• Report: #379756
Complaint Review:

Cardservice International, First Data

  • Submitted: Thu, October 09, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, October 23, 2008

  • Reported By:Dallas Texas
Cardservice International, First Data
cardservice.com Simi Valley, California U.S.A.

Cardservice International, First Data Using Mis-Direction to Cover Notifications of New Fees Simi Valley California

*Consumer Comment: Nothing special here

*Consumer Comment: Cancel your account

*Consumer Suggestion: First Data is a thief!

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My company's merchant account was recently overdrawn by a surprise new fee from Cardservice International - the "Annual Compliance Service Fee". Both the nature of this fee and the required 60 day notification were obuscated by Cardservice International on their statements and on-line.

When I saw the charge to my account, I went to "MyMerchantService.com" and saw a reference to "other fees and adjustments" but no explanation of the charge. I then called the customer service line and got a taped message to call back later because of high caller volume - just the kind of service you do not expect from a company the size of CSI. The next time I called, I had to hold for 30 minutes (the estimate on the message was 10 minutes).

The representative and I went through my statement from two months ago where she said I had been notified of the new fee 60 days in advance. She directed me to the big grey box on the first page entitled "Important Information About Your Account" which had a section on "Important Rate/Fee Changes" and told me the notification for the new fee was located there.

I then pointed out that it was not mentioned at all in that part of the document. She then took me to page 7 (the last page) and, sure enough, there was a small notification. I asked why it was not included in the appropriate section of the first page and she referred me to the area that handle fees.

After another extended wait on hold, I spoke to Dr. No. It did not matter that CSI used the old slight of hand trick of focusing your attention on the front page, highlighted section of the page specifically designed for rate and fee information and then slipped in a minor notification at the end of the statement. I had been notified and any overdraft fees were not their fault.

In summary, yes, Cardservice International did provide notice of the new $120.00 fee, but they did it in a devious fashion by not putting it right up front in the part of the document specifically labeled for this purpose. As a result, I suspect I am not the only one who did not find out until they had already grabbed the funds from my account. Now I cannot get that money back even if I cancel today. And the attitude of their representative was basically, "tough luck".

I wonder if their is not some liability on their part for deceptive practices.

Oh, and they do have a dispute resolution area but they cannot be reached by telephone - only letter or fax.

Dallas, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/09/2008 12:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/cardservice-international-first-data/simi-valley-california-93062-5180/cardservice-international-first-data-using-mis-direction-to-cover-notifications-of-new-fe-379756. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Nothing special here

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

Every credit card company hides things in the fine print. That's how they make money from people who refuse to take the time to read the fine print. If you know that whatever they don't want you to notice will be located in the fine print, then that should be the first thing you read to get the real story. If people would just read these things, half of the complaints on this board would disappear.

As an example, earlier this year my credit card company sent me an amended card agreement with some new fine print at the bottom. It said that they were going to charge a new service fee on my card, but if I didn't want to pay that fee, I just had to write in and tell them I did not accept the new fee. I sent them a note and didn't pay the fee. I wonder how many others just tossed out the agreement (it came with the bill) and ended up paying the fee.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Cancel your account

AUTHOR: Rhovellto''s Flowers - (USA)


I had the same problem.  I did not have to pay the fee last year because I did not have enough money in the account for each of the three times they tried to get it.  I was not so lucky in 2009.  I had just deposited money for wedding flowers I purchased to cover the check I wrote for them.  Surprise First Data decided to take out that fee (for the record I asked them what I am getting by paying this and they could'nt tell me so basically it was for their profit) and my check ended up bouncing.  I called and tore a new one to the representative I spoke to and it felt good.  At that point I cancelled the account with them.  Imagine my surprise when I contacted another company and they told me that they don't charge the fees for PCI compliance.  The literature that cardservice sent me said that all companies will be doing this, that was a lie.  So my advice to you is to drop them and call someone else.  Beware though, First Data will charge you an account cancellation fee of $75 about a week and a half after you send them your written cancellation letter.  All you have to do to avoid that is close your bank account and open a new one before then and then the surprise is on them.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

First Data is a thief!

AUTHOR: Crisp Sound - (U.S.A.)

Hello, saw your post and want to join you in the fight, I have created a blog to let people share their thoughts and ideas:

They are crooks and they hide behind the fine print. I filed a complaint with their BBB, FTC, A/G Office and disputed the fee with my bank.

I encourage you to do the same.

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