At first glance, the offer may seem attractive. On the Boulanger location, it is thus possible to rent a Panasonic microwave for only 14.49 euros / month, for a period of 48 months. This is a long-term rental offer (LLD) which does not allow you to acquire the property in question at the end of the period, unlike the LOA (rental with option to buy).
“Leasing appeals to consumers, especially those with small budgets, because rents are often lower than a monthly payment. But beware, it's an illusion! The consumer can pay up to three or four times the price of the product, "warns Alain Bazot, president of the UFC-Que Choisir, who denounced this Wednesday the dangers and abuses of this new mode of financing" in full boom », While no figures are yet available.
For the microwave, an additional cost of 130%
The association thus demonstrates in its study that this microwave, whose cash price is 316 euros, will ultimately cost 731 euros to the lessor client, an additional cost of 130% compared to the initial price and an implicit interest rate 76%! "This is three times higher than the rate of wear, which is the maximum for a loan," says Matthieu Robin, finance manager at UFC-Que Choisir.
According to the price statement operated by the UFC-Que Choisir on the Boulanger location, Cdiscount and Uzit-Direct sites, the additional cost is on average 79% for televisions, 74% for washing machines or 47% on refrigerators. All in all legality!
"Long-term rental is indeed the poor relation of regulations, it is an orphan of all supervision while the financial implications are similar, worse even than revolving credit that we denounced in the 2000s", plague Alain Bazot who tackles "modern usurers" and underlines the disastrous consequences in terms of over-indebtedness when no "solvency analysis is required".
Legal vagueness with "harmful effects"
Unlike credit, "the distributor is not required to indicate its total cost or express its price in rates, or to warn about the risk of excessive debt", denounces the association which calls the public authorities "to implement as soon as possible a legal framework capable of containing the harmful effects of long-term rental".
Some of the proposed contracts also contain "clauses unfavorable to customers, even unfair" which can further increase the bill. "The tenant must maintain the property in perfect condition and will be responsible for any damage, even if it is not at the origin, specifies Matthieu Robin. And in the event of restitution in poor condition, a state left to the sole appreciation of the lessor, consumers are exposed to additional costs for repair, or even replacement as new. "
UFC-Que Choisir has also put Boulanger location on notice, as well as the financial partner donors of Fnac Darty (Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance) and Cdiscount (Crédit Mutuel Leasing) to "purge their general conditions of use of the clauses that 'it considers abusive' and reserves, 'in the absence of a satisfactory answer', the right to take legal action.
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