RENT-A-CENTER / COLORTYME to Pay $340K for Customer Harrassment

Rent-A-Center, the parent of rental franchise chain ColorTyme, has reached a settlement with the Washington Attorney General’s Office over claims that it harrassed and directed profanity against customers.

The the Plano, Texas based company (NASDAQ: RCII) has vehemently denied the charges but agreed to pay Washington more than $340,000 in legal fees and costs to monitor the decision, according to Attorney General Rob McKenna.

According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal:

“In July, the state alleged that company employees tried to kick in the door of one customer who said he’d be late with his payments because of his wife’s hospitalization. In another case, the state alleged that a woman said Rent-A-Center employees refused to leave her home after she stopped making payments, telling her that she’d be jailed for theft, scaring her daughter, and passing information to her neighbors that she wrote bad checks.

“As part of the settlement, Rent-A-Center agreed not to: speak to customers more than six times a week to discuss an overdue account; engage in violence; trespass; call or visit bankrupt customers unless authorized; impersonate other people; discuss customer accounts with other people; threaten legal action unless permitted under law; visit a customer’s workplace after being told not to visit; use profanity; attempt harassment; or ask someone other than a customer to make a customer’s payment. There were also other restrictions.”

According to the article, Rent-A-Center officials are “delighted to have the case” behind them because, in the words of their spokesman, “It’s less costly to settle than to litigate.”

HAVE YOU HAD ANY DEALINGS WITH RENT-A-CENTER OR ITS FRANCHISE ENTITY COLORTYME?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

14 thoughts on “RENT-A-CENTER / COLORTYME to Pay $340K for Customer Harrassment

  • March 11, 2010 at 9:37 am
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    ColorTyme is the Franchisor for ColorTyme Rental Stores and is the oldest rent-to-own Franchisor in the U.S. While ColorTyme is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rent-A-Center, ColorTyme is managed independently. Rent-A-Center is not a Franchisor.

  • March 11, 2010 at 11:52 am
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    Thanks for that clarification, Jim.

    On the RentaCenter.com website it states “Find out about Rent-A-Center franchises, offered through ColorTyme.” which makes it seem that there are “Rent-A-Center” franchises that are just operated under a different name. However, the ColorTyme website does push the RAC affiliation and the management team seems distinct from RAC.

    I wonder: do ColorTyme franchise owners do business differently than the company-owned Rent-A-Center managers and staff?

  • March 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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    Thanks for the reply. The overwhelming majority of our franchisees are exceptional operators who provide great service to our customers.

    For the most part, the industry leaders (Rent-A-Center, Aarons, us, etc) in rent-to-own have fabulous relationships with their customers.

    If you want to find out more about the rento-to-own consumer transaction, check out the Rent-A-Center blog page at creditfreelife.com.

    Not related to the above article content, I also run a blog for ColorTyme at justforasking.com. Our blog also solicits contributor articles. Enjoy!

  • March 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm
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    I would like to know if rent a center is not suppose to contact customers more than 6 times a week in all states. I live in Maryland and they call and or come by much more than that. Every time I talk to them the amount they say I owe doubles and sometimes triples even if it is a matter or days in between conversations. Once I get this cleared up I will never deal with them again. I have even tried to return things and there is almost always a reason they have to not take it back.

  • September 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm
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    I have had problem witht he Capital Heights, Md Rent A Center since I purchased a bedroom set from their store. First of all when they came to put the bed together they broke the headboard and it took them 1 year and a helf to fix it and I still made my payments. Now i am closer to paying them off and I get harassing calls from them they call people in different states that I have used for references and they call my job even when payments are not yet due as if I do not know when I have to pay. I Just yesterday an employee called my job and argued with me back and forth like I was someone on the street that had just violated her or something. so after she is arguing with me while I am on my job and being very unprofessional. I asked that she not contact me again and i only wanted to speak with a manager , she called my job again today. So I asked to speak with the manager and I am going to make a complaint to the corporate office . I told them that I was going to file harassment charges because I should not have been provoked especially on my job. Once this is paid off I will never use them again adnwill never refer someone to buy from them again. I told the manager that no one is to contact me accept him. In my opinion, It is not worth the headache.

  • September 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm
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    Another thing everytime I ask how much I owe on the account the amount goes up. I just spoke with them 2 weeks ago adn the person told me that I owe 3 hundred and something and today it went up to over 5 hundred I told the manager that this amount could nto be right becasue that was not what i was quoted when i made the last 2 week ayment. I wanted to pay it off and get it over with once and for all.

  • May 12, 2011 at 9:46 am
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    I have rented from RAC twice. The first time without incident, though I was called before payments were even due two three times….myitems that time where paid off, and 2 yrs later, decided to rent fromt hem again being it was christmas time and was purchasing something as a gift. Lo and behold, 5 months later(after making timely payments with no issues) I get laid off from my job. RAC advertises that if you become unenployed, you can defer payments so long as there is proof you are jobless.(wich of course, I have) I called said district manager since the employees where limited in there ability to help me, and I have emailed, called numerous times with no assistance o what to do, paperwork to be filed etc…..no one seems to want to listen..they just want me to either produce the money(which i dont have yet) or drop off the items(which were gifts, how do you take a gift back??)

    I will GLADLY pay them ASAP when i have the money-ANYTHING!! they have been at my house EVERYDAY this week!!! they call numerous times a day! no one seems to call back or listen to you like I said….a note was left on my door stating if I “didnt want to pay, to return the item or they will press “illegal” charges as per the contract i signed…I had to laugh-“illegal charges will be filed?? talk about a freudian slip!!!

    so far I have begged lance arden (i beleive thats the spelling of the district manager) to call me or email me back regarding this…but have not heard back yet and its been 2 weeks..ive no idea what to do anymore…since i keep saying the same thing. i understand they are a business of curse-they want there money I duley owe them..and they will recieve it…but why am I not being listened too??? mail the damn paperwork to me wich i gladly would have had filled out and returned promptly…..they can keep coming over..its not going to change that I do NOT have the money(gee its not that I DO NOT want to pay for it-duhhhhh-if i had it theyd be the first to get it) or the item since it was a gift..so how are them coming evey day going to solve it?? im writing to headquearters and if they come again, calling the police and filing a harrassment charge.. this dude beats on my window like a madman!!!

  • August 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm
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    IM HAVING A VERY BIG HARRASSMENT ISSUE WITH RENT A CENTER, ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE IS. NOW MY QUESTION IS, WHAT CAN I DO FOR HELP. IVE BEEN ASKING FOR A NEW COUCH SINCE JULY 2011. I HAD A “BAD” PAYMENT HISTORY AND HAD TO MAKE 4 ON TIME PAYMENTS TO SWITCH OUT, I MADE 3 SPOKE TO MANAGER AND HE SAID ON JULY 26TH I WAS ABLE TO ORDER A NEW COUCH. I HAD PREVIOUSLY HAD MANY PROBLEMS WITH THE STORE AND THEIR NOSEY EMPLOYEE AND RUDE MANAGER. THE HARRASSMENT HAS BECOME TOO MUCH. I OWE ANOTHER 230.00 AND THEY STILL HAVENT EVEN ORDERED MY COUCHES. I WILL BE MAKING MY PAYMENT, I TOLD THEM AT 8AM THIS MORNING WHEN THEY CALLED. I SPECIFICALLY SAID AFTER I GET OUT FROM WORK WHICH IS 6PM.

    AT 3PM I HAD 4 MISSED CALLS FROM THEM ON MY CELL, THEY CALLED MY JOB. I CALLED CORPORATE, AGAIN. THIS TIME THEY HAVENT CALLED TO HELP ME OUT. THEY NEVER DID,

    I RECIEVED LETTERS STATING MY CONTRACT IS OVER. THEY HAVE COME TO MY HOUSE. AND I HAVE MADE 2 LATE WEEKLY PAYMENTS. IVE ASKED THEM MANY TIMES TO PUT ME ON A MONTHLY SCHEDULE, THEY SAID NO. WHEN I TRIED TO PAY MY LATE WEEKS, THEY SAID NO. THEY HAD TO HAVE THE ENTIRE 3 WEEK PAYMENT WHICH MY 3RD WEEK WASNT DUE UNTIL TODAY. I CALLED THURSDAY TO PAY MY LATE PAYMENTS. THEY SAID NO. TODAY THEY SAID THEYLL TAKE IT. IM TIRED OF BEING TOLD WHAT I CAN DO BASED ON THEIR CONVENIENCE. IT IS NOT OK. IT IS NOT OK TO TREAT PEOPLE THIS WAY. I WORK IN SALES AND UNFORTUNATELY I DO NOT HAVE A STABLE WEEKLY PAY, BUT WHEN I DO GET MY COMMISIONS I PAY THEM.

    I HAVE REACHED OUT TO HELP ME HOWARD. IVE LEFT COMPLAINTS ON MANY WEBSITES. UNFORTUNATELY WE OVER PAY FOR THE FURNITURE BUT THIS IS WHAT BEST FITS MY SITUATION AT THE TIME. I HAVE A COUCH AND A TV. NOTHING CRAZY. BUT I CANNOT BELIEVE THE WAY I HAVE BEEN TREATED. I WAS SO AGGRAVATED SPEAKING ON THE PHONE WITH THEM, I BEAN TO EXPERIENCE CHEST PAIN. I HOPE THIS DOESNT CONTINUE BECAUSE THEY ARE MAKING ME SICK.

    DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW I CAN GET HELP? I TOLD THEM I WILL CALL THE POLICE F THEY KEEP HARRASSING ME. I WILL BE MAKING MY PAYMENT MONDAY. IM TIRED OF THEM TREATING ME LIKE IM A CRIMINAL.

  • March 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm
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    I rent from both places, they have been soso with me….but one thing I feel is outragious is the over head charges on their products…..I emailed Hank on the news network to see if someone could look into this and to see if how much these places charge in overhead can be regulated. Sometimes I feel as though they target people such as myself even though we have a choice not to affiliate with those places….but they know that some people have not choice.

  • March 6, 2012 at 9:49 am
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    The key to all the calls and the comments is written documentation people.

    Draft a simple letter stating your intentions to pay the bill in a timely manner. Enclose a money order, cashier check. State you have agreed to make the payment as specified in your contract and from this point all contacts with you must be in writing. Any personal phone conversation and/or contact with relatives and/or references will deem a birch of contract. Verbal comments and agreements are no longer acceptable due to confusion. You have the right to pursue to with Harrassment charges if any relatives/references are contacted. By accepting the enclosed check/cashier check the store agrees with your terms.
    Once the check/cashier check is deposited they agree with your terms and this will cause the first contract to be voided.

  • May 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm
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    I have been through rent a center for over 2 yrs. I have a washer and dryer and I did have a tv until I payed it off. I was told my contract was for 24 months. Well the begining of april made 24 months. Well I’m still paying on it and I have no payments that are late. When I went in tjis past friday to make my payment I asked them why it wasn’t payed off and they told me I still had 6 more months left and they yold me my contract was for 31 months not 24. I’m really upset. They call me before my pa yments even due and if my payment is even a day late they call me constantly about 6 to 7 times a day. And come to my house and harasse me and make a big seen. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  • August 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm
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    I paid rent a center almost 900 in 1 month where I only owe 750 now they still say I owe $500 for the month I have my money order receipts they call at least 5 times a day and come to my house every day

  • August 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm
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    I always have to shake my head at people who’ll pay $2000 for a $800 sofa set or $1500 for a laptop worth $350. Then to top it off they don’t *read* the rental/lease purchase agreement. It’s a legally binding contract you’re signing people! Pull your heads out and read the thing for crying out loud! There is no “cry-baby clause” for all the excuses as to why you can’t pay on time.

  • July 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm
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    Like many on here I do not have any contract with these people, but they continually call harrassing me about a relative that I found out put my name down as a relative of theirs. I do not choose to get into their business with their contract issues. Have asked and demanded on numerous occassions for them to stop calling me. That I am not trying to find the person to relay any messages. And was not an investigator to go looking for them. They continue to call. Have blocked them but have all these voice messages. What the heck can I do at this point.

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