A Debit Card Company That Only Debits You

, , , , , , | Working | October 29, 2018

(I own a small business that I myself operate solely. I have a debit machine through a company that shuts down with very little notice, leaving me scrambling to find a new one. The day I learn of the shutdown, I get a call from another processor company.)

Man: “Hi there! We are calling all customers of [Previous Company] to offer a great deal during this stressful time. Do you have a few minutes?”

Me: “Oh, that’s so convenient! I do, but I will tell you the features I need and we can go from there; that way we don’t waste each other’s time. I need a machine that is portable either by Bluetooth or 3G, supports a tip option, and has an app or ability to be connected to a catalogue system rather than manually writing an invoice and punching in the total.”

Man: “We definitely have that!” *rambles on about one machine*

Me: “What’s the cost per month, and are there sign-up fees?”

Man: “It is $9.95 per month, plus 1.1% for credit purchases and ten cents flat for debit purchases. There is usually a sign-up fee, but for customers of [Previous Company] we are waiving it for all new setups.”

Me: “Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind!”

(Two weeks go by, and I’m running out of time for a new machine. Every other company is either too expensive — $150+ per month — or doesn’t answer their phone. I get a call back from the same man.)

Man: “Have you found a provider, or would you like to go ahead?”

Me: “I guess we will go ahead with it, thank you!”

(Cue two weeks of frustrating emails back and forth about the paperwork they need. They ask for one form, I send it, then they say, “Whoops, we need this one, instead.” “Do you have anything that says this?” “Can you print this and drive twenty minutes to your bank to write three numbers on it and then send it back?” Finally I receive my machine. There is no tip option and no catalogue, even though he assured me multiple times both on the phone and on email that it had them! I call back.)

Me: “You told me many times it supported a tip option and had a built-in catalogue on the app! It doesn’t!”

Man: “No, ma’am, I didn’t say that. None of our machines offer that.”

Me: “Then I’d like to send it back. I was lied to, and I don’t want a machine that doesn’t work for me.”

Man: “I will see if you can cancel your contract early.”

Me: “I did not sign a contract. It’s monthly.”

Man: “My mistake. There is a cancellation fee of $399 to buy out the machine.”

Me: “I haven’t used the machine yet. I’m not paying anything. I signed nothing.”

Man: “Let me call you back; I have to talk with my manager.”

(Two weeks go by with no call back. I leave multiple voicemails and send multiple emails. Nothing. I’m doing some shopping for my business one day and my business debit card gets declined. I know there was plenty of money in there for my supplies, so I stop at the bank and see that there is $9.12 left! A charge for $399, another for $224, and another for $1,165 have come out, all bearing the name of that debit machine provider. Frantically, I call my bank and ask for the charges to be reversed as they are fraudulent, but there is a two- to three-business-day wait and it is a Friday night. I call the machine provider.)

Woman: “The sales rep you were dealing with isn’t in the office at the moment, but I’ve looked over your account and those charges are legitimate. You cancelled your contract, and the charges are $399 for the machine, $224 for the application and paperwork, and $1,165 for early termination.”

Me:I. Signed. Nothing! You can’t just steal people’s money like that! Refund the charges now! I’m a small-time business with just me, myself, and I, and you’ve left my bank account empty! I have to pay rent for my office! I have orders to pay for!”

Woman: “He just came back in. One moment.”

Man: “Hi, [My Name], we processed your cancellation as you requested, so you’re good to go.”

Me: “No, I told you I wasn’t paying that. I didn’t sign a contract.”

Man: “Yes, you did. That electronic document I sent to you that you electronically signed is your contract.”

Me: “You mean the one that says I agree to pay the percentage and 10 cents per transaction, and that my fees for the start-up were waived as part of the deal for [Previous Company]’s shut down?”

Man: “On page two. That is the contract. You signed a two-year contract and agreed to pay the cancellation fees of [amount] per month if cancelled early.”

Me: “There was only one page.”

Man: “No, there were two. You’re telling me you sign things without reading them?”

Me: “No, a**hole, there’s only one page. I’m staring at the email right now.”

Man: “You must be blind. You’re trying to scam us. Learn to read! I’m forwarding it to you now!”

Me: “Got it. Still only one page!”

Man:No, there are— Wait… F***, I forgot to send the other one.” *click*

(I still haven’t been refunded. This isn’t a scam company, either; they’re a multi-billion-dollar company that serves more than 50% of businesses in my town!)

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