Nightmare Merchant Problem!

Ginger HollowellCredit Card Processing/ Merchant Services, Scams Against MerchantsLeave a Comment

Nightmare Merchant Problem

Let me tell a true nightmare story which happened recently to one of our merchants.  I will tell you how we fought like the 3rd monkey trying to get on Noah’s Arc in order to find the solution and fix the nightmare problem.  Then you will have a better understanding of how Electronic Money Company is uniquely different from all the other credit card processing sales offices out there.

We got a call from our processor regarding one of our merchants.  The processor told the merchant that they should call us at Electronic Money Company and not them, but they 3-wayed over to me on my cell phone with the merchant still on the line.  I answered my cell phone. (Step 1 in customer service is to answer your phone with a live human being.  Step 1 with even extra white glove service is to give out your cell phone.  Step 1 with extra, extra white glove service is to answer your cell phone, which I did.)

It was not actually the merchant who was on the line, but instead his accountant.  This particular merchant is an absentee owner who relies on his staff to take care of business.  The accountant had been trying for 6 days to get a hold of someone regarding the fact that they had been unable, for 6 days, to process a credit card!  The accountant had called the restaurant point of sale computer company, who said the problem was not theirs, but belonged to the processor.  But they added that they would look into the matter anyway and get back to this accountant.  They did not. The accountant called the tech support number on their merchant statement for help, but they indicated that the problem resided with the point of sale company.  They added that they would look into the matter anyway and get back to this accountant.  They did not.  So the accountant called both parties back again and again, and got stuck in a loop of no help, until finally, a particular technician with the processor decided to try and 3 way over to me.

For background information, the technicians on the phone have no skin in the game of helping a merchant.  They get paid a salary whether they help anyone or not. I told this accountant that the buck stops with me. I told her that I needed to research this strange problem and would get back to her this same day with either a resolution or a progress report on the situation.  And I did.

So here is what happened. The merchant operates a piano bar.  They average around 50 credit card transactions an evening. The night the processing stopped, they ran 1000 transactions!  The amounts of the transactions were strange amounts, a dollar here, five dollars there.  We knew that the processor had to be the party that shut down the processing because someone was testing stolen credit cards at this merchant’s location!

We called and got a no care attitude from the tech support, but we refused to get off the line until we got a supervisor.  The supervisor was stumped as well as to how or why the merchant got shut down, so we escalated it again.  After a couple hours of our back and forth researching and escalating, we finally figured out that the system has an automatic trigger to shut down a merchant’s processing when an exorbitant number of transactions occurs, which in this merchant’s profile was 1000 transactions!  The system was programmed to shut down when it suspects fraud!

Our next step was to set up this merchant with a new merchant ID and send the new information to their POS company so they could again process credit cards.  We took on the situation, fought through it and the problem got resolved and fixed.  As it turns out, thankfully the processor did not approve or deposit any of the fraudulent transactions to the piano bar.  The system worked, shut down, and stopped the transactions in cyberspace before depositing into the merchant’s bank account.

But why the manager at the piano bar did not give the accountant our direct phone number is beyond us.  Why the processor’s tech support didn’t figure out the problem in the first place, but passed it off for 6 days, is also beyond us.  But yes, Electronic Money Company cares about each and every merchant. We fight like the 3rd monkey trying to get onto Noah’s Ark to defend and support our family of merchants.  We don’t know any other processor, or sales office of a processor, that works this hard to protect a client.  Credit card processing tends to click along in a system until it doesn’t.  That is when the men are separated from the boys.  That is where we shine above the crowd.  This is why we have had merchants stick with us since we opened our doors 19 years ago.