• Report: #1001762

Complaint Review: EPS - Electronic Payment Systems

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  • Submitted: Wed, January 23, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, February 26, 2013

  • Reported By: Debbie- Fort Lauderdale — Ft Lauderdale Florida United States of America
EPS - Electronic Payment Systems
6472 S. Quebec Street Englewood, Colorado United States of America

EPS - Electronic Payment Systems Approves you as a Merchant then takes all your money and shuts down your account Englewood, Colorado

*Author of original report: Helpful information

*Consumer Comment: Thank You for the Information

*Author of original report: EPS is non-compliant and refuses to speak with us directly

*UPDATE Employee: EPS Abides by Card Associations Rules and Regulations

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    On December 19, 2012, we were approved for a merchant account with EPS.  An agreement was submitted and paid for and we were set up with authorize.net gateway. All pertinent information that was required by our company was provided.  As stated in the agreement we
are an online advertising company for the travel industry and all orders are
phone orders (no card present), and processed through the gateway virtual terminal. 

    We received our welcome packet on Monday, December 31, 2012 with all the information and
details for processing.  We processed our first 3 transactions on January 3, 2013 and another one on January 4, 2013 for a total amount of $4,250.00.  On January 4, 2013, Travis from EPS sent us an email notifying us that they are reviewing our first few transactions.  I sent over the signed invoices along with all links and necessary paperwork to support that all services were rendered as they requested along with all contact information to each client so they could call and verify the transacation. 

    On January 8, 2013, they notified us that they are holding all funds for one year and that
all processing is now locked. When asked why they were holding with no just
cause they stated that under accordance, 2.03 under insecurity on the
agreement, they can put us under review and hold funds at any time.  They said after reviewing our procedure we are considered high risk, but no details were given as to why they considered
us high risk for chargebacks.   We requested that all transactions be refunded
to clients so they do not have to worry about chargeback liability. They said
we cannot refund our clients and they are holding the money.  We asked whom we could speak to regarding this matter further and he transferred us to Mike Peterson where we received
his voicemail.  We called Mr. Peterson several times in a 2 day period with no answer.

    On January 10, 2013 we called Travis and asked why Mr. Peterson would not return our
calls.  His response was, I guess he has nothing to say to you.  At that time I
requested full documentation in writing as to the exact amount of funds they
are holding, the full disclosure of why they are holding the money and the
exact day of release of funds.  He said he would send it over.  I then followed
up with an email to confirm our request.

As of January 22, 2013, we sent 5 emails requesting this documentation
and have left well over a dozen messages with both Mr. Peterson and
Travis.  They will not return any of our calls or answer our emails. 

As of this date, we have yet to receive any correspondence
from this company and feel we have been victimized and ripped off.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/23/2013 08:03 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/EPS-Electronic-Payment-Systems/Englewood-Colorado-80111/EPS-Electronic-Payment-Systems-Approves-you-as-a-Merchant-then-takes-all-your-money-and-1001762. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Helpful information

AUTHOR: Debbie- Fort Lauderdale - (United States of America)

If this entire nightmare helps one company in making a decision not to use EPS because of this, then all this added work is worth it.  We did go to the Colorado State Attorney Generals office who advised us to go to the better business bureau to file a complaint.  We filed the similar initial complaint and they replied with exactly what they posted on RipOffReport.  We then responded and furnished the BBB with full documentation proving that most of the statements they wrote were untrue, including email threads, the invoices, etc...

Three weeks after we submitted all the information we were told the case is closed because EPS attempted a good faith effort in settling the situation.  EPS offered no resolution, they still refuse to provide us with written documentation and they are holding over $4,000.00 of our funds. All they did was defend themselves.  No good faith effort was made. 

So, sad to say, the BBB could not help.  In fact, with over 200 complaints they are considered A+ and now they are accredited.  Take a few minutes and read these reports.  I don't understand how they can be an A+ with so many complaints.  Sooner or later someone has to say there may be a problem here.  And when you do read these reports, you will notice ours is not there.  we submitted it over a month ago.  Very curious as to why it is not public yet.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Thank You for the Information

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

Thank you so much for the information. I have been looking into getting a merchant account myself and I have been trying get information on EPS. I have seen they have many negative reports and this worried me. If they were a legitimate business why would so many people have issues with them. It is a crime that a company like EPS can do what they did and get away with it. Perhaps the attorney general's office can help or even the police because this sounds like a crime. Hopefully they will do the right thing and communicate with you in a professional manner to resolve your issue. 
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#3 Author of original report

EPS is non-compliant and refuses to speak with us directly

AUTHOR: Debbie- Fort Lauderdale - (United States of America)

This reply is being submitted in response to the statement submitted by EPS.  We would like to first note that we have asked of EPS on a few occasions to reverse or refund all transactions to clients in order to release any liability on their behalf. With respect to the claims, as EPS stated, we were approved as a merchant for online advertising.  Normal protocol for merchant processors is to assess company standards prior to approval and not after several transactions take place then hold all the money with no written documentation as to their terms of holding money with release dates as we have requested on several occasions.

An example of ethical and honest business procedures is our experience with Paypal. We submitted an application for the professional secure virtual terminal merchant services.  Upon assessment of this application, they called us on several occasions to go over the website and our procedures for our online advertising company.  After full assessment was complete by Paypal, we were approved as a moderate risk company because we are less than one year in business.  They extended an agreement to us that would require a hold of 20% of all transactions processed for a 90 period and the funds that are on hold will be released on a rollover basis. 

If after 90 days we are clear of any disputes or chargebacks, they would release the 20% hold requirement.  In one week, we will be at our 90 days.  We have done well over $15,000 in transactions with absolutely no disputes or chargebacks.  This is an example of ethical practices through a merchant provider, which shows full disclosure from the beginning before any transactions were processed. As you can see there is no hidden agenda and the company was upfront and honest from the beginning.

In regards to the claims by EPS, please note that much of this information is false. At no time have we had any contact with Mr. Peterson.  There were no conference calls with Mr. Peterson.  We left over a dozen messages with Mr. Peterson and at no time did he return our calls. We had 3 calls with Travis in the beginning and we asked each time to please refund the clients. He refused to refund the clients stating that would constitute a transaction and he proceeded to shut us down. He stated they are holding the money for 12 months and there is nothing we could do about it.  At no time was there ever a threat, just questions in order to resolve the issue. Since the initial request for all documentation on January 14 2013, we have received no replies to emails and left several more messages with Travis, who is not returning our calls.  We have received no answers or responses.

 We have proof that all invoicing was from Finest Luxury Vacations with Finest Luxury Vacations header information on all.  There is no note of any type of terms with How2, Inc.   How2Vacation offers us complimentary listings on their site as part of our advertising campaign bundles with Finest Luxury Vacations at no additional cost or obligation.  This in no way affects the cost of the advertising with Finest Luxury Vacations.  Finest Luxury Vacations is not a DBA or part of How2, Inc. at all. We offer our online advertising services through various online sources including How2Vacation as an option, which is common protocol for advertising/marketing companies.

EPS states that the invoices show terms and conditions that are found in How2Vacation.com.  We also have proof the shows that at no time was that shown on any of the invoices.  The terms are not for 13 months, but 2 are for 12 months and 2 are for 6 months.  Also, 2 of the invoices do not include any advertising on How2Vacation so why are these funds being held?

If EPS feels we are high risk, that is their decision, however, it is unethical to hold all our funds, and even more unethical to refuse the return a call to explain and send written documentation of the funds they are holding along with the release date. First, this information should have been disclosed to us before our first transaction and it was not. This type of scam should not be allowed. If we knew they were going to take all our money in every transaction why would anyone do business with them! At this time we still do not know what the policy is because they have not disclosed it.

Imagine how upset any customer would be if a merchant company took all their money because they randomly determined you were high risk without any notification or disclosure!!! Second, there is no risk in these transactions and we even requested that EPS call the clients to ensure their credibility. Third, we tried on many occasions to contact EPS and after they took all our money they have not taken our calls or answered our emails.

This practice is highly unethical in nature.  Again, all we ask is that EPS refund all clients.  This will release any of their liability and risk. The request is simple and would easily be executed if EPS were an honest company and is not trying to steal our money. They are totally at fault and should not be allowed to continue these practices and scam any other unsuspecting customers.  Supporting documentation will prove that prior allegations from EPS are false and this desired resolution is requested. 

Please note, we are not upset that they shut us down.  That has nothing to do with the situation at hand.  We were set up and approved with another merchant a week later and have had no problems at all.  What we are upset about is the refusal to communicate, to explain why they are holding funds and to send the supporting documentation we have requested over a dozen times.  I have a months long of email threads showing how many times we have requested this documentation and NOT ONE answer.

If Mr. Peterson got on the phone and spoke with us and explained why they were holding the funds, as stated in their rebuttal, it would not have come to the point to have to file a report with BBB and Rip Off Report.  If they sent us the requested written documentation it would not have come to this.  I am sure there is not one person out there who can respect a company that will refuse to communicate at all and ignores dozens of calls and emails.  Who wouldnt be upset? 

EPS needs to send us this documentation and make things right.  Why wont they put it in writing that they are holding all this money?  Why wont they put in writing that they will release in 12 months?  What do you think?
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#4 UPDATE Employee

EPS Abides by Card Associations Rules and Regulations

AUTHOR: EPS Corporate - (USA)

Following is the facts of this account as filed with the BBB:

Finest Luxury Enterprises (MID# XXXXXXXXX) was approved for an account by electronic payment systems on 12/19/2012. This merchant was approved as an on-line advertising account. When the merchant started processing the EPS risk department performed a standard risk review of the account as well as transaction inquiry. This is a very common practice for the Risk department to do as it helps to mitigate potential loss as well as serving as a compliance monitoring tool to ensure that all protocols and mandates set forth by the credit card associations are being followed. It was at the time of the aforementioned inquiry / review that some troubling facts about this business were discovered.  

This business has been selling merchants a 13 month on-line marketing campaign. This is a major red flag, as the associations define this as a major future delivery issue and in addition it vastly extends EPS exposure and liability on this account in upwards of 25 months. Also, when reviewing the paperwork that was submitted by this merchant it was found that the company listed on the invoices were not Finest Luxury vacations, but rather a company by the name of How2Inc. This is not a
registered or reported DBA that has been associated with this account. On the federal bank application that was supplied to EPS and submitted to our sponsor bank, the company is only referred to as Finest Luxury Vacations. That alone would warrant an account closure and possibly MATCH listing.  

On the invoices that were supplied to our office it is clearly stated that terms and conditions can be found on the www.how2vacation.com website.  This is particularly alarming as now our office has received supporting documentation that lists two different companies on the paperwork rather than the one company that we actually agreed to process for (contract was attached for reference).  This is a violation of the VISA/MASTERCARD guidelines as it is considered factoring sales for another company. This is an activity that is not condoned in any way, shape or form by the association and can result in EPS being fined. 

With regard to the claim that our office did not speak or relay this information to the merchant, that is simply untrue; three separate conference calls took place between this merchant, a Senior Risk Investigator and our Risk Department Manager. It was explained several times that this account was not going to be supported by EPS due to non-compliance with rules and regulations set forth by the associations most notably VISA/MASTERCARD.  It was at that time that the merchant made several threats of having the cardholders initiate chargebacks.  

I hope that this explains the circumstance of this account. Simply put, this business is upset that EPS terminated their account due to non-compliance of card association and company standards and are attempting to disparage the company. If there are any other questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact our corporate office at 1-800-863-5995. 
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