28
Mar

A Frightening 24 Hours

Author: Jerry Iannucci

It is now Tuesday night.

Monday morning started out normal enough.

Answering emails, doing my daily submissions.. a little bit of surfing.  At 3:00 I was hanging out at Traffic Exchange Live like I normally do.

At 3:30 I checked my email and noticed two messages from a very well known payment processor that I use every day.  I don’t want to say the name here on my blog because I am still a little bit afraid.

The first email was titled “Your xxxx Debit MasterCard has been deactivated” and the second one said “Your account has been limited until we hear from you”.

My first thought was that this was another phishing scam.  I get at least one email a day with subjects like that.  They are usually pretty obvious.  Especially when you notice that the link they want you to click is nothing like what it appears to be.

But this one was real.

“After a recent review of your account activity, it has been determined that
you are in violation of (our) Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales
/ offers on http://www.autoresponderprofitsystem.com/.

Therefore, your account has been limited temporarily.”

Uh-oh.

I checked my account and sure enough I could login but sending or receiving money was no longer an option.

I was out of business!

Earlier that day I had received an email from them stating that someone had attempted to do a charge back on an upgrade they purchased from me way back in January.

“We recently received a complaint regarding merchandise that was never
received or received significantly not as described.

We are contacting you to let you know that we will not be continuing this
investigation because this complaint was filed 45 or more days after the
original transaction date. However, we reserve the right for the next 180
days to begin an investigation if we later determine that this complaint
should be examined.”

No big deal, or so I thought until they decided to exercise that right to investigate my account.

I am very careful about the things I promote.  I stay away from the pyramids schemes and ponzi schemes and most business opportunities in general.  My Autoresponder Profit System site isn’t any of these things but from an outsider’s perspective it may appear that way.

I did everything I could to plead my case to the anonymous person who held my life in their hands.  I even created an account for them to login and see everything a member would see to verify that nothing was violating their terms of use.

The problem is that you only have so much control in these situations.  I had a similar experience years ago with Google Adwords (I don’t mind saying their name here).  I had a very lucrative keyword business that was earning me a lot of money until one day they decided that one of my hundreds of campaigns violated their rules.  “Which rule?”  “Here is a copy of our rules.”  “Can you be more specific?”  “Here is a copy of our rules”.  “I’m not breaking any of those rules.”  “You are suspended forever.  Have a nice day”.

When Adwords shut me down I had a very hard time starting over.  Without my primary payment processor (and all the money I left in my account) it was going to be even harder this time.

Almost exactly 24 hours after having my account suspended I received this email:

“We have further reviewed your case and determined that your account is
currently not in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy. As such, the
limitation on your account has been lifted.”

Oh yeah!

But wow was that scary!

Lesson learned… don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  It’s time to do a sizable withdrawal and start keeping my money in a real bank.  Also, I probably need to start looking at other payment options.  That fact that my entire business can be shut down for 24 hours because of one idiot is not something I want to deal with ever again.

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 3:53 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

7 Responses so far to "A Frightening 24 Hours"

  1. 1 Darren Olander
    March 28th, 2012 at 11:13 am  

    That’s scary indeed.. happy to hear they came to their senses.

  2. 2 Patrick Griffin
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:03 pm  

    Hi Jerry,
    That is indeed a frightening 24 hours which you have described.

    I think the email which you received to show that your account was back to normal was equally scary.

    The subtext to the email seems to be “We think you are up to no good, we are still watching you so think yourself lucky.”

    I think anyone who knows you would agree that you are an honest and upstanding individual.

    If this can happen to you then it could happen to any of us.

    Thanks for the timely warning.

    Patrick.

  3. 3 Justin Ledvina
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:01 pm  

    Sad thing is I think every marketer that’s been in business for as long as you has experienced both of these things.

    At one point in time I was making more money with Adsense than with my websites. Unfortunately I got the ban hammer with “Read the rules” reply.

    Also like you I fear naming the processor as they are judge, jury and executioner of MY MONEY!

  4. 4 Paul Caraway
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:46 pm  

    I have seen similar issues as well. I make sure and respond promptly to any disputes! I document everything as well. On one of the businesses we have a 60 money back guarantee. That helps in many cases. But, they hold the right to do what they want… seems like a monopoly or ponzi scheme ;)

    But, I have seen this happen with some Autoresponder systems as well. They will shut you down if they suspect anything… and if your members have been with you for years and then you have a small amount of complaints they will shut you down!

    Options are key to remember… as one payment processor stopped accepting Visa cards another can have an issue as well. There is a Cash Payment Processor as well…

    Thank you for a great Post Jerry… Glad to see everything is operational once again!

    Paul

  5. 5 gnana prakash
    April 2nd, 2012 at 1:47 am  

    Well! I am going through it now! You can’t blame processors. They are doing it to save their @$$. But all the mess is because of those idiotic people who take advantage of chargeback and reversals.

  6. 6 Jerry Iannucci
    April 2nd, 2012 at 2:27 am  

    I couldn’t agree more. If someone wants a refund, just ask! If you buy a shirt from a store and decide you don’t want it you take it back. You don’t file a complaint with your credit card company and claim that the store ripped you off.

  7. 7 John Bell
    April 2nd, 2012 at 7:21 am  

    I agree with the above posts a lot, it’s really just to cover your butt and if you aren’t doing anything illegal you have little to worry about – that being said the huge amount of illegal sites and scams really kill it for us, there are so many millions of ‘get rich quick’ schemes where their are a lot of illegal problems which causes them to raise concern, but also makes a lot of our customers think that they can’t just ask for a refund and expect to get it, or talk to customer service and get a helpful response..

    It’s interesting to me because I have a few different sites, and one in particular Fast Cash and Traffic, is marketed a lot by it’s low cost and high commission, and it’s interesting to see a different type of customer gravitate to it than my social Traffic Swirl. When a customer has an issue on Traffic Swirl, I get a support ticket and it’s always worked out, I’ve never had a chargeback or reversal on Swirl… yet on Fast Cash and Traffic, I never get support tickets, but every month or so someone has done a reversal or a chargeback, never saying a word.

    I think sadly that because of all the negativity in the industry a lot of customers start to just expect that a lot of people are going to rip them off, that customer service will be non existant, and that the only way to resolve a problem is to take action in forcefully taking their money back, and this is probably often a true case, which leads to why payment processors get so edgy around the industry too from similar experiences.

    Keep up what you are doing Jerry, and everyone else, we can continue to prove them wrong by providing legitimate online businesses.

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