To anyone who is looking to open a Merchant Account with Lanny Ross at FirstData- RUN. Lanny Ross is your typical "used car salesmen" merchant salesman slinger. Be warned of what Lanny does to set up you accounts! I was considered a "high risk" account because I sell financial products. Lanny told me it was no problem to get me approved even though I was having a hard time with other merchants. To my surprise Lanny came through for me in a quick and easy fashion. At this point I am think- wow, this guy is what he says he is. BIG BIG MISTAKE.
Turns out the only reason Lanny got me approved is because he never shows underwriters the true nature of your business. He uses the internal flaws created within First Data to Auto-Approve accounts. Meaning, the underwriters and risk officers never see your account. The only things I can be thankful for is that I found out relatively quick and he only cost me $12,000.
I was a start-up business using merchant accounts to bill clients for Financial Service Products. There were absolutely NO issues with any of my billings. I had my technology team call First Data to request API access so I could run charges thorough my internal CRM website. This request got mistaken for something else, one thing lead to another and next thing you know my approved account (that I was running charges on) ended up on the desk of Risk Officer Daniel Rivera at First Data. Without any calls, warning, questions, First Data decided to not only to cancel my account but also withdrew back all the money they had paid me over the last 2 week. Totaling about $12,000.
I called Lanny to ask what the heck was going on and all he said was, "huh.... I can't believe that, we'll, ahhhh why did you call?" When I explained to him he had nothing to say other than goodbye and good luck. All the talk Lanny told me about how he is there for his clients blah blah blah was complete and utter BS.
As the story goes, First Data and Daniel Rivera gave me 2 options. First Data would hold my money for 6 months then give it back to me (if there were no chargebacks) or Option 2: refund all of the clients. For a startup business both of these options sucked. I chose option 2, refunded my borrowers and charged them though a different account. The whole process was extremely painful and money was lost. Of course you would never expect 2 slackers like Daniel Rivera and Lanny Ross to understand what is is like to run a business but what was more surprising is the complete and utter disorganized business known as First Data.
First Data Merchant Services is the most disorganized, confusing mess of a company I have ever dealt with and it was extremely frustrating. To end my story, not only did I get an account through false pretenses because of Lanny Ross unethical ways, and lose thousands crediting back clients for transactions, but First Data had the nerve to give me a bill for 607$ for all the transactions I did. Of course, I'm here because basically they told me- go F yourself your nothing to us.
Hopefully whoever is looking to do business with Lanny Ross at First Data and whoever comes in contact with Daniel Rivera in the risk department will read this article and RUN FAST. YOUR SCREWED. Stay away, save your money!