How do you "get back" at Telecheck merchants for refusing your check? Easy - write checks! Buy something small & returnable that their system can take a "risk" on. Wait a few days then return it. After you've got your money back, buy it back. Keep writing checks to buy and return the same item over and over. The merchant will pretty much hate you, but you must tell the merchant that you're doing this because their check service demands it. After a month or so, start buying and returning returnable stuff worth even more money. Keep politely doing this until you are denied entry to the store or you've raised your Telecheck credit level (which is funny, because writing a check is not a 'credit' transaction) to where you want it. Or until you tick off the merchant that told you that your perfectly good check was DENIED by their system. They may change check verification companies or start complaining to Telecheck themselves! This could also lead to store managers having some explaining to do as their sales are inflated and they have a higher-than-average return rate. So today I'm starting small, writing a check for something for less than $10 to take back on Monday. The merchant, Best Buy, will certainly get tired of me and their Telecheck system!
Telecheck does not provide or release a list of its merchants. They are associated with one of the nation's biggest credit card processing companies, First Data. My financial annoyance will bother one store; but together we can bother hundreds, thousands, millions! Who will stand with me and buy and return stuff so our merchants will stop letting Telecheck treat us honest check writers like poop?
2/16/2011: Telecheck refused my perfectly good check in-store at Best Buy in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was humiliated in line when the cashier announced "Ma'am, your check is denied" in front of all those people and employees. The money for the laptop computer was in my account, all of my ID matched everything else, I am a Rewards cardholder, and they wouldn't accept my check. Upset, I called the 800 number from my cell phone in the parking lot. I was stunned to find out that the reason why I can't write a check is because I hadn't written a check. See, according to the representative, Telecheck lets you write checks for little amounts of "under $100" for "a few months" before allowing you to increase the allowable amount above the default $100 limit. After whatever magic thingy occurs in their system, you're allowed to write checks in higher amounts. It's like you're building up a trusting relationship between Telecheck and your bank account. I didn't want a relationship, I wanted a laptop. I went home and bought the dern laptop online with the SAME ACCOUNT that Telecheck denied in-store and I'll be picking it up 2/18/2011.
Once I'm back there, I will write a check for something I don't need and doesn't fall under Best Buy's illegal 14-day return policy. Then, after 10 days (the check will clear) I will bring it back to Best Buy and return it. I will then write a check and BUY BACK the exact SAME ITEM I just returned and add something else for a few dollars. I will keep doing this to build up this trusting relationship with Telecheck. When Best Buy complains, I'll tell them that next year I might buy a stove, and this is the only way I can use a check in their store because the check processing service they use demands this action. I'll ask THEM to call Telecheck's 800 number and spend their time talking to the ineffective customer service agents at their overseas call center - who are trained to repeat the same script used by the automated system. Since Telecheck refuses to provide a list of stores that they service (or even name them!), I can only do this at Best Buy. This way I can write checks - because Telecheck says they refused my perfectly good check because I don't write them checks. Now excuse me while I stare at a picture of a snake eating its own tail.
That's right. To pay Telecheck merchants by check, you must write checks so that Telecheck can check your check. Once Telecheck has cashed enough of your checks, Telecheck will let you write Telecheck checks in larger amounts to their merchants. If enough of us infuriate the Telecheck merchants perhaps Telecheck's merchants will force Telecheck to either change their policies or stop treating the merchant's customers like ***. I don't even know why Best Buy says they take checks since Telecheck won't approve your check unless you've already bought stuff with the checks they won't take! Let the store managers complain about a high return rate, let them get in trouble for having deceptive sales reports! Let them be embarrassed and humiliated instead of being able to do this to their customers. And, most importantly, let them know what you're doing AND WHY!!! Screw Telecheck!