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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Virtual Merchant CC processing

    This is half rant and half trying to be helpful on the off chance someone else gets this software or upgrades to this version. I do this through Costco and know a few others around here do too.

    After using Costco cc processing for years with no problems I was informed I had to buy new software and go to an online based system... fair enough I suppose.

    So, I call the place when they tell me to and the guy walks me through registering and away I go. During processing, when it comes time to print out the receipt, my pop-up blocker won't let the window come up. So, the guy tells me allow the pop up to get the receipt. If I'd like I can just set IE to 'always allow pop ups' from this site. No problemo.... right?

    So, I run my first card a couple days later (on a different machine where the pop ups hadn't been allowed)... so, I click to 'allow' and to make a long story short... it double bills my client. A first time buyer with basically no money who is counting on every penny to be in his checking account to close with... yikes. Needless to say, he's not happy.

    So, I call the center and they lady can't even tell me why this happened... she said it's something with the sales tax. At least now I see where the cards accumulate and can keep an eye on this. It wasn't until I called again Sunday and talked to one of the software engineers before I found out the pop up thing was the culprit...

    So.... last night I sit down to run a card... "declined" - "call the center" - So, I call... they walk me through trying a few more times and it still gets declined. Great... I'll deal with later I think as I'm heading off to bed. Well, I wake up this morning to my client in my ear that her card was billed 5 times and the account has been closed and it's under "fraud" investigation!!!!!

    And to make matters worse.... I call the center again and they have NO IDEA how it happened!!!!!!

    I just can't believe a system could be set up this poorly and that the people on the phones are so clueless about their product.... So, basically, be really, really carful with this software. People on the verge of buying houses tend to get a little cranky when you clean out their checking accounts and lock up their credit cards... go figure.

    And before you all tell me how great other plans are... I looked into Paypal - It's about 1/2% higher charge.... although now I'm thinking it would be worth it.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Virtual Merchant CC processing

    Sorry to hear of your problems but thanks for the heads up.
    I don't use Costco but from what I have heard there is a government mandated card processing security requirement upgrade that everyone will have to deal with sooner or later.
    I have gotten a call from my processor but did not have time to talk that day. I'm sure my day is coming.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Virtual Merchant CC processing

    You're right Jim.... what it comes down to is security. Businesses like ours where we usually don't "swipe" the card through a machine and don't have a "storefront" have the highest likelihood to be fraudulent.

    Basically, ID theives sit at home on their crack pipes trying to come up with the numbers off of cards that we hold in our hands from our clients each day. So, it's not surprising we get put through the ringer. I suppose there are some growing pains now and then.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Virtual Merchant CC processing

    Costco uses a company called Elavon for their processing. I think they are one of the largest in the country. Elavon - Home When I had to do the software change because of the new security regulations I did not have any issues, it went off without a hitch.

    I found this CC Blog a few weeks ago when I was looking at changing. After reading and doing more research I have decided to stay with Costco. Now if I had a bunch of small charges like a store, I would not be with Costco. But, for the dollar amount and the number of transactions I do, it is the best fit for me. Costco Credit Card Processing? This Will Shock You!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Virtual Merchant CC processing

    I have a virtual merchant lease from another business that I am no longer involved in & it has less than 3 years left on the lease. If anyone wants to use the virtual merchant software you can sublease this one from me & not have the full 4 year non-cancellable term. We never had any problems with it.
    For the home inspection business I have been using First National Merchant Solutions from the beginning & have not had any problems with them either, but I have heard about several that have.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver - Canada
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Virtual Merchant CC processing

    I have been using Costco's Elavon service since January with no problems. It works great for me, never had a problem, I love it.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

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