I know cheaper is not always better. You know that cheaper is not always better. But sometimes we forget. We think we’re saving money or getting a great deal, so why wouldn’t we go with the more economical price?
Earlier this month I was reminded once again that saving money is not always the best route to take.
It started as a regular 1st and 2nd of the month. I was processing clients’ credit cards for their retainer hours and additional hours they used. One thing was different — I had changed merchant accounts to save quite a bit of money. I was expecting the funds to be deposited as usual on the 3rd and 4th of the month; however, what I got was a major kink in my routine! Late afternoon on the 2nd I received an email from my new merchant provider that my account had been red flagged and they needed further documentation.
They wanted copies of all the receipts with my clients’ name, address, and phone number. I provided all the info, thinking that would be it. They had proof and now they could release the funds. Right? No, it was not that simple. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the merchant provider then proceeded to call my clients to verify that the charge was legitimate and basically interrogate clients as to how long they’d been working with me, what kind of services I provided, and how much they normally paid each month.
Understandably, clients were unsure if this was legitimate and their fears were compounded when they called the merchant provider back and got voicemails. Clients were confused. I was devastated. Once I knew what was happening, I reached out to my clients to let them know that it was, in fact, legitimate and apologized for the inconvenience it was causing them. Next, I emailed my team members to let them know there was a hold up in cutting their checks and why.
Did I mention that during this time I was also traveling to help a client with her Mastermind? At that point I was thinking this move to save some money was not worth all this hassle.
I’d been with my previous merchant for years and years and had never had a problem with getting red flagged. Yes, I paid more in monthly fees, but the money was deposited like clockwork.
Finally, a week later, the funds were deposited. I’m assured that I won’t have the same problem next month, that all should process without any complications. I’m skeptical. I’m nervous about the 1st coming around.
And this situation isn’t the only snafu. I now have monthly limits that the new merchant provider watches — I say ‘they watch’ because I’m sure I had limits with my old merchant provider, but they never questioned me. This week I needed to reach out to my merchant provider to let them know I had another charge I needed to run, but it was going to put me over my per customer charge as well as my monthly limit. I was basically told in so many words that I would need to wait until the first of the month and if I run it, they could hold it for up to 6 months. Seriously?!
Immediately after hanging up the phone, I reached out to my old merchant provider and another merchant provider who has a very good reputation and am working with them to open a new merchant account.
So I’m reminded that sometimes — especially when it comes to our livelihood, our businesses — paying a higher cost to get great service and peace of mind is well worth the expense. Do you have some examples where cheap isn’t always better? Share with me below.