1st American Card Service advertises No Cancellation Fees, No Middle Men Bank Direct and No Contract Term Length. These all seemed like a great idea when we were shopping for a new credit card service provider.
After working for weeks with 1st American, we decided that it was not worth the frustration trying to get the sales girl to understand her job and the company's fee structure. Unfortunately, paperwork was processed (during a moment of weakness) and an account established. But they advertised No Cancellation Fees so I felt no remorse when I cancelled the account.
We had received monthly statement charges from IPayment (apparently there WAS a Middle Man!) but I didn't really think about it much. But, when three weeks later we received a $350 cancellation fee from IPayment I contacted 1st American immediately! I was sent email saying I should not have been charged and they would absolutely have it reversed immediately.
I am very glad that most of the exchange was done through email, giving me a very clear record of the transaction, because after another few weeks still nothing had been done. I was finally given a phone number for IPayment.
The IPayment conversations were very interesting. First, I was told that the charges would be reversed that week. When I called again the following week to find out why nothing had been done, I was told that they only do the credits once a month and I would have to wait until the 15th. This was unacceptable, since that would have given them my money for a month! The supervisor intervened and told me it would be processed Tuesday, then hung up. Of course, Tuesday came and went. I waited until the 15th. Still nothing. I called a fourth time and was told by the customer service person that she had no record of the transaction, that the person who had processed the original request no longer worked for the company, and the request would have to be resubmitted!
Thanks to Rip-Off Report, I realized if I allowed this to happen it would take me over 60 days past the original charge, giving them the upper hand. So I printed out everything I had that referred to the charge and brought it down to Sovereign Bank where we have our business account. I spoke with Betty, telling her this was an unauthorized charge. She promptly had me sign a very straightforward, one page form to refute the transaction. Four days later, the $350 was returned to our account!
A Word To The Wise: Before signing anything with a credit card service, find out if they use IPayment to process their transactions. If they do, thank them for their time and RUN!
Thank you Rip Off Report and Sovereign Bank!
Merrimack, New Hampshire