Credit card catastrophe

Seven On Your Side
July 27, 2009 3:09:29 PM PDT
The small business owner thought he had simplified his life by getting a credit card account. But months later, the credit card company had not processed two big transactions, leaving the businessman short more than $8,000. "It means alot." Charles Ossa is talking about over $8350 owed to him from First Data credit processing company. "They won't explain anything to me. My phone calls go unanswered."

Charles owns a small medical supply company. One of his biggest clients is New York City. Earlier this year, a new law required vendors to set up credit card companies to handle emergency purchases. Charles chose First Data. Shortly afterward the NYC Department of Health made two big orders, one for $3,600, another for $4,700.

"It goes through, the credit card company approves and then within 24 hours they are supposed to put the money into our account," said the small business owner.

But the money never came through. That was at the end of May. When Charles questioned it, First Data told him the payment was suspended because it was an "unusually high dollar amount."

"These were my first two transactions, so how could it be unusual? And they were all below (the) $10,000 (limit)".

Finally, First Data gave Charles half the money. And closed his account. But they continued to charge him a service fee of over $339. "I don't have cash reserves...my name's not Rockefeller or any other of those names. You know? It's ridiculous. I just cannot fathom."

So Seven on Your Side stepped in. "Less than an hour after our interview, I got a call." Charles says that call came from First Data.

When he checked his account he found First Data reinstated his account and transferred the rest of the money, exactly $4,000, to Mr. Ossa. Charles and his partner were thrilled because this meant they were back in business.

"Thank you to Channel 7 for always being on our side."

First Data could not tell Charles what caused the holdup, only that the amount that was charged was unusually high. When we asked a First Data spokesperson, she said she could not discuss the incident because of client confidentially.

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Story by: Tappy Phillips


Produced by: Steve Livingstone

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