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iTransact follies

(I should note this really doesn't have much to do with iTransact as they were just trying to save me a few bucks. It has more to do with crap-ass banks.)

I've had a merchant account (i.e. the ability to accept credit cards) for six years. My business has been dormant for some time, but it's going to resurface soon. Even though the biz hasn't been active, I've been paying the monthly fees to keep the account "alive", so to speak.

Recently I received an e-mail from iTransact requesting - very strongly - that I switch processors. The e-mail was filled with all sorts of happy information to the tune of "You'll save a bunch of money by using this new processor! Lots of fees eliminated! Seriously!" It didn't say that verbatim (obviously), but on read, that's what it sounded like.

So I called to find out why this was necessary at all.

I was informed that Nova Information Systems was causing certain "issues" and that iTransact would prefer if I used this new'n'wonderful processor instead of Nova.

So I said okay. Why not.

I had to fax over a crapload of forms to iTransact. It cost me over $30 at Kinko's to copy, scan and fax everything.

I get a communication back from iTransact.

"We need a copy of your driver's license."

Not cool. I am absolutely 100% against sending anyone a copy of that information.

But I sent it anyway. This is for a merchant account, after all.

I get another communication.

"The bank wants to know better what kind of business you have - and they want one of your example contracts you use to conduct business with your clients."

My honest reaction: What do they need THIS for?

So I send over this big e-mail explaining what my business is, the services provided and so on. And I sent over one of my contracts that I use. Totally not necessary - but I sent it anyway.

I get yet another communication.

"The bank has to review this information."

I sent an e-mail back stating the following (in nicer terms):

a) I'm ticked off I had to send everything and the kitchen sink just to get the "Uh.. we have to review this" b.s. explanation.

b) I'm ticked off because the fact they have to "review" the app indicates the bank processing the merchant account application has no idea what they're doing.

c) I'm ticked off that this was supposed to be easy, but is turning out to be a nightmare.

I also set an ultimatum. Either they get the ball rolling with this, or I'm ditching this new'n'wonderful processor and staying with Nova Information Systems. They may not be cheap, but at least they've always been reliable and never required any explanations of what my business is and what it does. As long as I process legal items (which I always do), there's never an issue.

But this new bank iTransact wants me to use? They suck. This application process alone is enough to drive anyone up a wall.

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