Bob Menéndez Wants the FTC to Investigate Predatory Pet Leasing Contracts
Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) on Monday penned a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph J. Simons urging him to investigate predatory pet leasing practices. According to the letter, when wishful pet owners can’t afford to pay the full price to take home the animal of their choice, often will pet stores and online sellers offer third-party agreements with fixed installment payments. Consumers then sign pet leasing contracts under the impression they fully own their new companion, but in reality, the animal is owned by the third-party company, and the consumer may be forced to return the pet at the end of the term. “Should consumers choose to purchase their pet outright, they can do so either during the lease, thereby triggering an early buy-out charge, or at the end of the term by making a balloon payment. Taken together, at the contract’s termination, the monthly payments and fees can amount to twice the list price of the pet,” the Senator wrote. “Given this unorthodox financing practice, I have serious concerns that pet stores and online sellers are not adequately explaining the terms to which consumers are agreeing to when they enter into such contracts.” More here.