Well, I was all set for a post on the progress of my latest painting – coming soon – but occasionally you come across such stunning arrogance and incompetence in a company you feel like telling everyone about it! Strictly not an art subject at all, but since for some years I have used them as a payment method on my artwork website, www.nancyfarmer.net, there is a link, at least from my point of view.
So, here is the thing: I offer payment from Paypal and Nochex and via cheque and most people chose Paypal. Not my fault, and in fact though it is seldom used, something in excess of £500 has been taken through the Nochex account – the same £500 plus is in still in the account as a matter of fact since one of the annoying features of this company is that they insist on keeping a buffer of something like twice the maximum payment they expect you to take in a single transaction, which is a pain to start with. However this is not really the main problem.
The problem came to light today when someone tried to purchase something from my website using Nochex. The payment failed, but all I knew of this was an email from Nochex which said that since nobody had put a payment through the account for some time (which was a few months) they had decided (on their own and without telling me) to suspend the account. Just like that! Not a word just ‘oh, they’re not using this any more, we’ll stop all payments and not tell anyone’.
But it gets better, here is the email I received:
I hope this email finds you well.
We have been reviewing all accounts which have been inactive for a period of time to ensure we have all information on the accounts which we are legally obliged to have. All accounts which have not traded have been suspended until they become active again.
This said, we today received notification that there was an attempt to pay on your account which is currently suspended. In order to reactivate your Nochex account, I wonder if you could assist us with this matter by confirming the following:
– Details of what you use your Nochex account for (i.e. what you sell)
– Details of any websites/ auction sites / forum sites you trade from (please provide all URL’s and any user names you have).
Please can you also confirm the following?
• Your full name & title
• Your date of birth
• Your full current home address and post code
So, not only have they suspended the account because I didn’t use it, they now want me to prove who I am and why it is I want to use their miserable service in the first place.
Better than that, this is an un-secure email they are expecting me to reply to, containing my account number in the subject heading! And yet when I access my account (an irritating process requiring me to insert not only email address and password but remember the last four digits of the credit card that I had 3 years ago as well) they say this measure is ‘to protect the integrity of your account’. Oh really?
Frankly, Nochex does exactly the same as Paypal, except that Nochex costs some £40 to set up, and you have to keep quite a lot of the money in the account at all times. Oh yes, and some time ago I was quite unable to get into my account at all, finally resorted to phoning them, explaining that I was fairly sure that the password I was putting in was correct but that I had been unable to both access my account in the usual way or make any sense out of the ‘forgot your password’ set of screens. ‘Oh no, I don’t think that actually works’ said the person on the end of the telephone, and then proceeded to tell me that my password didn’t work either because it contained non-alphanumeric characters that used to be permitted, but suddenly weren’t any more. Fine, but at what point were they actually going to tell me?
In its favour, Nochex takes a lower commission. Believe me, it’s not worth it…!
Well, having vented my spleen, it’s back to the artwork tomorrow, though if anyone feels like leaving a comment, please do, in the morning I shall forward this page to Nochex, on whose answering machine I left a message today asking them to phone back and demanding an explanation. Guess what, no phone call. I am wondering if posting this may poke them into action…