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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2009
Radio sound: Rent-A-Center accused of harassing, deceiving customers

Anchor/Reporter:

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is taking rental giant Rent-A-Center to task over allegations that their collection tactics are over the line.

McKenna [RAC1 :08]:
“We believe Rent-A-Center’s collection practices violate the State Consumer Protection Act.  They seem to think that when it comes to collecting debts, anything goes.”

Anchor/Reporter:

The AG says that more than thirty consumers have complained to his office about strong-arm tactics used by Rent-A-Center employees.

McKenna [RAC2 :15]:

“We’ve had complaints that Rent-A-Center’s collectors are scaring their customers’ small children, threatening them with arrest of their parents; that they’ve tried to kick down doors, they’ve used profanity, called consumers names like ‘deadbeat,’ ‘liar,’ ‘thief’ and ‘ghetto trash.’”

Anchor/Reporter:

Also on the Attorney General’s list of complaints are accusations that the rental chain doesn’t properly disclose actual purchase prices when customers rental multiple items at a time.

McKenna [RAC3 :32]:

“Rent-A-Center charges a lot for the privilege of renting to own.  Their customers have paid more than $3500 for a refrigerator, $4000 for a laptop computer and almost $6600 for a used television.  Customers are told they have to walk their payments to the store, instead of just mailing them in, in order to actually end up owning the items at the end of the rental period.  And only about twenty-five percent of their customers actually complete this payment schedule with all those requirements.  We’d like Rent-A-Center to be more up front with their customers about what they’ll actually pay for these products and what the requirements are.”

Anchor/reporter:

If you’ve had a problem with Rent-A-Center, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at www.atg.wa.gov.

-30-

Contacts:
Dan Sytman, AGO Media Relations Manager, (360) 586-7842
Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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