Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

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Naris
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Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

I have a personal account with a payment processor (Stripe), where I linked my bank account to enable deposits. Recently, Stripe has attempted to charge me a number of fees that I do not believe are valid. Stripe thinks I owe them ~$2,000; I think I probably owe them something more like ~$200. I don’t think the details of our disagreement are relevant, so I’ll omit them here – suffice it to say, I have a good faith basis for disputing that I owe Stripe the money they claim.

Because of the (disputed) fees, Stripe declared my account to have a negative balance and then stated that it would automatically debit my bank account for the amount in question. I emailed their support to instruct them not to (per my previous emails disputing the basis for the fees), and I called my bank to ask them to block the transaction. My bank said they would, but then let it go through (and clarified that they can’t actually block specific merchants from making withdrawals). My bank said they can dispute the specific transaction and reverse it, which I have asked them to do. I have emailed both my bank and Stripe to express in writing that I have “revoked authorization” for any ACH withdrawals by Stripe (I believe that’s the correct step/terminology under Regulation E).

My goal here is to prevent Stripe from making withdrawals from my bank account pending the resolution of our dispute about how much money I owe them. I don’t want to be the one chasing them to get my money back, and I’m pretty sure they’ll just never respond at all if they have the money in hand.

Has anyone had experience with preventing a business from making withdrawals from their bank account if the business has their account’s routing and account number? Is there something I can say to Stripe that will make it a violation of some statute or regulation (such as Regulation E) if they persist in attempting to debit my account while we have a dispute about the amount I owe them? Are there any other considerations that I should be aware of in this process?

I really appreciate any advice or recommendations that people have to share about this situation. I thought that surely other people must have encountered a situation where they disagree with a business’s claim that they owe money, and it can’t be the case that the business gets to just debit your account for however much money they assert they are entitled to and make you chase them to get it back, right? That would strike me as a bizarre way of allocating the burden of proving the validity or invalidity of the business’s claimed right to the funds, but I’m not familiar with the rules surrounding this topic.
HomeStretch
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by HomeStretch »

Consider closing the bank account to prevent the ACHs.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

HomeStretch wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:24 am Consider closing the bank account to prevent the ACHs.
My bank told me that they could give me a new account number, which would stop the withdrawals. That would be a huge hassle for me since I'd have to change the account number for everything else, although I might do that if that's what it takes to fully stop. I'm hoping there's a less burdensome alternative.
earlyout
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by earlyout »

I think the lesson here is to be very careful about allowing any business to access and pull money from a bank account. Much better to give them a credit card they can charge as needed. With a credit card you can easily cancel access and/or dispute questionable charges.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

earlyout wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:43 am I think the lesson here is to be very careful about allowing any business to access and pull money from a bank account. Much better to give them a credit card they can charge as needed. With a credit card you can easily cancel access and/or dispute questionable charges.
I definitely pay everything I can via credit cards for this reason (and for rewards), but that's not always an option. Without getting into details that I don't think are relevant here, I linked my bank account to this account to receive deposits (not to enable withdrawals). As far as I'm aware, I don't think it's even possible to link a credit card to receive payments in this type of situation.

Based on this experience, I definitely won't be doing any future business with Stripe once this is over, but I don't think that not linking a bank account is an easy solution to this category of issues. Sometimes you have to provide a bank account when engaging in certain interactions with a business, and it's possible for that business to think you owe them money when you disagree.
stan1
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by stan1 »

It sounds like you are (or were) operating a business using Stripe as a payment service connected to your personal bank account? Seems like most of what's going to happen is laid out in the agreement you signed/clicked through to open the Stripe account. Their lawyers wrote it so I'd assume it is favorable to them. Before you put too much effort into this you'd want to be very familiar with the agreement you signed -- not just a principle of what is right or wrong.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

stan1 wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:03 am It sounds like you are (or were) operating a business using Stripe as a payment service connected to your personal bank account? Seems like most of what's going to happen is laid out in the agreement you signed/clicked through to open the Stripe account. Their lawyers wrote it so I'd assume it is favorable to them. Before you put too much effort into this you'd want to be very familiar with the agreement you signed -- not just a principle of what is right or wrong.
That's basically correct. I've reviewed the in-force services agreement and Stripe's documentation on the issue in question, and I think they're mistaken in their assessment of the fees (I understand why they might try to apply certain fees, but I disagree that they're entitled to them under the agreement). It's a moderately technical point, so part of my goal here is to make it so that someone at Stripe actually has to talk to me about it (rather than them just auto-debiting my bank account and then ignoring me forever). I'm open to the possibility that I've missed something and they're right about the fees, but I have a good faith basis for thinking they're wrong.

That said, as a general matter, surely a business can't just debit your bank account whenever they think you owe them money merely because they happen to have your routing and account number (even if you've told them in writing that you disagree with their claim), right? That would just strike me as bizarre. These are not authorized transactions, and I've told both my bank and Stripe that fact in writing.

I think the substance (do I owe Stripe ~$2,000 versus ~$200) is distinct from the process (does Stripe get to debit my bank account even if I tell them that I dispute how much I owe them). I'm trying to figure out what procedural protections I have against Stripe (or any business) just debiting my account and refusing to discuss the disagreement with me, putting the burden on me to sue them (or initiate arbitration, as Stripe requires in their services agreement).
HomeStretch
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by HomeStretch »

If you don’t want to close the account and your bank can’t/won’t block the pull from the payment processor, sounds like your only other option is to get this settled ASAP with the payment processor.

The safest assumption when you link a bank account is that the payment processor likely has the right based on the agreement you signed to pull funds in case of dispute. Frustrating if the vendor is in the wrong and pulls the funds but this is the way most operate. The same thing can happen if you have a credit card and deposit account at the same bank if there is a dispute.

In the future, consider setting up a separate account to receive deposits. Once received, move the funds to another unlinked account preferably at a different financial institution. Keep the linked account at a zero balance.
MichDad
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by MichDad »

Consider filing complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, and your State Attorney General's Office. You could prepare one complaint and file it on-line with each of these authorities. Also, consider suing for the unauthorized charges in small claims court -- but your terms of service agreement may require arbitration.

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JoMoney
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by JoMoney »

Agree with others that changing account #'s would be the most effective way to prevent unauthorized withdrawal by someone who has the account #, followed by what you've already done in dealing directly with the group making the the withdrawal 'revoking' your approval, and disputing it should they do so anyway.
You can't really stop anyone from making an ACH withdrawal, all you can do is dispute it if it was unauthorized.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by F150HD »

earlyout wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:43 am I think the lesson here is to be very careful about allowing any business to access and pull money from a bank account. Much better to give them a credit card they can charge as needed. With a credit card you can easily cancel access and/or dispute questionable charges.

^^^^ this this this all day. I never connect a payment to a bank account. Same goes for having debit cards. Someone steals that # and can drain a portion of your cash (or all of it by the time you notice it). Had it happen to a family member.

HomeStretch wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:22 am ...In the future, consider setting up a separate account to receive deposits. Once received, move the funds to another unlinked account preferably at a different financial institution. Keep the linked account at a zero balance.
Many banks charge a monthly fee if a certain balance isn't kept or deposit amounts don't reach $X dollars each month or the like. At least where I am nearly every bank is like this. :(
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by mpsz »

This forum is great, but it can be really unwelcoming and frustrating when people parrot unoriginal advice like "juSt uSE a CRedIt CarD" that simply doesn't apply. Stripe is a credit card processor, OP is a merchant... you need to give the payment processor bank account information because that's how the merchant gets paid. Stripe or another credit card processor isn't going to credit proceeds of sales to the OP's credit card.

Typically, agreements for ACH between you and another company will include a clause to allow them to correct errors, whether you agree with the error or not. You'd need to handle this on your bank's side. A quick-and-dirty solution could be to have one checking account that does not have overdraft ability that you use only for Stripe. Empty this account periodically or if there's a dispute. Though, you should be aware that doing so would likely cause Stripe to escalate the situation, whether that's right or wrong.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

mpsz wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:07 am This forum is great, but it can be really unwelcoming and frustrating when people parrot unoriginal advice like "juSt uSE a CRedIt CarD" that simply doesn't apply. Stripe is a credit card processor, OP is a merchant... you need to give the payment processor bank account information because that's how the merchant gets paid. Stripe or another credit card processor isn't going to credit proceeds of sales to the OP's credit card.
Right, that's exactly correct here. Linking a bank account is a mandatory aspect of the service that I was using, so this wasn't a situation where it was possible to use a credit card instead of my bank account. That said, I appreciate people taking the time to read and comment, even if not all the advice is on-point (it's all worth at least as much as I paid for it! But seriously, I appreciate people taking the time to share their thoughts).
mpsz wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:07 am Typically, agreements for ACH between you and another company will include a clause to allow them to correct errors, whether you agree with the error or not. You'd need to handle this on your bank's side. A quick-and-dirty solution could be to have one checking account that does not have overdraft ability that you use only for Stripe. Empty this account periodically or if there's a dispute. Though, you should be aware that doing so would likely cause Stripe to escalate the situation, whether that's right or wrong.
(Emphasis added)

That makes sense. If this were an error where they had miscoded the amount to credit me, I'd definitely see that; I'm skeptical that "correcting errors" can extend as far as the business claiming that I owe them a fee so they get to automatically debit me. I looked at Regulation E, and it appears that the former is allowed but there's no provision permitting the latter, which is why I was wondering how to stop them from trying to do it anyway.

Linking a separate bank account that you use as a pass-through and otherwise keep empty is an interesting idea. I'd be concerned about getting hit with fees for insufficient funds though. If I kept enough in the separate account to cover withdrawals like this, then I'm back at square one. If I kept too little (or nothing) in it, then I'd be afraid that that bank would impose fees on me when withdrawals failed because I didn't have enough money in the account. I've never been in the situation where I had someone initiate a withdrawal from my account that exceeded the available funds though, so I'm completely unfamiliar with that scenario. Perhaps there are accounts that would just deny the withdrawal attempt and not charge any fees? If so, that would be an interesting defensive setup.

Regarding the portion where I added the underlining, that's my hope -- this all began in large part because Stripe made promises in writing, broke them, then failed to provide any responses to my repeated inquiries. I'm not entirely sure that anyone reads their support email, and you can't call or chat them (those are options on the website, but they're never available). I'm convinced at this point that the only way I'll get a human at Stripe to look at my situation and at least consider my disagreement regarding the fees they claim I owe them is to deny them the ability to withdraw the fees. I'm sure that'll escalate the situation in some sense, but I don't think there's any other way of proceeding apart from just conceding and paying them the money. They're remarkably difficult to get in touch with when there's a problem.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

JoMoney wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:43 am Agree with others that changing account #'s would be the most effective way to prevent unauthorized withdrawal by someone who has the account #, followed by what you've already done in dealing directly with the group making the the withdrawal 'revoking' your approval, and disputing it should they do so anyway.
You can't really stop anyone from making an ACH withdrawal, all you can do is dispute it if it was unauthorized.
Thanks. Sounds like the consensus is that the easiest way of fixing the problem of unauthorized ACH withdrawals is to take my bank up on the offer to get a new account number. I think I'll probably proceed with getting this first charge disputed/reversed, and then move to getting a new account number if the problem reoccurs.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by mpsz »

Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:39 am Linking a separate bank account that you use as a pass-through and otherwise keep empty is an interesting idea. I'd be concerned about getting hit with fees for insufficient funds though. If I kept enough in the separate account to cover withdrawals like this, then I'm back at square one. If I kept too little (or nothing) in it, then I'd be afraid that that bank would impose fees on me when withdrawals failed because I didn't have enough money in the account. I've never been in the situation where I had someone initiate a withdrawal from my account that exceeded the available funds though, so I'm completely unfamiliar with that scenario. Perhaps there are accounts that would just deny the withdrawal attempt and not charge any fees? If so, that would be an interesting defensive setup.
That would depend entirely on the bank. Most would likely charge a fee, but there could be the possibility of getting the fees reversed by the bank either based on your relationship or if Stripe admitted an error. As I mentioned, the multiple-accounts solution is a "dirty" solution.
Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:39 am Regarding the portion where I added the underlining, that's my hope -- this all began in large part because Stripe made promises in writing, broke them, then failed to provide any responses to my repeated inquiries. I'm not entirely sure that anyone reads their support email, and you can't call or chat them (those are options on the website, but they're never available). I'm convinced at this point that the only way I'll get a human at Stripe to look at my situation and at least consider my disagreement regarding the fees they claim I owe them is to deny them the ability to withdraw the fees. I'm sure that'll escalate the situation in some sense, but I don't think there's any other way of proceeding apart from just conceding and paying them the money. They're remarkably difficult to get in touch with when there's a problem.
I had meant "escalate" in the sense that they may turn to other options such as the courts, but you're probably correct that this would likely result in getting a human involved.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by stan1 »

Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:58 am
JoMoney wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:43 am Agree with others that changing account #'s would be the most effective way to prevent unauthorized withdrawal by someone who has the account #, followed by what you've already done in dealing directly with the group making the the withdrawal 'revoking' your approval, and disputing it should they do so anyway.
You can't really stop anyone from making an ACH withdrawal, all you can do is dispute it if it was unauthorized.
Thanks. Sounds like the consensus is that the easiest way of fixing the problem of unauthorized ACH withdrawals is to take my bank up on the offer to get a new account number. I think I'll probably proceed with getting this first charge disputed/reversed, and then move to getting a new account number if the problem reoccurs.
You can try, someone at the bank may still debit the new account because they have the records from the old account. Safest would be to have minimal balances in any account at this bank until dispute is resolved.

Guessing Stripe would turn a $2000 dispute over to a collection agency and not put their lawyers on it.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

mpsz wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:02 pm
Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:39 am Regarding the portion where I added the underlining, that's my hope -- this all began in large part because Stripe made promises in writing, broke them, then failed to provide any responses to my repeated inquiries. I'm not entirely sure that anyone reads their support email, and you can't call or chat them (those are options on the website, but they're never available). I'm convinced at this point that the only way I'll get a human at Stripe to look at my situation and at least consider my disagreement regarding the fees they claim I owe them is to deny them the ability to withdraw the fees. I'm sure that'll escalate the situation in some sense, but I don't think there's any other way of proceeding apart from just conceding and paying them the money. They're remarkably difficult to get in touch with when there's a problem.
I had meant "escalate" in the sense that they may turn to other options such as the courts, but you're probably correct that this would likely result in getting a human involved.
That's what I figured as well. I checked the services agreement at the outset, and it would go to arbitration (rather than civil court), which I'd be okay with. On a risk-adjusted basis, it would probably be cheaper to just pay rather than go to arbitration, but (a) I can afford to go to arbitration, (b) I think Stripe's conduct in this whole thing has been egregious and they're in the wrong, and (c) I'm willing to undergo some process to force them to respond to me substantively, rather than just ignoring me. Mostly, I'm trying to figure out how to make them actually get a human to look at the situation, which has been a real challenge.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by HomeStretch »

F150HD wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:45 am
HomeStretch wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:22 am ...In the future, consider setting up a separate account to receive deposits. Once received, move the funds to another unlinked account preferably at a different financial institution. Keep the linked account at a zero balance.
Many banks charge a monthly fee if a certain balance isn't kept or deposit amounts don't reach $X dollars each month or the like. At least where I am nearly every bank is like this. :(
Mine doesn’t but even annual fees of $120 (for example) are a small price for OP to pay if there’s a concern about chargebacks or unexpected ACH pulls.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by F150HD »

HomeStretch wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:33 pm
F150HD wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:45 am
HomeStretch wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:22 am ...In the future, consider setting up a separate account to receive deposits. Once received, move the funds to another unlinked account preferably at a different financial institution. Keep the linked account at a zero balance.
Many banks charge a monthly fee if a certain balance isn't kept or deposit amounts don't reach $X dollars each month or the like. At least where I am nearly every bank is like this. :(
Mine doesn’t but even annual fees of $120 (for example) are a small price for OP to pay if there’s a concern about chargebacks or unexpected ACH pulls.
well it is a sound idea.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by nullisland »

Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:11 pm Mostly, I'm trying to figure out how to make them actually get a human to look at the situation, which has been a real challenge.
Try emailing Patrick McKenzie (patio11 at stripe.com), he's a senior person at Stripe who's surprisingly responsive to email (keep it short and to the point). Sometimes bypassing the official support channels like this is the best way to go.

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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I don't have an answer for you, but this has long been a concern of mine setting up autopays to simplify my finances.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by KlangFool »

Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:58 am
JoMoney wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:43 am Agree with others that changing account #'s would be the most effective way to prevent unauthorized withdrawal by someone who has the account #, followed by what you've already done in dealing directly with the group making the the withdrawal 'revoking' your approval, and disputing it should they do so anyway.
You can't really stop anyone from making an ACH withdrawal, all you can do is dispute it if it was unauthorized.
Thanks. Sounds like the consensus is that the easiest way of fixing the problem of unauthorized ACH withdrawals is to take my bank up on the offer to get a new account number. I think I'll probably proceed with getting this first charge disputed/reversed, and then move to getting a new account number if the problem reoccurs.

Naris,

My recommendation would be getting a new account number immediately. When you are in a hole, you need to stop digging it deeper.

The dispute may lead to this party to withdraw more money from you. You need to stop the damage first.


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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by tfb »

Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:15 am I've reviewed the in-force services agreement and Stripe's documentation on the issue in question, and I think they're mistaken in their assessment of the fees (I understand why they might try to apply certain fees, but I disagree that they're entitled to them under the agreement).
I'm not sure what fees are in dispute. Stripe takes the payment processing fee out of each payment received. You go negative when you refund your customer or when a customer disputes the charges and their credit card issuer processes a chargeback through Stripe. Stripe also adds a chargeback processing fee, which is typical among all payment providers. If you think your customer should not have won the chargeback you should pursue your customer for the money they owe you for your products or services.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

tfb wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:34 am
Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:15 am I've reviewed the in-force services agreement and Stripe's documentation on the issue in question, and I think they're mistaken in their assessment of the fees (I understand why they might try to apply certain fees, but I disagree that they're entitled to them under the agreement).
I'm not sure what fees are in dispute.
That's fine. I intentionally omitted discussing the substance of my dispute with Stripe:
Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:22 am I don’t think the details of our disagreement are relevant, so I’ll omit them here – suffice it to say, I have a good faith basis for disputing that I owe Stripe the money they claim.
My goal was to find a way to get someone at Stripe to actually engage with me (rather than merely getting auto-replies or being ignored entirely), not to start a discussion here of whether I am correct or incorrect on the merits of my disagreement with Stripe's fees. I omitted the substance of the disagreement because I did not (and do not) think it has any relevance to my question about how to prevent a business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals from my bank account. The rest of your post is irrelevant to the specific basis for my disagreement with Stripe's fees, but the details of why are beyond the scope of my post, so I'm going to leave it there.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by 8foot7 »

On a personal account the most direct resolution of your immediate issue would be a new account number, yes.
On a business account, which you probably should have now that you have run into this type of issue, you can enroll in a positive pay service which will act as a whitelist for withdrawals from your account.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Katietsu »

You should not disregard the suggestions that Stripe’s position will be that you already authorized this ACH withdrawal when you entered into your original agreement with them. I would try as many different approaches as I could to come to a resolution that both sides agree to and not rely on just trying to move money out of their reach.
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by 8foot7 »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:45 pm You should not disregard the suggestions that Stripe’s position will be that you already authorized this ACH withdrawal when you entered into your original agreement with them.
An authorization for ACH can be revoked at any time.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:45 pm You should not disregard the suggestions that Stripe’s position will be that you already authorized this ACH withdrawal when you entered into your original agreement with them. I would try as many different approaches as I could to come to a resolution that both sides agree to and not rely on just trying to move money out of their reach.
To clarify, I certainly would not be surprised if Stripe took that position. Of course, as 8foot7 points out, ACH authorization can be revoked, and I don't believe that the authorization is as broad as "we can withdraw any money we think we're entitled to, for any reason, even you disagree, and you have to sue us to get it back"; but I haven't dealt with this process before, which is part of why I asked BH. It turns out my bank doesn't think the ACH authorization is that broad either, and they're in the process of reversing the transaction now.

My goal has always been to drive this to a mutually agreed-upon resolution. My hope is that Stripe will concede that I'm right in my arguments. I'm open to the theoretical possibility that I will be convinced that they're right (I'm skeptical, but I'm not an unreasonable person, and I'm open to what they have to say). My underlying problem was that Stripe wouldn't communicate with me at all. Seriously, I emailed their customer support people a bunch of times and never got anything except automated replies. It's hard to "come to a resolution that both sides agree to" if the other side won't talk to you. That's what led me to post here.
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Naris
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Re: Preventing business from making unauthorized ACH withdrawals for disputed amount?

Post by Naris »

Hello Bogleheads, I come bearing an update.
nullisland wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:46 am
Naris wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:11 pm Mostly, I'm trying to figure out how to make them actually get a human to look at the situation, which has been a real challenge.
Try emailing Patrick McKenzie (patio11 at stripe.com), he's a senior person at Stripe who's surprisingly responsive to email (keep it short and to the point). Sometimes bypassing the official support channels like this is the best way to go.

https://www.kalzumeus.com/about/
A huge thank you to nullisland. It turns out that this was the best advice in the thread. I sent an email to Patrick McKenzie, which succinctly explained the nature of my dispute with Stripe (and attached some prior correspondence to verify). He replied in a couple hours to say that he would get someone to look into it.

A few days later, I received a message from Stripe Support saying they have "created an adjustment" to my account for the full amount of the fees in dispute. I checked, and the refund from Stripe has already hit my bank account. I have contacted my bank to stop the dispute process, so I think this is fully closed out from my perspective.

There are probably a few lessons to learn here, but a big one for me is to remember that it can be worth trying to find a better way to get someone's attention at a large company if the general customer service isn't responsive. The basis for my dispute with Stripe was a bit of an edge case, and I thought there was a good chance they'd agree with me and refund the fees if an actual person took a look at the situation. Once that happened, this all got cleared up in a few days. Again, thank you to nullisland for the great recommendation!
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