July 31, 2019 06:41 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- As the complaints continue about a Rochester consulting group, a bank that has been backing the loans the company has been signing small businesses up for, now says it too has been victimized.
On Tuesday, News10NBC continued its investigation into Clever Consulting Group. The company is located along Dewey Avenue and a number of small businesses owners have told us they've paid thousands of dollars for help with their websites, social media accounts and payment systems that they have not gotten.
The small businesses who have contacted News10NBC over the last few months all have similar stories of a representative from Clever Consulting Group walking into their businesses with promises of help in redesigning their websites, building their social media accounts and in some cases, getting them new credit card machines with lower rates. Those small businesses were offered financing to help pay for the services but the company behind that financing now tells News10NBC they have severed all ties with Clever Consulting Group.
Vend Lease is based in Baltimore and is a subsidiary of People's Bank. The impacted small business owners were presented with Vend Lease agreements by Clever Consulting. The contracts bind customers to repayment amounts, in most cases between $9,000 and $15,000 over the course of three to five years. The moment a small business owner signed on the dotted line, Vend Lease paid the full lease amount to Clever Consulting and it was then up to Clever Consulting to order and pay for whatever equipment was promised.
After getting complaints from a number of small business owners who said Clever Consulting Group didn't deliver, a spokesman for Vend Lease tells News10NBC, "Vend Lease no longer provides financing for any product or service delivered to the market by Clever Consulting, and like many of the small businesses who used their services, we too were victims of financial loss….As a specialty finance company, Vend Lease provides capital for qualified business owners who apply to purchase equipment from third-party service providers. We are not responsible for the failure to deliver on what was promised by those service providers a customer may choose to work with. However, Vend Lease realizes some customers may be experiencing financial hardship as a result, and we will work with effected customers individually to see how we may be able to help."
When News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke went to Clever Consulting Group's office along Dewey Avenue on Tuesday to try and speak with owner Terry Dorsey, an employee told her he wasn't in, shut the door and called the police. Dorsey responded via email a few hours later saying all these small business owners signed contacts and he was still willing to hold up his end of the bargain.
When News10NBC reached back out to Dorsey on Wednesday to see if he wanted to address any of the new developments, this was part of his response to Lewke, "I am not Interested in doing an interview as it appears that you don't care about the truth and just a story. We have and are taking legal remedies for this type of harassment and slander. As you are aware, many of these clients are lying and we've addressed it with each of them individually and will hold you and channel 10 accountable for fueling the fire on defamation."
Updated: July 31, 2019 06:41 PM
Created: July 31, 2019 06:12 PM
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