I have had a merchant account with Elavon, then known as Nova, since 2006. I have had a perfectly clean record without any incidents, no chargebacks and no complaints.
A customer placed an order for DVD players, resulting in a charge of about $9500 CAD which went through. In October, I received a request from Elavon's Chargeback Department requesting for details regarding this transaction. I in turn contact my customer to ascertain what had happened and was advised he confirmed the transaction was legitimate but that his own accounts payable department had mistakenly failed to recognize our company name in their records and requested a receipt inquiry via their credit card's issuing bank. One day later, we received a phone call from someone of Elavon's Chargeback Department. I explained the situation to her, that this was a misunderstanding and that my customer had since withdrawn their inquiry via their issuing bank. However, instead of listening to my explanation, she took it upon herself to call into question the nature of my business and the volume of my business, questioning the very product my customer purchased from me and that I was now doing more business than I had initially estimated on my application. Later that same day, I faxed to her my invoices pertaining to this order and a letter to clarify that this situation came about due to a miscommunication with my customer and their employee.
A week later, I found my Elavon account was on hold. I called Elavon's Customer Service and was advised that the hold on my account had been initiated by the Chargeback Department. The customer service representative advised she would send an email to the individual who had initiated this hold and that she would call me back. The following morning, I had not received any return call so I called Customer Service again myself. After explaining the situation to a different representative, she transferred me to the voicemail of the supervisor of the Chargeback Dept on which I left a message regarding my situation. 4 hours later, and still no return call from neither Customer Service nor Chargebacks, I called again only this time, I was advised that the individual handling my case was with the Loss Prevention Department but that they do not receive external phone calls and can only be contacted via internal, in-house email. That same afternoon, I received a next-day letter delivery via UPS. Therein were 3 letters sent by Elavon's Chargeback Dept all dated October 13, 2008. The letters advised Elavon was canceling my account effective October 15, 2008 and that "Elavon has placed a hold on [my] merchant processing account to establish and fund a security reserve. Credit card transactions may still be presented for processing, however, [I] will not receive funding for these transactions at this time as these funds are being rerouted to the established security reserve. This security reserve account may be maintained by Elavon for a minimum of 270 days with periodic reviews of the merchant processing history for any release of the funds held in the security reserve." These letters contained no explanation as to the termination of my account.
In the same day, Elavon tried to deduct 5 times of $4600, a total of $23,000 CAD from my bank account. This was done without any notification. This amount of $23,000 CAD is haphazard and random. My monthly average of my transactions is about $4000 CAD. I then received a phone call from the Assistant Manager of Elavon's Chargeback Dept. I explained to her that the chargeback inquiry had been erroneously generated and that my customer had since withdrawn their inquiry via their issuing bank. Instead of listening to my explanation, She instead insisted that I had violated the contract with Elavon by exceeding the monthly $5000 cap in my sales or transactions processed and that I was selling products in wholesale volume to my customer. Firstly, this $5000 figure is denoted only as the "Total Monthly Visa/MC Sales" on my Elavon application and in no way does it note nor imply that this figure represents a cap to the sales I may process. Secondly, Elavon has no right to interfere not call into question my business dealings with my customers. I advised the person that my customer has since acknowledged my transaction but she insisted on terminating my account. I insist my customer right, but she replied that I had no rights at all since they had already terminated my account and that my only right was to find another credit card processer.
During this phone conversation, a third voice suddenly appeared and it was the first person called me from the Chargeback Dept. I had not been made aware, not until this moment, that I was part of a conference call. Together, they were now stating that it was my responsibility to prove the transaction was legitimate and implied that the transaction was potentially a scam, however baseless the implication was. They refused my explanation and rejected verifying that the initial situation no longer existed by contacting my customer's issuing bank. They went so far as to say they have the right to do whatever they want and even to go into my bank account and withdraw funds without legitimate reason. They insisted that the $5000 figure I had provided in my application, provided as the projected amount of my monthly transactions, was instead a contractual cap of the amount of transactions I would have.
I brought my complaint to Elavon's mother company, US Bank later and 2 higher officers called me few days later. But in the phone conversation, they denined any wrongdong and insist they were right. Then one of the person said in mercy, they would return the money they withdrew but it will take at least 1 month. I insist, they can retrun the money within a week since they used a canadaian entities to withdrew the money.
On Nov 3, Elavon tried another withdrew from my bank accout for $73, probably for the service charge. Since my bank can't prohibt further withdrawal from Elavon, I have to close my account.
I brought my complain to OCC, and Elavon replied on Nov 19. In the letter, the legal councel insisted Elavon was right and they have the right to withdraw fund from my account even without legitimate reason.
Before I used Elavon, I used InternetSeceure but actually it was bought out by Elavon without my knowledge. Without any notice except posting on tehir web site, they totally changed the contract in 15 days and apply new fees.
Even I succesful cancelled my accounts with 30 days notice, they still charged my accounts servcie charges.
Vancouver, British Columbia