A little over a year ago, I decided to try offline direct marketing and purchased a license from a particular marketer who then referred me to US Merchant Services to get setup with a credit card processing agreement so that I could take orders over the phone and through faxed requests for merchandise.
In the meantime of calling US Merchants, I received a phone call unsolicited from Lease Finance Group out of Chicago. I live in Anaheim. The lady on the phone must have gotten my name from the county registration of a new business name and she asked me if I had a credit card processing machine yet? I asked her if US Merchants had asked her to call me and she said yes, but in fact I later found out that US Merchant's did not recommend her or tell her to call me.
Long story short, I signed a 4 year lease with LFG after the lady rep told me that I could not purchase the machine, only lease it and the monthly fee would be around $67 a month, if done on a bank draft.
After about a year and without ever having used the credit card processing machine, I canceled the bank draft since I couldn't find any way to reach LFG.
Of course, once I stopped payment, they called me and very rudely reminded me of my lease and the past due payments. By this time, I had gone on line and found out that the machine that they had leased to me currently sells for around $149. If I add up 48 months of payments times $67, that comes out to around $3,200.
I had already paid them around $1,100 when they started calling me asking for the late payments. I offered them a settlement and they refused, reminding me that I had signed a lease.
I told them that I have decided not only not to pay them, but to contact the Illinois Attorney General's Office and file a complaint. They said that they didn't care that I was a senior citizen, they didn't care that I had written the AGO of Illinois, and then rudely hung up on me after yelling at me.
I am waiting to hear from the AGO of Illinois and in the meantime, I feel I should go ahead and file a complaint with the FTC, the Post Office (since they use the mail system), the office of Consumer Affairs in both Illinois and California, and then also write a complaint letter to the California Attorney General's office because LFG has a branch office nearby Anaheim.
Has anyone else had any dealings with Lease Finance Group? Am I leaving out anyone else I could contact about their deceptive trade practices?
Hundreds of others have filed complaints about them on the internet. I am a new member here and am very open to hearing from any of you who could offer me any other advice on how to deal with these despicable people, to put it in a nice way.
They work on the principle of intimidation, which doesn't work with me, and they also went way out of their way to write a very detailed and involved lease to be sure to trap and prey on new business and small business owners who they assume do not know much of anything about credit card processing.
Thanks guys, I look forward to hearing from anybody that can offer any insight on these people in Chicago.