Rent A Center — violation fdcp; fraudulent actions
I have been an ongoing customer since 1999, whenever I've purchased an item I've always asked for a "new" product. My 1st purchase was unavailable so I was given a "temporary" leather sofa & love seat until the new one arrived. In the meantime I made weekly payments. After 2 months or so, the new items never arrived so I returned the used items. Instead of receiving a refund, I was told the money paid would be applied to my next purchase. This was trough the Paramount, CA store. In 2004 I went to the Whittier, CA store to buy a sofa & love seat, I explained of the pending credit. They promptly called the store verified the credit but for some unknown reason they couldn't transfer the credit & apply to the purchase (approximately $268.00). I get the items anyway, how long could it take anyway? Then I go on to buy other items. When I purchased a big screen TV in 2003 it began to get a snowy picture for about 15 minutes then the picture would clear up. I asked Rent A Center to have it serviced (Sept. 2007) & they agreed. in the meantime they agreed to "loan" me a TV while my TV was in service. This went on for months. In Nov. 2007 I'm being told that I have to pay on the TV, it will cost me about $800.00 (it's a used TV), the tech's can't seem to fix my TV, the part is now obsolete??? So I agree to make payments in the hope's that my TV will be repaired or returned. When I told them I would send it for repairs, they refused, I need to let them make every effort to repair the TV. About the same time I had purchased a camera and it would open the lens sometimes so when I took it in, they gave me a "loaner", they also couldn't repair it so theybtold me to keep the loaner. Since 1999 I have purchased a living room set, the TV, DVD player, camera, refrigerator, recliner, an entertainment center, all these items have a "zero" balance. The items I currently owe are the "loaner" TV which now I'm told I must pay the full price, if that's the case deliver a new TV, a washer & dryer and a laptop. I have always paid the weekly payment, this has been a hard year, I've had to move due to the rentals going into foreclosure, job closing down & losing a part-time job.
I have tried to make partial payments, but they're refused. When I come up with the weekly amount I have been asked to pay 1-2 days extra until I come in the following Saturday. Before the week is up my cellphone is blown out with their calls 3-5 times a day, not mention them banging on my door at home, leaving up to 3 missed you today notices on the door, gate & mailbox. They stand at the gate for up to 10 minutes yelling out my name.
The month of August 2008 was the worst, they repeatedly drive by, I made an arrangement with the manager to come up with funds, I told him I was working late and going to the hospital. I took a break for dinner, came home to change & eat. A few minutes after I arrived Carlos was at my door demanding that I surrender the items. I told him no, because I had an arrangement w/Jonathan the manager. He called the store, Jonathan got the call and told me that it was in their best of interest to pick up the items, they would return them when I could afford the payments. Carlos remains outside my house in the truck for about 15 minutes before leaving and parked on the wrong side of the street. I refused, how could I believe this when they still owe me money from 1999? And they still have my TV in service.Well we ended the call knowing that I was going to to pay. Then Carlos and Sonia start calling my job, 2-3 times a day, I talk w/Carlos and tell him to quit calling me at work, calls are monitored and randomly recorded. He doesn't care, he's going to keep calling me til I get tired and pay. I end the call. Tuesday comes and Carlos is physically at my job and the 1st thing out of his mouth is "give me the laptop"! Well I don't have it at work and tell him this. He is not happy, he'll continue to call me everyday until I surrender the items. Now I've made up my mind to contact the rent a center corporate office. On Saturday Sonia drives to my house, I told her I was very upset with this whole situation, I was going to file a complaint. Once this was settled, I would handle the situation. Until then I wasn't going to make any payments.
On Monday morning Carlos calls me again at work. I told that I have repeatedly asked him not to call me and he just ignores this. he stated that he heard I was fling a complaint that would I please hurry up, because until corporate told him to stop he wasn't going to. That instead of filing a complaint why didn't I just call the corporate office, it would be faster.
I did file a complaint with Rent A Center by certified mail, I have my return receipt.
I also mailed a copy of the complaint to the Better Business Bureau, but because it was a copy they have closed the issue. When I tried to file a complaint they directed me to several sites which might handle the complaint.
The manner in which they collect payments is unfair, violation of the privacy act when they come to your home yelling and job stating they're there to collect money or items in the open area where your neighbors and co-worker's are able to hear the conversations. They're in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when you have specifically asked an employee who is collecting a debt to stop contacting you at work as this can put your job in danger and they refuse to acknowledge the request, as a matter of fact they're in violation of my civil rights.
Rent A Center has not contacted since receiving the certified letter or as I write this complaint.
Thank you in advance.