Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Elavon Nightmare

A phrase worth remembering as I tell my 3,000

For those of you who don’t know, Elavon is a merchant service that allows businesses to accept credit cards during their daily transactions. It was a service that was recommended to me by my bank that has my business checking account. I thought it would be a good idea to go with this service since they would deposit all funds directly into that account. No hassles, no transfers and I thought few fees.

I was told by their representative that there would be no start up fees except the purchase of software for my iPhone. Another benefit, so I went forward. I was told that there would be a monthly fee for the privilege of doing business with Elavon and a percentage of all sales. I thought this was reasonable. I was specifically told that there would be not annual fees or closing fees should I desire to close the account after a short period. Boy was I lied to, the crooks not only charged start up fees beyond the software but also charged an annual fee and then when I wanted to close the account they charged $295.00 for that privilege.

Will I get in trouble if I sic my cat on them? He has anger issues!

Now I’m a small business and a majority of my sales come from on-line purchases. The website has its own built in platform for accepting credit cards. It doesn’t go directly to my bank account but for the small percentage they charge and no monthly, annual or other fee, it’s quite good. I only accepted credit cards infrequently as most everyone seems to pay with cash or by check. Not as many people use credit cards as they used to. It was definitely a losing situation when it came to this merchant service so I wanted out. I felt ripped off and lied to, they treated me poorly and even dispute resolution told me to take a hike!

What irritates me the most is this is a service recommended by my bank. Apparently they didn’t do any checking on how this service operates. I guess I was the ultimate sap because I actually trusted my bank to recommend a reputable service and for the service’s representative to tell me the truth. It all boils down to customer respect. They didn’t respect me as a customer and were only interested in how much money they could glean from my bank account. Personally this is no way to do business. Customers should matter, because they might write something unflattering about you and post it all over the internet. Case in point!

Stay away from this company, total rip off!

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