For as long as Heartland POS dealers can remember, there have been snafus with the POS accounting practices. But recently things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse (cue ominous music).
It culminated with the below email, which Heartland sent to their dealers the night before Heartland directly messaged the dealers’ customers (Heartland handles billing on behalf of their dealers with a few exceptions that are carryovers from the MobileBytes acquisition). Per Heartland’s email, it appears as if Heartland had underbilled merchants – primarily the restaurant variety that are dying in record numbers – and merchants need to make good on the tab.
Naturally the channel is caught in the middle again, an apparent favorite position for Global Payments, Heartland’s owner.
My biggest issue has been how Heartland handled this. There was no communication, they’re not being responsive to our inquiries, and we’re hearing that any uncollected sums will come from the dealer’s share, as if this is our fault.
Your standard, pissed off Heartland POS dealer
The issue is apparently so contentious that someone – presumably an aggrieved Heartland POS dealer – even made a clever website for Andre Nataf, the head of Heartland’s POS division. We wish we could take credit but alas, we are not so creative.
If you want to see the more recent email Global put out to its customers and channel, its below.
Here’s what we think is really happening.
Heartland could have easily fixed these accounting errors, as they’ve been known for years, so it’s not as if something crept up unexpectedly at the 11th hour. Instead, Heartland – or really Global Payments – more than likely made a conscious decision to ignore the issue in favor of investing whatever resources might have been needed to resolve the problem in place of…
The Wheel of Fees!
We imagine the executive conversation going a bit like this:
Global Bro #1: Hey, our POS dealers are really starting to get mad about our accounting systems not working.
Global Bro #2: They’re lucky we’re even carrying their sorry asses!
Global Bro #1: Well duh. But what if they get so mad that their merchants stop processing with us?
Global Bro #2: That’s why we put all the processing deals on our paper. Plus, POS systems are hard to rip out, right? So what’s the merchant really going to do?
Global Bro #1: Good point.
Global Bro #2: Look, you’re thinking about this all wrong. In the time you’ve spent bitching about a problem that takes real resources to fix, I’ve already thought of 10 new fees to charge this month. Those fees are going to make us way more money and all it takes is a text message to Gary in Pricing to get them implemented.
Global Bro #1: Wow, I really have so much to learn about working at Global Payments.
Global Bro #2: Don’t feel so bad; I was the same way when I started. You just need to remember the Global Payments playbook. Do you have it handy?
Global Bro #1: Is that the one-page booklet they gave us at initiation?
Global Bro #2: Precisely. Commit it to heart and nothing will ever go wrong. I always carry mine around to remember what we stand for. It’s looking well-loved these days but its meaning is as profound as ever.
Global Bro #1: May I see it?
Global Bro #2: Absolutely. Remember, we always choose what’s right – and by that I mean what’s literally on the right hand side of the image.
Global Bro #1: Wipes tear from eye. I’ve never been so proud!