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    8 Replies Latest reply on May 22, 2008 8:40 PM by nMoncrief

    Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(

    Trillions Newbie
      Hi,

      I already have a merchant account and I got my first couple of sales in January via my online store. I stopped sellling for a bit due to illness and just got back into the swing of things. I got another sale yesterday and everytime I tried to process it, the teminal would go through the motions and then print CANCELLED on the receipt and said "Need to Batch". So after calling customer service about it, I was told about batching.

      Why on earth didn't they tell me this when I was setting up my terminal and doing the over the phone tutorial. So I NEVER GOT PAID? What?

      I was told how to do the batch and then I waited. The printout kept saying "pending". It would never go through...and I still could not run the credit card. Finally, after calling back I was told I had to delete the sales from my terminal because they were over 30 days old. I would have to run them again! ugh ...ok.

      I thought about it and I am wondering, am I in the right running a stale transaction over again 4 months later after the sale? Am I obligated to notify the customer first? They obviously know they didn't pay for the product....well maybe if they pay attention to their statements. If I run it and don't say anything, they may think I am trying to scam them. Is it too late? Should I just let it go? The transaction in question only totalled about $30 so it's not a major loss. But I just wondered. My husband think I should just run it again.

      By the way...it was 1st Data that I process through. Not very good for first timers who have "no clue" of what they are doing. I went through Sam's Club which I thought would have more reputable services, but so far their service has been anything but excellent.

      Thanks for any advice!
        • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
          amspcs Ranger
          John Ruskin, the 19th century essayist, said it best:

          +"There
          is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and
          sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man's
          lawful prey.+

           

          I'm only guessing, and please forgive me if I'm wrong...but did you pick whomever you are processing with after having compared competitive rates, then selecting the lowest one? It certainly sounds like whomever you chose to do business with elected to leave 'training' out of the equation as their means for selling a little cheaper.

          In any event, yes you MUST MUST MUST settle your batch daily. Most networks nowadays feature 'auto close', but yours obviously doesn't. Don't try to settle four month old transactions now---the authorization numbers are no longer valid and they will reject.

          Yes, you r_eally_ need to notify the customer before you re-run the transaction four months later. If not, the customer very likely isn't going to remember the transaction at all and you'll get a ton of disputes which will cost you a fortune in chargebacks, chargeback fees, and much worse (like getting your merchant account shut down).

          Forget Sam's Club---if you think you got precious little in terms of Customer Support and training from First Data, wait 'til you see what you get from Sams (which is really Nova Processing, a big national concern. But, per Mr. Ruskin above, in order to sell cheaper under the Sam's bannerthey need to eliminate something that costs them, in this case customer service and support).

          Incidentally, here's the problem with your decision to process through First Data. Actually, they're not a bad company at all. In fact, they are very good....IF (big big bold-faced all caps IF) you are a major giant multi-location national chain with gigantic sales volume). Since you're not, they're happy to cash your checks every month, but since you're 'small potatoes' you can forget about getting the time of day from them in terms of customer support, training, and all the other things you need. That's been their MO for years...sorry, you just signed up in the wrong league. You would be much happier with a processor designed to serve the _smal_l business industry who knows how to (and is more inclined to) serve and cater to this sort of business.

          Don't go jumping ship just yet to change processors. First you need to carefully review your contract with Sams/Nova, First Data or whomever to confirm the terms of your contract and avoid getting masacred with early termination fees (yes, you signed a contract and are subject to penalty fees if you default). If you need help, drop me a line (email address below) and I'll do my best to help you sort it out.

          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but don't despair...this is one of the most common mistakes small start-ups make. You need to look at it this way: You're human, you made a mistake. What's next? You can either elect to correct the problem. Or you can do nothing and continue to bleed some more. Your call. My no-brainer advise--seek knowledgable help to find a solution. There are a number of qualified payment processing individuals on this forum, including myself, who I am sure would be glad to help. Take advantage of this resource.

          Barry G
          AMS, Inc.
          www.MerchantServices-help.com
          amspcs@juno.com

           

           


          • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Never Batched, Welcome to this web site.

            So much in life is a learning experience.

            Tell us more about you and your business. Go to Members page and add info.

            Where are you located?? What kind of business?? and how long??

            Good luck and thanks, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
              Trillions Newbie
              Thanks for the information and advice! I went with Sams/1st Data because I got sucked into the whole Sam's Club marketing scheme pretty much. I've been a business member gor several years and never needed a processor until last year and after "not much" consideration I went with Sam's because...well...they claim to have had great rates for small businesses, etc and after getting such great prices AND service in Sam's Club for my family and business - I never expected that theie credit card processing would be any different. I truly expected the same level of service and product.

              I had no idea when I signed up that 1st Data really has nothing to do with Sam's Club. That cut me very deep after realizing that. So now I stay clear of ALL those "additional services" pamphlets in Sam's Club..the insurance...the auto warranties...the business signs, etc.

              I will have a look at my contract and see if it is beneficial for me to move on or not. I know they have me for FOUR YEARS. But if I can get out of it for a few hundred, I just might do it. You are right about their level of customer service to the little guy...it's virtually non-existant. They act very impatient and from my experience...will hang up on you after so many minutes. I have had to call back several times because I get a sudden dial tone while speaking lol.

              I will just let this transaction go and learn my lesson. $30 is not such a big deal...it could have been a lot worse. I could have had several sales and lost them all.

              Thanks again!
                • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
                  amspcs Ranger
                  Sad story, happens all too often. I successfully write lots of major merchants on First Data and they do a good job with them. But I learned long ago to never write a smaller merchant with them; their operation just isn't set up to cater to the little guy.

                  You say you will read your contract and if ou can get out of it for a "few hundred" you will consider doing so. Read the ENTIRE doc VERY carefully, preferably have someone experienced such as an attorney do so for you BEFORE you leap. There are often surprises lurking in the bowels of merch services contracts. For example, if you have a $25 monthly minimum and a $10 monthly statement fee, some folks will hit you up for four years worth of those fees in addition to the stated early termination fee. A few hunded can turn into a few thousand. Again, read the entire doc very carefully.

                  If you only do a few dollars worth of sales sporatically throughout the year, why do you need the monthly fixed fee expense of a traditional merchant account? I know this is sacreligious for a person who makes his living selling traditional merchant accounts to say, but it's true. If I were you, I'd just process with a simple Paypal account until such time as your business hits the big time, THEN get a traditional account. If you're interested in Paypal, I'd appreciate your using the following referral link--it's the same numbers as going to Paypal direct but I'll make a few pennies as referrer (0.5% of the new merchant's revenue--a cup of coffee...maybe):

                  https://www.paypal.com/us/mrb/pal=2SXM26U7ZHJUA

                  IF you're adamant about having a traditional merchant account, and IF you can safely get out of your current mess, I can point you in the direction of a good month-to-month (i.e. no early termination fees--if you don't like them you're out with 30 days notice) provider that specifically caters to small businesses. Competitive numbers, gateway included for ecommerce sites, no equipment or software to buy or lease, Furtune 5000 Co not brand x, etc. Reply to amspcs@juno.com if interested.

                  Good luck.

                  BG
                  amspcs@juno.com
                  www.MerchantServices-help.com
                • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
                  nMoncrief Adventurer
                  Credit card authorizations expire after 30 days, but should be captured within a day if at all possible. If you still have the customer's phone number, I suggest you call him/her, explain what happened, and ask permission to re-run the charge. Most people are understanding and will permit it, as long as they know the charge never appeared on their CC statement. DO NOT simply re-run the charge without contacting the customer first. After 4 months, that customer will assume you're up to no good, and file a chargeback. Then, not only will you lose the amount of the sale, but you'll also have to pay First Data's chargeback fee, which could mean another $30 lost.

                  You mentioned an online store. Do you have a retail store as well? If not, and they set you up as a retail store, they sold you equipment that you didn't need. E-commerce businesses typically process transactions through a shopping cart and a secure gateway (like Authorize.net.) We can't post links on this site, but here's the URL address to an article I wrote that explains it all better.

                  http://hubpages.com/hub/e-Commerce-vs-Bri
                  ck-and-Mortar-Credit-Card-Payments-Explain
                  ed

                  I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Click the profile for my contact info. I'm in Georgia as well.

                  Neil Moncrief
                  www.CreekFinancial.com
                    • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
                      Trillions Newbie
                      I already have a PayPal account and have been using it for years successfully. I needed the merchant account to do trade shows mostly, but have my online shop set up to let the customer choose between PayPal and Credit Card. As I said earlier, I had fell ill just after getting the merchant account so I didn't do the trade shows during that period. But I plan to pick back up within the next couple of months. The terminal I have is wireless which is what sold me. It works anywhere which is useful for trade shows across the country.

                      So while I have only been doing bits of sales here and there, I plan to increase that soon. After a couple months, hopefully things will pick up and I can find their services in my favor..if not...there's always other options as you both stated...just with a price. lol
                      • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
                        Trillions Newbie
                        nMoncrief,

                        No I do not have a retail location (yet)...although that is my plan. The setup I think was keeping in mind that I'd be doing tradeshows and...eventually setting up a shop. I have used 2Checkout in the past (similar to Authorize.net I think) but getting the merchant account was done with temporary shop set up in mind at trade shows.

                        :)
                          • Re: Never Batched...have to re-run sales...4 months later :(
                            nMoncrief Adventurer
                            Since you need to accept cards at trade shows, I have something you might like (if you find you're able to leave First Data.) Instead of using an expensive wireless terminalt, and paying for costly airtime, you can get by with the laptop computer you probably already own. I have a lot of traveling salespeople using this system. You can qualify for low Qualified rates just by adding a $50 USB card reader. And you get instant authorizations as long as you have access to the Internet (either by WiFi, wireless Internet card, or hardwire.) In case you're interested, here's the URL where you can learn more:

                            www.creekfinancial.com/StarCharge.pdf

                            Neil Moncrief
                            Creek Financial Services