Complaint / review text:
ArtWorks, The Naomi Cohain Foundation has done business with Merchant Data Systems since October 2003. As a charity we were seeking reasonable credit card processing.in March, 2010 we decided to renegotiate our contract because, as a charity, we wanted to see if there was any way we could save some money on our processing. Sam Saka negotiated with us and agreed to reduce our fees in light of our business structure. Mr. Saka agreed to the following terms: No annual fee, no monthly minimum, and $5.00 statement fee. We received the statement ending 03/31/2010 which included a charge for an annual fee of $99.00.in a fax dated 4/15/2010 Mr. Saka stated that the $99.00 annual fee would be refunded.in mid June 2010 we recieved the statement for the month ending 05/31/2010 in which the following charges were inexplicably included: $19.95 PCI non-compliance, $10.00 statement fee, $9.95 merchant club. On 6/8/2010 Ms. Mendelsohn corresponded with Mr. Saka via email in which Mr. Saka stated that the fees would be corrected, however on 7/6/2010 the same charges were deducted from Artworks' bank account. On June 13,2010 a detailed email of the charges due back to Artworks was sent to Mr. Saka from Katherine Kelly. Mr. Saka replied that the $99.00 was credited on 6/22/10. When we requested proof to provide our bank Mr. Saka stated that somehow the credit didn't go through. We finally received the credit within two days of that conversation on 7/12/2010, three months after Mr. Saka said Artworks would be refunded. At this point Mr. Saka requested that we contact Mr. David Posada for information on the additional refund. A refund of $34.90 was received by Artworks for the additional fees on 7/13/10, but the additional fees were still being charged as of our 6/30/10 statement. On 7/13/10 Ms. Kelly received an email from Mr. Posada stating that "You should be receiving another credit for the same amount ($34.90)." On 7/20/10 Ms. Kelly sent a follow-up email to Mr. Posada stating that the funds had not been refunded. Mr. Posada did not reply to this request for a status. On 7/27/10 Ms. Kelly again requested the status of the refund. Mr. Posada again did not respond. On 8/11/10 Ms. Kelly contacted Mr. Posada by phone and he stated that the credit was issued. When Ms. Kelly requested documentation he stated that he would get back to her. Later that day she recived an email stating that, "for some reason the credit did not go out when it was scheduled to." This was the second instance that Merchant Data Systems (MDS) stated they sent a refund and when questioned about it stated that "for some reason" it did not go through. On 8/12/10 the refund was finally recieved from MDS.
The contract was originally negotiated to save a charity money and ended up costing us more money. Because in this economy we need to save as much as we can to keep the charity running, we decided to terminate our contract with MDS. We faxed a cancellation form on 8/13/10. We were treated very poorly by their representatives with them acting as if we were their absolute lowest priority. Artworks tried several methods to ensure that the account was cancelled including phone calls and emails. MDS would not return calls, left Artworks representatives on hold for up to fifteen minutes, and gave no response to emails. When Artworks was finally able to speak to someone we were told that the account was in the cancellation process but they could not give us any documentation on that. Apparently they have a cancellation department which no one can speak to, and which can only be reached via internal email.
We recieved our 8/31/10 statement on 9/6/10 which included a $250.00 cancellation fee, and again a charge for $19.95 for PCI non-compliance. We requested that the cancellation fee be waived as we have not processed any charges with MDS for several months and because we are a struggling charity who was attempting to save money before all of this transpired. MDS refused to waive the fee stating they had reduced it from $750.00! When we requested a refund for the $19.95 PCI non-compliance charge we were informed that our PCI compliance had expired. We were not notified in any way, even through all of this communication, that we needed to renew. When questioned Mr. Posada stated that it was our responsibility to know that we needed to renew it. They could again provide no documentation of the PCI compliance expiring.
This business does not warrant an A rating on BBB they are deceptive and unethical. They have received 27 complaints in the last 36 months but they still have an A rating? I'm starting to wonder how accurate BBB really is.