Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says a company that misled small Idaho businesses last year has agreed to pay more than $9,000 in restitution to business owners who filed complaints.
Wasden announced the agreement Tuesday with Private Client Payment Corp. (PCPC), which sold lease agreements for credit card processing terminals and equipment to small business owners across the state.
“Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act is designed to protect businesses, too,” Attorney General Wasden said. “This is another example of how the law is intended to make sure all parties play fairly in Idaho’s marketplace.”
Starting in 2015, PCPC’s representatives approached small business owners about replacing outdated credit card processing terminals. Those interested in getting the new equipment were required to sign non-cancelable lease agreements.
Wasden said business owners complained that PCPC representatives misrepresented the costs of the lease agreements, made false promises about the ability to cancel and failed to provide copies of the signed lease agreements.
An investigation by the Consumer Protection Division showed that PCPC’s sales representatives allegedly failed to inform consumers that the lease agreements were actually with a company called MBF Leasing, a New York-based company, instead of PCPC.
Contrary to terms of the agreements, PCPC representatives promised business owners they could purchase the leased equipment for $1 when the agreements expired. However, Wasden said PCPC officials had no authority from MBF Leasing to change the terms of the agreements.
The settlement agreement requires PCPC to:
• Educate its sales representatives about Idaho’s consumer protection laws;
• Provide representatives with written identification that includes contact information for PCPC’s customer service;
• Prohibit sales representatives from making unauthorized promises to consumers, and;
• Provide each consumer with copies of completed lease agreements at the time the agreements are signed.
PCPC must also pay restitution to six business owners and reimburse the Attorney General for the costs of the investigation.