ED Magedson – Founder
First Data Merchant Services - First Data Global LeasingP.O. Box407082 Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States of America
BEWARE!, this company is real trouble! In May of 2008 I opened an account with First Data without researching them first. I wanted a point of sale portable swipe machine and printer. I made it VERY CLEAR to them that I DID NOT want a lease and that I would buy the equipment outright. They set me up with a company in Phoenix to buy it from and so I did, at a cost of about $750. I then set up a one year account service agreement with them, and at that point I put this all aside and focused on business. Let me add here that I think their scams are aimed at small businesses because they know you'll be busy and hope that you won't pay attention to what they're doing to you until it's too late, and that you won't pursue them because you won't have the time and money.
It turned out that I really didn't need the equipment in my business, never used it, and chalked it up to a bad investment, so whenever I recieved any documentation from them I just filed it away without looking at it thinking it was just account statements.
In a nutshell, here's what happened. I discover that they had credited me back the $750 for the equipment and somehow??!! set me up on a two year leasing agreement, (that I'd never signed), for $60 a month. After 20 phone calls or more, (don't expect them to call you back), I got ahold of someone who tells me "I'm into the lease, I owe them, and that's that!" followed by Lots of yelling screaming, name calling etc. I gave up fighting with them and I allowed the payments to continue until I'd paid for the original value of the machine and then shut them off,... and here they came!. For 6 months, non-stop, they threatened me and harassed me endlessly. Finally I arranged to pay them $250 to pay the account off and close it, we both agreed, and that was that....well not yet!
They sent me a letter stating that we're done, my account is closed and, oh by the way, "don't send the equipment back". I thought it strange, but I didn't send the equipment back.
Some time has passed and I just recieved a letter from them stating that I owe them $30 for a couple of total bogus, dopey, made up fees, and that they'll be deducting that from my account ..."along with your regular monthly payment". Since I'd made the giant mistake of sending them a personal check to pay the $250, they now had my checking account information. I called my bank to see if they could stop any charges coming in from them. They said that First Data can put the charge through to my account in such a way that they wouldn't be able to detect it until it was too late, and knowing about them, I should shut my account down immediately! I did.
Mind you, I'm just speculating here since I haven't heard from them yet, but here's what I expect they will do. They would have tried to deduct $700 to $800 from my account claiming that they have no record of me having sent the equipment back, and that since I hadn't paid my monthly charge for a year, I owed them this amount, so they just went ahead and took it. I'm expecting their call any day now.
I found that sending document proof of anything to First Daa is like throwing it into the trash can, so it would have taken me months to get my money back, if at all. And by the way, apparently they're fearless of being investigated by banks for fraud charges. My money would have been gone.
To anyone reading this, just know that I was prepared to walk away from them and chalk it up to a learning experience. But now I feel it's my duty to notify as many potential victims of First Data as I can. I would like to hear from anyone else who has been damaged by First Data who would be interested in starting up a class action lawsuit against them. I have the time. I've written to the Florida State Attorney's Office at http://myfloridalegal.com/Contact.nsf/Contact?OpenForm&Section=Economic_Crimes as have others, and you can also call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357. There's another website called, (((REDACTED))) which has more creepy postings about this outfit. I recommend you check it out.
Good luck if you do business with this outfit!!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2010 09:16 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/first-data-merchant-services-first-data-global-leasing/fort-lauderdale-florida-33340/first-data-merchant-services-first-data-global-leasing-like-a-bad-re-occuring-nightmare-626122. 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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