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For whose convenience are credit card charges / Register today for diligence webinar
September 10, 2022
For whose convenience are credit card charges
          It’s not a new issue but it’s one that is cropping up more frequently:  a surcharge on a credit card charge.  Some call it a “convenience fee”.  You can pay by check [usually a personal check is fine but sometimes it’s a bank check], or you can pay by cash [that is becoming more restrictive and less available] or by credit card, but there’s a convenience charge.  The convenience charge is presumable for the payer’s convenience because the payee is not making it easy to make the payment, so the credit card is most convenient.
          The practice is becoming so commonplace that when there is no surcharge or convenience fee one has to wonder if all of the prices are jacked-up to cover the cost of the credit charge transaction.  Thus, the payer is actually the one paying the convenience fee even though one is not being charged.
          We all know that there is a credit card transaction fee, typically ranging from 2 to 4%.  Pay $100 and someone has to eat the $4, so it’s either the payee who ends up with $96 or the payer, who ends up paying $104. 
          I’ve encouraged alarm companies to accept credit cards.  And, that was long before it was becoming popular to try and pass along the transaction fee to the customer.  I accept credit cards for payment of legal fees; I don’t charge a surcharge and I absorb the transaction fee as a cost of doing business.  Because accepting credit cards proved to facilitate payment K&K, years ago, began accepting credit card payment to settle collections we commenced on behalf of our clients.  The one paying, typically the subscriber who we commenced collection proceedings against, didn’t pay the transaction fee, but we certainly knew about that fee when we agreed to settle the matter and accept payment.  The transaction charge is passed on to our client, but again, we know that before we accept a settlement amount.  We have found that accepting credit cards has greatly increased collection recoveries. We rarely have to wait for the “check in the mail”.  
          Before imposing the transaction fee on the subscriber be mindful of customer perception and satisfaction.  This article was inspired by the following rant by our favorite tax expert, who gets to vent once in a while.
          I see a question from time to time about adding a surcharge when a customer uses a credit card.  Let’s talk a bit about the message that this sends to the customer.  I am at the New York State Association Convention this week and I took at cab from the Amtrak station to the hotel.  The fare was $35 and when I offered to pay with a credit card I got some attitude from the driver about the 3% fee.  He nonetheless gave me his card reader.  It had a space for the tip.  I typically do 20% but, because of his attitude I selected 15%.  I came very close to selecting “none”.  The credit card fee probably cost him $1.05.  The attitude cost him more.
 Mitch Reitman
Registration for Sept 13, 2022 webinar on performing due diligence
          We’ve all heard the terminology, due diligence, in connection with a transaction to buy alarm accounts, but what due diligence actually consists of and how you get it done is not as familiar to everyone. In fact, due diligence can run the gamut from a cursory review of records to a comprehensive analysis that comes close to [and sometimes exceeds] a forensic financial audit.  Who you can and should engage for due diligence can also be an elusive choice. 
          Jim Wooster, Jr., of AFS [Alarm Financial Services], a lender to the alarm industry collateralized by alarm accounts, is opening a new service to perform Due Diligence.  I asked Jim to do a webinar to introduce his new Due Diligence service and it will be presented on September 13, 2022 at noon ET.  See you then.
Webinar:  Due Diligence in alarm industry on buy-sell or loan transaction
When:  September 13, 2022  12PM  ET
Topic:  Due diligence; what it means, what it involves, how it's performed and who  you can get to do it
Presented by:  Jim Wooster, Jr., President of Alarm Financial Services, Inc 
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend:  Alarm company owners, CFO, buyers and sellers

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301