• Report: #342395

Complaint Review: Innovative Merchant Solutions

  • Submitted: Fri, June 20, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, April 07, 2009

  • Reported By:Byron California
Innovative Merchant Solutions
26541 Agoura Road Calabasas, California U.S.A.

Innovative Merchant Solutions Require a large deposit that they will hold seemingly indefinitely! Even after you are no longer a customer!! Calabasas California

*Consumer Comment: Standard operating procedure

*Consumer Comment: Standard operating procedure

*Consumer Comment: Standard operating procedure

*UPDATE Employee: Regarding holding funds...

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I became a customer of Innovative Merchant Solutions in July of 2007 when I took over an existing small business. It happened fairly quickly so I didn't take the time I should have in searching for a credit card processor. The previous owner used Quickbooks Point of Sale and also used Quickbook's credit card processor, which is IMS in disguise.

After going through the application process which took about 2 weeks, I was informed that due to my lack of credit history and since I was a new business owner, that they required a deposit amount equal to my projected monthly credit card sales. That came out to about $9,000 US for us at the time so I dipped into my start up funds and sent them a certified check. I was informed over the phone that after a few months of being a customer that they would release these funds back to me. Let me just stress now....get that in writing!!!! I was in a rush to open on time and needed a credit card processor so I made some very stupid decisions which IMS took advantage of.

Approximately five months into being a customer I filed a request to have my deposit at least partially refunded. I was promptly denied and told to re-apply the next month when I would have been a customer for half a year. This didn't seem entirely unreasonable so I resubmitted a request a month later. Again I was promptly denied with no reason other than.....we can hold your deposit for as long as we want.

This month I did more research and discovered that all the other credit card processors out there don't usually require a deposit and I quickly switched to one of these processors. They set me up in less than 3 days and I immediately notified IMS that I was canceling my account and requested my deposit to be returned. This too was promptly denied and was told they would hold my money for 270 days OR MORE per a contract I signed. When asked for a copy of this contract with my signature the agent got very aggresive saying there was no reason they should send me a copy. I did some digging and unfortunately realized I did sign that after the account is terminated IMS does have the right to hold the deposit for 180 DAYS. I'm resigned to that fact, but I then got a nasty voicemail from one of their service reps.

She said once again it was 270 days or more and to mark my calender and call back to RE-APPLY for my deposit which I'm sure takes several months. She stated that my customers have the right to dispute a statement up to 9 months after the initial transaction. Which is a blatant lie since consumers have 60 days in most circumstances to challenge a purchase. But this being said, our business has always worked hard for customer satisfaction and have absolutely no disputed charges or chargebacks in our history.

Also she chastised me for doing over $9,000 in credit card sales the last few months and said that was another reason they were holding my deposit. Yet I never received a notice that this was a problem or even a limit mentioned in my monthly statements. I looked at the contract and while it does state they can set limits, I never received notice I was on a limit. Even if I had the contract says nothing about holding your deposit. It only states "If Merchant exceeds the limit established by this Agreement, IMS may suspend processing, charge over limit fees, hold the funds over the cap and/or return all Sales Drafts evidencing funds over the cap to Merchant." It never raised any concerns about my increased sales or held any of the credit card transactions processed. Nowhere does it say they can hold a deposit for an extended period of time. But apparently you're penalized for being a growing business by IMS.

For all prospective customers of IMS, I urge you to look elsewhere. They are not worth the trouble and their contracts really place you in a headlock. Also they are the only processor that works directly with Quickbooks, but this is not a license to stomp all over their customers. The other service I now have worked just fine and melds nicely with the Quickbooks POS software. There are a lot more reasonable and business oriented services out there. IMS is not one of these. They make you fight for any sort of customer service and treat you with absolute disrespect. I was a customer for a year with very strong sales and never had a chargeback or any other dispute. Yet they still treat me like some second rate criminal, when all I'm trying to do is get my deposit back. I'm waiting the 180 days like I agreed to per the contract, but after that I'll be filing legal action.

Aaron
Byron, California
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/20/2008 12:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Innovative-Merchant-Solutions/Calabasas-California-91302/Innovative-Merchant-Solutions-Require-a-large-deposit-that-they-will-hold-seemingly-indefi-342395. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Standard operating procedure

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

The more I read about this company the more I see what a scam operation it is.

They do everything they can to hold your money.

Their job is to take the money from the credit card and put it in your account and charge you a fee to do so.

But instead you have 2 people trying to do business, and this company gets in the middle and messes with that.

You want to sell, the customer wants to buy, and you pay Innovative to make that happen. They will take their fee every month like clockwork.

I understand and respect that they have to protect against fraud. So a day or two delay while they gather some information is totally reasonable.

But once they take the money from the customers account and its approved, and once they verify the transaction is legit, which can be done in a few minutes. Then their job is done.

The only reason I can think of that you and so many others have this problem with IMS is they are having money problems.

They take the money from the customer and use that to float other things to buy some time to get the money to give to you.

Why else would they be holding money for weeks?
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#2 Consumer Comment

Standard operating procedure

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

The more I read about this company the more I see what a scam operation it is.

They do everything they can to hold your money.

Their job is to take the money from the credit card and put it in your account and charge you a fee to do so.

But instead you have 2 people trying to do business, and this company gets in the middle and messes with that.

You want to sell, the customer wants to buy, and you pay Innovative to make that happen. They will take their fee every month like clockwork.

I understand and respect that they have to protect against fraud. So a day or two delay while they gather some information is totally reasonable.

But once they take the money from the customers account and its approved, and once they verify the transaction is legit, which can be done in a few minutes. Then their job is done.

The only reason I can think of that you and so many others have this problem with IMS is they are having money problems.

They take the money from the customer and use that to float other things to buy some time to get the money to give to you.

Why else would they be holding money for weeks?
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#3 Consumer Comment

Standard operating procedure

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

The more I read about this company the more I see what a scam operation it is.

They do everything they can to hold your money.

Their job is to take the money from the credit card and put it in your account and charge you a fee to do so.

But instead you have 2 people trying to do business, and this company gets in the middle and messes with that.

You want to sell, the customer wants to buy, and you pay Innovative to make that happen. They will take their fee every month like clockwork.

I understand and respect that they have to protect against fraud. So a day or two delay while they gather some information is totally reasonable.

But once they take the money from the customers account and its approved, and once they verify the transaction is legit, which can be done in a few minutes. Then their job is done.

The only reason I can think of that you and so many others have this problem with IMS is they are having money problems.

They take the money from the customer and use that to float other things to buy some time to get the money to give to you.

Why else would they be holding money for weeks?
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Regarding holding funds...

AUTHOR: Leanne - (U.S.A.)

It is important to note that just because a customer does not understand clearly what is being done does not make it contrary to the contract or illegal in any way. When an account is approved for credit card processing it is within the limits (average ticket and monthly volume) that are provided by the merchant. The account, if approved, is given what is somewhat like a "credit limit", similar to a credit card.

Sometimes a deposit will be required so that credit card processing may continue and to protect against loss due to chargebacks or other financial hardships that may occur. And indeed, the Merchant Agreement is very clear on these points and it is the merchant's responsibility to be aware of this contract as he/she has accepted and agreed to the terms within the contract. The Merchant Agreement also covers the 270 day hold. Customers do have a significant amount of time to initiate disputes outside of what most consumers are aware of; however the card issuing bank maintains certain rights for a longer period of time.
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