NuRelm has used QuickBooks almost since our inception 15 years ago. When we switched to QuickBooks Online we also signed up for their credit card processing/virtual payment gateway service that is integrated with their online accounting platform. We were drawn to the convenience and simplicity of buying fully integrated services from the same trusted vendor with whom we had been doing business for years. We then went along for nearly a decade without giving it a second thought.
Then it happened. A client paid a deposit on her firm’s American Express business card. This was a nonprofit client on a tight budget so we had a very small profit margin. To my shock, when going over our QuickBooks credit card processing statement, I noticed that Intuit had taken an additional 3.5 hours out of our already slim budget in the form of a nearly $500 credit card processing fee.
When I saw the charge on our statement I immediately called QuickBooks to inquire (thinking that it had to be a mistake) then waited on hold for nearly 30 minutes. I was then mercilessly thrown into the black hole that is the domain of the credit card processing vendor…
To my dismay, I found that there was no mistake, and that we had been paying exorbitant credit card processing fees for years, but I hadn’t noticed until now because of the comparatively large size of this particular sale. I had been asleep at the wheel. My company had lost a significant amount of money over the better part of a decade.
A conservative estimate is that we have lost at least $30,000 in revenues over the past 7-8 years, averaging about $4000 per year. That’s the difference between what QuickBooks charged to process our clients’ credit cards and what our new vendor (one I carefully selected after exhaustive research) currently charges.
Before I went shopping for a new credit card processing vendor; I procrastinated, complained, haggled with QuickBooks to try to get a better deal (I was told by a QB sales rep that QB never matches other vendor’s prices – probably because they are among the highest, and they have a captive audience). I wanted to do anything but delve into what I consider to be one of the most mind numbingly boring tasks imaginable.
After that frustrating call, which ended up taking the better part of an hour by the time that I waited on hold, asked about a mysterious fee, waited on hold to have it removed, waited on hold to find out what it was, then haggled with the sales rep, I decided then that I was going on a mission. I couldn’t get back the many thousands of dollars that were wasted, but I could make sure that we don’t fall into the same money draining credit card processing trap in the future.
Read more in Part 2.