Sunday, September 18, 2016

Out with the old, in with the new

February 2016: I lost my primary credit card processor when Amazon Local Payments closed. (Advance notice: several months.) I replaced them with Square, which had been our previous credit card processor and which we still had as a backup. Getting our data out of Amazon Local Payments before they deleted their records took some hours. At least they gave a few months notice. No other costs.

June 2016: I lost my shopping cart service when Americart folded. (Advance notice: initially 1 week, then 4 weeks, then uncertain, then they surprised us one morning.) They replaced themselves with Capital One Spark Pay, which has been buggy and dim-witted, but at least saved us from having to redo the shopping cart integration on thousands of web pages. Setting up the new back end took about 100 hours including testing. Putting in bug reports has taken about 20 hours, and is ongoing.

August 2016: I lost my primary software sales channel when Kagi folded. (Advance notice: none at all.) I replaced them with FastSpring. Switching took about 20 hours of research, 10 hours of setup, and a week of downtime while switching over. Other costs: income for some sales that vanished along with Kagi.

August/September 2016: I lost two voicemail lines and one fax line when Maxemail folded. (Advance notice: 1-4 weeks estimated, with no certainty.) I replaced the voicemail lines with Google Voice and the fax line with Nextiva vFax. Setup for the voicemail lines was about 30 minutes and worked immediately. Setup for the fax line was about 2 hours of phone calls and paperwork, and 15 days of waiting to port the number. Other costs: $50 in advance payments to Maxemail gone, and some hours of research to decide on replacements.

September 2016: I lost my ability to process credit cards from web site orders when Capital One Spark Pay decided that they would no longer allow manual processing. (Advance notice: none at all, then 8 days.) I replaced manual processing with Stripe’s online gateway. Research was about 30 hours, setup was about 1 hour, testing is ongoing.

At the end of all of this, I am simply dealing with different providers. Nothing is better or cheaper or more likely to work correctly. And all of the changes since June have been one crisis after another with little warning and lousy communication.

I’m hesitant to even think about the providers who are acting reliable this year. At this point it feels like another shoe is always about to drop.

1 comment:

K R said...

Ran across your article while doing a search...Same boat as you (Americart transitions, which have been a very expensive and time consuming hassle), and I've found some solutions. Biz owner to biz owner, I'd be happy to call and compare notes with you if you want to shoot me your contact info and best time to call.