Innovative Merchant Solutions — Salesman misrepresentation!
On June 5, 2007 a sales representive of Innovative Merchant Solutions by the name of PAOLO FIDUCIA came into my shop. He was selling a merchant credit card service. At first, my husband and I told him we weren't interested as we had an online service that we were quite happy with.
Mr. Fiducia was not deterred by this. He pointed out that his company had the lowest monthly charges of all suppliers and proceeded to compare the charges of our current provider and those of his. He also stated that his services were the same as ours and would be even less complicated. We were impressed even though I asked him three times to make sure that this was an "online service." An online service meaning that we log onto the merchant service online and enter our customer's information and then print out a receipt. The charges are then credited electronically directly to our bank account. He replied "Yes" each time.
His trainee who was shadowing him at the time and came in with him, however, did ask me if I was computer savvy and I replied that I thought I was. At the time, I should have followed that statement through because I admit to wondering why she asked that question in the first place.
The other sales pitch Mr. Fiducia made was that we "Could cancel any time, without notice without any cancellation fee." I asked him if that was really the case and he replied with the same answer.
The package came with the latest version of QuickBooks at no charge to us. I currently use QuickBooks and was thrilled at that idea so I could integrate my credit card record with those financial records that were already in my database.
Therefore, we were sold on four premises:
1. Less fees
2. An easy system
3. A free updated version of QuickBooks
3. No cancellation fee
We went over all the information with Mr. Fiducia again and decided to sign on. He then got a representative of the company on the phone, who went over information (which was recorded) and made sure I understood their terms. There were a couple of charges mentioned that Mr. Fiducia had not told us about, but they were minimal and I agreed to them. He apologized for "forgetting" those particular charges. At NO TIME during this recorded phone conversation was a charge mentioned for cancellation of their services. Or that the free QuickBooks was not compatible with any version previous to 2004, which I found out about later.
We waited approximately four weeks for contact from them, as promised, to set up our account. In the meantime, they had been applying charges to our bank account. My husband called them and they immediately apologized and removed the charges. We received our QuickBooks CD finally and I attempted to set it up on my computer.
What a mess that was! The system was not even remotely like our current online merchant:
1. We currently have all funds from credit card charges deposited electronically directly to our bank branch. This system required us to open up an online account with our bank, which we had no intention of doing and certainly did not want to do. We prefer to either personally go to our bank with deposits or have funds electronically deposited as we are doing now.
2. I found that this version of QuickBooks was not compatible with my current system and I could not utilize the data that was already there.
3. The system was so complicated to set up that even a well-versed computer user would have trouble -- as I certainly did.
4. I did not have the time to call up a representative for training and certainly did not expect to have to do so from what Mr. Fiducia had intimated.
When I informed my husband that I was completely disillusioned about this and really didn't want or have the time to set it all up, we decided to cancel our merchant application with them. So, he called and spoke to a couple of different representatives (a Jeff and an Angela Tomas) and was informed that we needed to put the cancellation in writing and gave us a fax number to fax it to them.
On July 13, 2007, I did exactly that and within a couple of weeks we discovered that Innovative Solutions had placed a debit against our bank account in the amount of $295. My husband called and spoke again to Angela, I believe, received no satisfaction from her, and hung up, extremely frustrated and very angry.
Later, I called her myself and had to leave a message saying that I would be happy to send back the QuickBooks CD believing that we had been charged this fee because we had the use of the CD and were not honoring our agreement. After all, I had no use for the QuickBooks anyway as it was not compatible with my system. She never returned my call.
Our bank says that it cannot reverse the $295 charge and we are left holding the bag having NEVER used their service -- not once! I am furious and will never use any INTUIT products ever again including Norton Utilities.
Finally, I am writing to our State Attorney General and the California Attorney General, together with the Banking Commission of both States.
This is downright fraud!