Advice on accepting phone orders

jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
edited April 2007 in Sales
I have a service business and require payment up front.  I had too many folks not showing up for appointments, so I decided to start requiring a paid deposit, which I sent through PayPal via email.  Some people still would not pay on time and as a result, I lose that appointment time because they don`t show up.I`m ready to charge in full or maybe even 1/2 when I book the appointment on the phone.  I`ve searched the forums and found mostly stuff for retail and web merchant accounts, although I have a few ideas including NOVA, which is looking about the best so far, or even Truth in Processing.Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions for collecting payment over the phone?  I would most liklely accept at least Visa and MC, but I would also like to accept check payments and possibly bank draft.Thanks!

Comments

  • omupasomupas Posts: 7subscriber
    What type of services does your company provide?  Depending on what it is you do, I can probably help you in terms of setting up a Mail Order/Telephone Order based merchant account for your credit card processing needs.
    Something to consider.  If you are charging deposits for a future service you are going to provide, regardless of whether they give you the credit card information over the phone or not, you`ll probably want to have some sort of signed invoice from your potential client.  In that invoice you would want to have the amount of deposit charged and that it is non refundable (if it is indeed non refundable).  While this signed documentation wouldn`t necessarily be required, it is almost your only defense against a chargeback. 
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks for the help.  We offer a lot of services including website design, bookkeeping, payroll, bill payment and much more, but the only thing I`m charging for upfront is consumer financial counseling.I`m not worried about refunding any portion of the deposit or the entire total.  Our services are offered for a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days of the first appointment.If someone would change their mind before meeting, I`m happy to refund whatever they have paid.
  • omupasomupas Posts: 7subscriber
    So basically you would be using the account for a financial planning type fee?  Also, how would you be running these transactions.  Are you planning on keying them into a terminal or are you looking to key them into an internet based gateway?
    Are these financial consulting sessions done face to face or over the phone?
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
    Yes, all work I do is for a flat fee.  I may charge the full amount, or just half before we meet.  Right now I only accept cash and checks which saves me a lot on fees.I don`t need a terminal, but rather would like to be able to do it from anywhere.  I travel a lot.The sessions are mostly done face-to-face, but sometimes I do a good number over the phone.  That part shouldn`t matter however.  If I do it over the phone I still collect the money up front before we begin.
  • omupasomupas Posts: 7subscriber
    If you`re interested in an online based virtual terminal for your credit card processing, you can look at the Authorize.net listing I have posted in the marketplace.  You can get to it by viewing my profile.  If you have any questions whatsoever, please don`t hesitate to ask.
    With the virtual terminal, you`ll be able to log in to your account to run transactions anywhere you are located where you have access to the internet.
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks for the help.  I took a look, but do you offer the ability to take check info or bank account draft over the phone?  I`d really like to be able to do that as well.  If not, any suggestions?
  • omupasomupas Posts: 7subscriber
    For your checks you can get software called checkwriter, www.checkwriter.net</A>  You take the check information over the phone or fax from your customer and you print a No Signature Required check that you deposit into your bank account.  You pay for the software 1 time and you do not pay any fees on the checks that you write.  I know of a few businesses who use this method for their check acceptance.  Hope that helps.
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks, I looked into that as well as ACH.  I`m wondering now if I can just stick with ACH and not even do cards.  I`m looking at prices though and the only one I saw had a $200 setup fee.  But otherwise it was simply a $.30 charge per check.
  • ethnicommethnicomm Posts: 1subscriber
    If you want  to accept credit cards over the phone, I  think Costco offers the best deal (through Nova).
  • jlukasavigejlukasavige Posts: 2subscriber
    Thanks, that`s what I`ve found I think through all of my research.  I appreciate the feedback.
  • omupasomupas Posts: 7subscriber
    If you want  to accept credit cards over the phone, I  think Costco offers the best deal (through Nova).
    Make sure you get all the "fine print" with the costco deal.  Be sure to read the thread I started and talk to them about the fees listed in my post: ?TID=4393
    All Costco lists on their website is:  Mail Order/Telephone Order 1.99% + $0.27/transaction.  In the fine print at the bottom it says there is a $20 monthly minimum.  Make sure you understand how a monthly minimum works, it means that you need to be above roughly $1250/month in Visa/MC sales to clear it.  It also states that Rewards Cards process at a higher rate.  So the question you really need to ask is what is their Non Qualified rate, which is not disclosed on their page.  You might also want to check if they have an AVS fee (Address Verification).  If they have one, you can add an extra $.05 to $0.10 to every transaction.  Also, check how much they are selling their equipment for.
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