I sent an email to First Data via their web site with some specific technical questions about processing cards over their platform(s) and integration with certain types of transactions and hardware.
Some fast talking woman just called me who either had no comprehension of my request or she sniped the information somehow from the FirstData database. She was speaking very quickly and told me she was with Express Merchant blah blah blah or something like that. She told me this is some part of First Data. Maybe it is but it is but the way this request was handled was completely innapropriate.
First she asked me if I already have a processor. In my request I stated specific information that would have answered that question. It was pretty clear that she was about to try to sell me something and that is not why I requested information from First Data. Secondly when I said that is not what I requested she said "what was your request?" Excuse me but shouldn't you have the customer's request in front of you when you are calling them to answer the questions in their request?
Basically I already got the information through other means. I had to call First Data and sit on hold forever and talk to five different departments. I had to call my software gateway and go through 3 different people over there to get partial answers. I had in depth conversations with my bank who clearly knows very little how any of this works. Then I called an equipment manufacturer of terminals for their side of the story. They clearly didn't have the big picture either. I was able to piece together the information step by step and probably have a 95% grasp of what I need to know to implement a secure solution for my client - however no thanks to First Data's convoluted phone system or uninformed phone operators, sales people, and technical staff. This is nothing against the people themselves as they are all just doing their job the way they were trained to do it. There is a lack of global understanding in the credit card industry which makes it easier for hackers and harder and more expensive for customers to get things done.