CitrusKiwi's Web Design, Internet & Marketing blog

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Credit card processing woes

When we began CitrusKiwi 9 years ago, no merchant processor would touch us. No surprise really. Brand new company, owner brand new to the USA, no credit history. We had a lot going against us. So we went with PayPal. And, for 9 years, they have provided reasonably good service. Yes, they're expensive; yes, their reporting is a joke; yes, their search and filtering is an even bigger joke. But at least they gave us an account and they've improved from when we first signed up. But, finally, it was time to move on.

So, we signed up with Total Merchant Services. Setup was slow - well over a month to get the account in place and connected with On top of that, we were never sent any documentation regarding our account - didn't know how to log in even! So, we processed a few transactions, and, despite the initial issues, business seemed to be working. Until last week....

I had a couple of clients say they were having issues setting up their payments. Then I began to get declined emails - Error code 38 - "The Global Payment System identification numbers are incorrect. Call Merchant Service Provider."  Ran my own test - Error 38. Hmmm. Payment system dead for the whole weekend; more crashing payments. Finally got hold of the company this morning (Monday).

"Your account was cancelled as the [your] service is prohibited."

The rather rude girl on the phone couldn't tell me what service that was (though it seems it is SEO, something we don't do). Anyway, I was told, the account is cancelled and they couldn't reinstate it even if I proved they got it wrong. Are you serious? She seemed completely disinterested that it had cost me missed payments. Oh, and yes, they never even bothered emailing me to say the account was going to be cancelled, they just turned it off. If we had built your e-commerce site, and you'd made a couple of payments, then we just deleted it without warning, wouldn't that seem pretty lousy customer service? That's precisely what this company did. Unbelievable!

So I spent the rest of the morning trying to replace the service. During my many calls, one other company deserves a mention for a "What did you just say?" award. Bluepay. Their excuse for not wanting our business? I'm not an American citizen. What? I'm a Green Card holder, with a social #, an EIN, a driver's license, and a better credit score than average. Oh no, Mr Shere, you aren't a citizen. What a joke!

In summary, who's the best credit card processor? What merchant services provider will give cheap prices, but great customer service? NOT Total Merchant Services - the Title Tag on their website claims "Best Low Rate Credit Card Processing For Small Businesses Owners" so they're obviously not above stretching the truth.... A LOT!!! - and NOT Bluepay. If you're looking for merchant services, stay away from these 2.

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