PhoneSwipe provides an example of how consumers lack protection from online e-commerce scams, thus demonstrating the need for auditable, delivered transaction receipts.
My wife had been using Square for her business’ credit card processing for about a year. About eight months ago she decided to look for an alternative. Her main issue with Square was that they would not share her customers’ email addresses with her and that they only supported Square Register on iPads and not on her Android phone (Update Dec 2013: Square Register is now available on phones).
A promising looking alternative was PhoneSwipe. PhoneSwipe’s pricing looked good and they supported a register feature on phones. She signed up on PhoneSwipe’s web site, entering just as much as was required in order to try the product. Unfortunately PhoneSwipe’s Android app was dismally implemented. It was cumbersome, ugly and frequently crashed and/or locked up. So she stuck with Square and ended up buying an iPad, just so she could use Square Register.
Fast forward and we find that for six months PhoneSwipe had been charging her business a monthly fee of $12. This is despite the service being advertised as having no monthly fee (the monthly fee, monthly minimum and cancellation fee are all advertized as None on their site). Apparently there was also a feature where you could sign up for a reduced swipe rate if you paid a monthly fee. She did not sign up for this feature, though that is what PhoneSwipe claims in order to justify the fee. PhoneSwipe never contacted her via email or any other means to confirm or provide a receipt showing that she had signed up for this additional service.Read on →