Rent A Center (RAC) – a review of a racist scam that preys on the poor, blacks and minorities!

Rent a Center racist scam

Why don't I see any Rent A Centers in the white areas of town?

If you go to any decent sized city look at the location of where the rental centers and especially Rent A Center stores are located. Do you notice that they are all located in the black or spanish areas? You will not see a Rent A Center located in nice, clean white areas. Instead you’ll usually see them in mostly black neighborhoods located near pawnshops and payday loan stores.

Why is this? It’s because they’re there to simply prey on and take advantage of minorities. This is clear racism and illegal behavior.Just go and walk inside any Rent A Center and you will see what I mean. Almost every single customer, if not every single customer in the store, is African-American, or, if the store is located in a Spanish area of town, Mexican.

Now if rent a Center were a normal store making normal profits I would have a problem with that, but when you see the fact that they’re selling a $300 TV for $2700 with a high interest rate and weekly payments, or a couch set that they bought for $350 for $2400 to people that do not understand contracts and what they’re getting themselves into I have a problem with that.

Many of these people that rent couches, computers, TV’s and more from rental stores like Rent A Center, Aarons and others are barely making it by. Sometimes, or actually almost all the time,they don’t even understand the contracts and pricing that they’re agreeing to.
There should be some federal law mandating that the rental contracts used in places like rent a Center be similar to those at auto dealerships on car loans and have the rates, fees, and total costs all easily laid out for the consumer to understand.

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In many of these Rent A Center stores the employees are taught to lie to customers and skirt around or avoid topics like the total cost or finance amounts. This is clearly unfair and deceptive business practices. For someone to agree to a contract and for that contract to be held as valid they must have been properly informed and be read or given their contract to read.

In the case of minorities and especially those that don’t know a whole lot of English or don’t speak any at all there should be extra steps and procedures in place to make sure they understand all of the terms of the contract.  It is common knowledge that the majority of people (again mostly minorities) that purchase items on a rental plan from rental stores like Rent A Center and Aarons have little if any knowledge of the contract they signed. 

Rental stores like Rent A Center that target and locate themselves specifically in minority communities are clearly there on a predatory basis (isn’t this a form of racism?).  Something needs to be done both on the state level and the federal level to stop this.  I am sick and tired of hearing member after member of the minority community complained that they have been taken advantage of by stores like rent a Center.  Maybe what really needs to happen here is a big shot attorney with deep pockets like the ones that won the tobacco settlement needs to go after and sue companies like Rent A Center that take advantage of minorities and minority communities until they change their ways or go bankrupt.  I would prefer that they be put out of business.

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17 Responses to Rent A Center (RAC) – a review of a racist scam that preys on the poor, blacks and minorities!

  1. mike harp on July 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    I have m.d. plus when this happen i was very sick for 3 weeks and they knew this my family told them,I’ve been buying stuff from rent a center for 6 years, never missed a payment. I lost my job and tryed to return a lap top, they would not take it back cause it was almost paid for, said they wood work it out with me. well I got 2 weeks behind and the sorry son of bit—- filed charges on me for theft. the thing is the lap top is 3 years old when they sold it to me for 1,500.00 been paying on it for 9 months. don’t let this happen to you,
    BURLESON, TX 76028
    (817) 295-0515

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  2. Jarvis T. on July 27, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    I think that know Rent A Center and the other rental chains has to display the total of payments and total purchase price – which are so crazy high that most people with half a brain will quickly flee the store and their exorbitant prices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  3. Proud to be educated in America on August 31, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    I think that people need to quit trying to disguise their poor financial decisions as racism. Rent A Center is a choice, an option. Why do people shop there? Because they are unable to save the money necessary to purchase the goods they want. Rent A Center offers the same goods available at other retail stores with a weekly payment option. I feel no pity for someone who finances a couch or a big screen television. If you can not afford it DON’T BUY IT. Racism is not the word your looking for, it is irresponsible. Rent A Center is successful because people are financially irresponsible. What kind of person finances furniture? Only people who can’t afford it! Location, Location, Location. You do not see Rent A Centers in upper class neighborhoods because those people tend to be intelligent enough to know that it makes little sense to finance a sleeper sofa and a 50“ plasma TV for 72 weeks! And you are right, they shouldn’t take advantage of those who do not speak English well. They shouldn’t even offer service to people who can not speak the native language. They should offer night school instead, with an affordable weekly tuition and interpreters to help them with the necessary paperwork!

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  4. Dave on September 29, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Rent-A-Center isn’t racist. They put their stores in poor neighborhoods because only poor people would even consider using them. If the majority of poor people in the area are black or mexican, then that’s who goes there. It’s not racism. They don’t look for black neighborhoods. They look for POOR neighborhoods.

    Rent-A-Center is no different than a pawn shop, bail bond business, or check cashing store. They all charge more money for something you can get cheaper (or free) if you don’t fail at life.

    It’s already established that there’s nothing racist about it. Now, is it wrong or predatory? Maybe. But you could say that about MANY things in life. Where do you draw the line? I’ve never been there and don’t need to go there, but I would assume that if I were to go there, I would fully understand how much I was really paying for something before I started renting it. If I can do it, so can anyone.

    People who buy from there are doing so because they already screwed up their credit or have no credit. When I turned 18 I got a credit card which had a very low limit and used it responsibly, paying it off every month to build good credit. I now have really good credit and always pay on time. These people have already proven to be bad with money, and therefore pay more if they want a loan because of the risk being taken on them.

    Pawn shops are similar. I could just use my credit card for anything I need. I even have at least 20-50 days to pay for it with no interest. If I can’t pay it off I have a nice low interest rate. People who go to pawn shops or rent-a-center are either just stupid, or don’t have good credit. Either way, it’s their own fault. They should either buy what they can afford at the moment or find a smarter way to do it financed.

    And about the people not speaking English. Again – thats their fault. You better believe if I moved to a country that didn’t speak English that I would learn their language pretty quickly.

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  5. dan on October 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    One questrion…..would you open up a hamburger joint in a Hindu neighborhood? How about a pulled pork stand next to a mosque? Stores usually open in places they can do business…… In fact the I just noticed they opened a dry cleaner down the street from me….I cant believe they would prey on people who need clean shirts! Not everything is racist, calm down Malcolm X.

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  6. Thomas Paine on October 6, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    I never liked Rent A Center. They must be a scam.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  7. Oh Really? on October 22, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Wow its gotta be great to be white & privilged in good ole USA hey? And you white fools need to start showing some compassion for people with color. Also try not referring to us as “you people”. What the hell does that mean. And to the poster that called the author of this post “Malcolm X”, how disrespectful is that? Are you freaking kidding me. Yeah stay in your “safe” suburbs crakers.

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  8. rtoguy on December 25, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Simply put. Rent A Center like any other rental company is an option. We have stores in all kinds of neighborhoods. They have stores in neighborhoods with family incomes exceeding $60000. I know because I oversee one of these stores. I also oversee stores with household incomes less than $20000. We have customers of all nationalities and income levels. If you do not like RAC practices then maybe you would be willing to give a single mother a stove for $15 down and terrible credit so she may feed her family this holiday season. Give RAC a break and educate yourself moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  9. Jackson Monroe on February 6, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Right. It’s always about “racism” with blacks. They take 30% out of my paycheck every two weeks so these black deadbeats can get Section 8 vouchers, cash assistance, food stamps, free bus passes, free tuition to schools, affirmative action jobs but all that is not enough, right? We should just “give blacks the respect they deserve” and just give them 50 inch TV’s because “we owe them”, right? Who needs an education so you can get a job, be responsible enough yourselves and save enough money so you can go to a normal store like the “evil white man” and buy one yourself. Lazy schvartzers. The stores are in your neighborhood because that’s where their customers are. Didn’t they teach you that in school, or are you looking for another handout too because you didn’t go to school because it’s run by the White Devils. Why would they put one of those stores in an upscale neighborhood? So they can have all of their ‘customers’ over there with the car stereos thumping driving around while smoking weed & robbing the 7-11? How about you people get jobs and they can take 30% out of your check to support me while I sit home all day playing video games, spitting out baby after baby and gabbing all day on the government sponsored cell phone to my “boo”.

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  10. john on February 14, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    its not racism. its business. its the have verse the have nots
    people need to educate themselves about life, including their finances
    anybody who rents a sofa, a flat screen, a microwave, a coffe maker, is a FOOL
    if someone does not have enough money in the bank to pay for a 700 dollar sofa, or let alone a 80 dollar microwave is seriously doing something wrong in their life.
    its the person’s fault, no matter what color the skin is
    why does race always have to be the issue. its class, not racism.
    ITS EDUCATION. if one is educated, then they are less likely to have the need to use stores such as rent-a-center.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  11. AprilMay on March 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Wow, I’m not sure how to respond to most of this. Frankly it all disgusts me.

    As to the original post, I’ll agree with the basic comment that it isn’t necessarily racism, but I will say that it is classism and unfortunately that’s how some businesses operate. It’s unfortunate that not everyone has quite the same educational opportunities and circumstances, or the desire to pursue such, so that they’ll understand what’s really going on in these contracts. So yeah, not racism but classism which has adverse affects on education-level.

    But to the comments? Yes I’m black, but I’m also degree-educated. In fact I’ll be a first year associate with an accounting firm this summer. I’m finishing a Master’s now. My credit is actually quite good. I’ve worked most of the time I’ve been in college as well. No kids. 22. And here’s a shocker, most of my black friends are the same way *gasps*. All that being said, I stumbled on this post looking for reviews of businesses like Rent A Center. Not because I’m “uneducated” “too stupid” or “too poor” to save but because I’m moving in a few months and I’m just now about to start my career but I’d like to have furniture. So I’m quite offended at some of the ignorant assumptions I see. I will agree that some people are quick to yell out racism unnecessarily, especially when its more likely classism, however don’t you think it doesn’t exist. Been there, done that, seen it. Just because it’s not always the case, doesn’t mean it’s never the case.

    As for the 30% taxes to fund the lazy blacks comment…Did I mention my Master’s is in taxation? Honestly, you don’t know where your specific dollars are going. No one likes to pay taxes but its a necessary evil. Yes there are social programs like Section 8 and foodstamps and blah blah blah but not all of that is going to lazy people who refuse to work. Some people contrarily are working hard and trying to better themselves or happened to fall on hard times. And maybe you haven’t been in the country the last few years but there were a bunch of people laid off and what do you know, a lot of those were well-adjusted white people. Furthermore, a good majority of those taxes are actually Social Security/Medicare…which happens to go to who? The elderly and sick more than anybody. I wouldn’t call them lazy.

    I yearn for the day individuals can have intelligent debates without getting nasty and speaking on things they know nothing about. Just disagree respectively, make your case, and shut up.And to be fair, that goes for ALL sides and opinions.

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  12. EDLES on March 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I am a middle aged WHITE woman. I work every single week, week in and week out. I have a hs education, no college. I have a decent job but live hand to mouth like a lot of people. I am so grateful for rentacenter because here is what it is: I can have furniture (I have paid off a bed within 90 day so got it at cash price, not too expensive, a recliner also paid within 90 days again, cash price and about the same as I wouldve paid for it anywhere, a computer and a clothes washer I am currently paying on.) I don’t have great credit but they were there for me anyway. I pay a small fee and if anything goes wrong while I am paying this stuff off they will fix it (like 5 bucks every 2 weeks). Again. I AM WHITE, OVERWEIGHT, OLD AND WORKING. I have the furniture I need NOW and as long as I make my payments I will have it later. Simple. Im tired of people knocking rentacenter. They are great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  13. Nate on April 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    The writer is an idiot. It’s not RAC’s fault that the low-income and bad-credit areas are full of “minorities”. If there was a neighborhood full of minorities where the median house price was $500,000, they wouldn’t put one near there either. Dolt.

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  14. Nate on April 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Oh and not to mention the fact that you specifically say “… located near pawnshops and payday loan stores” yet you don’t criticize the pawnshops and payday loan stores for locating themselves there? Can someone really be this stupid and have access to a computer?

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  15. Kat on April 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Nate, you is an idiot. I am from the hood and live in tha hood. They locate these rental center stores near my people to take advantage of us. The corporation is run by white people. The white man is always trying to keep the black man down. You sound like a white person – tipacle respose fur a white person. If you were black you would see the differencehere and I totally agree that Rental Center is racist and takes advantage of the poor black persons.

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  16. edles on April 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    again, i dont understand your ‘racist’ complaint. If you pay the items off within 90 days they are the same price as you would get them at any store. If you dont pay them off within 3 MONTHS then it will go to that outrageous price. But 3 months making payments, no credit check, same as anywhere else AND they deliver the product……I just don’t see how that could be a problem. I agree if you can’t pay within 90 days you shouldn’t buy, but 90 days is a long time. How is this a racist offer. I live in a predominately white neighborhood and we have a rentacenter here.

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  17. brandi on August 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM


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