BEWARE of Stores using Certegy Check ...
Debbie

Woodbridge, VA

#840 May 19, 2008
I just had the daunting experience of having a check denied...and like the rest...my account is quite solvent. I am 50+ years old and I have NEVER bounced a check in my life. I think the gentleman who comments that there are ONLY 200 complaints doesn't understand statistics...for ever person who does complain...there are 10-100 more who don't take the time...who do not know how to complain...or complain at other sites! The significant factor is that ALL the complaints have the same basic problem with the company. I have to agree that any company that denies the way they do...using their system has something more going on. I also find it strange..that they deny people...but those same people can apply to them....and then have NO PROBLEM...what is in the application and why does the company want it???
Shirley wrote:
Go back to school, Will, and study a little logic as well as a primary stat course.
I ask readers of this forum to google Telecheck as well as Certegy. Compare and contrast the complaints. Will alleges that only 200 complaints appear here.
Certegy's info gathering system is flawed, and some (one or two) make light of the fact that personal info was stolen by Certegy's employess because it only resulted in "additional sales calls, etc."
Customers whose checks are denied by Certegy at a retail store should just walk away. Garden Ridge will probably lose about $1000 of my business this year, a pittance to them, for sure.
If, however, enough customers walk away when good checks are denied, eventually the stores might do a better job of collaborating with Certegy on info provided about customers.
Am I correct in assuming that others commenting here have alternative forms of payement? If so, don't you just get sick of hearing that "It's the 21st century now--use your debit/credit card"? As a customer, if I want to use a good check, have excellent credit, why shouln't I be able to if the store takes checks?
There's more fraudulent activity with credit cards than checks I believe.
Will Bailey

Winder, GA

#841 May 19, 2008
The application gives Certegy the same information you give to a credit card company or your bank to identify you. It puts you on the fast track of check authentication. If you write a lot of checks, it will lower your risk of being declined.

Being solvent and never bouncing a check makes you a good target for identity theft. All a criminal needs is your bank account number and routing number and they can try to pass checks in your name. Some businesses might take them because you have a good credit rating and the criminal would get a lot of money because you are quite solvent.

Statistically speaking, if you write a lot of checks your chances of identity theft are higher because you are giving your personal account information to strangers at a higher rate.
Shirley

AOL

#842 May 20, 2008
As per Will's last para: Duh, duh, and more duhs...!
What a profound statistical inference you've drawn; now everyone reading this can finally understand just what a smart man you must be!

Readers: don't even think of sending Certegy any of your personal info. Seems to me they can't even make sense of what they do have, and they certainly can't keep it confidential.
Will Bailey

New York, NY

#843 May 20, 2008
Thanks Shirley!

You are right to advise readers to stop writing checks. Writing checks makes your personal information available to strangers who in turn pass it on to Certegy to add to their database. They then use this information to find check writing patterns to determine if they should accept or decline future checks. Use a credit card instead.
Teresa

Stockton, CA

#844 May 20, 2008
I have numerous blah blah letters from these people about how nothing negative in my account and that unfortuanately it fell outside there approval guidelineswhen asked what those guidelines were they were unable to give me answers. Tell me where to sign or what i need to do I am all for suing these people. They told me that check writing is not a guarantee form of payment and I should not rely on paying by that means.
Angry Granny in Georgia wrote:
<quoted text>
I can top this: Just yesterday, Certergy declined to allow Wal-Mart to cash my Federal Income Tax Refund Check because: "I had cashed THREE checks on 3/8/08". Two of them were payroll checks from a Nationally known health care company and the third check was my State's Income Tax Refund. "Please allow 7-10 days for these checks to clear, before cashing this check", she advised nasally. "That is NOT what the sign here at Wal-Mart states", I countered. "It says that their customers are allowed to cash UP TO $1,200 in checks during a 7-day period". And, the addition of this check to the other three was WELL UNDER the $1,200 limit. When she repeated her spiel about the 7-10 day waiting period, I just snapped "Thank you", and hung up.
I intend to address this issue with Wal-Mart ASAP. Either they follow their ADVERTISED policy regarding the cashing of checks, or take their sign DOWN.
passport needed

AOL

#845 May 24, 2008
Hello there,
I have 4 bounced checks from 5 years ago. 5 seperate warrants have been issued for my arrest 4 years ago. I am wondering, when I go to apply for a passport, if I will get denied due to this?
Thank you in advance,
Mea in Kansas

Houston, TX

#846 May 29, 2008
My husband travels. He occasionally writes a check from his check book. He obviously has a different check book than I do. We can't share the same set of checks when we are not in the same town. We happened to be together today shopping at Walgreens. I wrote a check to pay for our purchase which was declined. I stood at the register and called Certegy because I have funds in my account and have never bounced a check. I could not for the life of me imagine why my check was declined. It was because my husband wrote a check from his book earlier this week and our checks were out of sequence. Have you ever grabbed the wrong check book - not to mention couples who may operate out of two check books. This ques the Certegy system to decline your check. Although my husband was with me, we had both check books with both sequences with us, we both had multiple forms of ID, we have very high check numbers from an account that has been open for over 20 years and we had a deposit slip showing funds of over $5000 available as of yesterday - there was no exception to the rule. Centergy refused to make any kind of exception. They also informed me that if either of us attempted to write a check at ANY store in the Centergy system, it would be declined for the next three days. I discussed this with the manager of Walgreens and he is at the mercy of the Centergy system. I have worked in the collection and check recovery business for over twenty years. I helped develop and impliment an electronic check solution. Our solution allowed our client to use the system to alert them of red flags but also to make sure they could provide good customer service in a case like mine. My entire family uses Walgreens for prescriptions, personal items and household items. We may spend an average of $500 per month, easily. I will opt NOT to shop at Walgreens and I will attempt to find a non-Centergy contracted store to make my purchases, even if I have to pay more at a local, family owned, pharmacy in my area. This system bullies consumers. Stores that buy in to the philosephy that the need that kind of service to protect themselves are foolish. There is another pharmacy down the street from almost every Walgreens in the United States. When you are in a competitive market like that, you need to think just as much about customer service as protecting yourself from fraud. I will use the list and I will do my best not to shop at those stores!
Tina Barnett

Lafayette, IN

#847 May 29, 2008
my bank account information was sold by this company and i would like to know how to file a lawsuit against this company prophetesstina@comcast.net
yoyo

United States

#848 May 31, 2008
kaye wrote:
If anyone knows how to get a complete list of the merchants who use this service.....please advise. Thanks.
kaye hi just wondering if u evr got a response to ur request?
Shirley

AOL

#849 May 31, 2008
Your instincts are right, Mea. Just walk down the street to another pharmacy and make sure Walgreen's (local and corporate) knows why. CVS pharmacy, a favorite pop-in store near me, uses Telecheck, not Certegy.

Read some of the previous mail on this site. I'd advise against sending Certegy any info for their "Gold Application Card." Again, they can't even process the info they do have, and the employees can't seem to keep info confidential there.
Julie

AOL

#850 Jun 3, 2008
I've been shopping at krogers every other day for years. Now I've recently changed banks and guess what my check was rejected by certegy. Sorry but debit cards aren't safe. Go shop with one and see how many times someone asks you for ID. I want to use my checks. I have plenty of money in my account and I have a good credit score. Certegy couldn't give me a reason why it was rejected. I'm assuming it was because I've only written a few checks from that account. I've been writing checks from the previous account for years but just because I changed accounts im now rejected. This is aggravating. I know a couple of people who had checks stolen and written in stores that use certegy that went through. Doesn't seem like security to me. One person had written 6 or 7 at the same store in one day on a closed acct. hmmm, Just seems like a way for certegy to make money and cause honest people alot of hassle.
Will Bailey

Winder, GA

#851 Jun 5, 2008
Julie wrote:
I've been shopping at krogers every other day for years. Now I've recently changed banks and guess what my check was rejected by certegy. Sorry but debit cards aren't safe. Go shop with one and see how many times someone asks you for ID. I want to use my checks. I have plenty of money in my account and I have a good credit score. Certegy couldn't give me a reason why it was rejected. I'm assuming it was because I've only written a few checks from that account. I've been writing checks from the previous account for years but just because I changed accounts im now rejected. This is aggravating. I know a couple of people who had checks stolen and written in stores that use certegy that went through. Doesn't seem like security to me. One person had written 6 or 7 at the same store in one day on a closed acct. hmmm, Just seems like a way for certegy to make money and cause honest people alot of hassle.
If your debit card is stolen, you would know. You just call a number and and it's automatically deactivated. You can't do that with checks. It's assumed if whoever has the debit card is the card owner, otherwise it would be deactivated.

You can't tell if someone has a check if they are the owner. Most banks don't provide a way for you to validate if a check is good or not. That's why 6 or 7 can be passed at the same store on the same day. Like you said, using checks isn't very secure.

Credit cards are the way to go when shopping. You are offered a level of protection you don't get with checks and you get dispute resolution.
Snoop

Chandler, AZ

#852 Jun 11, 2008
marvin childers wrote:
I UNDERSTAND I WENT TROUGH THE SAME ISSUE 2 MONTHS AGO WHAT A LOAD.THEY FINAILLY INFORMED ME THAT I NEEDED 12 MONTHS OF CHECK WRIGHTING HISTORY FOR A COMPANY I JUST STARTED.HOW CAN A COMPANY HAVE 12 MONTHS OF HISTORY IF IT JUST STARTED PLEASE!!!!!.AT THE TIME I HAD 175 K IN THE ACCOUNT AND STILL NO APPROVAL.
m childers
McLean, Va.
Try writing a hot check i bet it will go right through.
DAN

United States

#853 Jun 12, 2008
Michael wrote:
I wrote a check for $274 on my bank account which has $112,000 in CASH balance in it, and the check was not accepted by the Bed, Bath & Beyond store in Chandler, AZ by their check verification company "Certegy".
I was given a piece of paper that resembled a Valet Parking ticket explaining that Equifax had turned down my check. No explanation. No opportunity to talk to the Equifax/Certegy person on the phone.
They had to call because Certegy's system had been down all day and so telephoning in the information from all TWO checks they had received that day. Being close to closing time, I simply paid by Credit Card.
When I called the "deadbeat" number on the Equifax ticket, I was informed by a young lady, who I pointed out was younger than the pair of shoes I wear to funerals & weddings, she informed me that they are NOT Equifax.
They are Certigy, and in DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE FAIR CREDIT ACT, that I would NOT be provided a copy of the credit report (if any) that was used to "determine" my check would bounce.
She said that was becaue I had not received a credit turn down and she could not pull up any further information because their system was "down for maintenance". Hmmmmm.
When I pressed her like a rotten tomato, she admitted that CERTEGY's system does not actually verify if you have money in your account when they verify a check.
INSTEAD THEY USE AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE WIRITING A HOT CHECK!
Yes, you read that correctly. Equifax's check verification service does NOT use their own credit records, or even use their data processing system to access your bank to verify a balance, which has been made possible for ANY vendor using an electronic verification system given last year's Banking Reform Legislation.
No, they have a better way, which is touted on their web site as if they know something everyone else does not:
a computer algorithm.
NOT SIMPLE VERIFICATION YOUR CHECK IS GOOD......"artificial intelligence".
Well, that is a good example of why companies can't manage their way out of a paper bag anymore.
Given the technology readily available today, ANY COMPANY can run a check verification service with one pimply faced geek and a few servers.
But instead, one of the THREE Credit Bureaus, who act like the keeper of the FICO scores, decides to use the least effective method possible....GUESSING!
Michael Horton, Owner
Tucson Design
So your check was declined well pal suck it up and move on with life it's not the end of the world because your check was not accepted. You have no clue everything involving taking a check as well as the risks associated with it. A check is not a guaranteed form of payment until the funds are actually collected by a company and not all merchants want to spend the money to have the capability of taking the money out of ones account on the spot, all the merchants are concerned about is for someone to accept responsibility of the checks they accept in their stores and get paid for them should something go wrong, that's where companies like certegy, telechek, etc. come in without these companies taking the risks of check acceptence every day from thousands of merchants in this country merchants would then be forced not to accept checks from their customers as a form of payment then once again you'd have to use your credit card. I've had my check declined by certegy and being and adult i simply paid by credit card and moved on without crying or throwing a tamper tantrum. Apparently you're not as old as your use you wear to funerals grown ups don't act like this.
Keith

United States

#854 Jun 13, 2008
What people fail to realize is that credit card/debit card fraud at the registers is more prevalent than Check fraud, now a days. I have had my checking account for over 10 years, never had a problem with checks being used without authorization, but I have had problems with my debit card being used without authorization on more times than I can count.

One instance was at KMart, where someone had switched out their Point of Sale Terminals with terminals that record the information such as card number, pin number, then had fake cards made up. My account was compromised due to my Debit card in the amount of over $15,000.

So people that are advocating using Credit Cards or Debit Cards at stores, need to think again, because when you're dealing with ID theft, and you still have the card in your possession, most banks say "Oh well, you must've authorized it because you still have it in your possession" which is not always the case.
Baffled wrote:
I can't believe you people!!#1...why are you all still writing checks anyway?? I thought that we were all in an age where we had moved on to using debit and/or credit cards. Debit and/or credit cards are so much more convenient than actually writing out a check.#2...What would all of you do if someone stole your checkbook and began writing checks out of it? You know that most merchants do not bother to check ID no matter what Certegy may require them to do. Because of people like all of you that give them a hard time everytime that they ask you for some sort of idenification to prove that you are the owner of the check. Someone would be writing your checks and using your money...and when Certegy cleared these checks all of these complaints would be about Certegy allowing fraud and allowing checks to clear. This is all really sad to me...what has society come to when all of you want to sue a company because they wouldn't cash your $7 check at WalMart....COME ON USE YOUR FRICKING DEBIT CARD!!!#3...All of you know that you won't boycott these stores. You need the necessities just like everyone else in this world...and if you would rather go to a smaller chain and spend more money just so that you don't have to go to the others and use Certegy...then so be it....go right ahead!!#4...Do any of you go to casino's? Certegy is one of the leading check cashing and credit card advance providers in the gaming industry.
You should all give that little plastic card that your bank gives you a try. If you are all really that hell-bent on "ruining" Certegy then use your card as you will not be using their services when you do. It will also be cheaper to you as you will not have to use the checks that you more than likely pay for. Stop being so petty...aren't their more serious issues out there that we could all be sharing our thoughts and concerns with?
Keith

United States

#855 Jun 13, 2008
Telechecks only declines checks after there has been one that has bounced for one reason or another. Telechecks is a reactory service. When you call them, they will tell you why your check was declined and who is collecting on any bounced check that is out there.
Certegy is a proactive service that to me seems to be a scam. They evaluate the worthiness of a check on check writing algorithms, which is wrong. How can you turn down a check because it fits a profile of possible check theft.
I had this problem the other day at KMart, and the rep told me that there are 2 checks with high amounts, one being $4.17 and another for the amount of $16.15. I asked what is so high about these amounts, and the representative went and pitched their gold membership package. When I informed them that in the State of Rhode Island it is illegal to demand more than 2 forms of ID or to require a Social Security Number in an application for check cashing privileges, she tried telling me that it is not. In Rhode Island the law that states this is included in this post. I recommend that anyone wanting to use a check at a store with Certegy Services should familiarize themselves with local laws and notify the reps they speak with of the applicable state/local laws with specific sections.
Rhode Island General Laws
TITLE 6
Commercial Law General Regulatory Provisions
CHAPTER 6-13
Unfair Sales Practices
SECTION 6-13-15
6-13-15 Prohibition against recording credit card or social security numbers on checks. It shall be unlawful, during a sale at retail of any goods or merchandise, to record any credit card or social security number obtained from a purchaser as a means of identification upon the check of the purchaser tendered for the sale. Any person, firm or corporation that shall violate the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). This section does not prohibit any person from requesting production of, or recording, a credit card number as a condition for cashing or accepting a check, provided the person has agreed with the credit card issuer to cash or accept checks from card holders of the issuer, the issuer has agreed to guarantee card holder checks cashed or accepted by that person, and the card holder has given actual, apparent, or implied authority for the use of his or her card number in the manner and for the purpose described in this section.
Will Bailey

Winder, GA

#856 Jun 13, 2008
Keith wrote:
Telechecks only declines checks after there has been one that has bounced for one reason or another. Telechecks is a reactory service. When you call them, they will tell you why your check was declined and who is collecting on any bounced check that is out there.
Certegy is a proactive service that to me seems to be a scam. They evaluate the worthiness of a check on check writing algorithms, which is wrong. How can you turn down a check because it fits a profile of possible check theft.
I had this problem the other day at KMart, and the rep told me that there are 2 checks with high amounts, one being $4.17 and another for the amount of $16.15. I asked what is so high about these amounts, and the representative went and pitched their gold membership package. When I informed them that in the State of Rhode Island it is illegal to demand more than 2 forms of ID or to require a Social Security Number in an application for check cashing privileges, she tried telling me that it is not. In Rhode Island the law that states this is included in this post. I recommend that anyone wanting to use a check at a store with Certegy Services should familiarize themselves with local laws and notify the reps they speak with of the applicable state/local laws with specific sections.
Rhode Island General Laws
TITLE 6
Commercial Law General Regulatory Provisions
CHAPTER 6-13
Unfair Sales Practices
SECTION 6-13-15
6-13-15 Prohibition against recording credit card or social security numbers on checks. It shall be unlawful, during a sale at retail of any goods or merchandise, to record any credit card or social security number obtained from a purchaser as a means of identification upon the check of the purchaser tendered for the sale. Any person, firm or corporation that shall violate the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). This section does not prohibit any person from requesting production of, or recording, a credit card number as a condition for cashing or accepting a check, provided the person has agreed with the credit card issuer to cash or accept checks from card holders of the issuer, the issuer has agreed to guarantee card holder checks cashed or accepted by that person, and the card holder has given actual, apparent, or implied authority for the use of his or her card number in the manner and for the purpose described in this section.
In reading this law you provided, it just says your card number or social security number cannot be physically written on the check because checks can easily be stolen for identity theft and including this information would make it way, way, way to easy to steal someones identity.

Credit cards can instantly be authorized or declined. Checks take days. That's why you should pay with a credit card or else be prepared to be declined.
Tim Grotheer

Manchester, NH

#857 Jun 15, 2008
I just had the same experience as all of you with Shaw's supermarket in Hooksett NH who uses Certegy. I called Certegy and the rep said she couldn't even tell me why my check was being denied. I then called my bank and they verified that all was fine with my account so I called Certegy again. When I called again, they couldn't find the transaction!!! Fishy.... I'm going to be lodging a formal complaint with the CEO of the company and the Better Business bureau. Anyone else that wants to join, let me know.
Mary

AOL

#858 Jun 15, 2008
Today I tried to pay for a new phone at an AT&T store for $273.20, and my check on my Cal National Bank was denied by Certegy. I then rewrote the check on my BofA account with the same result. I have more than enough funds in each of my checking accts, plus have never had a return check in the 50 years I have been writing checks. I was on hold for 40 minutes waiting to speak to someone at Certegy and finally gave up. I am now afraid to try to write another check for fear that it, too, will be refused. I would hate to have to put everything on credit cards, and do not want to have to carry cash all the time. This Certegy is making things too difficult.
Craig

Redding, CA

#859 Jun 16, 2008
Well, I have to say certegy is a bunch of crooks and idiots. I just had an experience where the Albertson's I have been shopping at for over 20 years turned down a $15 check because Certegy denied it. I had just written a check at this store for $47 two days before with cash back. After the many pages of complaints I have read I am going to start looking for a class action suit, becuase there has to be one out there. Their process is so random and illogical.

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