Silent fee increases, Poor Service, Deceptive Practices:
More than once, CSI has included a fee increase in the fine print on the statement with a note that "continuing to be a customer signals acceptance of the change". This despite the fact that I had negotiated these same fees with them, and we agreed on a level for interchange plus pricing, then they went and increased the "plus" part silently.
They claim that it was not silent since there was a note on the statement. I disagree. We had a deal, and if I cannot change the terms without their consent then they cannot change them without my consent. Anyway, the latest note on the June 2009 statement said fees would go up beginning July. The obvious problem with their argument is that the June statement was not available until after the fee increase went into effect. Very deceptive.
When I called to discuss the problem, a customer service agent said "let me check on that", put me on hold, and a minute later, the call went dead. Once is coincidence, but it has happened more than once when I called their service department with a problem, and it seems that the more difficult the problem, the more likely the call is to be dropped. Just saying.
They have been making a great deal of money from me for years now. One thing that really stings is that they charge an extra "customer service fee" on top of all the other fees. When I'm already paying someone, I don't see how they can charge an extra fee for customer service, and then not deliver on that service. I mean, its not like you can opt out of customer service or go elsewhere to get it. They also charge a "statement fee", despite my getting electronic statements. And silent fee increases? They silently increased their customer service fee as well.
I called and navigated the menu system for cancellation, and went into infinite music on hold. I gave up after about 30 minutes of music. I get the message: "We will send you to the black hole if you attempt to cancel".
Nowhere on their website, or anywhere else that I could find, is any information on how to cancel. So, I went through the normal channels for other issues, then asked that rep how to cancel. I was given a fax number.
I sent a fax to the number, requesting immediate cancellation and a call, email or return fax to confirm that they received my request and would process it. Of course, I received nothing in response. That would imply "customer service" which, although they charge extra for it, they do not actually deliver it.
So, I called back again, navigated the menus until I got a person on the line, who was then able to confirm that they had indeed received my fax and that I would get something in the mail to confirm.
FirstData / CSI may be the big boys in the business, but they are probably among the worst providers. Fortunately, there are alternatives, companies with simple fee structures, no silent fee increases, and customer service where you get an immediate response from a person and not endless menus. Google "Comparison Shopping for Credit Card Processing"