I’ve been getting a lot of flack for not posting about this sooner. So I’m taking time out from manually entering 2500 news articles into an unusable DNN CMS to share this with you: The Plastic Merchant sucks. Late last week, I got a message from a reader who told me a large TPM check had bounced and she was looking for a way to contact Michael. An hour later a mass email was sent out, notifying people that Michael was hospitalized and the team was trying to get the situation sorted out. Quite frankly, I don’t know what one has to do with the other.
I don’t mean to be flippant about people’s health – the hospital story just sounds like BS to me. What’s going on right now at The Plastic Merchant is completely unacceptable. This is the third time in a year that I’ve had people complain to me about large checks bouncing. This is a serious problem – bounced checks lead to account closures and fines. Some of which (according to my readers) TPM has yet to reimburse people for.
For a while, I gave The Plastic Merchant the benefit of the doubt because 1.) I’ve never personally experienced payment issues 2.) They’ve been swift in communicating with their members when payment issues arose and 3.) I wasn’t able to personally verify some of the comments people left on my blog. I’m well aware that there are a lot of commenters out there who make stuff up (I’m looking at you Jerry M). So while I shared a warning about The Plastic Merchant, I didn’t fully want to write them off until I heard from non-anonymous sources.
Now that reports are coming from reliable sources and The Plastic Merchant has admitted a payment issue, I won’t be doing business with them again. Since running a business this way is not sustainable and will probably result in legal consequences for them. I find it baffling that this continues to be an issue, this time on such a large scale.
If you still have a check from The Plastic Merchant, you might want to be careful where you deposit it. Some reports indicate that checks as small as $5 have bounced. You might want to read through this MilestoMemories post, where people are sharing their experience with bounced checks from The Plastic Merchant.
If you haven’t cashed your check, you have two options: 1.) Try depositing it into an account you don’t mind getting shut down if it bounces (assuming you’re also ok with incurring a bounced check fee). 2.) Don’t bother cashing the check and simply spend the balance on the gift cards you sold. This could be really difficult for people who sold large batches of gift cards, but it’s better than ending up with nothing. Option 3.) You might want to contact your credit card company and explain the situation to them. It’s not exactly flying below the radar, but recouping your funds is more important than credit card rewards.
This situation sucks and I’m frustrated for anyone waiting on payment from a large transaction. I’ll reiterate my previous advice: Never spend more than you can stand to lose. And always have a back-up plan.
If you have a bounced check from The Plastic Merchant, please keep me updated on how this works out. If you need help liquidating gift cards, please leave a comment or email me and I’ll help you brainstorm some solutions.