Our small business had been served by First American Payment Systems
(FAPS) for about six years when, dissatisfied with the level of
service, unreasonable charges including annual renewal fees and
contract requirements, we sought another provider who, most
importantly, was not FAPS.
Eliot assured me they were not FAPS; we signed up and over the years processed hundreds of thousands of dollars in transactions. We were surprised with changing monthly
minimum fees that were debited when we could least afford them.
Ultimately we were processing a very small number of high dollar amount
tickets from long-time customers. Though we posed little to no security
risk, they debited 124.75 annually for PCI compliance fees and
threatened to discontinue us if we didn't purchase new equipment.
Eliot's representatives offered no ideas or assistance. [continued below]....
..... We began to
search for a new provider.
A false start with a potential provider, ICON Payment Systems, taught us the perils of third-party
access to our bank accounts. ICON forged my signature on papers I never
saw, and debited unauthorized and cancellation fees from my account.
The rep was in our corner and also accused ICON of defrauding her as
well. ICON's third-party processor refunded the fraudulent charges.
By now we have learned to close any bank account a card processor, with a
charge we dispute, has access to. And our personal bankers are
extremely cooperative within their limited range of actions.
The business world is loaded with credit card processors
looking for merchants. We signed up with Electronic Merchant Systems
with whom we have no contract, minimums or cancel fees, who loaned us a
free modern terminal and with whom so far things are smooth. My monthly
fees are less than 1/7 what Eliot charged.
But Eliot/FAPS isn't finished with us yet. A supervisor informed me our three year contract
had automatically renewed and if we severed our account we owed a $495
cancellation fee. Despite that they had provided no services whatsoever
after the contract renewal.
We wrote Eliot that we no longer
required their services, and closed the account they had access to. Two
days later I received a demand letter
for $581 due in cashier's check or money order no later than 10 days
from the date of the letter and payable to First American Payment
"Please note that when attempt was made to debit
your last payment it was returned by your bank. As such, should you
fail to make payment, First American
is prepared to take any action necessary to collect this outstanding
debt to protect its rights and interest. I would take this opportunity
and remind you that all unpaid debt will be reported to the major credit bureaus and all applicable collection and legal fees will be added to your outstanding balance."
strongly urge you to resolve this matter immediately prior to us taking
further steps. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call
And that's where we stand as of 20 June 2011.