Certegy / declined to process a valid check
My wife wrote a check for $147.18 on the evening of 11-29-2010 at one of the local Hobby Lobby stores - it was declined and the only "explanation" given was a small slip of paper that provided the number to "Certegy" (a check authorizing company that Hobby Lobby has a contract with to process their transactions). Overwhelmingly embarrassed, and almost in tears, she called me to ask if anything was wrong with the checking account she wrote the check on (i.e., did we get notified of any “identity theft” activity). I said “No, not that I am aware of.” and I told her I would check into the issue when she got home.
I called “Certegy” at 8:28pm that evening and started going through their automated system. Within 10 minutes, I was able to talk to a representative (although you could tell she was in-training, reading from script and being coached by another representative). After going through all the necessary steps to track down “the transaction, ” I was told that there was no “problems” with my check other than the fact that their system just happened to pick my check out to decline.
First off, this is totally absurd as a business practice and Hobby Lobby needs to investigate how many times this “practice” has happened because it is costing them (Hobby Lobby) sales and money. Secondly, as a company in this line of business, “Certegy” would be better off giving me any other reason of why the check was declined (low check number, too many checks written within a short amount of time, personal data not matching up with records, etc.) other than their system just happened to pick my check and that they are very sorry for the “inconvenience”.
I was then asked if I wanted to sign up for a “Certegy Gold Card” and when I pressed the representative for what it would do for me, she could not give me what I would consider an acceptable answer. I asked if I had the card and presented it along with my check if I would not have what happened to my wife happen to me. She said no, that’s not how it worked, but could not tell me exactly what having a “Certegy Gold Card” does for me. My bank provides me with “identify theft” protection, check clearance notifications, low balance, etc. As far as I can see from my wife’s experience, “Certegy” might provide “some protection” to Hobby Lobby on occasions, but the real question that Hobby Lobby and other merchants who do contract with them is “What does “Certegy” cost me in lost sales?”
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