Have you noticed how long it takes for money to move from one place to another? AGES! Even if you are moving money from one of your own accounts to another of your own accounts, or trying to put cash into an account. It always takes time.... days....!
For example. A customer buys something from my web site on monday. And, to be fair, on monday there it is in my paypal account. So on that monday I withdraw the money into my business account. This takes 10 days, the NEXT thursday this money arrives in my business account, when I then have to send it over to the Visa card so I can use it. That takes another 3 working days, but three working days from a thursday is acutally 5 days because of saturday and sunday being in the middle, so that more than 2 weeks for the money which is rightfully mine to become something I can actually spend!
Now, normally I just bimble on, knowing this, but taking it all in my stride. That's no so easy at Christmas when I have orders coming in faster than I can place them.
I tried to buffer everything by adding some of my personal money to the business visa card on both Thu and Fri of last week. I went to the bank with CASH not a cheque, and paid it in over the counter. Now when I do with with my personal account cash clears right away, as unlike a cheque it can't bounce. HOWEVER this is not the case with credit cards! It takes 3-4 working days for the money to clear. WHY?????
This means that all my personal money that I put on the business card was a waste of time, as it has not cleared in time for me to make the last order before Christmas - which had to be done today so I would have the stock for tomorrow and so I could post it tomorrow to arrive with my customers for Christmas. Anything after tomorrow will not arrive on time.
So what have I had to do?
REFUND OVER TWO HUNDRED POUNDS WORTH OF ORDERS BECAUSE I CANNOT COMPLETE THEM ON TIME!
I hate the bastard banks. That money is mine, it's good, and it should be available right away. Cash does not bounce! Cash does not get canelled! They just hang on to it for as long as possible so that THEY can make money out of OUR money! For themselves, not for us! They have the nerve to charge people for missed payments when the money was deposited, but tied up "in the system" and hasn't "cleared on time".
Now I have lost £200 worth of sales, and about a dozen customers who will never come back now I have let them down this close to Christmas. I feel terrible, not just because of the rage, or the loss of business, but because I have been forced to let these people down!
Luckily I have actually managed to get the other orders sorted out, and in the most cases I am able to send customers SOME of the order they have made, and simply refunded for the missing stock, but it's not good business. And it's VERY stressful to me too. I can see people curing me up and down the country today when they check their emails and see the messages and refunds I have sent them. 19th of Dec and the gifts they thought would be winging their way to their doorsteps are not going to arrive. Less than a week to find and buy replacments. I know how pissed off I would be.
I'm sorry guys. I really, truely am.