Consumer Alerts

    Service Members Eligible for Settlement Dollars


    October 5, 2016

    Arkansas military service members and their families could be eligible for compensation as part of a $650,000 settlement with USA Discounters. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and 49 other attorneys general reached the settlement last week to resolve claims of deceptive practices used by the company against consumers, many of which were military families.

    The company directed their marketing to military service members and veterans by setting up shop near military bases around the country and opening in-store credit cards and lines of credit, no matter the individual’s credit history. But USA Discounters was charging the members of the military an additional $5 fee and selling household goods, such as furniture, appliances, televisions, computers, smartphones and jewelry, at high interest rates.

    Attorney General Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to help Arkansans and military service members spot dishonest businesses.

    “Many companies that advertise services to help members of the military and their families are legitimate,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But some use trickery and dishonest marketing tactics to try to lure families into falling victim to their scams. Arkansans must stay diligent and educate themselves about red flags to avoid, including high interest rates and additional fees.”

    Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for all Arkansans to consider when opening a store credit card or line of credit.

    • Consider the interest rate and annual fees before agreeing to the line of credit. The more you spend on interest fees, the less you have to buy the things you want and need.
    • Do not run up a balance on a “teaser” rate card. An attractive interest rate offer may be temporary, and the permanent rate may be more than you can afford.
    • Pay off the balance every month and do not get hooked on paying the minimum payments.
    • Avoid late payment penalties by always paying on time.
    • Save receipts to check against monthly statements and report mistakes or discrepancies as soon as possible.

    The company closed its doors last year and later declared bankruptcy. This means that for consumers with outstanding debts to USA Discounters that were entered into prior to June 2012, the contracts are extinguished and satisfied in full. And those with contracts entered into after June 2012 will receive a $100 credit on their debts.

    Arkansas military service members, veterans and families can file consumer complaints with the Attorney General’s office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.

    For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

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