For Immediate Release
September 11, 2023
Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announced today a settlement with Tempoe, LLC, resolving a multistate investigation into Tempoe’s advertising and leasing to consumers through retailers across the nation. The multistate investigation—which included 41 states and the District of Columbia—revealed that Tempoe’s marketing and sales practices often misled consumers to believe they were signing up for an installment plan or credit sale when, in reality, they were entering into a lease agreement. The complicated structure and the lack of required disclosures of the lease agreements caused more confusion, often resulting in consumers paying 2-3 times the purchase price of the product or service.
“We took action and reached today’s settlement because consumers were being systematically misled, trapped and ultimately bilked by Tempoe, LLC. Specifically, customers of retailers including Sears and Kmart were kept in the dark about costly contract terms,” said Attorney General John M. Formella. “We found that the company used misleading marketing and sales practices to deliberately confuse consumers into agreements that forced them to pay multiple times the original price for whatever product or service was being peddled. Simply put, businesses have an obligation to treat consumers fairly and truthfully when describing their products or services.”
Through this settlement, Tempoe is permanently banned from engaging in future consumer leasing activities. All existing leases will be canceled, and consumers may retain the leased merchandise in their possession without any further financial obligation to Tempoe – resulting in approximately $33 million of “in-kind” financial relief to consumers nationwide. Additionally, Tempoe shall not provide negative information regarding lessees to any consumer reporting agency.
Consumers with existing leases do not need to take any action as Tempoe has automatically canceled their account(s) as a result of this settlement.
Finally, as part of this settlement, Tempoe will pay $2 million: $1 million to the states and jurisdictions participating in this settlement and $1 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has agreed to a parallel settlement resolving the same alleged misconduct.
The New Hampshire Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau investigates and prosecutes fraud against New Hampshire consumers. To file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Justice, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454 or file a complaint online at https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301