As a support representative there are times you pick up the phone and after hearing the reason for the call you think to yourself it’s going to be quick and easy. Oftentimes, that first feeling is correct, but not always. In this particular instance it was mostly an easy call, but that’s in large part thanks to the gateway the merchant was using and the information they had available that would assist in my search. I could have been searching for the needle in a haystack if it wasn’t for the merchant having a thorough internal database of their customers.
The caller immediately shared, “I’ve processed a sale and I have the receipt, but I can’t find the sale when I look at the customer in the customer list.” I logged in on my side to see the sale (not all gateways allow this type of access) and it was quick to find as it was right there in the open batch. The customer had just left and completed their payment, and the merchant was going into their account to update their notes and saw something funny; the customer hadn’t completed a payment in quite some time. But, then, you go look at the batch report and it’s right there! The customer had completed a transaction, it’s right there for all to see! So, when we search for this sale why does it show the customer as having not completed it? The customer was a regular and had been coming in on a monthly basis, where are all the historical transactions?
A quick moment later I saw it, and the solution was simple. There were customers saved to the gateway's vault with the exact same name, and because the merchant had so many users that could accept the customer’s payment the billing error wasn't immediately seen. In this particular instance, for years this customer had their payment applied to their profile appropriately, then a few months prior a mistake was made by a newer employee. We eventually found that the new employee had checked out this customer, but when the customer presented a new credit card the employee created a new customer in their database rather than applying the new card to the current customer. Then, when they returned for their next visit the employee checking the customer out saw the last activity on the name and continued to apply the payment to that erroneously created customer.
Now, I feel it pertinent to again share this could have been a much bigger deal had it not been for the records the merchant kept. We're able to figure out what happened and make the needed adjustments to avoid it happening again largely due to their records for both their employees and their client base. In this instance the duplicate customer could be deleted as it was mistakenly created in the first place, and the reason for the mistake was also clear and was an opportunity to educate.
I did continue to review their gateway after the call to make sure there weren't additional errors. Once I knew what I was looking for it was a pretty quick process to review their entire customer vault. After finishing I shot over a quick email to the merchant sharing as much, hopefully it provided a little more peace of mind. I also shared how helpful it was they kept detailed copies of their meeting with clients, and thanked them. Those hard copies enabled us to appropriately update the customer vault like no error had ever occurred. Nice.