Wells Fargo — scam contract
Here is the short version of what happened:
I opened a small business with my business partner and we were starting from scratch (neither of us had a large amount of money). I had been banking with Wachovia for years and had no complaints. After a few months our Wachovia account was transferred to Wells Fargo and this is where the problems began...
We opened up out business account and I was immediately approached by Dodie Schmitt the Merchant Service rep about a mobile merchant processing account. She verbally told me the equipment would be much better than the rates of our current online service (paypal @ 2.7% +$.30/transaction) and she handed me a bunch of paperwork and circled some numbers saying she was waiving all of the set-up fees and our new rate would be 1.7% +$.2/transaction. This sounded great and I briefly looked over the contract and signed - worst decision ever.
After a week I received the mobile merchant equipment in the mail with a billing statement that was clear as day that Wells Fargo would charge $55 per month for the service and the merchant equipment leasing company would charge $45 per month plus to transaction fees per transaction. I was outraged and immediately pulled out my contract. After combing through I found in the fine print a box with the following information " Lease 48, $38." When I signed I was told the $38 was the set-up fee and there was absolutely no indication that, "lease 48" meant 48 MONTHS with a monthly charge of $38. I was outraged and immediately tried contacting Dodie Schmitt to get out of the lease, return the equipment and cancel the service. After several failed phone calls and e-mails she reffered me to her superior where I repeated the process of failed phone calls and e-mails.
All of this was over 5 months ago. I have finally found that in order to cancel the service through Wells Fargo I must pay a $500 early termination fee and in order to cancel the equipment I must pay out the remainder of the lease, which totals to $1, 830. This is over $2, 300 in charges for a piece of equipment that has NOT been used and I have already paid over $500 to sit in a box in my closet.
We are a small business trying to get off the ground and I feel punished and abused by Wells Fargo. I have always known to read the details and fine print before signing everything but the contract I signed with Wells was deceptive and very unclear.
Does anyone have any tips, hints or comments on how I should pursue this further?