments need to be ontime. We are putting in your home high dollar merchandice with no credit checks and if you are late we need to know when you plan on comming in.
I know their are a lot of our customers who do not like paying their payment on time, and that's where the hostility comes in .

I personally think we are here for the people and that's why I am still with this company. If we pick up a customer do to financial problems , they know we will give it back to them when they are on their feet. We are just like any company who rents apartments, cars, houses , loans, everyone expects payments on time that's how you stay in buisness.
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