Credit Card Processors Chains

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Highlands John's picture
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It has taken me 3 months to get rid of my old card processor accounts, I didn't realise at the time what I was getting in to, so I'm posting this so others are aware.

When we first had a machine we arranged it with a card processing company, however I didn't realise that basically they were just an agent. The machine was leased to us by a holding company and the transactions were processed by another, maintenance of the machine was handled by yet another,  the machine manufacurer.

At the start of December I called company A, the agent, and told them I wanted to cancel my account. After ages waiting in queues and getting passed around I was told that first I had to call Company B, the leasing company, cancel the account with them and return the machine.

I called company B who said I need to put my cancellation in writing and then they would send me details of where to send the machine, this I did. Christmas came and went, so I cancelled the direct debit to company B so they couldn't charge me anymore. The day after the direct debit was due I got a phone call from a woman who was rude, obnoxious, curt and generally unpleasant. I'll not go into all the details here but in the end I got the address of where to send the machine, it was sent recorded delivery.

3 weeks passed and this obnoxious woman called again to say I still owe them money, I pointed out that I had returned the machine and heard nothing, she then tells me that she can't close my account because the machine I returned was not the machine I was given. It transpires that in 2012 a thunder storm killed my machine so company C, the manufacturer replaced it. Company B/obnoxious woman tell me they need it in writing from Company C that the machine was replaced.

More weeks pass, more obnoxious phone calls, finally I get an email to say Company B have closed my lease account.

I now call company A who say they will now contact Company D the transaction processor to close my account with them, whilst all of this has been going on Company D is still charging me minimum transaction fees.

 

The lesson: If you are changing card processors or getting a machine for the first time, make sure you're not dealing with a chain like this.

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Ice
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I use Inn payment, always have.   Love them, never had to buy equipment.  You use your computer.  It's the perfect match for me! 

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DH was at a little coffee shop the other day and found out the owners were paying 10% to process a credit card.

They were from Malta i believe.  He and another guy got so mad, they tried to help. The owner got out the paperwork, they had a five year contract and would be penalized $400 if they cancelled it. DH said that is less than what they are paying for those years and it was illegal.

not everyone has a forum like this, or community to share this stuff. 

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Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

DH was at a little coffee shop the other day and found out the owners were paying 10% to process a credit card.

They were from Malta i believe.  He and another guy got so mad, they tried to help. The owner got out the paperwork, they had a five year contract and would be penalized $400 if they cancelled it. DH said that is less than what they are paying for those years and it was illegal.

not everyone has a forum like this, or community to share this stuff. 

Good for your DH for trying to help. Yes, I was thinking they may still be money ahead to pay the penalty and switch to something cheaper. I hate it when companies take advantage of people like this, especially when it's people for whom English is a second language. Legalese is a foreign language even to we native speakers! 

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Joey Camb's picture
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when we changed last it was a nightmare and the company we are with is crap and we will be changing again as soon as the contract runs out! 4 working days to get your money which they neglected to mention so if it is a Thursday it takes till the Wednesday to come through - we will be changing to retail merchant services and Evalon which is a better rate again and in our account next day

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Had them for 6 months and problem after problem. First they send me the terminal their own support could not set up. It worked for a little while and than machine would not authorize. It happened on and off and when it did not go through I had to call for authorization= higher commission and they would not waive because it was their faulty terminal. They exchanged the machine 2 times more and it continued on with the problems. Each time I had to process the card I was living in fear. Finally decided it was enough and returned the terminal- that wanted me to pay for that. Yes, their commission is a bit lower and money  but the hassle was not worth it. 

Generic's picture
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Elavon has a deal via the Cost Club, but in the UK I think their deal is with Netpay. The deal saved me a lot of money.

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Highlands John's picture
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Ah, now, that's interesting because Evalon is the processor in the chain above who we're getting rid of. They insisted on this 4 day delay on the money when we joined, initially they said it was for the first 6 months, but it went on long after that until I badgered them into dropping it. 

The other problem I have with Evalon (other than the fact that their rates are nearly double our new processor) is that all the PCI compliance stuff has been hived off into  trustwave (don't know if this is a separate company or part of Evalon), which means if you have a problem with a charge on your evalon statement that is to do with PCI that you disagree with you get fobbed off onto trustwave.

Have a look at First Data.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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First Data is the one I dumped to get Square.

Highlands John's picture
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I'd dump all of them in favour of square or the paypal system but last time I researched none of them will handle "customer. Ot present" transactions so I couldn't take deposits over the phone. 

gillumhouse's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

I'd dump all of them in favour of square or the paypal system but last time I researched none of them will handle "customer. Ot present" transactions so I couldn't take deposits over the phone. 

You pay a bit more to punch in the numbers but you can do it. You need to have the zip code attached to the billing address and the 3-digits from the back of the card. This is for Squar

Last year I had an invisible guest. She ended up with getting billed for 3 of the 4 week she booked (the card was due to expire soon so she must have received a new cars the  last week because it did not go through and I did not pursue it). The first 2 weeks I tried to charge the card and it was not accepting the charge. She checked that there was money where it needed to be etc and then we figured out that I had her home address and the billing on the card was her business address - different zip code. She never did come but I got 3 weeks of "long-term" rent.

Highlands John's picture
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According to their website square is not available in the UK, only US, canada and Japan. 

ive trawled through the paypal here site and I can find nothing about CNP transactions. Last time I emailed them they said no. 

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Highlands John wrote:

According to their website square is not available in the UK, only US, canada and Japan. 

ive trawled through the paypal here site and I can find nothing about CNP transactions. Last time I emailed them they said no. 

John, with PP, all you have to do is send them an invoice through your PP merchant account and the guest can pay it from their invoice. I've had to do this a few times because I've got got auth.net at a very high security setting and when a card is registered in certain countries, the security doesn't accept the charge. I've got my regular processing, auth.net for reservation system and a separate PP merchant account. There are no fees to have a PP merchant account and I only use is a couple times a year.

Generic's picture
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mPOWA, Paypal (which is chip & pin mobile in the UK) and iZettle

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Highlands John wrote:

I'd dump all of them in favour of square or the paypal system but last time I researched none of them will handle "customer. Ot present" transactions so I couldn't take deposits over the phone. 

Not sure about paypal but Sq allows card not present transactions. Go to their website for details.

Arks's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

I'd dump all of them in favour of square or the paypal system but last time I researched none of them will handle "customer. Ot present" transactions so I couldn't take deposits over the phone. 

I believe with both systems you have the option to manually enter the card information manually rather than swiping the card.

Arks's picture
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I guess another reason to love Square!

Generic's picture
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But still not a single word from square about what they are going to do about chip & pin. October 2015 is the liability cut-off date.

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Sugar Bear wrote:

But still not a single word from square about what they are going to do about chip & pin. October 2015 is the liability cut-off date.

Been thinking about this since my 1st use of the Square.  Watching and waiting.

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Sugar Bear wrote:

But still not a single word from square about what they are going to do about chip & pin. October 2015 is the liability cut-off date.

I thought about that today too, and did a little looking. There seem to be several who have developed devices that can read C n P on an iPad, so SURELY Square will do it. I'll bet they're just keeping quite until its ready, and they won't do it (send a new free scanner to every Square user) until they have to!

Generic's picture
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Don't know. In Canada we keep on asking them about accepting debit cards. Debit is supposed to be all C&P in Canada and it's under 10c per transaction in fees.

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Sugar Bear wrote:

Don't know. In Canada we keep on asking them about accepting debit cards. Debit is supposed to be all C&P in Canada and it's under 10c per transaction in fees.

Just had a Canadian card tonight with c&p. My machine wouldn't do anything with it. Called the processor. Yeah the machine can do it but there is no software in the system to use it.

Estimated date until when I can use the c&p part of the machine? 2015.

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white pine's picture
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I am trying to choose a new processor now.  We have gotten a fair number of European guests, and I am thinking of going with a local bank that has chip ready equipment now rather than using Square.  Will cost me more, but also having a phone number with a 24/7 customer service means something to me (and DH).

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Madeleine's picture
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We can now do debit cards. To offset the lower rates they get the processor added a debit card acceptance fee. We get charged this every month whether we ever see a debit card or not.

I check every card and if it has 'debit' on it I ask the guest if they want to use it as such.

Generic's picture
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Our debit card system is completely separate from our CC system. 

If your card has our debit system logo, it processes on the debit automatically. If it has a Visa/MC logo, it processes as credit automatically. There is no choice. But I love those debit transactions!

Madeleine's picture
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My machine asks how to process the card so I ask the guest.

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Arks wrote:

I guess another reason to love Square!

And that said, Square has just changed their policies and now do not have limits as they use to.  No $2k weekly max, no holds. 

OnTheShore's picture
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Here's another nightmare story that involves multiple players, where the business did not get the full details of the contracts (even though he specifically asked for them), and since has been given the run-around in trying to back out of the deal: http://www.small-business-forum.net/starting-your-business/10593-looking...

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Sorry!!!  I can relate as this was very similar to my first processor.  Learned quickly there after to buy my own machine and no contracts.  With processors being a dime a dozen these days, and with these horror stories out there for us to learn from, be wise and get all the facts before agreeing to any terms. 

gillumhouse's picture
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copperhead wrote:

Sorry!!!  I can relate as this was very similar to my first processor.  Learned quickly there after to buy my own machine and no contracts.  With processors being a dime a dozen these days, and with these horror stories out there for us to learn from, be wise and get all the facts before agreeing to any terms. 

And, having purchased the machine, BEFORE changing processors be sure that the machine you have is compatible to the software of the new processor. If they will not talk to each other, another purchase will be in your future.

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You see this is something they need to think about, share the names with the online world of innkeepers, and then have them backpeddle as to how they treated you? You are too nice HJ. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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What a horrible experience you had! And it sounds like it's still ongoing with company D.

Another lesson for people who are just starting out is to buy your own machine. It's much cheaper in the long run. In the next year+, we're supposed to switch over to the chip & pin machines. I can only imagine what a mess it's going to be!

Madeleine's picture
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One good thing from our debacle with our processor last year was buying the new machine... It is ready to roll with the new chip & pin cards. I'd like to test one tho.

Generic's picture
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That's awful. Thankfully we are direct with the processor, but they still haven't figured out how to add JCB or Discover to my account, so I gave up. They send me to Discover, Discover sends me back to them and around and around it goes.

Madeleine's picture
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Wow! That is horrible!

Our first year here we got a call from a guy who was all friendly and personable asking about the original owners and were they still around and blah, blah. (This happens all the time, btw.)

Turns out he was a collection agent from a cc processor and when he got hold of the original owner's very young daughter on the phone he threatened her.

This looped around and around thru all 3 owners as someone supposedly had a machine that was never returned. What a mess.

gillumhouse's picture
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[quote=Madeleine]

Wow! That is horrible!

Our first year here we got a call from a guy who was all friendly and personable asking about the original owners and were they still around and blah, blah. (This happens all the time, btw.)

Turns out he was a collection agent from a cc processor and when he got hold of the original owner's very young daughter on the phone he threatened her.

This looped around and around thru all 3 owners as someone supposedly had a machine that was never returned. What a mess.

[/quote

And it was probably a machine that by this time, was out-dated, out-moded, and would not function with the latest bank software so was a complete circle of intimidation.

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