Okay, I'm reasonably even-keeled now. Let me tell the facts of my story.
1. I thought that just because I am a Stanford MBA, that I could never be swindled. Well, I was WRONG. Joke's on me!
2. This was actually a good lesson in humility for me, because I had a habit of behaving like an arrogant ass in the past, and I definitely needed to be taken down a peg.
3. In July 2005, I was approached by "Dave" of Vericomm, who explained that he could save me a great deal of money on my Visa/Mastercard processing. Instead of paying 2.5% on all charges, I could pay just 1.69% (this did not turn out to be true either, but that is a story for another time). I agreed to take him up on a meeting.
4. During our meeting, he stated that in order for me to take advantage of his low rates, I would have to lease some equipment from an affiliated company (MBF Leasing), even though I already owned my own credit card processing equipment. He said that my equipment could not be re-programmed to work with his, and that leasing from this company was the only way to process with Vericomm. Well, this turned out to be patently false, too, but I didn't learn that until later.
5. "Dave" explained that this would be a "lease-to-own," and that it would cost $159.95 per month, for 48 months, after which, the lease would cancel. He showed me the one-page lease, and I signed it. He left me a copy of the one-page lease that I signed, which I have until this day.
6. Later, I search online and find out that the equipment I have leased are purchase-able for just $400. I became incensed at myself, just furious. I lay awake for nights crying, feeling my heart racing and my blood boiling and that terrible, tight, taut feeling in my chest. I must have shaved a few years off of my life during all those sleepless nights full of tears.
7. Finally, I decide that it may be an expensive lesson, but I deserved to pay for it, since, after all, I had signed that "non-cancellable" lease, had I not?
8. I faithfully allow them to withdraw $178.10 each month out of my account (even though the lease was for $159.95) - when I asked why, they said it was for "insurance waiver" and "sales tax." I didn't really understand this, but I was too busy running my business to protest.
9. So imagine my happiness when 2009 comes around and I can finally get out from under this very expensive lease and move on with my life. July 2009 is my last payment, supposedly.
10. Except that in August 2009, they take another payment out of my account for $179.70. I leave 3 irate messages (after holding for 7 minutes each time) at 1-866-781-0411. They never return my calls.
11. They do it again in September 2009 (on the 3rd), and now I am incensed. I tell my bank to put a stop payment on any charges from MBF Leasing. Whaddaya know, NOW they start to call me back, because NOW they have no access to my money.
12. Here's the kicker: they tell me that the lease I signed is only the FIRST PAGE of a four-page lease. Bullshit. There was only the 1 page. They even FAX me a copy of the lease I signed, which in no way, shape, or form, resembled what I actually signed, because what I actually signed was just one page...
12a. By the way, this lease they faxed over, which was never presented to me, basically said that the lease was not cancellable, regardless of whether the equipment worked or not. Now, I may be a doofus, but I am not THAT big of a doofus where I would sign something that said I owed someone even if the equipment they provided did not work. I am SURE that was why this "Dave" of Vericomm never provided the real lease to me.
12b. The copy of the lease they sent me says, "Page 1 of 4" in teeny tiny print at the very bottom of the page. MY copy of the lease that I signed has no such thing. This has become a rallying cry for them, as Mark, ID # 8290 of MBF Leasing, said to me, "Why would you sign a lease document if you didn't have all the pages? It clearly says, 'Page 1 of 4.'" Um, no, it didn't. He admonished me for not "reading carefully" - well, I did read carefully, and the copy presented to me said NOTHING about any other pages. I mean, I can't help it if this "Dave" from Vericomm fraudulently gave me only a single page to sign, and now they want to hold me to this lease that I was fraudulently induced to sign?
13. So now they tell me that I have 3 options: 1) buy out the equipment; 2) go month-to-month; or 3) return the equipment AND pay a "payoff" balance of $359.40. This despite the fact that I have paid them over $8,000 for the right to use a $400 piece of equipment, that I only ended up using for 3 months total. Because after THAT, I was swindled by yet ANOTHER company...and that really is a story for another time, because it will provide evidence that I might really be genuinely stupid.
14. And the thing that struck me as hilarious, was that Mark, ID #8290, was repeatedly argumentative with me...and he's supposed to be a customer service guy. And what's more, he did not sound AT ALL surprised by my complaints, which meant that - ding ding ding ding ding - he's heard them before! In fact, I bet he's heard them hundreds of times, from hundreds of other people. So he's got to ask himself - are all of us leaseholders just evil and trying to lie our way out of a lease (I mean, I at least paid for ALL of mine), or is there something really sinister going on at his company? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Well, folks, this was a public service announcement. I will likely just suck it up and pay off the money, because I don't want the negative energy and I just want to flush Vericomm and MBF Leasing down the toilet of life like so much dog excrement and move on to better things. But I wanted to save anyone who might be reading this the toil, trouble, and heartache of dealing with these inglorious you-know-whats. I'm out!