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Almost everywhere you go, there is a rental company just waiting to give you some product at an “affordable” price. But are these prices actually affordable or are these companies preying off of their customers? While in most instances, we expect there to be a specific percentage of interest, it seems that Aaron’s has taken this to an extreme. Thanks to a current customer of “Aaron’s,” we will get to see just how extreme they are.
According to the individual, who we will identify as J., he was in the process of buying two items: a computer and an Xbox one. According to this individual, they had already placed over $700 into the Xbox alone, that got the expected reaction from us: This person was trying to get some clout, or were they? We decided to humor this and we looked for ourselves, this is what we found from Aaron’s own website:
The first payment for all of their Xboxes are $25.00, okay, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s pretty low. But that’s not where they nail you. The trick comes in the other payments. Let’s break it down by Xbox type as they have various versions.
XBox One X:
12 monthly payments of $129.99
At the end of the payment period, you would had spent a total of $1,559.88 for an Xbox.
The lowest payment available is for the XBox One S
12 monthly payments of 79.99 Sounds affordable?
The grand total for this console is: $959.88
The question at hand is can they legally charge these outlandish prices? Well, the simple answer that we have found in our research is: Yes. They can. I know, some of you guys are calling it price gouging, believe me, our own team went that direction. The problem is in the definition of price gouging. It reads:
Price gouging refers to when retailers and others take advantage of spikes in demand by charging exorbitant prices for necessities, often after a natural disaster or other state of emergency. In most states, price gouging is set as a violation of unfair or deceptive trade practices law.
The keywords in this are “often after a natural disaster.” and “necessities.” Which would bring the question down to this: Is an Xbox One a necessity or a luxury? This is a very important concept to have in mind when determining rather or not the company is price gouging. However, there is a second definition for the term. This to must be mentioned. The other definition reads as follows:
Price gouging occurs when a seller increases the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. Usually, this event occurs after a demand or supply shock. Common examples include price increases of basic necessities after natural disaster
If this definition were to be used, than we can establish that Aaron’s is price gouging its own customers. But this shouldn’t be to shocking. Holding a consumer rating of 1.27 and ranking at 147 among home appliance stores, it’s safe to presume that most of their customers are anything but satisfied with their service. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB,) Aaron’s, as of the time of this article, has 1,107 complaints against it, and that’s just for one store. Though it states “usually after a natural disaster,” the phrasing implies that this isn’t always the case.
To find out the estimated rating for the company itself, we had to only look at their Facebook page. Holding at a 2.2/5 stars, it appears that their low scoring trend continued. So, we began looking at the reviews to find out why. One complaint stood out specifically to us. Though the complaint is alleging some very questionable things, it’s the fact that the rental store ignored this complaint, while responding to a reply of the review.
In another review, an Aaron’s employee is accused of being belligerent toward a customer. Something this extreme would normally have me raising an eyebrow, except for one thing: this all happened on video, which we are linking here. It’s not surprising that the company had no response to this video.
The bottom line is this: There are many options for renting an item to own. However, you have to do your research. Getting yourself into a trap, or predatorial contract, because you failed to conduct research isn’t the company’s fault. When looking into a company, you want to look at specific things: reviews, ratings, complaints, and if possible, check the BBB site; find out how many problems they’ve had in a short time. Every major company will have something negative, but when it’s a constant theme, it’s no longer a situation of a few unhappy customers. It’s a habitual environment within the company itself.
Considering everything that we have already heard about the trucking industry, it should come as no surprise that we are targeting a specific trucking company. Because the individual who contacted us is currently employed, we have taken precautions to keep their identity anonymous. With that out of the way, let’s dive in.
John Christner Trucking, LLC. is a company based out of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Although it is a fairly small company, they are no stranger to abusing their drivers, leaving them just enough money to buy food each week. Aside from extreme low pay the company provides, it has also seen its fair share of lawsuits. In the past three years alone, John Christner has seen nearly a dozen legal actions against it. Before we get into the most recent whistleblower, let’s review some of these lawsuits.
In February of last year, JCT found itself in the middle of a “misclassification” lawsuit. This case stemmed from more than 3k California based drivers who made multiple accusations against the company. Among the accusations: Working 70-100 hours a week while making less than $500, drivers owing the company money, and violating multiple state and federal labor laws by classifying drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees. This wasn’t the only lawsuit JCT was faced with.
In what has to be the most controversial case, among it’s countless others, is this one. On 04-19-2019, Iranian American, Kazem Mousavi filed a discrimination suit against JCT. In the complaint, he alleged that the company had placed a “in-cab” camera system in his truck, without his consent. He noted that his vehicle was the only one to receive this system. While the company assured him that the camera would only be used in emergency situations, that apparently was not the case.
According to Mousavi, when arriving at the terminal, individuals working in the JCT office made comments regarding his conversations via the phone. In one instance, he was informed that they enjoyed hearing him speak Iranian. All of this, if accurate, would had been a violation of multiple privacy laws. In order to have these cameras inside a truck, the driver must sign a consent form to being recorded. If he had not signed any such form, JCT could had gotten more than a lawsuit. If you wish to read the case in its entirety, you may do so at this link.
The whistleblower that we have been talking to, has made multiple accusations against this company. According to him, they are using threat of income as a means of forcing him into a medical test, one that would violate his religious beliefs. Although he has made this very clear to the company on multiple occasions, they still bring it up. Utilizing his legal rights, he informs our platform that he went for a second opinion, which the company than proceeded to deny accepting the two year medical card. Their reason? They didn’t like the field of practice the doctor was trained in. As with so many other drivers, who have filed lawsuits against JCT, he stated that he drove 3k miles, only to receive a paycheck that wasn’t even $400. He than proceeded to show us his check stub, proving this claim.
We mentioned that he was being pressured into a medical test. Let’s dive a bit more into that. In the trucking industry, there are doctors who try to force drivers into a sleep study; this test is not a federally required test for drivers. Furthermore, it is a test that the driver has to pay out of pocket for. Due to religious beliefs, which prohibit our whistleblower from being connected to machines that may alter/change his life, he opted for a second opinion. During the entire process, he states the company did everything in its power to force the sleep study. When he got the second opinion, they simply refused to accept it, effectively shutting down his source of income until he complied. So, what is religious discrimination?
The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines religious discrimination as:
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.
Under this act, they require companies to make reasonable accommodations to their employees, if their religious beliefs prohibit certain things. In this instance, in our opinion, JCT not only failed to do so, they took the extra initiative in preventing the employee from obtaining an income, resulting in his soon to be resignation.
Behavior like this, regardless of the industry or company, is absolutely atrocious. To treat any person in the manner to which this company’s history implicates is enough that they should had been investigated ages ago. However, like most companies within the trucking industry, there is simply no accountability. Thankfully, our platform has branched out into the business review world. With that, we will happily bring accountability when and where it is owed.
Every year, millions of people rent vehicles. Rather it be for a simple trip, business, or a vacation, renting a car is generally a hassle-free method of transportation. However, one car rental company has a serious system problem, one that is costing people more than money.
Hertz car rentals is a national car rental service. While there are generally no problems, for a select group of unlucky individuals, the problems in committing no crime, renting a car, and driving it may be just enough to land them in prison. For years Hertz has had what appears to be a glitch within their system. This issue seems to be triggered when customers attempt to extend their rental time. While this doesn’t always occur, more than a dozen people have recently filed a class action lawsuit against the corporation.
The lawsuit makes the claim that Hertz has knowingly filed false police reports against their own customers. The reports filed by the massive corporation falsely accused multiple customers of car theft. In one such instance, a Michigan man found himself in prison for five years. Meanwhile, Hertz has taken absolutely no responsibility for the damages they have committed against these innocent people. In fact, it appears as if they have continued to utilize the police for this deceptive practice.
The undeniable damages caused by this company should be met with some form of justice. Though the company could start by simply admitting that a series of horrible mistakes were made, it is unlikely that such a confession will occur. The people who have been effected by the false arrests, charges, and so fourth, will forever have to live with the knowledge that, what should had been a trusted company, is more than happy to throw its own customers under the bus for a quick buck. Worst of all, there doesn’t really appear to be any accountability toward the company for these horrific events.
We hear it far to often these days. Every person of one race or another is racist simply for existing. In most instances, this is targeted toward the Caucasians. While this is problematic, it is also a problem when these same individuals, who cry “racism,” target individuals because of their race. This situation becomes worst when a company projects themselves as completely complacent to this; and thus we begin our article into Denny’s.
What should had been an ordinary dining experience, for one couple, quickly turned into a nightmare. According to the couple, they were seated at a booth, to which their waiter arrived and took drink orders. This was the last time they would see him until the time they ultimately left.
The waiter took the drink orders and left. What started out as a couple of minutes would turn into over twenty minutes without the drinks. At this point, one of the individuals involved informed us that they began watching the waiter closely. He informs us that a pattern was quickly noted: the waiter tended to only tables that had Hispanic customers. At the same time, he would completely ignore what few white customers were in the restaurant. This would later be included in his report with their corporate office.
After the approximate wait of twenty minutes, another waitress took their drink orders and quickly returned, at which time she took their food order. After waiting nearly an hour and a half, the couple involved informed us that both, the waiter and waitress returned with their food. It was, at this point, the waiter is accused of making the following statement while laughing:
I know that I’m an hour late, but at least I eventually came back
According to the couple, they quickly ate and left, leaving no tip. As soon as they left the location, the corporate call began. As it is typical with companies such as this, Denny’s attempted to scrub the situation under the carpet. They offered the couple free meals of their choosing, the offer was declined for obvious reasons. Later in the day, they claim that the location they had stopped at began making calls to them, making repeated offers, all of these were also rejected.
The couple states that they are not going to seek legal action. Instead, they want to bring awareness to the hypocrisy of the “anti-racism movement.” In a statement, the man involved told us:
The thing that pisses me off about this kind of stuff is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. If I had gone in there, called that man a Sp***, or any other derogatory name used against Hispanics, how do you think that would had gone? I would had gotten my a** handed to me. The same goes toward the black community, if I had called them a racial slur. AND YET it’s okay for these groups to target us simply for being white? No, this needs to be exposed and I hope your platform does it.
We had attempted to contact the specific Denny’s location but were unable to reach anybody. To put it simply, nobody would answer the phone. However, that will not stop us from doing what we do: Exposing this sort of nonsense.
Months ago, I had made the announcement that I would be partaking in the beta test for “Starlink.” Upon using the product, I am going to be giving my honest opinion of it. Before I do this, however, I want to make it known that “Starlink” has no association to this article, This means that, “War on Corruption” is not being paid to by their company to write this. This article is being written purely from my observations.
In the satellite internet industry, there really aren’t that many options, especially in the United States. The few companies who do strictly provide internet in this format, can be described as questionable, and that’s putting it kindly. So what of “Starlink?” Is it any better? Let’s break down the pros and the cons.
The internet speed is absolutely impressive, even for a beta test. For instance, I average around 97mbps download and 10mbps upload. I expect that this is going to be improved as the network becomes more advanced. Unlike other companies, as we recently discussed in a previous article, “Starlink” has done exactly what they said they would do. They have provided exactly what they claimed. This form of transparency is refreshing as most companies have hidden conditions, to which you only learn after signing up.
Unlike other companies that I have dealt with, there are currently no contracts, though it’s unknown if this will change in the future. If you want to cancel your service, you can without any risk to you, or your banking account.
One thing that other companies love to do is “throttle.” Throttling is when a company slows your internet down for other customers. For companies, such as ViaSat, this is a constant issue as they throttle their internet regardless. However, with the introduction of this new service, it’s fairly easy to presume that these other companies may have to step-up their games if they wish to remain in the competitive field.
As with any company, there are cons. To keep this review fair and transparent, I’m going to review these flaws. Some of these flaws are will be fixed before global release. But for now, we’re going to count them, but we will mention the ones, that we are aware of, that will be resolved.
For many users, especially those who are computer savvy, the inability to access the router is a bit of a problem. This means that you cannot go to the router’s settings as “Starlink” currently does not have that ability. However, if you are one of these tech savvy individuals, this is one of the cons that they state will be resolved.
Another potential con comes in the fact that all IP addresses are currently dynamic. Though this in itself isn’t the con, the con comes in that if you need to reboot your modem, you’re going to have to setup your entire network all over again. This is something that could be a bit annoying, but it’s not to complicated as you are walked through the process, which is essentially naming and setting a password. It is unknown if this will be changed.
Nobody likes downtime. But when you’re apart of a beta test, you’re going to get it. For me personally, it’s been minor little glitches: pages not loading, forcing me to refresh, the period disconnection from the router, that sort of thing. But, with that aside, it hasn’t really posed itself as a serious issue. This is, thankfully, one con that will be resolved prior to global release.
So this is what I think about the new “Starlink” system. Overall, it’s a wonderful system with a lot of potential. If the company’s mindset, and transparency, remains as it currently is, I can foresee it quickly stomping the competition.
Editorial Note: This article is not intended to act as legal advice. It is purely based on the research of “War on Corruption, LLC,” to bring awareness to a situation that seems to be rampant within the ViaSat corporation.
The internet age has allowed us to communicate on a global scale. Through the internet, we are able to call, video chat, and even conduct business that would otherwise be impossible. But, as with all things, it has a dark side to it. Just as honest people have found an avenue for discussion, socializing, and so fourth, this remains true for those who are not so honest. But what happens when the dishonesty comes from the very company who has provided you this global access? That’s the question that has lead to this article.
Viasat is a global internet company. Through the use of satellite technology, they provide the same service as any other ISP. However, unlike what you find with most ISP’s, the amount of complaints against this one is alarming. From misrepresentation, shady business tactics, and a lot of the in-between, Worst yet, every business review site, including the BBB, reflect this.
Though its rating varies from site to site, we’re going to look at the BBB. According to the site, Viasat has a rating 1.04 out of 5. For a company that prides itself on providing internet service, this score is extremely low. Upon looking into the reviews, however, it quickly become apparent as to why.
The main nature of my complaint is the willful misrepresentation on the part of their sales personnel at the time we were investigating switching to a satellite provider. As with so many, we live in a rural area and had endured unusable DSL for years from ******** **************. We needed something better. We knew that ViaSat was not going to be perfect, but we were discussing going from a monthly fee of $78/mo for intensely unreliable service to $179/mo for service described as ‘variable once our data cap had been reached’. We GRILLED the salesperson as to what that meant, because what we had been enduring were speeds between 0.1 and 1.0 mbps. Anything under 0.8 and our internet becomes unusable and believe me I have learned a lot of tricks; everything from extensions that play videos only once they are fully buffered to tab suspenders to features on my gaming computer that allow the entire resources of my computer to be used only for one browser tab. We were ASSURED up, down and sideways that it would never, ever be worse than 5mbps at the very, very worst. With this fear assuaged, we signed up. So once again last night our data cap ran out (we pay for the highest tier; we cannot purchase more data and we have tried) and at 7pm I was confronted with a Zoom meeting and a 0.2 mbps connection. When I contacted customer service the next day to tell them that this was unacceptable and that they needed to do something, she figuratively threw up her hands and could only say ‘this is how ViaSat works.’ I told her that this apparently translated to their sales personnel lying as much as necessary to sign people up and then abdicating all responsibility once their customers were stuck in contracts. I gained the sense this was hardly the first time she had heard this. I would not mind being slowed down. I mind having totally unusable Internet as I am sure almost everyone here does. I mind even more that I was bait and switched; I don’t like liars. What this company does would be illegal in Washington state. I wish I lived there and I hope the day comes when their ‘business plan’ dries up because **** **** and ******** put them out of business. When that service comes online, I will be out the door faster than you can say ‘speed test.’
The above comment is one of the most common ones that we’ve found, in regards to the shady business tactics. The fact that their sales representatives knowingly and willfully provide false information to potential customers, falls into the category of “misrepresentation.” Misrepresentation, in the legal sense, is defined as: Getting into a contract with a person or a company on false grounds by making statements that are not in accordance with the facts.
What this means is that if the company misrepresents itself, its provided services, or information pertaining to the contract, that contract can be classified as void. All the consumer would have to do is prove it. Sadly for Viasat, there are hundreds of reviews that establish the claim of deceit against potential customers. But Viasat is accused of doing more than misrepresenting their service and plans. In at least one instance, they tricked a potential customer into signing a contract. A contract that they were completely unaware of until they attempted to cancel the service.
In response to a callout that we did, via Twitter and Facebook, one of their current customers sent us the following statement:
I have been with Viasat for a little over a year. During this time, I have never once gotten decent service. In fact, even when my service renewed, it still registered that I had used more data than what I was allotted. After months of dealing with this, I decided today was enough; I attempted to terminate my service. Now, before I continue, I need to backtrack. When I first signed up, I paid, as shown in the image provided, the entire equipment lease charge. I did this under the impression that by doing so, I would not be under a contract and that I would own the equipment. So, back to my termination attempt.
They tell me that I am under contract and that I do not own the equipment. I explain what I was told on the phone, only to get into an escalated conversation with the representative. I end up putting my service on a hibernation, which means they’re still going to take money out of my account. The company lied to me about being in a contract, they lied to me about the service quality, and now they’re trying to dupe me out of more money. This can’t be legal, is it?
Well, let’s go ahead and answer this one. No, it is not legal. In fact, with a good attorney, you might be able to make a fraud claim. Fraud is defined as: wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Clearly, by informing you that you were not in a contract, when you were, they defrauded you. They defrauded you because they knew that if you attempted to cancel the service, you would be liable to pay an ETF for the remaining contractual months; this is where the personal gain comes in.
We’re still deep diving into this company. Because of the large number of complaints, we simply cannot cover it all in one article, there will be a PT: 2 in the near future. This company demonstrates the “why” people need to conduct a through investigation into any company to which they intend to conduct business. It’s unfortunate that so many people have learned this, after the fact. However, we’re going to do our part in preventing this from happening to other consumers.
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