A Fort Collins-based company that provides online property management tools is dealing with frustrated customers that saw October rent payments disappear into the void.
“In my husband’s and my case, it’s about $4,000 that we’re missing,” said Sherrie Mills, a Denver realtor who owns investment property.
Mills said she has used eRentPayment for three years. The firm lets landlords collect rent through its website and provides services like background checks.
Mills said she never encountered issues with the site until this month.
Two tenants paid their October rent through eRentPayment, she said. The money was pulled from their respective bank accounts, but only one of the payments made it to Mills.
She said she was still charged eRentPayments’s $3 transaction fee for both payments, and her husband also is missing one payment a tenant issued through the software.
On Oct. 3, eRentPayment posted on its Facebook page that it was “in the process of switching our processing bank.” The company suggested impact to customers would be minimal, saying transactions that processed typically in two to three days might take five.
But the situation was more complicated than that.
On Oct. 23, President Rick Sands in a signed Facebook post wrote: “Convenience and excellent customer service have been at the core of eRentPayment since I founded it 13 years ago. But recently we have let you down in both areas.”
Sands wrote that a company called eCheckIt, which handled payment processing for eRentPayment, recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
“We have been told this occurred because eCheckIt’s processor Check Commerce placed a hold on its funds as a result of deficits incurred by other clients of eCheckit, not eRentPayment.com,” Sands wrote. “This created a cascade effect that caused some eRentPayment users’ funds to get held in a pending status with Check Commerce.”
Sands wrote that transactions affected were submitted between the evenings of Oct. 3 and Oct. 12. He recommended tenants contact their banks to request money back by using a form for incomplete transactions.
Sands said payments made through the site now are being processing by New York-based Esquire Bank, and those made after Oct. 12 are being processed without issue.
The latest Facebook posts from the company, however, indicate that some payments from early October still had not reached landlords’ bank accounts. The posts have attracted dozens of comments from frustrated customers.
eRentPayment’s phone number asks callers to email the company. It did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
The Fort Collins office of the Better Business Bureau posted that it had 41 complaints regarding eRentPayment as of Oct. 19, and had been unable to get the company to address them. The BBB said it has suspended eRentPayment’s accreditation.
Mills said Thursday that she’s disappointed by what she sees as a lack of communication by the rent management company.
Come Nov. 1, she’s asking tenants to cut her a check.
“I think it’s turned me off permanently,” she said. “At no point did we think our funds were at risk.”