My own personal experience with Certegy...
I purchased a pool from Recreational Factory Warehouse in Tampa Fl on 13507 N Nebraska Ave. Everything went great. I wrote my check, I asked who to make it payable to. The clerk said RFW of tampa. So, I put that on the Pay to the Order of line of my check. Over 3 grand spent. They ran the check through Certegy and fine. No problems. The pool arrives, it gets installed. A couple weeks later, I receive a notice in the mail from Certegy on behalf of RFW stating my check had been returned as nonsufficient funds. So I check with my bank and the money is still sitting in my account. The bank checks my records and has a photocopy of my check. They had returned the check to RFW's bank because RFW had endorsed the check as Leisure Systems. So the endorsement did not match who the check was made payable to. So my bank plainly stated with the returned check, "Endorsement Mismatch" and requested the check to be resubmitted with the correct endorsement. At this point, Certegy blacklisted me, preventing me from writing checks to ANYONE that used ANY checking guarantee service. So all my checks were being refused through no fault of my own. The money was there, it is just that RFW could not seem to endorse the check with their OWN name after telling me to make it out that way. So I called Certegy and spoke to a guy named Brown. He was a total jerk to me and stated the check was returned NSF (Non Sufficient Funds). I told him I had been in contact with my bank and that was not the case. Certegy was now claiming I owed the additional amount plus collection fees totaling more than $200. This took weeks to straighten out and only the threat of a lawsuit because they were preventing me from writing checks for normal stuff (like house payments and bill payments) got someone from higher up to call me. This person, whose name I forget right now, stated that he could see the check was returned as an endorsement mismatch and that it should have been taken care of the first day. He cleared my accounts and removed the black marks and I was able to write checks again. Still, he wanted $25 for a returned check fee. I told him to collect it from his client as it was they who could not sign their name to the check and I wrote it in good faith. Now, the story does not end here. Where as I used to be able to write a check for $3,000 + dollars to make purchases, I can not write checks for over a hundred now. Certegy rejects checks that I write that approach the $100 mark. Case in point, I went to Circuit City in Tampa to buy a laptop computer and new phone. I wrote the check for my new phone which cost me $300, and Certegy declined it. They also declined the seperate $2200 check for the laptop. I had over 10 grand in the bank and they declined me. The response I got from them was, "It does not fit your spending habits." So I asked, "What are my spending habits?" I was told, "We don't know. It just does not fit your spending habits. However, you can join our Gold..." They always want people to join this Gold Club thing. What happened is they are P.O.'d at me for problems that were not my fault to begin with and are now hiding behind a convinient blanket statement of "It does not fit your spending habits." Certegy is a big monstrous company who if you displease them in any way, even if you are correct on principal and virtue, will flex their mighty corporate arm and smash you into the dust. My bank says there is nothing wrong with my account and I have NEVER bounced a check. They state there is no ethical reason Certegy should turn down my checks or even state something like "It does not fit your spending habits." I have spoken to Circuit City. I am in the market right now for a complete new entertainment center (HDTV, BluRay DVD, PC with Media Center, and surround sound as I moved recently. I can not spend my money at Circuit City for fear of the humiliation that when I cut the check, it won't fit my spending habit and I'll be denied in front of everyone again. If the money is there, and you provide proof of who you are, the check should clear. A check is a legal document promising payment. Certegy should be checking if it is a good check and not arbitrarily deciding who can buy what when. They are worse than a HMO.