Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yes, I DO rant

Today's rant is about trust. It occurs to me that business in general is based on it. Forget the long-term supply contract, the written non-compete, the long and verbose tomes that are best kept in a safe deposit box and never spoken of because they will somehow activate and cause lawsuits of epic proportion (I always enjoy using that phrase).

Trust is about how things are done.

This particular topic arises because after three years with my credit card processing company, I have changed once more. The contract terminates this month and the processing company will be no longer. Enter new folks. They get their chance.

Why did I do this? Easy enough to explain. In a roundabout manner anyway.

We receive, as do most businesses and homes, enormous numbers of letters and solicitations, many from credit card companies, processors and advertisers. Most are not even reviewed. Most are filed in the round bin.

In January of this year, for reasons unknown, and probably because I was bored, I happened to open a note from our soon-to-be future card processing company. The note was all in fine print. It stated that, due to reasons to be explained later, they were raising our processing fee for one particular card by seventy five (75) percent (%). No explanation other than the fact that the rate was going up.

Had I not read the fine print, I probably would not have noticed this.

Fortunately, I did. I then called the processor and asked why they were doing this. They could not give a reasonable answer. After that, I requested a review and suggested that the fees they had earned last year were reasonable (hey, it's a lot of money running through the accounts!) and that they were about to lose my business if they didn't change their tune.

Usually, that is enough. Except that even though the processing company did indeed lower my rates and not make any changes, I was placed in a position of distrust. I knew that I had been treated this way once and that it was likely to happen once more. I also realized that it would be necessary forever into the future to review every single piece of mail, junk appearing or not, for my processor, just to make sure that they didn't pull some sneaky switch later on.

All for trust. Or a lack thereof.

This causes me to review our own (Team Mates) practices. Are we trustworthy? Do we ever attempt to do anything that brings on a feeling of mistrust?

Just wondering. Always.
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