• Report: #124964
Complaint Review:

Innovative Merchant Solutions

  • Submitted: Wed, December 29, 2004
  • Updated: Thu, February 10, 2005

  • Reported By:New York New York
Innovative Merchant Solutions
26541 Agoura Road Calabasasa, California U.S.A.

Innovative Merchant Solutions An Intuit Company ripoff They are holding onto our funds for merchandise we shipped to customers Calabasasa California

*Consumer Comment: Innovative is not a fraud ; what was done with the account transfer is entirely legal.

*Consumer Comment: "Protection against fraud"??? Intuit/Innovative are the frauds!

*UPDATE Employee: Protection of Consumers Against Fraud

*Consumer Suggestion: Intuit will try to take over your life and bleed you dry! IT IS A n**i COMPANY! Try Free Accounting instead.

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We signed up for IMS's service, seeing that it was part of Intuit and that it would work well with our QuickBooks software. We also assumed that Intuit was a reputable company and that was mindful of small business operations and concerns.

Big Mistake.

We got the following notice a few weeks ago:

"In the event of unusual Transactions that have been suspended and cannot be verified as valid sales or have been verified as cardholder disputes, Merchant agrees that a security processing fee not to exceed 110% of the unusual Transactions may be assessed.

We promptly called their risk management department, who instructed us to fax over all of our invoices for that day. All 60 plus pages. After 5 attempts of the fax not going thru, we called and asked if they had an email address we could send over PDF copies. They told us they don't have email. (First red flag, a division of a software company that doesn't have email????). Then they said, oh, we only need the following 4 invoices. Gee, that would have been helpful to know 4 hours ago before we wasted all that time and paper.

So we send over the invoices in question. Then we call to ask when they will release our $23,000? They replied we are investigating this and will get back to you. After repeated phone calls I was told that they will need to hold onto our $23,000 for 90 days as a reserve against possible claims. Bad enough, but then I was assured that any future batches would be released and not be held as the $23,000 was sufficient enough as a reserve. So we process some more transactions, another $52,000. A few days go by and the money is not in my account. I call up, get some more run around we are looking into your account, hmm, looks like you are doing more sales than originally planned. Stupid me, I forgot that it is bad to be a capitalist in America and to try and grow your business. Hmm, you think that Intuit might distribute the $1.5 BILLION they have in current assets to the poor and needy???

So now, they are holding $75,000 SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, of my money. Cash my business needs to pay its bills to suppliers for the merchandise we already shipped to those customers who paid us the $75,000. Promised call-backs have not materialized.

I think IMS / Intuit can kiss me goodbye as a client. My new part time job will be publicizing the sleazy side of QuickBooks. You would be smart to be careful and stay away as well.

New York, New York

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/29/2004 07:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/innovative-merchant-solutions/calabasasa-california-91302/innovative-merchant-solutions-an-intuit-company-ripoff-they-are-holding-onto-our-funds-for-124964. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Innovative is not a fraud ; what was done with the account transfer is entirely legal.

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

I dug out my three year old Merchant Services Bankcard Agreement and checked into this account moving-around business.

In Section 15.2 it states:

"Upon notice to CUSTOMER, another VISA and MasterCard member may be substituted for the Chase Manhattan Bank under whose sponsorship this Agreement is performed." It goes on to say that the succeeding provider (in this case, Innovative) will be bound by the terms of the Agreement to perform according to applicable "Association rules". (I have no idea where these rules are to be found).

Unfortunately, the Agreement does not spell out the METHOD of notification to the customer. As my previous processor had always used US Mail concerning any major account changes, it was my own misconception that made me think it was a necessary feature for these changes.

Email would probably be considered legally viable. Or even a message in a bottle pitched into the ocean or one sent by carrier pigeon.

Being an old-fashioned type person, I tend to trust only what is on paper and sent by a real human, preferably with a signature and a contact number on it. Especially where sensitive personal information and bank accounts are concerned, as I have experienced identity theft in the past to heighten my anxiety.

I still conduct business with that "human touch" myself, but it is not right for me to expect all businesses to conform to that. I must also break myself of the notion that I am somehow "in control" of anything/everything to do with me. It is not always necessarily true these days. My bad.

I was not wronged by either Chase or Innovative in any way. The incorrect data transfer was an unfortunate incident that caused me some angst because I did not know what was happening to or with this account. It was not hijacked, just transferred as per the terms of the agreement.

Innovative could learn a bit from this exchange. I certainly have learned (to read everything thoroughly before I stick both feet in my mouth). There are still a few of us old codgers out here that have problems accepting email as "real" for business use and will die of old age waiting for those verification letters.

I will once again subside into a quivering mass of flotsam subject to the whims of almost any company on the planet to see what happens next.

Good luck to all concerned.
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#2 Consumer Comment

"Protection against fraud"??? Intuit/Innovative are the frauds!

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

Intuit/Innovative are the frauds!

I had a legal contract with my former CC processor...hello!! I have no contract with Innovative whatsoever.

Intuit/QuickBooks was never granted any permissions by me to jack my bank accounts around...QuickBooks is a ferking bookkeeping program, not the keeper of the keys to the kingdom!

Intuit interfered with a legal and binding contract WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION! It attempted to invade my bank accounts without my permission! Are you beginning to see the light now, Leanne?

That kind of behavior is most commonly associated with frauds and con artists. Oh, my!

Yeah, Leanne, I can see how hard I was to get ahold of...I received THREE emails from Intuit concerning this change. My phone number has not changed in over five years, nor has my address. Really hard to get ahold of, sure. Just sounds like no one tried really hard, either.

It would have been nice to receive a welcome letter before the changed account was set up telling me what my new merchant account number was going to be and asking me to verify my banking information MYSELF.

Innovative was in such a huge hurry to start jacking its money from my bank account that it couldn't be bothered to wait I guess. It had to go for that electronic withdrawal right away. And since my former processor was still drawing its fee from my current account, I did not even know the change had been accomplished.

Silly me, I kept waiting for something by postal mail to tell me when to expect the change and asking for 1)permission and 2)verification. Oddly enough, I did get a letter via postal mail telling me I had been shut down. How wonderful that Innovative could get that letter to me, since I was so hard to get ahold of and all.

What was done to Eli is disgraceful. I had some instances with my former processor concerning invoices that were over the stated limit. I would get a phone call, do some faxing, maybe another call. The funds were held maybe ninety minutes. Ninety days sucks!

I guess everybody should make their daily limit $100,000+, lest they be punished for having a good day? That way it won't trigger the fraud flag and payment can be timely.

Of course, those that engage in shady activities suspect everyone else of doing the same.

Good luck, Eli. I think you may need it.

Good-bye, Intuit/Innovative, you little ol' hijacker guys. Remember this, I, I, I run my business AND my bookkeeping program, NOT the other way around.

If you an keep that in mind, Intuit may not lose many more formerly loyal customers over this fiasco!
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Protection of Consumers Against Fraud

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

Robin, unfortunately I cannot resolve your problem. Undoubtedly when dealing with the change of accounts from one business to another, there are problems that will unfold. In this instance you experienced one of the unfortunate scenarios that could possibly occur, which is the checking account information did not transfer properly. Despite our best efforts to correct these problems efficiently and quickly, there are some cases where we are not able to reach the customer and we must resort to alternate means to complete the process. For this we truly apologize.

However, in the case of Eli, we are looking at a separate set of variables. Eli was approved for credit card processing on 7/7/04 with an approved monthly volume of $50,000. In the months of November and December this was surpassed two-fold, and in addition to this exceptional activity, the account began to experience heavy cardholder disputes. Combined, these two separate incidences indicate that there could be a problem. This problem could indicate one of many things, but among others, that an account that is taking advantage of unassuming consumers has been established. Merchants are quick to judge the actions of bankcard processors, but so often they decide that they will ignore the intent of these actions, which is ultimately to keep the bankcard industry free of fraud.

The fraud can occur in several ways: first, someone can steal your identity and open a merchant account in which to process fraudulent credit card sales; second, a sometimes honest business can run into financial problems and stop fulfilling orders, scamming consumers out of their money; third, someone can open a business using their own name, but with the sole intent of processing sales they never plan on fulfilling. Under any of these scenarios it is the consumer who becomes the victim.

When the customer disputes began to come in, and the account processing volume began to exceed the approved amount, IMS was required to take action and confirm that there weren't any problems.

As of this date, all issues with Eli's account have been resolved and Eli continues to process with IMS. We are sorry that we had to take action, but all bankcard processors have a responsibility to the bankcard industry, and consumers, to investigate any potential fraud, or issues indicating risk.

Although it can be stressful, and difficult for customers to understand, unfortunately in the industry as it exists today, it is a necessary evil. IMS makes every effort to utilize all other options before withholding funds from processing, however those efforts are not always successful.

Eli, we thank you for your patience and we hope that you choose to continue processing with Innovative Merchant Solutions. Please contact our customer service department if you have any other questions or need further assistance.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Intuit will try to take over your life and bleed you dry! IT IS A n**i COMPANY! Try Free Accounting instead.

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


I am guessing that you may be a newer user to QuickBooks and were looking for an integrated CC processing solution. I so feel your pain with Innovative!

I have been using QB since QB2000 and have watched Intuit evolve from being very customer-oriented to getting too big for its britches, with little to no regard for its customers. (The usual story, it seems)

If you continue to use integrated QuickBooks cc processing, you will be forced to use Innovative Merchant Solutions. You will not be given a choice. Intuit/QuickBooks will not let you use anyone else. As far as I know, EVERY user of QuickBooks with an integrated merchant account was involuntarily transferred to this joke of a processing company.

My merchant account was hijacked by Intuit from Chase (where I never had a problem that could not be solved in a matter of one working day via phone and fax) to Innovative Merchant Solutions An Intuit Company.

Here is my experience:

I received two EMAILS informing me of this proposed change. I was not offered a choice, just told that it was being done. I NEVER received anything via US Mail so did not even know what my merchant account number was. I consider this to be very unprofessional in the extreme, using email to inform of such important changes, as well as an overstepping of the boundaries of respect in a business relationship. I immediately began thinking Uh oh.

I finally received something in the mail from Innovative informing me that my merchant account had been CLOSED. What? This is the first inkling that I had of what my merchant account number was to even begin checking anything out.

I called Innovative and was greeted by a bored-sounding female who did not offer her name when she answered the call. (Strike two in the professionalism department.) Seems that somehow our banking information had been corrupted in the transfer. I needed to write one letter asking that the account be reinstated, another letter asking that the information be corrected by using my voided blank check and send...get this...a money order or cashier's check for $17.95!! (My check is good enough to reinstate the account, but not good enough to pay a month's fee???)

The coup de grace: I had to send all this information via US Mail. I could not fax it as with Chase, nor could Innovative be bothered to simply contact Chase to obtain the correct information.

Then I found out this morning that, contrary to Innovative's assurance that there would be no double-fees because of this transfer, that I was still having fees drawn by Chase. Turns out that it will be up to each customer to close their old merchant account because Innovative does not have the legal power to close them. (So, how does it have the legal power to hijack all these accounts? Who knows? IS it even legal?) Strike three.

I STILL do not have a merchant account.

I am now thoroughly disgusted with the entire Intuit company. I do not like someone to make these kinds of decisions for me without at least consulting me. This new ACH processor has been very unprofessional in all the dealings I have had with it. Am I going to trust it with my money? Nope.

HERE IS THE REST OF THE INTUIT/QUICKBOOKS DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: If you use an integrated CC processing solution, you will be forced to upgrade QB every two years or your merchant account will stop working and Intuit will no longer offer ANY support for your over two-year-old program. (Worse than Microsoft, which is still offering at least minimal support for Windows 98) This will cost you about $300.00 every two years.

If you want any support at all, even with a new program, you will pay out the wazoo for it. About $198.00 for one year's worth of Premiere Advantage support. This allows you the privilege of calling a toll-free number in order to speak to someone whom you cannot understand and who cannot understand you. The entire conversation will be an exercise in frustration. Sounds like there is either some outsourcing of customer support or some importing of Indian workers going on at Intuit.

THE SOLUTION: Download Free Accounting from C-Net. This is a marvelous 100% FREE (unless you choose to register for $29.95 to open up some optional, but not entirely necessary features) full-featured accounting program. That is IT, that is the most this program will EVER cost you. The interface is remarkably like QuickBooks (hmmm, makes me wonder if Intuit made one of its developers angry about ten or twelve months ago?)

Free Accounting does NOT offer an integrated credit card processing feature, but since it sounds like most of us will have to be using an outside merchant account to avoid working with the morons at Innovative anyway, I do not consider it to be a great loss. Plus, there are frequent downloadable upgrades being made all the time, so it may offer something in the future.

I went cold-turkey last week and broke my Intuit habit forever. I am sure that the loss of my paltry business will not hurt Intuit much, but I wanted to let folks know there is an alternative to being jacked around and bled dry for the rest of their lives by a n**i company.

Meanwhile, Eli, I hope you have made some progress in the recovery of your funds. Now I not only dislike this unprofessional Innovative, I am scared to death of it! It does not sound like anyplace I want to trust with my money!
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