Three small Company customer Support fails and one Which works

From the lead-up to Christmas I realised just how unnaturally annoyed clients can get with a few of the businesses which are out there by undergoing unprofessional service firsthand — especially after comparing it to some one.

Company A

We’re going to renovate our home so I Googled for”toilet designer Melbourne” and discovered Company A on the initial page (they have got great SEO) who’s highly awarded. My first clue should have been the luxury bathrooms featured on their site. I explained we had a $15,000-20,000 budget and the girl booking the designer did not pre-qualify me asked for $280 upfront for his trip and following design, which may be subtracted from our job. I paid.

He visited, made notes, asked questions concerning the job they needed to do, and then emailed his design and quotation. For the money, I was expecting it to be professional-looking, possibly with a 3D view that’s simple enough with computers. Rather it was hand-drawn — and not that well! The quotation knocked me off my seat. $38,000….

I emailed back naturally and said that was past us. I’ve not heard another word from them — not even a customer feedback survey. My spouse was angry with me for wasting the money.

See our products:

Company B

I noticed my sister fighting to find the roasting pan from the oven and found she did not have insulated mitts. So I had an idea for a fun stocking-filler present and Googled”personalised oven mitts” where I discovered Business B. The website was not particularly professional-looking and there was nowhere to upload my wording for the layout, so I emailed the owner who asked me to send it to her Hotmail address. I didn’t get a confirmation she had received it persevered and the next day paid through Paypal. I didn’t get a confirmation for this . I then emailed her and soon after she sent the layout. There was no delivery confirmation and I don’t imagine she will send a follow-up survey . A shame, as the mitts came yesterday and they are really great.

Company C

My mom mentioned she wanted a few flat bookends and I found some interesting ones in the form of an ampersand symbol by Company C, an English site. I paid through Paypal. And again, I got no confirmation. When I responded to the Paypal address, it bounced. I then emailed the address on the Contact Us page six days ago. And still I’ve heard nothing. I will need to call their office late at night here in order to get through and see what is happening but I am not likely to get it in time for Christmas when I get it whatsoever. Disappointing.

Company D

Ever since I had been treated for a thyroid deficiency I have been taking iodine. A few years ago I found an internet merchant called Natural Living. As a result of their packed offers, I purchase iodine, vitamin D, omega-3 and magnesium. I get re-order reminder mails when they are running low. I get thank you emails for my requests. I get notifications once the products are being sent. They arrive rather quickly. And I also get regular text-only promotions telling me about other vitamins and minerals and their effect upon my health that I keep. I trust these guys and will always buy from them.

The 1 thing that these four purchases have in common is communicating (or lack of it).

Why would any retailer not have a system set up to keep their clients informed and satisfied?

How to Lower Credit Card Processing Costs and Obtain Improved Terms: Follow-up

First, I want to thank everyone for the positive comments I received in my”How to Lower Credit Card Processing Costs and Obtain Improved Terms” series. Some merchants told me they’ve used the information to reduce their processing costs in time for the holiday season.

I received specific questions which need detail to describe. I will deal with some of them in this followup article. I stated in the last article that I’d discuss aggregators — PayPal, Squareothers — in December. I’ll now discuss aggregators in my January article.

Brick-and-mortar Businesses

Several merchants with brick-and-mortar and internet businesses asked questions. They understood that my post has been written for ecommerce merchants. However, they wanted to learn more about problems affecting their physical locations. Here are four major items brick-and-mortar merchants will need to understand, as well as those covered in the collection.

  1. Confirm Durbin Amendment pricing. The decrease debit card interchange rates implemented in the U.S. in October 2011 because of the Durbin Amendment applies for PIN debit — i.e., debit transactions where the clients enter their PIN number — and other debit transactions. Many retail merchants think they negotiated interchange-plus pricing and don’t understand they are being charged a flat rate in their PIN debit transactions and therefore not getting the reduced prices passed by Congress. Retail merchants should make certain their PIN debit transactions are on interchange-plus pricing.
  2. Never rent a credit card terminal. One easy rule I have for all retail merchants is this: If a salesperson proposes leasing a terminal, then show him into the door as you’re dealing with the wrong provider and incorrect salesperson. The reasons are too plentiful to cover in this report. But, heed the rule. You’ll be happy you did.
  3. Beware POS systems. Retail merchants should always make certain that they are receiving the lowest possible processing cost and best terms and conditions before investing in any point-of-sale system. Most POS-system distributors sell processing solutions or are getting paid behind the scenes from the supplier they recommend. In the event you select their POS system and then later try to change suppliers, the distributor may charge thousands of dollars — if you can change in any respect. Also, understand that lots of providers now sell their own proprietary POS systems that operate only with their own processing. Always ask which chips are certified — not just providers — with the POS system. In short, ensure that you are receiving the lowest credit card pricing and best terms and conditions before investing in a proprietary POS system. It may be tricky to renegotiate as soon as you’ve made the investment.
  4. Be wary of endorsements. Anyone — merchants, institutions, chambers, other things — which endorses a particular provider could be getting payment for this endorsement.

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Interchange-plus Questions

Additionally, I received questions from merchants that are on interchange-plus pricing. They reviewed their bills to be certain their interchange rates, pass-through fees, and annual and monthly charges were clearly revealed. These merchants asked if that meant they had been priced fairly, because nothing was concealed on the announcement.

The answer is no. It simply means their suppliers have them on the ideal pricing program and aren’t hiding extra cost. The percent and per-transaction mark-ups might continue to be high. I audit statements routinely that are on interchange-plus pricing but aren’t priced rather — see my three-part show on interchange-plus pricing.

Know, there have been significant price reductions over the previous 3 decades. Merchants who haven’t renegotiated their pricing during that time should use the methodology in my essay to be certain they’re not currently overpaying.

One Salesperson, Most Providers

1 merchant explained that his salesperson represents several suppliers, ensuring that the merchant is receiving the lowest cost and best terms and conditions. This isn’t necessarily correct. It’s not unusual for a salesperson to represent more than 1 provider. These providers offer varying bonuses and other incentives. A salesperson may be focused on getting these bonuses and incentives than picking the supplier with the lowest cost and best terms and conditions to your merchant.


There are lots of excellent services which assist merchants lower their costs and get better terms and conditions. Be aware, however, that there are also companies that state they on the merchant’s side, but they sell card processing, or are connected with the card suppliers they advocate, or are being paid by card providers. I am not saying that these businesses can not help you. But use common sense.

All merchants should have their statements audited by independent services and consider those services for renegotiation to get the lowest cost and best terms and conditions. However, when searching for an outside provider, ensure that you know how it makes money and what affiliations it’s.