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Chase Paymentech Won’t Honour Authorized $28 Debit Transaction

September 8, 2022 1 comment

I originally wrote this for a different blog, but as it concerns our Christian bookstore, I thought I’d share it here as well.

Although the original purpose of this blog was a space for me to vent the various injustices I felt I suffered as a consumer, we’re also small business owners ourselves, and as such we’re at the mercy of bigger businesses, in this case a mega-corporation.

As such we process sales, taking debit, VISA and MasterCard transactions on a daily basis process through a company whose legal name is, I believe, Chase Paymentech Debit Solutions.

Back in June, when our employee rang off for the night, she noticed something was wrong. One of the transactions, just under $28, even though it was clearly authorized, did not appear in the final tally of sales. It just vanished. And the next day, our bank deposit was short that same amount. But we didn’t know all this right away.

We noticed the error on July 7th as part of our monthly sales reconciliation, and notified our point-of-sale provider, Chase Paymentech, a division of Chase bank. A seemingly helpful guy who gave his name as David said that the sale had gone through on the customer’s end — the authorization number was provided by that customer’s bank — but the problem was on their end, and they would track it down and fix it within a month.

But we never heard back, and more than a month had passed. Sending them an email is difficult because you have to use an encrypted network, and our password was in a computer that seized a few days previous.

But my wife persisted and on August 31st we got a notice from them saying they had shut the whole investigation down a week later, on July 14th, and never told us. Their note basically had the attitude, ‘tough luck,’ and because ‘we’re bigger than you,’ we can declare this as ‘not our problem.’ They used different words, of course.

They really were saying that as far as they were concerned, the sale didn’t exist, but then they added in an ‘oh, by the way’ sort of manner, “the sale was MasterCard not VISA.” In other words, we can find no record of this sale, but it was MasterCard.

Furthermore, it wasn’t either. I have the transaction receipt. It was a debit transaction. It says so right on it. And they had received a scan of that.

Did they investigate it at all?

At this point they’ve worn us out.

In our type of work, $28 is a large amount. It makes a difference. More to the point, I realized I don’t want to live in a world where people get away with this sort of thing. And short-term, I definitely don’t want them as my point-of-sale provider anymore.

But on their end, $28 wouldn’t have bankrupted them.