In August of 2001 my small business received an order for $3,400 worth of our goods. This was a larger order than usual and received as welcome- for the usual reasons. Thats what were in business to do: to sell and to grow.
We had employed iPayment as our credit-card processor of choice from earlier in the Year and to this time they had been performing as desired.
This Order came with the unusual instruction to use a particular shipper: Somotexz Freight, of which we had never heard, and this Order was to be shipped over-seas for a designated $3,700 and so the red flags came up. I found that we could make the same shipping via USPS at a much lower rate.
And so began our communications with iPayment that this was a transaction to monitor and record carefully. I began doing so. We went in to this with our eyes open.
The transaction proceeded accordingly and the goods were shipped. My further investigation of this Somotexz Freight verified our concerns and so we withheld part of their payment in abeyance for future developments. They came to much unhappiness with us for not following their shipping instructions. That I had saved them money in the shipping was not acceptable. I even received communications from the receiving address (in New Zealand) that they had received our packages and What is this for!? They had no idea, but further related that they had been beneficiaries of mysterious- and expensive- goods for some long time. I have no doubt that handing our products over to whatever Somotexz representative would have resulted with these being in a dumpster somewhere.
And then the difficulties with iPayment began. They demanded all of the sale money to be returned to them on behalf of the card issuer. They would disclose nothing further to us. iPayment proceeded with a forced withdrawal from our bank account of all of the funds, which overdrew the account at that time. No concern to iPayment.
I submitted a complete transcript of our communications history with this customer to iPayment for their supposed Dispute Resolution through their Risk Management department.
A month or so went by with no communications and then suddenly iPayment made another forced withdrawal of the approximate $7,000! Overdrawing our account again, of course. I tried and tried to get in touch with iPayment to little avail until I did eventually receive a return call and I told the representative what had happened. Eventually the money was returned, without recognition of the over-drafting and damage to our credit.
Another long month passed without any communication. During this time the fraudsters proceeded to cover their tracks by hacking our e-mails, resulting in these being summarily shut down by msn.com. No communication from Microsoft, of course.
Now we are over 3 months along and then- another forced withdrawal of $7,000 from our account! All of our phone calls were either ignored or answered by an iPayment rep who denied any and all of the previous transactions history.
We were now approximately $12,000 in cash deposit to iPayment and they again would not even return our phonecalls. We had been as patient as possible in support of whatever process they had as we wanted to contribute to the collection of these fraud perpetrators. By now our hope of doing so was growing dim. I had submitted all of our information to IC3- which turns out to be of no value whatsoever. The FBI is not interested in this small transaction. So we are learning that this is the environment in which fraud is enabled by current enterprise internet SOP. I am absolutely certain that these perpetrators are still in operation right now.
And so- iPayment is an enabler of such fraud. They have conducted any meaningful investigation and have not made any solution of this matter. Their methods are evidently disconnected- they make withdrawals as they desire without any internal coordination. Whether their contribution is by misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance makes no material difference. They support internet fraud by their lack of competence.
We have been forced to shut our small business down in result of this debacle. We could no longer support the negative cash-flow. We have to communication available for our customers. Thank you so much, msn.com.
And so this is where we are right now: months and months of trying to be supportive only to be repeatedly slammed by iPayment with no end in sight.
They owe us the stolen $12,000, reimbursement of the overdraft fees and restitution of our credit standing. Letting the fraud perpetrators go is inexcuseable.
Buyer beware if you chose to employ iPayment as your credit card gateway.