Innovative Merchant Solutions Complaint - Terrible Service, withholding funds, charging additional fees
CALIFORNIA -- This company has the worst and the most unqualified customer service ever. This includes basically all departments. I think they are all high school dropouts. The dumbest people I’ve ever had to deal with. It is sad that company like Intuit doesn’t want to do anything about it. Unfortunately if you are merchant you may suffer financially because of that poor service. In my case, first time when I ran into trouble was when they withheld my deposit the first time. Here is what happened. I process online orders in Quick Books. I need to obtain AVS and CVV match in order to protect myself from chargebacks. Unfortunately many customers don’t know the difference between billing and shipping address and sometimes when I run the credit card payment, AVS comes back with “no match” but the payment is still approved. Under QB you can’t use risk tools to black transaction when AVS returns “no match”. Innovative Merchant Solutions doesn’t give you this popular tool. So when AVS comes back with no match, I would have to void transaction, call customer, obtain correct address and run transaction again. I know it is a little technical here, but hopefully some of you know what I mean. The problem is that even if I void first transaction, authorization has been already placed on customer credit card. It will take 7 business days for this authorization to disappear. So in case when customer has limited funds, my other attempt of sale would be declined. Simply there is not enough available credit to put another authorization. Keep in mind that my sales are on average 1000-2000USD. So I called Innovative Merchant customer service. First lady didn’t know what AVS was. When I told her that transaction with AVS match are subject to discounted rates (2.4% instead of 3.1% with no AVS match) she said she had never heard about it and transferred me to another person. She probably has never seen statement that Innovative sends to me every month. So here is another genius. He knows something about AVS. Good, so I asked him how can I run sale again without putting new authorization. Is there a way to cancel or use old authorization. He said yes, just run sale and enter authorization number from previous transaction. Great, so I did it with 2 transactions the very next day. It didn’t take long, few hours later I received phone call from Innovative Merchant Risk Department. The guy says that I ran two sales without valid authorization and I need to refund it right away. On the top of it he withheld two of my most recent batches. When I told him, that it was their mistake and they are responsible for misinforming me, he said that he has no record of me calling them the day before and basically called me a liar. So I refunded money, run transaction again, this time like I did it before, by obtaining new authorization. Thank god customers had enough available credit to cover it. But now my account is locked. The deposits stopped coming to my checking account. Of course when I call Risk Management, every person would have something different to say. In other words no one could explain me when I would start receiving deposits again. It took me 3 weeks of phone calls and emails. Finally I ran into some more intelligent person. Maybe she even had high school diploma. Anyways, she looked at my account and said: “I see no reason for you not receiving deposits, let me fix it”. Two days later money started coming to my account. For 3 weeks my business had been shut down, since I ran out of funds and wasn’t able to accept new orders. But Intuit doesn’t care. So here I am year later. One of my customer made a big purchase. I checked everything about him. Company is legit corporation, and the guy is a president of it. AVS, CVV matches. Billing address matching shipping address. Order placed from company server, company email etc. Everything perfect. So I took the order, send them invoice and few days later they called me with credit card to pay for it. I ran authorization. It went through no problem. Next day we shipped the order and by the end of the day I ran charge. Sale was approved. Great. Next day, Saturday I received an email from Innovative Merchant (I thought they were closed on weekends) requesting invoice for that order, shipping information and customer information. It said that IMS Risk Analyst was reviewing that transaction. I faxed documentation right away. 15 minutes later there is another email informing me that my batch was withheld for time of investigation. This time they refer to Article V section 5.01 of Merchant agreement and requested: bank statement, contract, invoice, shipping documentation. Just like that with no details. What bank statement? So I faxed invoice and shipping documentation again, there was no contract just standard term and condition we have for online sales, and I asked what bank statement they needed. I also referred to Merchant Agreement and article V. Well, it says about accepting checks from customers and method of verifying them. None of this had anything to do with my case. I guess they thought I would never read Merchant Agreement. Of course I email my Analyst about it. No answer of course. But she did specify what bank statement she needed. She says “I need 6 months of your business bank statement summary page only”. Well now you talking. So I faxed her summary pages from last six of my monthly statements. 2 days later I received another email. No “Hello” or anything like that in those emails, just plain text all in lower case. Just like a text message from the phone. It said: “I need 6 month business bank statement summary page only”. OK, I called my bank and ask them about 6 month bank statement. They said: “we can give you 6 months of your monthly statements. We do not produce 6 month statements. If you need some specific information from last 6 months like average daily balance etc. we can get it for you too. What information do you need?” I said “I don’t know, it’s not for me and my analyst wasn’t very detailed. So I emailed my analyst again telling the story. Never heard from her again. When I call her, voice mail kicks in right away and phone calls are not being returned. I emailed her again requesting status of my case. No answer. It is only 11 thousand dollars they hold hostage and no one can tell me when and if ever I will receive that money. I’ve already sent products so I have no money and no products at this point. Also I’ve read in Merchant agreement that they can set limit for transaction on your account without informing you about it. If you go over that limit they will charge you penalties 5%. In my case it may be over $500 in addition to over $300 they will charge as processing fee. This is Ripp Off. I will barely get profit from this transaction. My advice, if you planning on growing your business and make sales of more than $500 stay away from Innovative Merchant Solution. How can you be punished for having more sales than you originally estimated in merchant application? This is what they do. If you go over estimated monthly limit you entered in your merchant application, they will charge you 5%. Just read Merchant Agreement. They simply don’t want your business to grow. And the customer service…. Oh please. How can you be more ignorant and more unprofessional. They do not care about your business. In fact they treat you as a criminal and punish you in advance. It remind me PayPal. I guess they are not far from that. Although PayPal did improve. If there is anyone there who can help me with my situation, please let me know. Do I have any legal rights I can use in case like this.