Vanco was the Ruth Institute’s payment processor for donations from 2015 until August 31, 2017. We have recorded many of the news stories as well as our press releases in this space. We want to let our friends know that we received additional correspondence from them. We record it here in its entirety, without comment. You may draw your own conclusions.
On Tuesday, September 26, the CFO of Vanco called and left a message for the Ruth Institute. I returned her call. She informed me that they would be willing to reinstate us. I was polite, and asked her for the details of what she proposed. This is what she sent me, the following day:
Wednesday, September 27:
Jennifer, thank you for the conversation yesterday. As discussed on our call, Vanco has completed our re-underwriting process with our Banking partner and secured the ability to reinstate The Ruth Institute as a client. If you would like to reinstate your account, please contact me at the email above.
Also, if desired, we can restart your recurring transactions.
Your previous pricing for our services was a historical pricing plan that provided the following rates:
- Monthly fee $5.00
- Card fees: 2.75% processing fee + $.45 per transaction
- ACH fees: 2.00% processing fee + $.35 per transaction
Our current published rates may be more advantageous for you depending on your forecasted mix between card and ACH and number of transactions. We are willing to reinstate you at your historical rate or you may choose from our current published plans. I’m happy to discuss if you have any questions.
Further, since you will be reinstated as a new customer, we would like to offer you our current promotions that we are currently offering to new customers. They are as follows:
- Monthly Fee
- First three months of 2018 monthly fees waived (January, February, March) if any new client has at least 5 individual members set-up a re-occurring transaction prior to December 31, 2017
- Give+ Kiosk
- First 3 months of monthly fee waived with the purchase of a kiosk
Jennifer Dorris, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
400 Northridge Road |Suite 1200
Atlanta, Georgia 30350
On Friday, September 29, I sent her the following
Dear Ms. Dorris,
I received your email of September 27, 2017, in response to our telephone call of the previous day. As you know, your company discontinued your service with us without notice on August 31, 2017. For us to consider returning to Vanco, we would require, at a minimum, the following:
- An explanation of why we were terminated. What policies had we violated?
- An explanation of the investigation which took place which uncovered these violations.
- The appeals process a client could go through, should we, or any other client, find themselves in this position of immediate, unexplained termination.
- An explanation of the “re-underwriting process with our Banking partner and secured the ability to reinstate The Ruth Institute as a client.” What exactly changed between August 31st and September 26th?
- When we signed up in 2015, this was the service agreement in effect. Would this agreement be in effect for us now, or is there a more current version?
- Who exactly is Card Brands, the company mentioned in the August 31st message discontinuing our service?
- What role does Wells Fargo play in your decision-making?
- A personal, and a public apology. Neither your phone call, nor your email contained even a hint of an apology.
Ms. Dorris, we have many small monthly donors. As you well know, these are the people who pay the fees Vanco collects. We don’t pay: our donors pay. These dear people who give us $10 or $25 per month were most upset with Vanco when we had to call them and tell them about this situation. They deserve an explanation and apology. Reinstating service with Vanco without both an explanation and apology from you would be breaking faith with our friends and supporters. We simply cannot do this.
I am sure you can understand that switching credit card processing is no small matter. We finally have our new systems up and running. All things considered, it would take an extraordinary effort on your part to get us back. Your correspondence thus far, does not rise to that level.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse,
Founder and President,
The Ruth Institute
On Monday October 2, we received the following:
As discussed on the phone and via email, Vanco has secured the ability to reinstate The Ruth Institute as a client. Based on your feedback, we understand you are working with another payment processor. Please know that if for some reason that does not work out, we would welcome the opportunity to have you back as a client.
Best, Jennifer Dorris
These documents speak for themselves. I will say no more. Thank you for your support.
(This information also appears at the Ruth Institute’s blog: Ruth Speaks Out.)