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Author Topic: The pettiness of Amazon  (Read 1635 times)
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« on: February 11, 2013, 07:14:27 PM »

Today I drove to the only Apple store within 50 miles of me, and my wife tried both the iPad mini and a full iPad and decided to get the iPad 32 gig white model Wi-Fi only, and then it was time to pay. I broke out my Amazon credit card which goes through chase bank and low and behold it was declined. And I stood there looking and thinking why would they do that I've got thousands of dollars of available credit on that card then I thought to myself would Amazon card buying an Apple product anti-interest wouldn't it be easier just to decline that then to lower themselves then to give into the competition - especially knowing within their computers that I held another Chase card and broke out That Chase (again the Amazon card is a Chase card) but I took to chase rewards card slid it through and no problem whatsoever. So I came home got a message on the phone saying that the fraud protection was making sure that everything was okay and I was making the purchases, and I got on the phone and I voice my opinion and the operator actually even agreed with me saying that very likely it was a decline because of it being in opposition company and had frequent use on both the Amazon and the chase card. how petty, Either way Chase is going to get the money and Amazon didn't have to buy an Apple product.

I just know if I did not have another credit card with me I would've been furious canceled the Amazon card as soon as I got home and still Maggie, but I did get to voice my feelings to the operator who hears that 1 million times but I feel better when all was said and done, and Tracy seems to like (and I can't imagine why her iPad a whole lot) she loves the retina display Which I have on two other devices now is incredible, so we're half apple half windows computers,  but were happy in our little Computerworld.
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 07:48:04 PM »

i'd be more inclined to think it was chase and not amazon.  i had so many problems with them i finally canceled the card i held.  i don't mind the fraud thing that they do, but i had my card locked up on more than one occasion when i was traveling.  there's really no reason that amazon would care how you use the card once it's issued.  all they care about is that you don't pay them off in full each month so that they can get their interest on your balance.
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 09:41:30 PM »

I agree with Kathy, it was probably Chase..
Years ago, when my house load was sold to Chase, they decided to jack up my escrow account by 10% even though they had enough to cover what is was for. I called and tried to get it corrected but this was their policy. And they refused. I decided right then to pay it off as soon as possible and got them out of my pocket. I never accept a Chase card.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 10:30:19 PM »

Chase did that to us when they bought our old mortgage sawdust. I got in on a class action suit and was awarded $1,200.

Scott
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 12:28:19 AM »

Well then Chase is Stupid, they declined their own card that has a higher interest rate (Amazon's) and approved their other card Chase Freedom with a lower rate.

Both Chase cards, and they decline the lower higher interest card - some business practice. I too doubt it was a Apple vs. Amazon issue, but I would bet a paycheck if I bought something at Amazon for the same price, it would have taken it, I I'll never know but if I had bought something else using the Amazon card, again same value - would it have been denied?

We are lucky to never carry a balance on any cards, I've written some hefty checks in our time to make sure I pay exactly what an item sold for. So, no neither Chase card is making anything off of me and both have good reward points that have bought me recently a new router, screen protectors,cases and window mounts. I think I'm ahead of the deal.

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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 12:44:18 AM »

If you pay your card off on time there is no intrest, right?  I don't think that you realise that what you pay in intrest on your balance is a drizzling drop in the bucket to what the merchants pay to the card company up front on EVERY transaction.  Some of the card companies (American Express among them) charge about 10% right off the top before the funds ever show up in the merchant's bank account. Cry
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 06:03:46 AM »

beemaster,
You're right in that you will never know, but I really have to believe it was just an odd coincidence. Beyond the financial benefits of Amazon lending their name to Chase bank for the marketing of that card, I'm sure Amazon is clueless, hands off, and have NO involvement with transactions made with that card.

I've long been a fan of the convenience, security and rewards programs of using credit cards.  I basically carry a little cash for the odd mom and pop store that I might run across the doesn't take plastic, other than that, I charge everything and pay my balances off monthly. I've earned more cash back, free gas, and free hotel stays than I can count.  Smiley
Kingbee is right, not sure about the 10% figure, that sounds awfully high, but I think a 2 to 4% fee is typically what a merchant pays on a transaction.   Using cards so often, I'll occasionally run across the unexplainable card denial, most of the time I blow it off and just use a different card...more often than not, it self corrects. I've had cards declined, then use the same card less than an hour later at a store down the street.

It's part of why I NEVER rely solely on one card. I also make it a habit that when traveling on an extended trip to make sure I have a couple of cards and that my wife has one or two cards that I'm not carrying and vise versa. That way, if I lose my wallet or she loses her purse, I'm not having to cancel everything and find myself stranded without plastic.
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 11:59:01 AM »

i use cards because of the cash back, or on one card, a contribution to my mortgage.  i pay them in full every month.  that way i am using their money for free and not taking money out of my interest paying checking account until i have to.

of course, with interest rates as low as they are, anyone saving is getting hosed.  the bank is basically using MY money for free......
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 02:02:47 PM »

WOW! Seems I've had the complete oposite experience with Chase. I pay ALL my bills on my CC and pay it off in full for the last 3 years. Mind you credit cards to me are scary but I got in on the rewards thing and they pay me to use their card. I average about $600 bux a year that chase pays me and I've never paid one cent in fees to them.

The only "complaint" that I might have is how they  state what your balance is... I make about 3 payments a month (large balances scare me as well) so I don't have a huge balance (it's a visual thing) and usually what I figure is "outstanding" is usually lower that what they say my balance is after a payment... it's just that when they post the payment, several charges might be posted AFTER the payment even though the date is shown earlier.

I keep track of this in a spreadsheet to keep my nerve ends from exploding!

...DOUG
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 08:40:30 PM »

Both me and my wife use Chase cash back cards.   I run a business through mine and she runs all the personal bills through hers.  We pay them off and collect lots of checks back from Chase.  I have not had a problem with them.   We use them to our advantage.  My wife's parents hate all credit cards.   They run a gas station and lose out 3% off everything paid for with a credit card.  
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 09:07:35 PM »

Both me and my wife use Chase cash back cards.   I run a business through mine and she runs all the personal bills through hers.  We pay them off and collect lots of checks back from Chase.  I have not had a problem with them.   We use them to our advantage.  My wife's parents hate all credit cards.   They run a gas station and lose out 3% off everything paid for with a credit card.  

Allen,
It sounds like many of us have the same approach....pay it off in full and reap the benefits of the rewards.  However, we're clearly the exception and not the norm, I don't have hard stats but I'm confident most, probably a significant majority, carry a balance.

While I can sympathize with a merchant feeling like they are losing 3% of a sale paid for by a credit card, there is another side to that argument.  How many of those purchases are being made by someone who doesn't otherwise have the cash to make the purchase at all.  Perhaps they should view it as gaining 97% instead of losing 3%.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 09:20:03 PM »

I think there are a lot out there that could pay with cash, but why?   The card is easier.  Cant make it to the bank to get cash for one reason or another.  Use the card.  They will not put in gas pumps that take credit cards because they will loose out on in store purchases.   I can't stand it because you walk in to pay for gas and they ask you how much, and I say fill it up.  Will it hold $80 or $100?  Just another gripe I have.   
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 09:42:58 PM »

I think there are a lot out there that could pay with cash, but why?   The card is easier.  Cant make it to the bank to get cash for one reason or another.  Use the card.  They will not put in gas pumps that take credit cards because they will loose out on in store purchases.   I can't stand it because you walk in to pay for gas and they ask you how much, and I say fill it up.  Will it hold $80 or $100?  Just another gripe I have.   

Yeah, like it or not, it's really something that a merchant has to offer to be competitive, the public just expects it.

I know a women that had a very successful restaurant with a strong business.  She had a dispute with Mastercard/Visa and quit accepting Credit cards, she even had an ATM installed in the restaurant to give people the ability to "easily" access money to pay their bill.  At the time that I realized this I predicted it would kill her business....within months she sold the restaurant.  I heard from a friend that knows her well that her no longer taking credit cards devastated her business.

Like it or not, right or wrong....they're a integral part of the way we conduct business.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 10:25:53 PM »

If you pay your card off on time there is no intrest, right?  I don't think that you realise that what you pay in intrest on your balance is a drizzling drop in the bucket to what the merchants pay to the card company up front on EVERY transaction.  Some of the card companies (American Express among them) charge about 10% right off the top before the funds ever show up in the merchant's bank account. Cry
That's just outright misinformation.  We've had proper merchant accounts with wireless machine and thermal paper...now we are using square for our transactions.  The flat rate for square is 2.75%....no fees, no surcharges, no monthly costs.  With our merchant machine, we were paying more than that....about 5% based on a couple of grand/month sales including all the charges for the merchant account, the machine, and the credit card companies.
But 10%??  Perhaps if you are renting a machine for a month...but that isn't going to AMEX or any of the card companies...that goes to the merchant services.  And if you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can do flat 2.75% all day long with free hardware and no fees.

deknow
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 09:55:49 PM »

That's just outright misinformation. 
I don't think so because when I retired almost 6 years ago American Express charged me 7% or 7.5% on every transaction.  That was the reason I never displayed their logo on my front door.  I am unsure now but I think that they even charged me .50  for the stinking phone call to the processing center. rolleyes
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 10:27:47 PM »

That's just outright misinformation. 

I don't think so because when I retired almost 6 years ago American Express charged me 7% or 7.5% on every transaction.  That was the reason I never displayed their logo on my front door.  I am unsure now but I think that they even charged me .50  for the stinking phone call to the processing center. rolleyes


I'm another that just doesn't believe the 10% theory.  From best I can tell, it looks like American Express offers two options, a merchant can either pay a per transaction percentage (discount plan), or a per transaction flat fee, or maybe some combination of the two.  Currently, it looks like the flat fee is $7.95 and the percentage, while higer than Visa and Mastercard, still falls in that sub 4% range.

Amex discount percentages
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 06:22:02 AM »

Any given day of the week, we take amex cards and pay a total of 2.75%...that includes all fees to amex and square.  I'm not saying that someone might not charge you 7 or 10%.....but that would come from a crappy merchant service that operates on a similar model as a "check cashing store".  If you have a proper bank account with a balance, you cash checks for free.  If you have not bank account, Walmart or the corner check cashing store will do so for a fee

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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 10:22:30 AM »

...
I'm another that just doesn't believe the 10% theory.  From best I can tell, it looks like American Express offers two options, a merchant can either pay a per transaction percentage (discount plan), or a per transaction flat fee, or maybe some combination of the two.  Currently, it looks like the flat fee is $7.95 and the percentage, while higher than Visa and Mastercard, still falls in that sub 4% range.
Like I said it has been 6 years and a lot of pain and suffering under the bridge. I think that AMX did charge a transaction fee of $7.95 But on small transactions (of which I didn't do many of using plastic) it would equal 10% or more on a $70 sale.
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 10:38:02 AM »

http://truecostofcredit.com/378767

The average gas station paid $52,064 last year in credit card processing fees or 2.25 times the average earnings (net profit) of such a store.

If everyone used a credit card to buy food and notions at the grocery store (The average grocery has 14M in sales)  The grocery store might well pay $511,000 in transactions fees every year or more than $42,000 per month

If you pay your $150,00 Electricity Bill over the phone: $5.26 in credit card fees go to the card company.  That is 3.5% per month or $63 dollars per year.  But if everyone used a similar credit card then Exelon might pay $663,321,067 in transaction fees each year!

Overall card transaction fees amount to $48,000,000,000 dollars each and every year in safety, convince and in frequent flyer miles,  but at the end of the day the whole 48 Billion comes out of your wallet because the merchants must make up the difference some how and higher prices are the only way they have to fund your vacation flight to Tahiti.

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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 11:38:17 AM »

http://truecostofcredit.com/378767

The average gas station paid $52,064 last year in credit card processing fees or 2.25 times the average earnings (net profit) of such a store.

If everyone used a credit card to buy food and notions at the grocery store (The average grocery has 14M in sales)  The grocery store might well pay $511,000 in transactions fees every year or more than $42,000 per month

If you pay your $150,00 Electricity Bill over the phone: $5.26 in credit card fees go to the card company.  That is 3.5% per month or $63 dollars per year.  But if everyone used a similar credit card then Exelon might pay $663,321,067 in transaction fees each year!

Overall card transaction fees amount to $48,000,000,000 dollars each and every year in safety, convince and in frequent flyer miles,  but at the end of the day the whole 48 Billion comes out of your wallet because the merchants must make up the difference some how and higher prices are the only way they have to fund your vacation flight to Tahiti.




Stipulating that all this is accurate...
The chance of getting a significant amount of people to quit using their credit cards is about ZERO PERCENT.  Therefore, I'll continue to use them and take advantage of the rewards programs that work for me.  Any merchant that feels it's a bad deal for them can stop accepting them immediately, one of the many advantages of living and doing business in a free country.  Smiley

Ultimately, all cost get passed on to the consumer!  But, it is what it is...."wishing" it was different isn't going to change the reality of the fact, that that's how business is done in today's world.
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