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Authorize this!

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Friday, June 01, 2007
Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2008

My friend and mentor Mark Amtower will have a field day with this when he finds out about it.

In this world of online commerce, merchant services and payment gateways, I've had a new one sprung on me. I'm actually pretty amazed at what is happening, why it's happening (who it's happening to) and how it's happening. Okay, enough with the riddles, here you go.

We process a lot of online credit card transactions and have been using a service called SecureSource, which is a partnership between Wells Fargo and Authorize.net, where our merchant services account and internet payment gateway are all rolled into one. It's a product they began offering in 2001 which has been a good platform for us for almost two years now. My only comment is that I should have known something was up based on the number of times Maggie or I called in and neither Wells Fargo or Authorize.net could find our account by the number we provided. Eventually, we would connect with someone who would say "Ohh, you have a SecureSource Account!" and we would get where we needed to be.

 With merchant service providers, I'm accustomed to credit limits as there is an obvious inherent risk with these transactions which could end up costing someone a lot of money.

Try this on for size. This month, due to an extra event and increased membership sign-ups, we went over our monthly "credit limit". By almost $7000.00. Now, to me, it sounds like they would stop accepting charges at that point until they determined if they would increase your limit or not.  In this case, our providers accepted all of the transactions, billed us for the normal transaction charges and percentage rate, BUT, we have no access to the money which we just paid for. In fact, we were told by the SecureSource customer service rep that until we sent in a credit increase request and "explained" why we went over our limit. Hmm.

Let me think about this...so basically, I bring more business to your company, am a low risk customer for two years, you charge me for the additional businesss I brought to you, collect interest on MY money and,  you want to penalize me for doijng well? Interesting.

The worst part is, because this SecureSource product is apparently a red-headed stepchild in these organizations, customer service is the absolute pits.

Here's my question. What happens if they only increase our credit limit by $3500.00? I guess they pocket the difference.

 We'll see how this ends.

GT

Tags:  authorize.net  fargo  securesource  service  wells 

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