A Matter of Trust: Full Disclosure on Website to Prospective Clients of US Bank List for ACH Use

I was a happy new client of BitGold until I went to link to my US bank accounts for ACH transfers, and discovered (by phone call to support) that BitGold offers ACH with only a small number of US banks (10 are listed on the site). Melanie kindly explained to me that BitGold (a non-US entity) cannot connect directly to the ACH system in the US, but must go through a service company, which only works with certain US banks. Neither of my banks (medium-size regional banks) are included, so I am forced to pay extra for wire transfers or credit cards transactions.

Thanks to Melanie, I now understand why ACH is not currently available to me (and many other Americans). This fact is a disappointment, but I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to BitGold that it is a technological and/or legal problem beyond their control. Hopefully it will be resolved in time.

The far more serious issue here is this: I feel deceived by the BitGold website in that it led me to believe that if I opened a BitGold account, I would be able to make deposits and redemptions via ACH. This was a major selling point to me, due to the high cost and complexity of wire transfers (or credit card fees). For many years I have used the ACH system on a daily basis for both personal and business transactions, so I was really looking forward to this. ACH is the fast, free, and simple way to move money to and from US banks at the present time.

The management of BitGold could have easily prevented my disappointment and my sense of being lured into opening an account by the withholding of factual data needed for a realistic choice. Their failure to disclose before the sale suggests a possible deceptive trade practice, and undermines my trust in the integrity of the company.

Before opening my account, I endeavored to read every word on the BitGold website which was accessible to prospective customers. I even found the greyed-out line of tiny print which said, "*Please note: At this time, US residents are not able to send or receive payments." (This manner of disclosure is better than nothing, but it is an insult to US residents who have had every reason to believe from the website they could send and receive payments until discovering this well-hidden line). Still, technically I can't say that I was deceived about that. I opened my account in spite of it, hoping that someday this will change.

However, as of April 8, 2016 there is nary a hint to prospective US clients that they can use ACH only if they bank at selected banks.

I am rooting for the success of BitGold. I don't expect BitGold (or any company) to do everything I want perfectly. I do expect them to be honest and upfront about their limitations. I have owned and operated businesses for many years, and I know that full disclosure to customers is vital for building a business based on trust. BitGold will succeed only with client trust and good technology.

BitGold has so much going for it. Why does the management feel the need to hide the company's few limitations from prospective clients? This policy is guaranteed to backfire, like it did with me.

I call on the management of BitGold to include an easily-readable sentence in your public presentation of ACH capability to this effect: "Click here or call for the list of US banks which can use ACH with BitGold."

Honesty trumps clean webpage design every time.

I will again be a happy client of BitGold when a policy of full disclosure is evident on the website, starting with the ACH issue.

Randall

Comments

  • UvasUvas Posts: 678 Silver ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    I haven't run across the part where ACH was promised to everyone and all banks. I did see where it offers multiple deposit options...

    You can easily open an account online with several of the banks that you can use ACH payments. There is nothing preventing you from doing so. They are major banks, not local banks.

    Being "lured" into opening a free account is not really the worst thing in the world. :) Getting something for absolutely free should not set your bar too high, yea? It is not like you lost anything.

    Give a brother a break lol B)

  • GoldIsCurrencyGoldIsCurrency Posts: 1,781 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    @Randall Wouldn't it be fairly easy to just open a bank account at one of the below banks? Seems like an easy fix if you are really set on ACH. For myself I pay with credit card, no fee's and then I can pay in 30 days time. If you have a credit card with rewards then even better.

    We’ve listened to our US customers’ feedback, and we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, innovating and improving how our customers can use their secure BitGold vault account to purchase and save with Gold. Today we’re proud to announce another success in that mission, creating a direct link with nine of America’s largest banks through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. Unlike traditional ACH confirmations, we have created a secure, direct link through a proprietary authorization with Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, US Bank, USAA, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Capital One allowing you to verify yourself and authorize your account to seamlessly purchase gold, or redeem gold to settle back directly to your bank account directly.

    https://www.bitgold.com/blog/bitgold-now-connected-to-nine-of-americas-largest/
  • 79Au19779Au197 Posts: 4,047 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
  • AMALGAM11AMALGAM11 Posts: 202 Bronze ✭✭✭
    Get the CapitalOne Quicksilver credit card. No foreign transaction fees and $100 cash back on first $500 purchase.
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Thank you everyone for the input. I have much to learn.

    Somehow I was under the impression that it costs more to buy BitGold using a credit card, due to credit card merchant fees. Am I mistaken about that?

  • UvasUvas Posts: 678 Silver ✭✭✭✭
    Randall said:

    Thank you everyone for the input. I have much to learn.

    Somehow I was under the impression that it costs more to buy BitGold using a credit card, due to credit card merchant fees. Am I mistaken about that?

    You would have to contact your particular credit card company about that. Some charge fees, and some don't.
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Uvas, I have credit cards with no foreign transaction fee, if that is what you are talking about. I had in mind that BitGold itself charges a fee or takes a percentage or reduces the amount of gold when a card is used. I hope that I am wrong about that.
  • UvasUvas Posts: 678 Silver ✭✭✭✭
    Oh, in that case, no. Bitgold will just take its 1% fee. So if you deposit 100 dollars, you will receive 99 dollars weight of gold.

    This is true no matter how you deposit.

    Cheers!
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Uvas, thanks. That's good news.

    I wonder how I got it into my head that credit card deposits entail more than the 1% fee? It wouldn't be my first mistake.

    Can anyone else confirm what Uvas is saying?
  • 79Au19779Au197 Posts: 4,047 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    @Randall

    @Uvas is correct. The only* fees BitGold charges are 1% to deposit and 1% to redeem. Any FX charges will be from your credit card or bank. If you have a no FX credit card, give it a try on a small deposit to prove it to yourself.

    * there is an additional flat 0.5g fee for physical gold redemption + shipping/insurance
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Lovely. Thanks!
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    BigD said:

    @Randall Wouldn't it be fairly easy to just open a bank account at one of the below banks? Seems like an easy fix if you are really set on ACH. For myself I pay with credit card, no fee's and then I can pay in 30 days time. If you have a credit card with rewards then even better.

    We’ve listened to our US customers’ feedback, and we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, innovating and improving how our customers can use their secure BitGold vault account to purchase and save with Gold. Today we’re proud to announce another success in that mission, creating a direct link with nine of America’s largest banks through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. Unlike traditional ACH confirmations, we have created a secure, direct link through a proprietary authorization with Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, US Bank, USAA, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Capital One allowing you to verify yourself and authorize your account to seamlessly purchase gold, or redeem gold to settle back directly to your bank account directly.

    https://www.bitgold.com/blog/bitgold-now-connected-to-nine-of-americas-largest/

    BigD, thanks for this. I had not read through the blog. It didn't occur to me that I would need to do so to find a basic fact for opening an account.

    I still believe that the management of BitGold owes the public a simple, upfront disclosure of the limited ACH capability. Why not, for goodness sake? It would be a good PR move at the very least.



  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Regarding the suggestion that I open an account with one of these banks just to use with BitGold, I find that ludicrous. I have eleven bank accounts already, and I am trying to reduce that number.

    I formerly had accounts with most of the banks on this list, but closed them due to poor service, outrageous fees, inadequate capitalization and liquidity, and general skullduggery. Most of these banks exemplify why we want to own and transact in gold. While it is still necessary to use banks, I prefer to use smaller, sounder, better-run banks than these bankster behemoths.
  • 1halfcockedRooster1halfcockedRooster Posts: 97 Tin ✭
    Hello Randall I agree somewhat it is a new system but the problems I experienced were more self induced for example I was told wells fargo was fine and I have not had a problem except for my personal short lived patience with the ACH has been excellent .But I must tell myself (PATIENCE)there is a lot of security which may slow the process a little which can be irritating so it is just a momentary practice in patience or a few days and maybe 1or2 more pending the calendar . It will all work out .
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Rooster, thanks. I'm not sure if you are referring to ACH or BitGold as a new system. ACH has been around for 30 or 40 years, but improvements have been few and far between. By today's standards it is painfully slow, but it's the fastest free system the banking cartel will allow at this time.

    Are you saying that ACH transactions with BitGold are even slower than usual?
  • 79Au19779Au197 Posts: 4,047 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Randall

    I believe that @1halfcockedRooster is referring to the "new" ACH provider (faster) as compared to the "old" ACH provider (slow). Then again he may be referring to BitGold as the "new" system - which it is.

    Both credit card and ACH clear within a business day or two.
  • rohanibuang61rohanibuang61 Posts: 2,379 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't understand why in America with such a great technologies and well developed nation is having such a difficulties that their followers in developing nations take it so easy. I am wondering how if a big havoc and big problem come in.
  • RandallRandall Posts: 9 Tin ✭
    Rohanibuang, I agree with you and share the same fear. I'm hoping that BitGold will help some of us Americans to survive this.
  • rohanibuang61rohanibuang61 Posts: 2,379 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks @Randall I prey may you harmony and mercy be with you and your family, take care. B)
  • pulseachieverpulseachiever Posts: 3 Tin ✭
    Im from USA , I use my Wells Fargo Bank ACH transferring money To BitGold. I didn't see any extra charge except the 1% The ACH is good.
  • 79Au19779Au197 Posts: 4,047 Gold ✭✭✭✭✭
    @rohanibuang61 technology is not the problem, it is antiquated and fractured laws and regulations at all levels of government (local, state, and federal). This is the reason no one thought that BitGold would succeed and why other have failed. It is the reason why it took payments so long to be available in the US and why it being rolled out on a state-by-state basis.

    This is basically the same reason why it is illegal for Tesla to sell it cars in some states - old, antiquated laws regarding the direct sales of cars for othe manufacturer.


  • UvasUvas Posts: 678 Silver ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Randall said:

    Regarding the suggestion that I open an account with one of these banks just to use with BitGold, I find that ludicrous. I have eleven bank accounts already, and I am trying to reduce that number.

    I formerly had accounts with most of the banks on this list, but closed them due to poor service, outrageous fees, inadequate capitalization and liquidity, and general skullduggery. Most of these banks exemplify why we want to own and transact in gold. While it is still necessary to use banks, I prefer to use smaller, sounder, better-run banks than these bankster behemoths.

    @Randall

    I'm hoping in the future my attempts to help will be less ludicrous and meet your critical standards.
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