COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County woman says an online service designed to make paying rent easier, ended up causing her nothing but headaches and problems.
“Brilliant marketing. It was supposed to make my life easier, but here we are it’s looming, it’s hanging over my head,” Acworth resident Julie Connor told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.
For a monthly fee, Flex pays your rent. Then you pay them installments. It spreads out your likely biggest regular bill across the month.
Julie Connor signed up when she moved into her Acworth apartment.
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“It sounded appealing because then you can take one of your biggest fixed costs and divide it into 2,” Connor said.
But when Connor tried to update her debit card she says that’s when the problems began.
“Honestly something I thought would be so easy, it was starting to become really, really taxing,” Connor said.
31 emails and more than a month later she still owes Flex $1200. She had to pay her apartment directly, when Flex wouldn’t.
And she says she can’t seem to find a way to cancel flex. So she called the Consumer action center.
“Once you’re in you can’t get out. Almost like a gang,” Connor said.
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In a statement to Channel 2 Action News Flex acknowledged mistakes with Connor’s account.
“We have resolved this customer’s issue but put plain and simply, it should not have taken as long as it did. When our customers need us, we need to be able to help them and do so quickly,” Flex said in an email to Channel 2 Action News.
Connor is not alone.
Flex only has 1 out of 5 stars at the Better Business Bureau where more than 4oo people have filed complaints the past year. Many hose complaints are about being unable to reach customer service.
One consumer wrote to BBB: “I wrote to FLEX and it took two weeks for a response which did not have a resolution, just a request to circle back at the end of the month.”
Many customers also wrote about rent that went unpaid. A December complaint said “it showed on the app that Flex had successfully made the rent payment. Fast forward to yesterday, I get a letter of notice of filing eviction on my apartment door saying I have until today at noon to pay the full rent amount including a late fee.”
“I would say very assertively and very affirmatively that there is not the support channels, there is not the infrastructure and that seems to be intentional,” Connor said.
In a written statement Flex alluded to the fast growth it has experienced writing that “given the surge in demand for our service, as our company grows, we are working to grow and improve our customer service team as well. Fortunately, complaints due to customer service have decreased by 70% over the past two months since we made improvements to our product. We are continuing to do better and we will.”
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