I always knew Rent-to-Own places were too good to be true and scams. Sadly they take advantage of poor people more than anyone else. There are probably lots of reasons why those living in poverty are more susceptible to these scams than others, but I think at one point or another we are all desperate enough to try and do anything to feel pride in ourselves and our material goods.
Take all of the newest gaming technology. You can buy a Nintendo Wii for a couple hundred dollars. Or you can rent-to-own the same product for a total cost of around $950. About 400% of the actual cost over a 12 month lease.
Sound ridiculous?? Check it out at the Consumerist. These type of deals often cater towards individuals with limited, no, or bad credit. It is cheaper to place it on a credit card and carry the balance for the year than to go to one of these stores.
This ranks right up there with Cash Advance stores on the evil factor. If we could get rid of these types of thieves we could begin to make some progress against poverty. I would venture to guess that this is pretty similar to what caused the sub-prime mortgage mess.
Wii, scams, Rent to Own