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Do Not Use Stripe!!! This is your warning. Learn from my mistake!

I used Stripe for about a year to run a small cell phone store in Denver, CO area. In the case of my business, I never had an issue processing my small payments for cell phones, ranging from a couple hundred dollars up to $1000. All of a sudden, we run a charge for $3300 because our primary processor in my business was down, and we had a large transaction to fulfill. Stripe flagged the transaction and is now holding the money from me for "at least 120 days"

It is one thing to say this is a red flag, fine… I hear you… no problem. a transaction multiple times the size… sure. I get it. However, A normal payment processor would then query you for documents authorizing the charge, bank statements, financial statements, some sort of procedure to remedy the issue. Stripe provides NO SUCH METHOD TO RESOLVE these issues.

There are reports of Stripe continuing to add "30 days" to the reserve hold past the initial 120 days, indefinitely. Stripe is taking advantage of a lack of regulation in this space to steal small merchant's large transactions. They see a big, outlier transaction and lick their chops, hiding behind KYC and "Fraud prevention" To hold your money indefinitely.

You cannot call Stripe. They do not have a phone number. Their support page on their website has Phone call and messaging grayed out. You can only email. If you email, you get robots. Even in the same email thread, a different "agent" (with a different name and everything) answers each time with not prior knowledge of your history. There are no ticket numbers to your support request; nothing tracking it. The robots respond with what is quite obviously a template response.

If you do a little bit of research about this topic, you immediately see this is a prevailing issue. Reports of Stripe taking up to $31,000 are all over the internet! Again, Stripe gives no manner to remedy this. There is NO ONE you can call. NO ONE you can talk to. More disconcerting, it seems that anyone who posts about this issue on reddit gets downvoted and teamed up against by established Reddit accounts, that I have to imagine are owned by Stripe. These account have some established reddit history on them, mainly talking about coding in PERL. It's a little sus.

In my case, I sent my EIN letter, Sales Tax Receipt, Articles of Org, Statement of Trade Name, Certificate of Good Standing, Bank Statements, Website links, Signed transaction receipts, and anything I could think of to Stripe to review. I just received robot-responses.

I challenge reddit to connect me to a human being at Stripe that can tell me how to resolve the issue. It can't be done. This is a big problem and should be brought to the attention of small business owners, and regulators!

TL;DR : Stripe is a faceless enterprise with no humans you can talk to, no publicly listed phone number, and will allow your small account to operate just fine for a while. As soon as they see that you are growing (and thus your chances of leaving Stripe for a larger, more favorable processor) they will Freeze your account, disallow you to issue refunds, and hold your money indefinitely. You've been warned!!!

submitted by /u/genos92
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