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Three Ways Companies Are Ripped off by Credit Card Processors

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July 22, 2010

Three Ways Companies Are Ripped off by Credit Card Processors

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

True, Congress is approving an unspecified limitation on debit card fees to merchants, but officials of say they are "ignoring several ways in which credit card processors are costing businesses across America millions of dollars through deception and outright lying." president and self-styled "merchant rights advocate" Robert Livingstone consults on reducing credit card acceptance fees for merchants without switching their existing processor.

He offers the top 3 ways businesses are deceived by credit card processors:

Predatory telemarketing. "Aggressive telemarketers are confusing business owners by claiming that they are from the merchant's existing service provider, a wholesaler of lower rates, or an objective compliance officer from the credit card company. These are all deceitful sales tactics."

Deceitful and disappearing sales reps. "There is no license required to sell credit card processing, unlike other sales industries such as insurance and real estate. Therefore, reps have the incentive to say anything they need to get the deal done and are often impossible to track down after the contract has been signed and they have collected their commission. Often the merchant's rates go up instead of down."

Cryptic billing. "Often card acceptance fees are debited on the 1st of the month, but most businesses receive their merchant statement between the 7th and 14th of the month. In addition, trying to read a merchant statement is virtually impossible as it is really endless pages of random numbers and industry jargon. Merchants really have to trust that they are billed correctly by their processor."

Livingstone says he can "guarantee that virtually every business in the country has experienced at least one of these problems at least once. His company represents the merchant rather than acting as an agent for the banks or credit card processors, performing merchant account audits and offers consulting services.

Michael Henochowicz, president of OPC Marketing, told TMCnet in a recent interview about how the recession has affected the company’s performance.

“Naturally people did stop purchasing,” Henochowicz said, adding that with the company’s customer base being largely in the sales area, OPC saw many companies feeling the effects of the recession by letting many employees go. However, while some purchasing was diminished and employees were laid off, companies needed to turn to technology to compensate for the lower number of workers.“Because our systems are set up where we don’t have to go in and install [and they’re] preconfigured, and the customer actually installs it themselves, they can be up and running within an hour,” Henochowicz said. “So, there’s no out of pocket expense for them, companies were able to use less people to create a lot more.” 

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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