In 2001 I signed up to be able to process credit cards with a company called NPC. My Spokane representative was kind and helpful and seemed to be open about the binding nature of the contract. I knew I was in it for 4 years, but I needed it and wasn't planning on going out of business in that time. I don't have a copy of the contract and don't know if I ever did. The lease agreement for the processing equipment was through Northern Leasing out of New York, NY. I maintained my account and paid all fees faithfully for over 6 years without complaint or problems. I then decided to cancel my account to use a different online processing service instead.
I contacted NPC in April of 2007 to cancel my account and return the equipment. They kindly helped me through the process and my processing account was closed. I was then told by the NPC representative that I would receive shipping labels in a few weeks to return the rental equipment.
I waited for almost two months before calling NPC to inform them that I hadn't gotten the labels. They said they would issue new ones and they may take as long as 4-6 weeks to receive, but I would be entitled to a refund of rental fees once the equipment had been returned. I waited another 8 weeks and called NPC again. They had been very civil with me up to this point. I was informed that they never send shipping labels and that I must contact Northern Leasing directly. I had made no mistake. When I pushed for an explanation I was transferred from the nice sounding woman to a much tougher less kind representative out of New York. She cut me off and refused to listen to my case. She refused a refund and hung up on me.
I then contacted Northern Leasing and began to tell them the story and asked them how I could get a refund. They refused to give me a refund but gave me the information on how to return the equipment. I returned it and they signed for it in September of 2007 (signed by Vito no kidding!).
I also contacted NPC again to ask them why I was told to wait for shipping labels and asked them for a refund. They refused the refund again and told me it must have been my error. I asked them if they have records of my calls and she said she was looking at them as we spoke. I asked her what the records said was the content of the two previous calls and she refused to divulge that information. I was now getting the run around. The voices sounded almost identical to the people I had talked to at NPC.
Fearing Northern Leasing would continue to tap into my bank account. I put a stop payment on them for October. They promptly sent me a letter to my current address informing me that they must be paid. I contacted them to find that the payment in October was for the month of September. Legally, I had to pay it. The representative said I could either send them a check or just let it come out of the account in November. The representative also told me that after that payment was received that all my obligations had been completed and I would receive a letter announcing that the account was closed.
The final payment came out of my account in November. However, I never received a letter to notify me that the account was closed with Northern Leasing.
I then received a phone call that said I missed my October payment and needed to remit that as soon as possible. I called back and explained to the representative that I had blocked the October payment, but that it had in fact been paid in November and that the account was now current and complete. She acknowledged that fact, said she updated their computers to show the account paid in full and said a letter would be sent to notify me that the account was closed and I had no further obligations. I never received the letter.
I just found out that they have withdrawn another payment in December on the 12th. I had been watching the first few days of the month, but rather then follow the normal pattern, they instead waited for 12 days then took my money. This last removal is without my authorization or permission and not consistent with past withdrawals. It also comes after two different representatives had given me verbal confirmations that the account was closed. It is an illegal access of my account.
I called Northern Leasing to get my money put back into my account and they said they would send me a check in 4-6 weeks. As this was unacceptable to me, I asked for the money to be put back into my account immediately. They refused. A woman who would only identify herself as Ginger(and sounded like the exact same woman I had been dealing with all summer) instead asked for more information from me to send the check. She said the only address she had on file was from 6 years ago (which is when I had started the service).
Suddenly they did not have my current address on file any more and needed more information from me to return the money (funny how they have my current info when they send me letters to pay them, but they don't when they need to send me money). I asked for her full name. She refused. I asked for her employee number. She refused. I asked how I could get in contact with her. She refused. I then demanded firmly that my money be deposited today and Ginger gave me over to Larry Moylan's message machine. To date I have not heard back from them.
When I first called NPC in April I was talking with a nice sounding woman with a sweet southern accent, but after that I was passed on to a much tougher New York sounding woman who refused to even let me finish my sentences. She was remarkably similar to the woman I talked to at Northern Leasing. I was treated like an angry child rather than a person with a legitimate issue to resolve.
During the course of my conversations with NPC and Northern Leasing I was hung up on three times, put on hold to calm down once, then, when asking to speak with a supervisor, I was twice passed to a Larry Moylan's answering service to leave a message on a machine that was never responded to. I never used foul language, I never insulted, and I never yelled uncontrollably, but I was certainly firm in my demands for a final refund. I have been left with nothing but the concerns that they will find ways to steal more of my money or, worse, sue me on some trumped up fraudulent charges as they have done to hundreds of other small businesses to date.
I have asked my bank to permanently revoke Northern Leasing's access to my account, but it seems to be a difficult process to protect myself since they will use different names, alternative ACH's and various amounts to circumvent the revoke. I am grandfathered into a great business account, but may have to give it all up to close the account.
Based on a number of suits currently against Northern Leasing and hundreds of complaints about fraudulent behavior against them by small business owners across the country, I fear that if I wait for my refund check (which may never come) that Northern Leasing will continue to accidentally take more money from my account and continue to give me the run around until they are stopped, or I shut down.
They have been strict and unbending with their demands on me, and yet I have fulfilled them all. However they seem to require me to be flexible and patient with their errors. I refuse to wait for a refund check that will probably never arrive. I have been more than patient for 8 months. I have paid over $2500 for a machine that retails for under $300.
They have legally stolen over $300 from the moment I began trying to end the lease in April, and have now crossed the line and are illegally taking money out of my account even though they have acknowledged that my lease with them is completed and closed. This is how they treat their customers that have fulfilled all aspects of their merciless contract (even the illegal and fraudulent ones). I have jumped through every hoop they set out and it is still not ending.
Do not fool yourself into thinking it will end if you just quietly pay them off. You will have to take action to end their access to your money. I am sending this report to all agencies I can find
Sadly, I am reporting on this site simply because Northern Leasing won't refund me a measly $37.30! but I have a feeling they'll be trying to take more in January... huge sigh!!