ED Magedson – Founder
First Data Merchant Serviceswww.firstdata.com Internet United States of America
OK, I'm sure there are loads and loads of people out there who read these things and nothing comes of it. I feel SO passionately about this I am looking to start a class action against First Data (Citi Merchant Services) and if there is anybody else out there, please either look me up or if you're a lawyer - you can probably make a FORTUNE out of this!!
So the story (easier to read ;-) )
We're an internet e-commerce company and launched around February this year. [continued below]....
We scoured the internet and came across First Data who apparently are the merchant service provider for Citibank. Now we bank with Citibank Premier and have always found them exceptionally good - I mean really good and so that led us to naturally believe that First Data was a great company to partner with.
We called Michael Ross in the telesales team and he couldn't have been more helpful (a great credit to you Michael!). He helped us through the application, was very very polite and even sent us through the paperwork in record time.
We thought wow, this is good, totally unlike the other merchant providers we had come across.
So we rushed around filling in forms and sending everything over even to the point I thought we were going to have to fax a copy of the dog! But nevertheless, we did it.
The paperwork went to Michael and then onto the underwriters who asked us for a bit more information, which we gave them and they also asked for copies of bank statements and trading histories etc etc.
We waited another 24 hours and hey presto, we had a merchant account. We were so happy and integrated it with Authorize.net within minutes and off we went.
We were so so so so so happy, the account management team were excellent and the money was quick to arrive in our bank account.
$18,000 had arrived so far and it kept coming in.
Then............BAM..............it all stopped dead - no money coming in.
We phoned Authorize.net who said it was nothing they'd done and all the funds had gone to First Data as usual.
We phoned our bank who said nope nothing to do with us.
We thought ok maybe they're having technical problems.
We phoned First Data (Citi Merchant Services) and they said we'll call you back in 30 minutes, we'll just look into it for you.
A lovely lady called and said "oh we're really sorry we've been having some technical problems and it should all be ok in 48 hours". MAKE A NOTE HERE THAT THEY CALLED US BACK! So they obviously had our telephone number. As a point they called on my cell and I missed it and within seconds they called the office number and I answered it. Naturally they had BOTH our telephone numbers on record as they managed to reach us perfectly.
So we thought ok, it will get resolved.
DID IT HECK!
We checked our online statement the following morning and they had WITHDRAWN without telling us anything whatsoever ALL the money from our bank account that had gone in through them. EVERY last cent!
This caused salaries to bounce and everything. A complete and utter mess.
So we called First Data and we were told our account was being handled by somebody called KAREN WALFORD - now if anybody else has every had experience with this witch you will know that she's the most unbelievably unhelpful person you could meet!
So I left 2 voicemails on Karen's machine and also sent her 2 emails
So I tried again and kept trying until I got through.
"Good afternoon Karen, I'm phoning from XXX and I've been told to speak to you about our Merchant Account number XXX"
music played for 8 minutes! Yes 8 minutes
"Yes we've closed your account and will be refunding all the money to the purchasers"
"WHAT", I said, "you haven't even contacted us
"Well I have tried every single number you put on your application form and none of them work"
"No Karen that's not correct because your colleagues phoned be yesterday"
"yes it is"
"Why have you closed our account without even telling us?"
"Because I couldn't reach you and I've made a decision that you're too high-risk for us"
"I'm sorry this is the end of the conversation, goodbye"
and then proceeded to hang up the phone - are you kidding me??????
And that was it.
Karen Walford LIED and to say again so google indexes it - KAREN WALFORD IS A LIAR
She then proceeded to write a letter saying this:
"I spoke to you and Michael Ross yesterday regarding the
decision our company made on the processing relationship. ... My conversation concluded that a withdrawal confirmation needed to be faxed (402-315-5259) to me showing the withdrawal(s) cleared your bank successfully. I have not received
that confirmation to date. Please advise when I should expect to
receive the confirmation."
Well I can exceptionally clearly tell you that at no point during our conversation was that requested - ANOTHER LIE!
So we wrote the following email which was sent to the FULL executive board of First Data:
Michael De Capellas
Grace Chen Trent
We have had a business crippling thing happen to us today without any notice whatsoever from First Data, apart from the rudest woman on the planet, Karen Walford refusing to respond to voicemails and emails, after taking money from our bank account without any knowledge to ourselves!
I would be grateful if somebody could please provide me with details of somebody we can talk to at First Data or alternatively somebody call the US CEO as a matter of urgency.
What happened over the past 72 hours without any notice nor explanation is inexcusable and almost as bad as some of the things that have happened in Wall Street over the past 12 months.
I apologise in advance for emailing the entire Executive Board of First Data but this seemed the only option left available to us after the appalling service and communication we had today with Karen Walford and her refusal to provide us with any further contact details or help.
Hopefully somebody further up would help and provide us with some actual contact rather than phone 'grunting'.
Many thanks and we await your further communication."
Which we thought was a very nice email.
We had no response whatsoever. Nothing. Not even a call. We know they got the emails because we have delivery and read receipts of it.
So we sent another one 48 hours later:
Please see below further correspondence. Currently we have had no response from anybody except Karen who again was non-committal and abrasive.
We look forward to a response."
Again no response and this is 5 days later.
How on earth can any company do this.
This is THEFT. First Data Theft.
Do Citi Merchant Services know that First Data are thieves?
The whole executive board has turned into ostriches and buried their heads?
The thing that we find astonishing is that the numbers that Karen Walford read out to us that she had on record were ALL 1 digit different. Oh Karen what a surprise, let me guess you changed it to make it look like you hadn't been able to read us. Either that or your STUPID and can't read!!!
So we'll see where our legal case goes and we're not going to stop until we get justice.
If this means that we have to submit PRESS RELEASES all around the globe about it and speak to our very very good friends at Citibank, then so be it.
People need to know that you are crooks, thieves and liars.
PLEASE a lawyer pick up a class action against First Data. The money isn't a big deal it's the fact that we have been STOLEN from and LIED to.
Advice to anybody else out there - even if they offer to PAY YOU to open an account, don't touch them. First Data are theives
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/12/2009 01:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/First-Data-Merchant-Services/internet/First-Data-Merchant-Services-Citibank-Merchant-Services-Citi-Merchant-Services-First-Da-493913. 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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