I’ve encountered my first small business dilemma. Actually, it involves one of the advertisers on this site!
I received a check from an advertiser and cashed it on Saturday, June 7. On Friday, I got a letter from my bank that the money had been reversed and the check was unpaid.
NSF Fee. Here’s the mistake on my part – I was keeping the checking account at a zero balance and moving all the money to the savings account to earn interest. When they reversed the check, my account went negative, so my bank charged a fee to move some of the savings account money back to the checking account.
Ironically, I would never run my personal checking account down to zero; I’m not sure why I was running the business account any differently. I mistakenly put more trust into business customers.
Who was the advertiser?
I debated about whether or not to name the company that bounced the check. Then I thought of one of my favorite barbecue restaurants which posts unpaid checks on the wall. So here’s the first check to hang on my wall: the bounced check was from Text Link Ads.
For any of you that are publishers and use them as an advertiser, keep a close eye on your checks!
What I Learned
(and probably what I should have already known!) If you run your own small business, unfortunately it’s probably likely that you might have to deal with a bounced check from a customer. Learn from my mistakes:
Keep money in your account. Keep a minimum amount in your business checking account to cover reversed checks. I was under the impression that with the Check 21 law, the check would be verified immediately. Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity informed me that “it’s not always immediate verification, even with check21.” Thanks Jim!
Establish a returned check fee. Our company has now implemented a $25 returned check fee to cover our costs.
What’s the Status?
I immediately called and sent an email to the company on Friday, and have yet to hear back what’s going on…
Update: On Tuesday afternoon, Bill Fish, a Co-Founder of Text Link Ads left this comment:
We sincerely apologize for the issue you encountered with your publisher check from Text Link Ads. Unfortunately, our headquarters in lower Manhattan was crippled with network outages at the end of last week. Due to the overwhelming amount of check fraud, we are forced to submit an electronic form with all check information to our bank each day. Due to the network outage, the form was not received for one day, and some checks were returned. I will have one of our representatives follow up with you immediately, and we will reissue the check as well as the applicable fees you might have been charged by the bank. Again, we greatly apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for being a publisher of Text Link Ads.
I received an email from one of the representatives who has offered to send a replacement check and refund our bank fees.
Doesn’t say much for the health of TLA, does it? Hopefully this was just an accounting SNAFU and everything will work out.
Hopefully it is just an accounting snafu, but it is likely that they are seeing a drop in advertising revenue during this downturn.
It’s easy to bork up your accounting occasionally, but it doesn’t speak well of any company when they bounce a check. And if they bounced yours, you definitely aren’t the only one.
Hopefully they’ll resolve this soon. Please let us know when and how they respond to it.
That doesn’t instill any faith in their accounting system or company does it? Hopefully you will receive funds to cover the charges your bank gave, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
We sincerely apologize for the issue you encountered with your publisher check from Text Link Ads. Unfortunately, our headquarters in lower Manhattan was crippled with network outages at the end of last week. Due to the overwhelming amount of check fraud, we are forced to submit an electronic form with all check information to our bank each day. Because of the network outage, the form was not received for one of the mentioned days, and some checks were returned. I will have one of our representatives follow up with you immediately, and we will reissue the check as well as the applicable fees you might have been charged by the bank. Again, we greatly apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for being a publisher of Text Link Ads.
That’s terrible. I never got why people cheated small businesses. I hope this gets straightened out but until I hear otherwise, I’m not doing business with TLA.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Madison! I hope you get that reissued check very soon.
I wouldn\’t come down so hard on TLA, even though they\’re bouncing checks. The point is they are trying to explain and make things right. The link market has changed dramatically lately. so what you may see now, is the big change you\’re going to see in another 6-12 months.
Broker companies will learn how to shit their customers (We\’ve already successfully taken down 14 competitive clients from the serps by submitting Google results on sites we felt were cheating the system. They\’re so fuckin stupid and they will knock people off based on results that are faked.
If they want to get good results, they need to understand the actual results that come in and say to themselves, \”Hey, is this really hurting us or our users in any way?\” Most of the time it is a big fat NO! But whatever, they chose this route and the new business is knocking out reliable sites that have others ranking better than them. 8 of 10sssss times fuckin Google has taken these spamming reports and completely knocked people off of the SERPS because of reports I submitted in.
I\’ll finish this with…GOOGLE IS STUPID. NOT EVIL. STUPID. REAL STUPID. WHILE TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE, THEY ARE ACUTALLY HURTING PEOPLE. COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. Way to go stupidoooogle.
Didn’t TLA pay by Paypal? I would choose this option.
Anyway, hopefully your problem will be sorted out soon.
I did receive an email like Bill mentioned above. TLA has offered to reimburse me for bank fees and reissue the check. I haven’t seen the check yet, but I’ll be checking my post office box!
@ The Shark: No, I used the check option. I’m not a big fan of paypal, their terms of service are not user friendly.