Monday, April 24, 2006

Run Around

I've attended and worked at universities before, so I'm no stranger to the bureaucratic run-around. But this is just about the worst run-around I've ever been given, and since I've been to graduate school, that's really saying something. Test your bureaucratic run-around experience now, and see if you can follow this:

There are two companies involved in this: Capital Merchant Services, which facilitated the contracts I have with some other companies, and EPS, the company that provides the credit card processing. When I opened my merchant account through Capital, EPS sent me a welcome letter that gave me two phone numbers they called "the only two numbers you will ever need": a Customer Care number, and a Tech Support number.

I called Capital to find out how to hook my website up to EPS so that credit card transactions through the website could go automatically through them without me having to manually enter the credit card numbers in the NURIT POS terminal (credit-card swiping machine). I had looked and couldn't find a payment module that would allow ZenCart to connect directly to EPS. Capital said the module might be compatible, but I'd have to call EPS to find out. I called EPS Customer Care and they told me to call Tech Support.

I called Tech Support and they had me leave a voicemail for someone named Tim. Days passed, and Tim didn't call me back, so I called Tech Support again. Tech Support told me they couldn't help me because it was after hours (it was a Friday evening) and I'd have to call back another day. Hoping to avoid calling during a weekday (when I'd been on hold for half an hour listening to a message about their "award winning customer service") I called Tech Support back on Saturday during daytime hours, but again I got the after hours support that couldn't help me.

So today (Monday) I called during the day. To my delight, the phone was answered almost immediately; but the person I got ahold of at Tech Support told me that (a) she didn't work for EPS (yeah, that was my reaction too) and (b) the Tech Support line is only for tech support for the NURIT POS machine, and that I should call Customer Care. So I called Customer Care and was told that I had not reached EPS there either (!!!!!!) and that I should call Tech Support for the answer to my question. I told them Tech Support had just sent me over to Customer Care, so they said to call Capital. I called Capital but they didn't have the answer any more than they had last week. I knew they wouldn't be able to help me, but I called them anyway to ask if they had any other way to contact EPS other than the useless Customer Care and Tech Support numbers. Capital suggested I try the EPS website.

I went to the EPS website and looked at the contact information. It was the same two numbers. But they had a Feedback Form, so I filled out the Feedback Form. But when I went to submit it, THE THING HAD NO SUBMIT BUTTON.

Maybe it's a Firefox thing, I thought, so I tried it in IE. IT DOESN'T HAVE A SUBMIT BUTTON IN IE EITHER.

I had one more thing I could try. I called their corporate offices. The receptionist (of course) couldn't answer my question, but she could transfer me to the voicemail of someone named Tim.


At least now I have Tim's extension number and I can pester him directly tomorrow.

UPDATE 4/25: I got right through to Tim on the first try, and he said he thought the module would work just fine. See, wasn't that easy?

UPDATE 4/26: is perfectly happy to accept my credit card authorizations... for a $300 setup fee, $20 a month, and 10 cents a transaction. Not gonna work. I'm already paying for a merchant account; I don't need another.