Credit card processor dumps client, still says it will hold money for 'at least 120 days'

When a credit card processor told small business owner Luke Heinecke they would no longer keep him as a client and said they had to hold his profits, Luke decided to Get Gephardt. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Linear Design is in the marketing, design and public relations business. Their clients pay for services rendered using credit cards.

Every time owner Luke Heinecke runs a card, he has to pay a fee. That's why he says he was stoked when a credit card processor called Authorize.net told him they could slash those fees.

"It seemed like a no-brainer to me,” he said.

Heinecke signed up with the credit card processing company and began charging cards. Because he'd just signed up, Authorize.net said they couldn't send him his money for about a week.

"In my mind I thought, 'Hey, no problem. We can wait five to seven days, especially if we are getting that better rate,'” Heinecke said.

But then, unexpectedly, the credit card processor told him they would not be willing to work with him after all. Worse: an email stated it would be holding all the money he had processed through Authorize.net — $9,000 in all — for a minimum of 120 days.

Heinecke says he protested but when the company told him he was just going to have to wait, he called his lawyer and Get Gephardt.

“It could put us out of business," he said. “We have to get that money back.”

When Get Gephardt reached out to Authorize.net on Heinecke’s behalf, we heard back from the corporate communication department for Visa.

In a statement, a spokesperson wrote,

"As part of Authorize.net’s role as a payment management platform, we take measures to ensure the integrity and trust of the payment system and protect merchants and consumers from possible fraudulent activity. In cases where potentially suspicious transaction activity is identified, we make inquiries to ensure all transactions are valid and legal before releasing funds."

Visa wouldn't answer any specific questions about Linear Design but, just like that, some good news for Heinecke. He says that just one day after both his lawyer and Get Gephardt reached out to Authorize.net, his $9,000 was sent to him.

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