KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A Kissimmee woman claims that after applying for a retail loan, a car audio shop charged her thousands of dollars for equipment it installed in someone else’s car.
Christina Simmons stopped at Audio Tint Pros to pick up a friend who was leaving her car for a stereo and speaker installation.
Simmons said she was impressed with the system in her friend’s vehicle, and filled out a loan application to buy one for her car. “I just wanted a touchscreen Bluetooth radio.”
According to Simmons, Snap Finance approved the loan, so she scheduled installation that weekend. The day after she was approved, her mom talked her into canceling everything. Simmons said she then called Audio Tint Pros.
“I can’t afford a $7,000 speaker job,” Simmons said.
Snap Finance then sent her a bill for a $3,300 loan, totaling nearly $8,000 with interest payments for a sound system.
“I have this on my account and I don’t have any of this equipment, so I’m basically paying for someone else’s installation,” Simmons said.
Simmons thought managers at Audio Tint Pros would correct everything.
Instead, managers told her the store cameras have pictures of her inside a black Cadillac with the new installed stereo system.
The Cadillac actually belonged to her friend she picked up at the store that first day.
Simmons drives a Hyundai and showed Action 9′s Todd Ulrich that nothing was installed in her car.
“I think she (her friend) pulled a fast one on me because she was actually here before I was,” Simmons said.
Simmons contacted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and filed a complaint.
She claims managers at Audio Tint Pros still refused to reverse the charges.
Ulrich went to the shop and asked a manager about Simmons’ situation. “She says that system was installed in a Cadillac, not her Hyundai Accent.”
“Christina Simmons, Ok I remember. She came in and she was driving a Cadillac,” the manager replied.
Yet the loan document Simmons canceled listed her Hyundai.
The manager said he doesn’t verify who owns the vehicle that’s getting the equipment.
“I have a picture of her drivers license here,” the manager said.
“Well she doesn’t own that car,” Ulrich said.
“I mean, we don’t run the VIN number to find out,” the manager said.
Simmons thought the lender, Snap Finance, would protect her. Then she found out it would not reverse the decision by the car audio shop.
Snap Finance is rated “A” at the Better Business Bureau for answering complaints, but Action 9 found four consumers in recent months claiming the company processed loans for services they didn’t get. One consumer wrote, “I’m a victim of ID theft. Snap Finance was used to purchase items in my name.”
Ulrich contacted Snap Finance and a spokesperson said the company had found a satisfactory resolution for all involved.
A manager at Audio Tint Pros said he would review what happened to Simmons.
“I am extremely upset,” Simmons said.
There can be risks with quick retail loans that consumers may never expect, like very high interest rates. Consumers should consider getting their own financing so they have greater control over the terms of the loan.
Snap Finance response:
“After working with Ms. Simmons and our merchant partners at Audio Tint Pros in Kissimmee we are glad to have found satisfactory resolution for all involved. Snap Finance prides itself on transparent products and our fast and effective customer service.”
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