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QQQ   273.79 (-0.21%)
AAPL   151.72 (+0.63%)
MSFT   235.87 (-0.67%)
META   134.37 (-1.47%)
GOOGL   97.40 (-0.78%)
AMZN   114.35 (-0.69%)
TSLA   281.85 (+2.12%)
NVDA   123.71 (+1.17%)
NIO   17.20 (-2.38%)
BABA   77.75 (-1.47%)
AMD   66.93 (+0.95%)
T   15.72 (+0.32%)
MU   50.27 (+2.84%)
CGC   2.86 (+4.38%)
F   11.90 (-0.75%)
GE   64.39 (+0.06%)
DIS   95.92 (-2.24%)
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PYPL   85.44 (+1.40%)
PFE   44.13 (+0.68%)
NFLX   223.22 (-0.38%)
S&P 500   3,650.76 (-0.12%)
DOW   29,170.59 (-0.31%)
QQQ   273.79 (-0.21%)
AAPL   151.72 (+0.63%)
MSFT   235.87 (-0.67%)
META   134.37 (-1.47%)
GOOGL   97.40 (-0.78%)
AMZN   114.35 (-0.69%)
TSLA   281.85 (+2.12%)
NVDA   123.71 (+1.17%)
NIO   17.20 (-2.38%)
BABA   77.75 (-1.47%)
AMD   66.93 (+0.95%)
T   15.72 (+0.32%)
MU   50.27 (+2.84%)
CGC   2.86 (+4.38%)
F   11.90 (-0.75%)
GE   64.39 (+0.06%)
DIS   95.92 (-2.24%)
AMC   7.46 (+9.22%)
PYPL   85.44 (+1.40%)
PFE   44.13 (+0.68%)
NFLX   223.22 (-0.38%)
S&P 500   3,650.76 (-0.12%)
DOW   29,170.59 (-0.31%)
QQQ   273.79 (-0.21%)
AAPL   151.72 (+0.63%)
MSFT   235.87 (-0.67%)
META   134.37 (-1.47%)
GOOGL   97.40 (-0.78%)
AMZN   114.35 (-0.69%)
TSLA   281.85 (+2.12%)
NVDA   123.71 (+1.17%)
NIO   17.20 (-2.38%)
BABA   77.75 (-1.47%)
AMD   66.93 (+0.95%)
T   15.72 (+0.32%)
MU   50.27 (+2.84%)
CGC   2.86 (+4.38%)
F   11.90 (-0.75%)
GE   64.39 (+0.06%)
DIS   95.92 (-2.24%)
AMC   7.46 (+9.22%)
PYPL   85.44 (+1.40%)
PFE   44.13 (+0.68%)
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Rent-A-Center settles alleged California overpricing dispute


A Rent-A-Center delivery truck is seen in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, that Rent-A-Center, one of the nation's largest rent-to-own companies will pay $15.5 million to settle California'a allegations that it misled and overcharged tens of thousands of customers. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Rent-A-Center, one of the nation’s largest rent-to-own companies, will pay $15.5 million to settle California's allegations that it misled and overcharged tens of thousands of customers, Attorney General Rob Bonta said Tuesday.

An investigation of the company's “kiosk” business inside traditional retail furniture stores found that since 2014, it used what Bonta called an inflated “cash price” for products that was 15% higher than the true retail price, among other alleged violations.

The practice affected more than 100,000 contracts through the company's Preferred Lease line, previously known as AcceptanceNOW, although the company also has more than 2,000 standalone stores.

Many consumers seek rent-to-own options without realizing that “the total price they pay will end up being much higher” than if they bought outright, Bonta said. And with Rent-A-Center’s 15% “illegal upcharge,” he said, “that couch, that fridge or that washer potentially cost struggling families hundreds of extra dollars each.”

Such businesses rent things like furniture and appliances, often to low- or moderate-income customers who typically pay by the week or month. Usually after one to three years, they then own the product.

The company will return $13.5 million in restitution to California consumers under the settlement, pay $2 million in civil penalties and agree not to engage in misconduct in the future, Bonta said. Consumers who rented through the company's kiosk businesses are eligible for the restitution and should be sent a notice at their last known mailing address, he said.

Rent-A-Center did not immediately respond to repeated email messages seeking comment. It did not admit any violations, wrongdoing or liability under the settlement.

Bonta said the items sold under such policies are often overvalued. He alleged that Rent-A-Center also failed to tell its customers that they could return the products at any time with no penalty.


Under the settlement, the company is prohibited from charging a cash-price markup, and its price must match the advertised price. The company also agreed to better inform customers of their rights, train its employees, and submit annual compliance reports to Bonta's office for three years.

Separately, Bonta announced the formation of a nationwide bipartisan Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force that he said will investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies he blamed for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.

The task force already sent civil investigative demands to 20 providers, alleging that they are not doing enough to stop robocall traffic.

7 Stocks with the Pricing Power to Push Through High Inflation

When inflation rises, it's not difficult to notice higher prices. But you don't have to be very old to understand the expression that a dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to. The Happy Meal was introduced in 1979 for a price of $1.10. Today, that same meal costs $2.99. Yet, it remains one of the restaurant chain's most popular items. It's also a barometer for the economy because of its convenience for parents.

And consider the iPhone which costs 81% more in 2022 than the initial model that launched in 2007. Yet despite the increase in price, consumers are willing to pay whatever is required.

The key to both of these examples, and others like them, is pricing power. A company that has the ability to raise its prices can maintain its profit margins. That means it delivers consistent results regardless of what's happening in the broader economy. In good times, this may be taken for granted. But when the economy slows down, that consistency stands out.

In this special presentation, we're looking at seven companies with significant pricing power at all times, particularly with inflation currently running at 40-year highs.

View the "7 Stocks with the Pricing Power to Push Through High Inflation".

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