What in the world is SEANC doing?

Profiting from usurious tactics:

The program, implemented through an Atlanta company called Purchasing Power, allows the SEANC's 55,000 members to buy items and then make monthly payments through payroll deductions over a year. Although some employees say they like the program because it allows them to purchase expensive items on a payment plan, others say they feel they are being taken advantage of by the inflated costs.

A Playstation 4, for example, retails for about $400, but through Purchasing Power, costs nearly $850. An iPad retailing for as low as $499 will cost nearly $1,000.

The SEANC won't say how much money it makes from the Purchasing Power program, saying only that it is a nonprofit agency and that the money from the program goes back into its membership base.

Here's a clue: when you're a union and a lot of your members have bad credit and/or can't afford to buy appliances without using a loanshark "nonprofit agency", then your union has already failed in its basic mission.


Merry #$%^ing Christmas

You can look forward to payroll deductions that will probably last until December 2014, meaning you'll have to use this financing method again next year.

And just to say it, the labor movement had to work real hard to get usury laws on the books to protect workers from being fleeced by management with the old "company store" routine. It wasn't a "benefit" then, and it isn't one now.



"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

This is very bad. However,

This is very bad. However, please don't fall into the right wing trap and refer to SEANC as a "union". They are a professional organization for state workers. There is no collective bargaining, no ability to strike, thus no union.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Yeah, I get that

But it's the closest thing to a union they've got. The bottom line is, they pay dues to be a member, and the "association" is supposed to look out for their best interests. Not collect interest on their loans.

Purchasng Power price comparison

Purchasing Power is a specialty e-retailer that offers customers a disciplined and budget-friendly approach to purchasing products over a 12 month period, coupled with financial and credit education tools to support their long-term financial well-being. The program offers customers an alternative to credit cards – one that does not charge interest rates, fees or has extended terms – one that is transparent and helps them to budget for major life purchases.

We recognize that our prices are higher than cash prices and want to ensure they are competitive, which is why we monitor these prices by category on no less than a monthly basis. The product comparisons that were made within the news story did not provide an apples-to-apples product comparison and therefore were not factually accurate. The four products profiled in the news story, on average, are priced approximately 25% above the comparable retail value for the items as offered for sale by Purchasing Power and within Purchasing Power’s pricing policy.

And your point is?

You could have a pricing policy of 3% or 5% above comparable retail value and there would be no news story to discuss. But 25%? That's predatory.

My guess is, you're buying at deep discounts - and you're obviously reselling at high margins. Just because you don't have interest rates or fees doesn't mean you're doing anyone a big favor.

James, you misunderstood, the

James, you misunderstood, the pricing referred to in the article is 25% higher, so the pricing comparison is not correct.

Again, you're not helping

your cause (or whatever) by bringing this up.

The prices quoted in the article are marked up 100% or more. You're saying those markups are 25% higher than your real prices, but that still means your prices are marked up well over 50% higher than retail.

I suggest if you have a legitimate bone to pick about the article, you should go directly to the media outlet that produced it.

A finance charge by any other name

I have to say, it's been quite a while since I've seen such blatant doublespeak as this. Of course you're charging interest, it's just worded differently. And frankly, your inept defense of this process has merely served to raise more questions about the integrity of your company than quell them. And it also raises more questions about SEANC's judgment, as well.

It's predatory. Period.

In the 1990s, I worked for a private employer that had a similar program - I could buy a laptop or desktop through them and pay for it over a one year period. Here's the thing - my employer didn't charge interest and the prices of the computers were comparable to what you would find at local big-box retailers for the same items.

Granted, there might be some overhead with a program like this, but the prices that people are paying - $850 for a Playstation? - sound like predatory "rent to own" stores.