• Report: #706995

Complaint Review: Merit Financial

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  • Submitted: Wed, March 16, 2011
  • Updated: Mon, June 27, 2011

  • Reported By: Dan — texarkana Texas United States of America
Merit Financial
1300 Fourth Street STE 303 Santamonica, California United States of America

Merit Financial Mike Vice president ext 202 Cashing checks they claimed they didn't receive 90 days later after you replace the check and making it difficult to recover the funds. Santamonica, California

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Merit "bait and switch"

*Author of original report: Merit finally writes a check

*Author of original report: Update on $2500.00 check

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I began doing business with merit financial approximately June or July of 2010. I worked with a gentleman by the name of Steve young who seemed to be a very pleasant gentleman who was very helpful in getting orders placed for my infirmed mother. My mother had a $2500 budget for purchasing gold and silver. This was a monthly amount that Steve had become accustomed to when I would call to place an order.

He explained that there was a 30-day waiting period when ordering gold with a check. This would mean that the gold would not be shipped until merit financial was sure that the 30 days had passed on an honored check.


As time went on, I began to notice that 60 to 90 days would pass before I would receive shipment, and that orders were beginning to go beyond the 30 day hold. When I would call Steve young to request an explanation, he would assure me that he would look into it and call me back. To this date, Steve young has never returned a phone call concerning questions
about why my orders were coming so late. When I would call him back, I would ask is there a problem with the funding or is there anything that I need to do to get this expedited. And he would either put me off or put me on hold because he has other clients on the phone. Finally, as things became worrisome that I was not getting answers, I pinned him down as to what orders does he show outstanding versus funding. He then claimed that they are missing two $2500 payments from 60 days in the past. My bank had issued two checks and they had been deducted from my mother’s checking account so at my end, everything looked like merit financial had been fully funded. At this time my mother’s checking account is down by $5000.

Merit claims that they had not received these funds?.

I then placed a stop payment on both checks that merit claimed they had not received. I had notified Steve young of this action.
Guarantee bond bank sent him a letter via fax explaining that the two checks in question had been stopped. Once the funds had been returned to my mother's account, I re-issued two new checks, Steve young informed me that he had
received them and. he promised that he would give me the same deal on the orders that were placed back when the other two checks were sent.

More delays on shipment beyond the 30-day hold began to occur on the two reissued checks? When I called Steve to find out what the holdup was, he responded that ”well, an awful lot of time has passed and I'm not sure that we can honor the first deal”. I knew at this time something fishy was going on with merit financial. He did reluctantly honor the original deals
with the caveat that he was somehow doing me a favor because he never received those first two checks. He did however, mail me a copy of a letter he received from guarantee bond bank acknowledging that guarantee bond bank had placed a
stop payment on the two checks that merit claimed they had never received.

Steve young acknowledged that all the funds in their possession had all reached the 30-day hold and that all outstanding orders would be shipped immediately.

We did finally receive the rest of our shipments near the end of the year 2010, but we had decided that doing business with merit financial was to difficult and had decided to do business elsewhere in the future.

Around January of 2011 one of the $2500 that merit claimed they had never received in August of 2010 cleared my mother's account. This was one of the two checks that guarantee bond bank had placed a stop payment on. It
is also noteworthy that the checks issued had a notation printed directly on them that says “void after 90 days”. We contacted guarantee bond bank to find out why they had honored a check that had a stop payment issued on it as well
as a void after 90-day limitation? We were told that the stop payment is only good for 30 days?

I am not sure why a policy of that nature would be imposed and furthermore, why they would not notify me that it was only good for 30 days? In any case, my mother's bank agreed to put the $2500 back into her account as it was apparent that the bank agreed they generated this error. It was our impression, that the bank would reverse charges with Merit financial.

At this point, merit financial acknowledges that I had notified them that they processed a $2500 check that they claimed they never got. In a feeble attempt to defend their actions, merit financial claimed they had never heard from guarantee bond bank about reversing the charges. Merit financial apparently thinks that if nobody protests them holding onto $2500
that obviously does not belong to them, that it is “OK” to hold that money till someone protests?

It is important to note in this situation, merit had been notified both by the client and by the bank that the check they submitted had been stopped and replaced.

My mother's bank account is now on hold for $2500. Merit financial has made no attempt to refund monies that they know are not attached to any order. Mike, extension 202 a gentleman who claims to be the vice president of merit financial, is offended at our anger and is making it as difficult as he can for my mother to get her money back or to correct this
highly unethical practice. He offered no apologies for the inconvenience to my mother and he seems perfectly comfortable with the incompetence of his agents.
He also told me that I would need to contact the Attorney general to get this money back. He just didn’t like my attitude?

To add insult to injury, he felt perfectly comfortable charging a wiring fee to return monies to my mother's account.

He now claims he is mailing the check and for me to never call him again!

Remember, the money they are reluctantly returning is a result of a paper check that is 90 days old that they are fully aware that they claimed they never received.

The scary part about all of this is there is another check for $2500 that they claim they never received.   Does this mean at some unknown time they will pull this check from a drawer and try to deposit it to get other $2500 that does not belong to
them?

 

I guess Merit does a good job as long as you kiss their feet.
They are obviously a very toxic narcissistic organization that can do no wrong. If a problem does arise you can be sure they will remind you that it is your fault and that they will remind you that they do millions of dollars in transactions. Somehow that will convince the customer that any problems can only arise as a result of the customer?

not quite sure of the logic?  Narcissists have a strange world view?

I do have all my orders BUT it was a lot of effort and phone calls to get to that point!
As of 3/15/2011 they still have 2500.00 of my mothers money and I am not holding my breath on getting it back. 

Very sad!  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/16/2011 07:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Merit-Financial/Santamonica-California-90401/Merit-Financial-Mike-Vice-president-ext-202-Cashing-checks-they-claimed-they-didnt-recei-706995. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Merit "bait and switch"

AUTHOR: E. Fryer - (United States of America)

Any company that sells Gold below cost...then switches 95% of customers to expensive options is going to end up in the sights of the FBI one day. They were kicked out of US bank for money laundering issues. If you have gold get it delivered quick I hear big problems are coming
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#2 Author of original report

Merit finally writes a check

AUTHOR: danlb0y - (United States of America)

I
guess Mike (ext 202) Vice pres of Merit Financial decided that he had nothing
to gain by ripping off an 80 year old woman by forcing her to go to the
Attorney General to get the monies they received from a check they
claimed they never received?

We thankfully got a check from Merit in the amount of 2502.83 in the first part
of March.

The extra $2.83 was Mike's way of showing his appreciation of our
$12,000.00 purchases during year 2010! 

Actually, the $2.83 was interest calculated by Mike was to add further insult
to an 80 year old woman.. 



lets see...!



My mothers cost to deal with Merits little screw up: 



2 checks for 2500.00 that merit claimed they never received and the stop
payments.



$50.00.



Time and gas to drive 8 miles to the bank to place the stop payments.



$10.00



Overdraft fees from the bank. $35.00 those were reversed but late fees and
returned check fees from creditors were over $100.00 not to mention the time on
the phone explaining what happened..



The good news in all of this is Mike taught me a valuable lesson! I moved all
of my 100k+ business to a much better metals broker. After all ....100k is
chump change to Mike. 



Just call him and ask him! (ext 202)
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#3 Author of original report

Update on $2500.00 check

AUTHOR: danlb0y - (United States of America)

I guess Mike (ext 202) Vice pres of Merit Financial decided that he had nothing to gain by ripping off an 80 year old woman by forcing her to go to the Attorney General to get the monies they received from a check they claimed they never received?
We thankfully got a check from Merit in the amount of 2502.83 in the first part of March.
The extra $2.83 was Mike's way of showing his appreciation of our $12,000.00 purchases during year 2010!
Actually, the $2.83 was interest calculated by Mike was to add further insult to an 80 year old woman..

lets see...!

My mothers cost to deal with Merits little screw up: 

2 checks for 2500.00 that merit claimed they never received and the stop payments.

$50.00.

Time and gas to drive 8 miles to the bank to place the stop payments.

$10.00

Overdraft fees from the bank. $35.00 those were reversed but late fees and returned check fees from creditors were over $100.00 not to mention the time on the phone explaining what happened..

The good news in all of this is Mike taught me a valuable lesson! I moved all of my 100k+ business to a much better metals broker. After all ....100k is chump change to Mike.

Just call him and ask him! (ext 202)

 
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