I applied for an Internet merchant account for my business through Clay King of Cardservice International. I was charged $50.00 on my credit card on March 17, 2005. The application was rejected based on the content of my site.
Mr. King suggested applying for an "international" (overseas) merchant account. This second application cost $799.00. Mr. King credited me for $50 for the first application and charged my card again, this time for $749.00, on April 13, 2005.
The "international" account never panned out. The gateway network was perpetually down and we could not get a single test transaction through the system, despite it supposedly being "live" for over a month. On May 23 I politely asked for a refund. Nothing happened.
Shortly afterward, I disputed the charge on my credit card with my financial institution and was provisionally credited $749 to my card account. (I could not dispute the first $50.00 because that amount on my account had been paid off.) About a month later, I received notice from my credit card company that the dispute had been overruled based on the documentation provided by Mr. King.
Inspection of the documention revealed that Mr. King had apparently added a line in my e-mail authorizing the second ($749.00) charge, the line reading, "I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIS IS A FINAL AND NONDISPUTABLE TRANSACTION FOR SERVICES RENDERED." No such line appeared in my original e-mail transmitted to Mr. King.
Furthermore, Mr. King broadly misrepresented the situation in his cover letter. Other documents he provided suggested that I had been delivered a service, but it did not reflect the fact that the service actually did not work. My credit card was re-charged $749.00.
When I confronted Cardservice International about Mr. King's actions, I was initially told by Steve Hoffmeister (800-979-9720), who apparently oversees CSI's sales agents, that Mr. King had backed down and had agreed to refund the $749.00 amount. That was on June 27. However, as of this writing, on July 11, no refund has been issued, and Steve Hoffmeister now will not return my calls or e-mails.