Note: Updated after initial posting with new information and details below the original post
Yes, Breeze is a scam. They will take your money, not respond and not even provide a service. I was ripped off $99 with nothing to show for it!
I feel I now have an obligation to let others know who might be interested in using Breeze to know what to expect; expect a loss of your full “membership fee.”
What is Breeze?
Breeze is a car service that advertises that they will “hook you up with a personal hybrid car so you can start driving to make money.” Essentially they are a leasing company that provides a car with the idea that the renter/leaser will use the car for services such as Uber or Lyft; driving the car like a personal taxi to make some cash. I really do want to try Uber and eventually share that experience in a post, but sadly my car does not qualify. So, enter my rationale to use Breeze. I could buy a car, but I don’t want that commitment yet as I still have a working car. Albeit it is very crappy and old. And has no Air conditioning. And rattles. You get the point. My car does not qualify for Uber. Breeze advertised that you can return the car anytime after 30 days after a membership fee and weekly payments of $195. Ouch, a bit steep (math later on:)Uber does something similar with their Xchange leasing program, but I elected to try out the Breeze option as the membership fee was less than Uber’s $250 (Breeze is only $99 in SF). You don’t have to go out and buy a new car so I thought I would give it a shot. I was going to use the breeze service to get a car for a month. This was exactly my plan when I signed up for Breeze on December 29. New Year’s eve was on my mind and I thought about the new year 10X Uber surge that was to occur and I wanted a piece of that Money! $$$$$$! Greed being the root of problems sure did cause me a problem. I should have trusted my gut and realized that this “service” seemed a bit shady.
I was actually “approved” a day later. I passed the back ground check and received notice, but since then I have not heard a word. I reached out regarding the next steps on December 30. I have yet to hear back from Breeze and they told me I would hear from them in two business days, but nothing. Thus my response here on this post. Crooks.
Aren’t you being harsh, Adam?
No, I am not. Breeze is effectively a predatory lender if they were to even provide services as advertised, charging such exorbitant fees per week to lease a used car. $195/week for a car? Seriously? That is $10,140 for the full year if you keep the car that long! The main selling point is the ability to return the car. Like bringing back serfdom and servitude with these predatory lending practices.
But even still, the numbers do not justify that as I will show below.
Let’s do some math
Even someone with really bad credit could OWN a $25,000 car (i.e Brand New base model Toyota Prius for which Breeze would lease out,) financed for a $843 monthly payment(*). Or yearly total payment of about $10,116. That is about the same out of pocket yearly expense if one was to go lease a car through breeze.
After three years the owner would own the car outright and could sell it then, recovering some of the costs. I am not even considering factors such as gas or insurance which would have to be paid no matter what method you use (breeze or buying).
However Breeze leases used cars!
Reworking the above on a USED 2012 Prius (Kelly blue book value on a 2012 Prius: 15,591) results in a monthly payment of: $526. Annually paying $6,312(*). A savings of $3,828. Almost a $4,000 savings by just buying a car yourself.
As a side entertaining story, I actually rented a car through Hertz over the new year’s weekend to try to use Uber. Let me tell you, you cannot use a rental car for Lyft or Uber. I tried. No dice. You can’t do it. You cannot rent a car and expect to use it officially for Uber or Lyft. I even went to the Uber partner support on Vermont street in San Francisco. Denied! I think you can probably use a rental car if you are already signed up to use Uber or Lyft as I know for a fact I have been in a Lyft that was a rental car, but you can’t use a rental car to sign up for the service. Time to reevaluate getting a new car!
Don’t use breeze. Just the numbers alone should have been enough of a warning sign, but like a moron, I decided to try it anyway and got conned.
Don’t get schlonged. Don’t use Breeze.
Update on 1/7/2016.
Finally a response from the company: I received a notice on 1/7/16 from breeze noting that they will refund me $49.00. E-mail screen shot below. Now they say that I am denied! This company is completely screwed up! First they say I am approved, now I am not? What is this?
I also have submitted a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as I did not consider to do that until now . I am pending a response on my BBB complaint along with a resolution on my refund.
Thanks for reading!
(*) Assumptions on above payment information: 36 month (3 years) term at 13% interest rate, ( a ridiculously high rate), financing the full amount noted in the example. i.e. no down payment.