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Statement by USA Discounters in Response to ProPublica Article

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07/27/2014 | 02:38pm EDT

An article published by ProPublica, an online news service, about USA Discounters inaccurately portrays the practices and policies of our company and our dealings with military customers.

USA Discounters is proud of our long and important relationship with the military community. The company has always held that the men and women who serve and sacrifice for our country should be treated with the honor and respect they deserve. And we consistently work to meet that standard.

ProPublica reported on claims being made by a handful of military customers who defaulted on their payments for items they purchased from USA Discounters. Prior to publication, we pointed out to the reporter that it is against the law for USA Discounters to discuss the cases of individuals who purchased items from us on credit and defaulted on their payments. The company asked ProPublica to obtain permission from these customers for us to release those details – which would have told a very different story than the one they reported. ProPublica was unable to obtain that permission, which left us unable to provide the accurate details. We believe it is irresponsible for the media to report on allegations of this nature, knowing that there is another side to the story and knowing that the subject of the allegations is legally barred from telling it.

USA Discounters is transparent about its policies. Prices and terms are clearly marked and described so customers can make informed decisions about whether a purchase is right for them. The company also performs an exhaustive analysis of every credit application and only extends credit in amounts customers can handle.

If customers default on payments, we always try to work out a resolution and only go to court as a very last resort. This typically happens after we have made numerous attempts to contact customers by phone, email and postal mail and have received no response. As much as we don’t want to, we have no choice but to file legal action in certain cases. Less than half of USA Discounters’ customers are in the military. Less than 1% of USA Discounters’ military customers are subject to garnishment as a result of defaults on payments.

When USA Discounters files suit in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia (where our company headquarters is located), we generally do not hire attorneys, therefore customers are not subject to additional attorneys’ fees. They are only responsible for the judgment. Typically, the court awards 15-25% on top of the judgment for attorneys’ fees in courts outside of Virginia. By bringing suit in Virginia, USA Discounters saves the consumers this cost. If the consumer wishes instead to have the matter heard outside of Virginia, USA Discounters honors that request.

USA Discounters is proud of the company’s 20 year plus history working with the military and will continue to support military personnel through our numerous sponsorships and programs in support of military families, youth and veterans as well as valued customers.


© Business Wire 2014
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