Collective POS: The Sign-Up Process
On first inquiry into using Collective POS, in early August, then received a call everyday until the contract was signed. There were things in the contract that were both not explained, explained incorrectly and simply incorrect- including hidden fees, per transaction fees and an application/activation fee.
Additionally, the agent, Guy Kramer, clearly did not listen to my needs as the pinpad for processing that I was sent, was of no use to me. I was going to be at a trade show without wifi access and without AC power. Guy Kramer sent me a pinpad device that required wifi, ac power and had to be plugged into my computer.
Resolving The First Mix Up
Over a period of three weeks, I continued to pursue Guy Kramer and his manager Chris McKracken, requesting the proper device, a credit card imprinter, with the slips. Apparently, this should have been sent to me when I opened an account, as I learned by calling another sales rep as well as after waiitng on hold for 26 minutes with customer service.
Guy Karmer told me to get the credit card imprinter through them, would cost an additional $65 and Guy Kramer, a rep for this company, told me I could get it cheaper somewhere else. He also said he would send me the contact of where to get it, but of course did not. I waited another two weeks as he kept saying he would get it. In the end and in a rush I researched it on my own and had to order from a third party with expedited delivery.
Unauthorized Debits From My Account
Prior to even activating my account with Elavon, yet another vendor that Collective POS works with (which I was not aware of on sign-up), I was wrongly charged monthly fees and an application fee that was supposed to be waived. Additionally, I was charged a fee for the PinPad that I was sent, that was not usable as well as the monthly minimum fee for being able to process debit transactions.
Still without an account activated, I was at the trade show the weekend of September 12th, a full month after every thing should have been sorted and resolved, calling Guy Kramer and Chris McKracken, asking if everything was sorted out and whether I could start processing transactions. I spent the entire weekend swiping credit cards without knowing whether I would be able to process them.
Customer Service Goes Out The Window
Come Monday morning, I finally got through to Guy Kramer, who assured me all would be resolved, the charges would be reversed and were done in error. I finally activated my account and ran through my transactions. I requested a revised contract that outlined a lower monthly fee based on my not using their pinpad device. I also requested the first month's fees to be waived based on my expense of ordering a credit card imprinter that should have been included in the opening of my account.
On October 1st, now nearly two months after I signed the contract, and a month after I was told those unauthorized debits from my bank account were going to be reversed, I was charged another set of monthly fees, based on the original, wrong contract that included the elevated monthly fee, the fee for taking debit (which I was not using as I didn't have the device to do so), as well as a 10 cent per transaction fee which I was explicitly told did not exist with Collective POS.
Termination Of My Account
On October 4th, I contacted Guy Kramer and he said those fees were to have been reversed and that he would call me right back. I never heard back from him. I called four more times that day and at the end of the day, requested that my account be closed and my contract terminated.
Complaint with The Better Business Bureau At Last Gets A Response
I never heard back and so filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. It took only two days for Jennier Mannion a Collective POS Customer Service Supervisor to respond. She was apologetic and said she would look into the matter. I did not hear back from her for two weeks and so had to follow up myself.
On October 20th, she responded, saying that $152 would be credited to my account based on the unauthorized payments that were debited from my bank account and an extra $25 and an apology. The note, written by her boss was apologizing for the late arrival of the processing device. The device was NEVER SENT!
Collective POS Wants More Payment To Close Account!
I insisted that my account be closed and have now been sent paper work- and am being charged $495 in early cancellation fees. $300 for Collective POS and an additional $195 for Elevon
Given that I requested to cancel my account on October 4th, written in an email to Guy Kramer, I went ahead and opened an account with a reputable virtual merchant. There was no way my business could survive without processing payments for three full weeks, especially when due to the absolute incompetency of a "professional' from Collective POS.
This is absolutely ludicrous. As a small business owner, I could not in good faith or in smart business move forward with a company that treats their clients this way, stealing money, being a disturbance to the flow of my business and costing me hours and hours of time and aggravation in getting something sorted that should be common practice in their business.
Summary of Fees
- A fee of $50 was debited from my bank account for application to service that was marked on my contract as being waived
- A monthly fee was debited from my bank account prior to activation of my account
- A $20 fee was debited from my bank account as a minimum transaction fee which was not listed on my contract and was done prior to my activating my account.
- A credit card imprinter should have been included in my set-up package but then had to be purchased with expedited delivery from a third party as was needed for a trade show event (the reason for getting this account in the first place).
- A new contract was supposed to be drawn up and provided, along with proof of the termination of the first contract to reflect changes in agreement (with regards to monthly fee, no equipment rental, no debit transactions/min fees)- this was not done
- With promise of all fees being reversed, the account was finally activated as I had transactions from the trade show that required processing.
- This month, an additional $92 was debited by my bank account without explanation.
The only amount that should have been withdrawn from my account to date is roughly $60.00. No reimbursements have been made as promised and I have had my assistant waste countless hours with this company trying to sort it out as well as using up my own time trying to reach various areas of management at this company.
Consumer's Desired Resolution
Fees/Dues from Collective POS (transaction date: September 1): $73.45
Application Fee (Transaction Date September 1st): $50.65
Reimbursement for purchase of credit card imprinter: $46.56Fees/Dues (Transaction Date: October 1): $92.25
Wage for my assistant for her time in attempting to sort this out with the business directly: $124.00
BBB Processing Status
2010-10-04 web BBB Complaint Received by BBB
2010-10-04 KAS BBB Complaint Validated by BBB Operator
2010-10-04 Otto EMAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer
2010-10-04 Otto EMAIL Inform Business of Complaint
2010-10-20 OttO BBB No response to first notice to business
2010-10-20 OttO EMAIL Second Notice to Business
2010-10-20 NAT BBB BUREAU COMMENT : After two weeks, I have finally heard back from the company.
As I requested termination of my account on October 4th, I had to sign up with another company so that I could continue operating my business.
By granting my refund, they have admitted their error, but were not willing to offer the refund until the BBB complaint was filed. No one would return my calls or respond to my emails.
Collective POS has admitted to withdrawing funds in error and have granted me a $152.00 credit to cover the costs that should never have been charged to me in the first place. This has taken two months to sort out.
Given the circumstances, that I had asked for a revised contract based on the new terms that had been agreed upon with my sales rep, and then never hearing back with this, I believe it is well within my rights as a consumer to terminate my contract in the grounds of extremely poor customer services, and that the terms of the contract were not fulfilled on their end.
They are now requesting a $300 cancellation fee and an additional $195 for their vendor that manages the transactions.
I believe it is well within my rights to terminate my contract and have these cancellation fees waived as it was not my choice to cancel, but was done out of absolute necessity and security of my bank account.