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Innovative Merchant Solutions / Scam and rip off!

1 26541 Agoura RoadCalabasas, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 818-736-7800

On March 10th, 2008 I regrettably became another victim of Innovative Merchants Solutions. The first batch approximately $23, 000 was composed of several transactions. After being contacted by the incredibly rude and unhelpful risk management department, they told me they were unable to verify these transactions and I needed to fax over all the invoices and my customers' information (sounds like a familiar scenario).

I complied with all their demands for data. (I was advised that I had to fax over every invoice when I accept credit card payments so this would not happen again.) Risk Management told me they were not able to contact any of my customers (once again, sounds like a familiar scenario).

I took the pleasure doing their job while they were charging me and contacted my customers to have them verify these transactions with their card issuing banks in case they had flagged them for fraud. 9 days later, after a letter from an attorney who has been practicing for 35 years in the San Fernando Valley, they released the full amount of funds.

2 days later, after the funds were in my account, I was notified by my bank (Bank of America) that they had been looking on my account for fraudulent activities and noted that IMS is trying to reverse the credit to my account. One of BofA's fraud analysts immediately stopped their transaction and flagged it for fraud (thank you Jackie), thereby keeping my money in my account. I contacted IMS the same day and spoke to Crystal in regards to the reversal. Crystal stated that my new transactions (in the amount of $25, 000 over several days) are being held and will not be released until I let the reversal go through. My new income was being held hostage until I gave them my earlier income! Being a former FDNY Paramedic at 9/11, we all have horrible memories of that tragic day where our country was attacked by cowards.

IMS has made me feel in the past 2 weeks, the exact same way as I did on that day. Being a Paramedic and a veteran I believe we all can agree that by attacking the finance of so many small businesses, IMS is equal to those cowards who attacked our country. Therefore, I have retained an attorney to file suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

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  • C
      13th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am one of the victims, they hold my fund and keep giving me excuses of reviewing my paperworks. I've read all the complaints and I believe they have the intention to hold my fund forever. I hope all the victims and stand up and have a demonstration and strike in front of their office at 26541 Agoura Road
    Calabasas, California. We can come up with a date and have everybody gather in front of their office and take back what we suppose to get.

    We should all meet up and file a lawsuit against Innovative Merchant Solution.

  • So
      15th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    IMS has hold funds for 6 weeks telling that they have to verify the transactions (invoices + cardholders info).
    After repeated phone calls, fax and emails IMS finally (3 days ago) decided to reverse all the funds to our clients!!!
    Now we have to contact each clients and hoping they will have pay us ...
    Moreover they closed our account without let us know ...
    I assume a class action lawsuit will be the best solution.

  • Rm
      21st of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    They are holding $12, 500 of my money now. Going on second week. Class action lawsuit is in order here. Obviously, if they are going to do this then they should not approve the transaction in the first place. Asking for copies of invoices, just like in other cases on this site. It is none of their business what the transaction is for. Their job is to approve or decline the transaction, at the TIME of the transaction, not later. Have already cancelled service and been charged the $295 fee. These people are crooks and cannot be allowed to continue. Anybody else out there ready for a class action? Let me know.

  • El
      26th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Listen people,
    I used to work for this company. Here's how it works... VISA/MasterCard approve transactions on behalf of the customer. IMS deposits those funds into your account on your behalf. If there is a risky transaction, they hold the funds until verified. if the bank says their client isn't verifying the transaction, they hold the money. Once they get verification they will release the money to you. It would be illegal otherwise. Just because you don't like them holding your money doesn't mean they don't have the right to do so. The best thing to do is ask for a partial release of funds that are not in question. Sometimes your account is risky and the dollar amount going through cannot be supported by YOUR credit, business type, history etc... Basically, if they put the money in your account and then the customer claims fraud... guess what? IMS has to get the money from you to give back to VISA/MC/AMEX to pay back their client. Should IMS pay for that? No way! Its your business, your risk. They have to cover themselves so you don't close your account and leave them holding the bag for your losses.
    And it is absolutely their business what the transaction is for... you are required to sell only what you are set up to sell... like you can't sell computers if you are setup as a nail salon. It matters. The risk factor is different. Sometimes I can't believe how ignorant people can be. How do you run a business if you can't understand risk and don't even bother reading the contract or at least asking a question. These are reasonable people... I know... I used to work for them before I moved on to a completely different line of work.
    The annual fee, termination fee and merchant club are a completely different story. That I can't help with but the holding of funds is definitely legal and within their rights to do. Not only is it within their rights, it is reasonable since they are assuming alot of risk on your behalf.
    Suck it up people. Pay more attention and really research something before you bad mouth a company and threaten a class action law suit.

  • Ge
      7th of May, 2009
    0 Votes


    Innoviative merchant Solutions – the most sophisticated and innovative way to scam merchants.

    Before I started processing with innovative merchant solutions, I red so many [redacted]s, complains about innovative merchant solutions where people say that innovative merchant solutions stealing their money and I thought that because a lot of people do not understand technology they get banned by the processing companies and that they get attacked by hackers using fake credit cards etc…

    I thought that I am different, I understand security and probably others get banned due to hackers. I thought that I will sign up with innovative merchant solutions and give them a shot.

    I am web developer with many years of experience developing credit card security systems. In the past I worked for major banks worldwide and I know security from programming perspective like nobody else. I don't even use security mechanisms provided by gateways and implement my own custom way in my code. It proved to work. I got about 1 chargeback (over 8 months) at $100, 000 processed with linkpoint and chargeback was because customer was not able to recognize transaction. My system makes phone call during checkout to customers and does not allow transaction to go through unless they enter pin number they are given over the phone. I use other tools by maxmind, tools that verify address and location of the IP address to billing address etc… and a lot more.

    I only gave Innovative Merchant Solutions about 10% of my processing to see how it goes. First few weeks it was great. One major issue was stupid security tools. When can't verify address, it places temporary authorization yet returning decline status and when customer looks at the statement, they see these authorizations every time they try to process new transaction. You know when you tell customer transaction is declined; they try it again and again (at least 3 times). Try to explain that process to customer….. When I called and asked why they are doing it, I was told that they do it just in case if you want to process that particular transaction later, you can do so manually. So they expect me to tell every web customer – “if your transaction declined – don't worry I will process it later or I am sorry you have 10 temp. authorizations on your statement"…. STUPID. In any case it probably raised flag and some customer called innovative merchant bank and complained.

    Without letting me know, innovative held all of my deposits and when I called them to find out, I was told that there no hold and I can keep processing. Next day I called and I heard same story and I was even told to call my bank and find out why there no deposits. Innovative reps were trying to postpone telling me that there is a problem so they can steal more money from my processing. When I called for the 3rd time, I was told that there some kind of hold and it was removed (!?!?!?!?), but it was not removed. Innovative was trying to make me process as much as possible so they can hold all that money – Lying to me!!!

    I told customer service rep. that I will not process a single transaction and I was told that some lady by name Jennifer in security department is holding money and that she will call me.

    When she called, she told me that there is a chargeback (1 chargeback) that came recently (most likely b/c customer is confused about that temporary auth.) and when I asked her about the name of the customer or why chargeback came, she said that she don't know (!?!?!?) and that later I will receive it in the mail. I told her that I process with First Data and that the only reason why I need their merchant account is to save money is to pay less % in fees, she automatically told me that they don't like dual processing and that it's better if I were to process with First Data. I could not believe what I heard!!! Next she said that if I want to keep processing with innovative, she will need to place 15% rolling reserve or if I decide to close merchant account she will hold all of the funds for 6-9 months because they anticipate more chargeback's.

    Sure I closed merchant account as I will not deal with such dumb way of handling the situation (if any). Sure I will NEVER NEVER even come close to innovative for processing and if there a lawsuit against them I will be the first one to participate.

    As of now I am so tired of dealing with idiots and I switched my business to Google checkout 100% as Google checkout is the best and most legit processing business I ever came across. Thanks to Google checkout and I hope that these idiots at innoviative who think they are in control go down, get fired and innoviative will lose its business!!!

    I don't understand where US congress is looking at??? This is 100% monopoly. These processing companies don't care about small business and they do everything possible to steal money from them promoting larger enterprises. This is perfect example why USA economy is in deep [censored]!!!

  • Ge
      11th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    It's been 2 weeks since my issue with innovative and so far no chargeback and no promised paperwork with chargeback information arrived. Everything about chargeback’s was 100% lie. I have every single customer list here with shipping tracking numbers showing delivery (I sent it to Innovative without any replies). No complains and no “anticipated” chargeback’s at all. Out of 100 transactions – 0 complains, yet Innovative is keeping my hard earned cash!!! Not only I lost money, I lost product – my investment because I trusted these ###s!!! WHO THE [censored] THEY THINK THEY ARE?????

    I will not humiliate myself and start begging them for my money. People at Innovative customer service are so ridiculously scripted that it is not even worth a second of my time to call and ask questions. I can't believe that Chase is behind all that. No wonder how their CEO's were getting bonuses. Part of it was money scammed from merchants like us!

    Class action is so needed here.

    I am in touch with CA senators, CA governor office, White House, FOX and CNN.

    I will not let it go and you people who got scammed by Innovative should do the same!!!

  • Gl
      12th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I put together a list of all the customers and tracking numbers showing delivery and emailed it to Innovative and next day I received a phone call from security department (very nice lady) who promised me that my merchant accounts will be re-opened and money released to me. If this is true, I will continue my business with Innovative. I guess Jennifer went little overboard and thought that I am trying to commit fraud. After all I am willing to give Innovative a try one more time.

    Georgiy Kharchenko

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