Telecheck is now verifying Shell Saver Cards. These cards as the same as debit cards and draw funds from your checking account.
The marketing gimmick is $0.10 off per gallon of gasoline. Since I drive my car extensively for work and there are a lot of Shell stations in this area, I figured why not? Shell approved me and the card was activated. When I went to use it, it was declined.
So I used my debit card and called Shell. Shell referred me to Telecheck. Telecheck customer service said I fell outside their risk policy guidelines. What are those risk policy guidelines?
She couldn't tell me. Where can I find the risk policy guidelines? Maybe on the website but maybe not. So I asked to speak with a supervisor.
One wasn't available but I could call back later. Call #2 was even worse. Again, a supervisor wasn't available. Call #3 actually got me to a supervisor.
Not that she was any more helpful but she was somewhat nicer. Apparently even though I've written checks from my current account for the last 4 years (and over 30+ years in my lifetime), only one has been through Telecheck's system. Well, technically, not correct. It wasn't a check.
I'd used my debit card at the same Shell station between the time my Shell Saver Card had been issued and the time it was activated and I attempted to use it. So they only had 1 positive historical event for me. I was assured being declined had nothing to do with whether funds were or were not available. I was also assured 'not to worry' as this problem would be corrected with the system refreshed with my information in the next 7 days.
In the meantime, use some other means of payment. When I asked what information was supposed to be 'refreshed' in that 7 days when I can't even use the card, she didn't know. And this was the alleged supervisor! When I asked what I should do if the situation was not corrected in 7 days, I was advised that I should call Telecheck immediately so they could try to override the decline.
Try being the operative word. So I'm supposed to block a gas pump at busy gas stations while I spend 8 to 10 minutes trying to get someone on the phone? I have a valid card approved by the vendor. Telecheck apparently is attempting to tell people when and where they can use checks or cards similar to the Shell Saver card.
What's worse is that they're also trying to tell us this is for 'our' benefit to avoid potential fraud both for the consumer and the merchants.
I can't speak for the merchants but denying me the ability to use this card isn't protecting me from potential fraud. If I see a Telecheck sticker at a register, I'm either paying cash or walking out.