(WHTM) — With inflation taking a big bite out of our budget these days, and holiday shopping bills coming soon, what can you do if need an appliance?
The easy solution may be renting. But, one Norwood woman found out it is a case of “buyer beware.”
Get daily news, weather, breaking news, and sports alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here.
Nicole Broomfield needed a new washer and dryer. So, she decided to go the rent-to-own route and bring home a new Kenmore set, which should have been only $1,792, and change.
That’s what she thought she would be paying for a one-year rental until the company sent her a letter at the end of the year. Until she was charged “A little over $6,000. Close to $7,000.”
Yes, she paid almost $7,000 for a basic top-loader that retailed for $800 online, and a plain white dryer that should have cost $700.
Nicole insists she was only told about the reasonable weekly payments, she never read the fine print.
“Did you have any idea you would be paying close to $6,000?”
“No,” said Broomfield. “The final payments at the end of the year, no.”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says once you sign, there is often no way out.
“Legally, not much can be done when you sign the contract,” says the BBB’s Sara Kemmer.
Kememer also says to beware of introductory rates, and find out the total payment.
“A lot of people take their finances week by week, so they are enticed by the great starting low-interest rates,” Kememer said.
Say you buy a $450 television, and put it on your credit card that carries a 20% interest rate, over 22 months, you will nearly $90 interest. Buying that same television at a rent-to-own at $20 a week for one year puts you at a price tag of over $1,000. That’s near $600 dollars over the cash price.
Buying a cheaper model, or using one at a place like a restore, could save hundreds of dollars. That way you don’t waste your money.