Update: The Brick And President's Choice Financial Mastercard 2021-05-19
The supervisor called me today and contradicted previous statements (no shit) made by PCFM representatives. I was told that the merchant was contacted on the 17th of May rather than the 18th. I was also told that the merchant has 45 days to respond rather than 21. I was also told that the durations defined for a disputed transaction are set by Worldwide Mastercard but the actual tasks of the dispute are performed by PCFM. I asked for a contact number for Worlwide Mastercard so I could confirm that statement and was given:
Worldwide Mastercard Customer Service: 800-307-7309
Worldwide Mastercard Credit Card Support: 800-424-7787
Unfortunately the first one forces you to enter your Mastercard number and then forwards you to your credit card sub-provider, in this case... right back to PCFM. Even more unfortunate is that the second number just forwards you to the first number. When I ended up speaking with PCFM support again I was given the same story, since he was just reading me their crappy excuses from the notes on my account. When I asked why it would take two months for PCFM to take the first step in the dispute process he said that they have to "gather information". When I asked him what information they were able to gather between March 20th and May 17th he said he would get the chargeback department (which I had not heard of until today) to call me back in the next 48 hours to tell me the answer.
Update: The Brick And President's Choice Financial Mastercard 2021-05-18
I called PCF for my update today and after 20 minutes I was forwarded to the dispute department, a department I had never even heard of during the previous hours I spent on the phone with PCF.
I was told that the merchant actually had 21 days to respond (that was about 37 days ago) but PCF took until today (two months) to actually contact the merchant, so the 21 days starts now. That's right, it took PCF two months to contact the merchant for a disputed transaction. I am now told that if PCF receives no response I will be given my $66 temporarily and that The Brick's bank then has out until 60 days to respond. Frankly the ridiculously inconsistent wait times I have been given over my various calls to PCF give me the impression they are simply bullshitting me in hopes that I will get frustrated and stop calling about my $66. That is a dick move.
So here I am, two months down the road and way too much time on the phone, and PCF has done even less than I thought they had. When she asked if I had any other questions, I asked if someone could explain to me why it would four months to get back the money I paid for an oven I didn't get. She put me on hold twice to get a supervisor but came up empty and told me that a supervisor would call me back in 24 to 48 business hours. When I started to point out that could be interpreted as more than a week she said it would be today or tomorrow.
The Brick And President's Choice Financial Mastercard 2021-05-08
On March 18th I tried to buy an oven from The Brick. I went to their web site, added an oven to my cart, checked out, and paid by credit card. I then received an email saying:
Hold tight! Your payment is pending authorization.
We've received your order and are working to have it processed.
At this time a pending authorization has been placed on your credit card. The pending transaction will apply to your card once your order has been reviewed.
When this is complete, we will email you your RECEIPT that includes your invoice number, your service location and the details of your order. Soon, we will be reaching out to you to verify some details.
That's right, my credit card was charged and I was currently NOT being issued a receipt. A couple days later I received a call from Jasmine Chartre in Montreal (or at least a phone number in the 450 area code) who left me a voice message saying she needed to ask me some security questions. Minutes later I called her back and answered her questions. At the end of our conversation she told me that she would get to processing my purchase right away. About a half hour later I received an email saying:
Your order has been cancelled because of unforeseen circumstances and your payment authorization has been reversed. Your order is still important to us and we would be happy to assist you with placing an order in store with a valid photo ID. We understand this is an inconvenience, but the security and protection of our customers is our highest priority.
... followed by a link to find my closest store. No explanation of the unforeseen circumstances that caused them to cancel my order, no explanation regarding why anyone would need valid photo ID to purchase an appliance, and no explanation about how the security and protection of The Brick's customers somehow depends on my showing up in person with valid photo ID. So I spent the next couple hours on the phone with Store #34 trying to figure out how to just pay money for an oven. The first girl I spoke with (more than once) couldn't even be bothered to put down her lunch to answer the phone. After much sandwich smacking I eventually gave up on her and wound up speaking with a fellah who told me he could help me. He said he wanted to take a deposit so I gave him my credit card information, after which he gave me an order number and instructed me to go to The Brick's web site to complete the full payment. He stayed on the phone with me while I tried, but the payment was rejected, so I tried a different card, which was also rejected. He said I should then go to the store to make the full payment. I asked why he couldn't just take full payment over the phone and he said that he can only take a 10% deposit and no more. Funny, the $66.00 he did take as a deposit is more than 10% of $649. I did call President's Choice Financial Mastercard to confirm whether or not an attempt to charge my card was actually made and they said no. So the rejections were from The Brick's web site and not PCFM (or Capital One). It was painfully clear by this point that the employees at The Brick are incompetent and I ended up having to call President's Choice Financial Mastercard to dispute the transaction.
PCFM opened up a dispute for the transaction and told me that once I provide my side of the story the merchant has 3 days to respond. I also received an email from them requesting a link to download their form, which I was expected to fill out, sign, scan, and email back to them. This email went on to say:
If we do not receive the documents within fifteen (15) calendar days, we will assume that the matter/dispute has been resolved
Although I was given 15 days to provide my documentation (more on this later) and I ended up providing it in less than two hours. Three days later when I called for an update I was told that the merchant actually has up to 45 days to reply. I said that was totally unreasonable for the merchant to get three times as much time to provide information and was basically told to pound sand. Stop and think about that... if The Brick doesn't take the time to reply after 30 days, why the hell would they bother in the subsequent two weeks? There is no way a merchant should be given one and a half times the length of a payment cycle to provide information (especially when cardholders are given only a third of that).
As irritated as I may have been it was clear that PCFM didn't care what I thought and I waited the 45 days. Tonight I called for my update and was told that the merchant actually has up to 8 weeks to reply. That's right, The Brick has not bothered to provide their side of the story for 45 days now... but PCFM thinks they may still reply in the next couple of weeks. When I told the guy on the phone that I would bet him $66 they won't reply he laughed out loud because even he could see how ridiculous the idea was. So here I am, the poorest of the three parties in this situation and I am the one holding the financial bag so to speak. The Brick can't muster up the competence to take a payment and provide a stove, and President's Choice Financial Mastercard just keeps putting me off in hopes that I'll stop calling and they can keep the commission on my crappy little $66. I can't wait to get the inevitable news in 2 weeks that merchants actually have 12 weeks to respond.
Well, The Brick and President's Choice Financial Mastercard...
Fuck you very much,