OK, today I have to write a serious post about banks, mainly because I need to let a few of my customers know about a problem I have had.
This only applies to customers who payed by card at wonderwool and woolfest.
OK, so most of you know that I always accept cards at shows, often I use the proper electronic terminal which is fine, it all goes through electronically, and its all done and dusted.
Sometimes, when there is no electric, I use the manual machine for backup, this again, should not cause any problems, I take the banking slips to the bank not my bank, but the one I have to use, and then they pay me the money for the slips, and then take the money from my customers account.
Most of the shows I have done in the past nine months, I used the back up because generally there is no electric, like wonderwool and woolfest. In march when I was in Paris, I phoned the merchant company, quoted my account number etc, and asked if it was OK to take cards from other countries, yep, they said, no probs at all!! Great!!
I kept on using it for wonderwool and woolfest, the bank paid me for the slips, all OK I thought.
About 6 weeks ago, I get a phone call from the bank, telling me that they cannot process the cheques. I went to see them, they kindly told me that my merchant account had been closed last December. I laughed, and said don't be silly, I have been using my manual card machine for 9 months, and they never notified me that my account was closed, I even phone them in march, and they never said a thing!!!!!
They shrugged and told me I have to pay them back all the money and if I open a new account they can claim the money back from the customers, and then they will refund it again. At which point I nearly started crying, basically because some of them are from Feb and march, which is 1. give my business a bad reputation, and secondly the slips are over 6 months old so they are not valid. "Oh, well, you'll just have to pay us the money back then" I nearly had a panic attack, cause it amounts to thousands of pounds, it could seriously affect me being able to carry on with the business, especially wth giving up work in the next 4 weeks, and no more wages, but I am a hard arssed momma when it comes to stuff like this so, there is no way I am going to let a bank affect it, they can go to hell.
Anyway we agreed in the end that I would open a new merchant account, and then the slips that were valid could be processed, I wasn't so worried because they were from woolfest and wonderwool, which at the time wasn't so long ago, and then I would have to pay them back for all the other shows, which I decided I am not going to pay until I have had legal advice, however, the shocking thing is, they know how improtant it is to process the slips quickly, and guess what? I'm still waiting for them to process the slips for wonderwool and woolfest, still now, after all this time! Which means that more of them will be invalid, and the people that paid at the shows are going to be confused about money coming out of their accounts so late. I am pulling my hair out, and now I am going make a massive complaint to the bank, because they failed to notify me that my merchant account was closed, failed to contact me for nine months, and not telling me when I phoned up that my account was closed.
I can't contact the customers directly that paid by card at wonderwool and woolfest because I don't have their information, I just hope that the handful of customers it affects read this, its not allot, and the average transaction is low but still, I am so upset about this and very sorry. Please contact me if you are worried at all about this on FyberspatesATbtinternetDOTcom
It will not affect any future card processing transactions at shows like ally pally, because I will only use the electronic terminal from now on, and check before every show that my account is open.
Yours, a very stressed and p******d off Jen.