Bank of America Merchant Services,First Data,PNC Bank Credit Card Processing Hagerstown, Maryland
*Consumer Comment: Frustrated, One of the big problems is that Congress.....
I am glad I found your website. I could not find any good website prior to this for informative discussion on the subject of credit card processing at least for small merchants like me. Through the years I have beens using First Data as a processor first through a reseller bank (PNC) and then directly through First Data and then again through a reseller bank who promised me a better rate. I have finally lost my patience with these people and am looking for a more ethical merchant processor. Seems like CDG may be my alternative. Some has suggested Square which does not charge any of those stupid hidden fees. Need to do more research.
Their account statements are designed to be quite complicated to comprehend so most busy merchants like me are resigned to simply pay the monthly charges which comes in three parts with the hopeless feeling that there is nothing much we can do about it.
Then to reduce the expense you are encouraged to go for paperless statements. Your bank will only show the amount deposited and monthly charges with no further details. You are supposed to go to the merchant services account website to view the details of all the transactions. As a small business you simply have only so many hours a day and spending too much time on the computer will be taking away your time in the actual business and doing other things.
I started years ago using the dial up system through my bank. At that time I was not even aware they were reselling First Data.
Using a LinkPoint A10 terminal the processing was slow but there were hardly any problems with the terminal.
A First Data sales rep then convinced me that my services will be more improved if I went with them directly instead of through my reseller bank.
Switched to the new service for almost over a year but the Linkpoint terminal was still slow. My bank contacted me again and told me that the new terminal FD 50Ti by First Data should solve my performance problems since it uses high speed digital. So I switched again and got the new Terminal. Yes the transaction was quick and it seems like everything is now fine and dandy.
Now my new problems:
Bank of America who bought First Data without any notice to me imposed a penalty of $500.00 to my account. When I enquired about this charge, it was then I became aware it was penalty for early cancellation. There is nothing in the original contract about early cancellation fees except a vague mention of it in their separate information booklet that came with all the paperwork when you first open the account.
They finally reimbursed me after much negotiations but I had to keep the account open till the expiration date of the contract and that means being billed monthly for $31.99 even though the account was inactive.
When I switched,my reseller bank promise me that after the third month usage I was promised a credit of $150.00. That never occurred. When I question the bank officer about it he simply pleaded ignorance and said I should not have waited more than six month to enquire about it. Thus this was a false promise to win the business.
The problem that broke the straw on the camels back
The terminal all of a sudden started to malfunction and will not complete a batch closing. Invoicing became non sequential e.g instead of 1,2,3 it started to skip invoice numbers. Customer support downloaded the updated software to the terminal and it worked for short time and then it malfunctioned again.
Second time around this was the explanation I got from the customer support.
I am using a digital phone line that is why I am getting this problem.
I mentioned this has worked for quite a while trouble free for more than six months
The customer rep. indicated that when a digital line is used the terminal will burn out prematurely. She suggested that If I wish to continue to use the terminal as a standalone without combinig it with a POS computer network I must request the phone company to provide me with an old fashion analogue line.
It seems to me they were coached to give this explanation by their management.
As we all well know today most communications have all gone digital. Most of our voice line are now internet based VOIP. Going back to analogue seems ludicrous to me..
My conclusion is ,this is the biggest scam these providers are using to force small business towards higher cost maintenance systems. Unlike the bigger merchants , small mom and pop businesses like me are totally helpless unless we abandon the credit card processing and resort to cash only and we all know in these day and age of plastic it will be fatal to any small business to do so.
If anyone has any recommendations please post. We all owe it to ourselves to collectively send a message to these 800 lb gorillas that we are going to bring this to the attention of Congress or initiate a class action against these fraudsters.
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