Greetings clients, friends and the industry at large,
I am personally writing you today in an effort to clear up some confusion that was caused by misleading sales tactics of an NLA Vendor Member.
You may have received a recent email or phone call from another credit card processor other than Chosen Payments. Many of these were forwarded to us and what we read were emails filled with inaccurate information and statements such as, “I do work with LCT Members” in an effort to build up some sort of fake credibility in their pitch. As most of you know, LCT Magazine does not have “members” but rather “subscribers”.
The erroneous statement clearly indicates a lack of knowledge of the industry, its key players and leadership and just an overall misleading sales pitch. As we know, LCT is a magazine…not a club. And, I’m sure you know that with Chosen Payments’ true commitment, participation and understanding of the industry as well as our ongoing support of the NLA, we would never mischaracterize an industry leading magazine in such a way.
But, that’s not the worst part. Even more misleading was a link which was embedded in the email and attachments. The link title lead many to falsely believe the company had an endorsement from the NLA. The link took readers to a completely false claim indicating the NLA and it’s members use this company as the NLA’s “endorsed provider”. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. As you may (or may not) know, Chosen Payments is the only credit card processing member of the NLA’s Affinity Program.
Sarah Gazi, Executive Director of the NLA, confirmed this upon being notified of this deceptive email. “XYZ Company is a member of the NLA but not part of our Affinity program and not a sponsor of the NLA”, said Gazi. Gazi also said, “I have referred this to our executive leadership team”. Gary Buffo, president of the NLA, ordered this company to remove the NLA endorsement from their website. The false claim was quickly removed and remains a broken link today.
Equally misleading, however, was the email’s attachment with the blatant misuse of the LCT/NLA East Show logo implying that the email was from LCT/NLA itself. Again, another misleading effort that resulted in LCT Magazine Publisher, Sara Eastwood-Richardson addressing the incorrect verbiage and the intention to mislead show attendees. The use of incorrect words, misspelled words and deceptive statements should cause raised eyebrows as to the level of professionalism exhibited in this targeted marketing effort.
Chosen Payments is proud to be an NLA sponsor and supporter. I, personally, hold seats on the boards of GCLA, LANJ, NELA and MLOA. Representatives from Chosen Payments travel the country regularly to attend state association meetings. We sponsor trade shows, summits, retreats and other events such as GCLA’s recent Casino Night in Los Angeles and golf tournaments for GALA and NELA. When the NLA hosted the “Day on the Hill” in Washington, DC, we were the only NLA vendor to sponsor as well as send a representative to lobby on your behalf. We recently donated $2000 to the NLA to help level the contentious playing field with the TNC companies and spend thousands of dollars monthly donating to the industry at large. We are a sponsor of the upcoming LCT/NLA East Show and also sponsored the recent Chauffeur Driven Show. We are passionate and committed about not only serving you as our client but, also investing in your future success.
It is truly unfortunate that a member-company resorted to such unfair business tactics to mislead industry members. While we welcome competition as it keeps us on our toes, and is good for the operators, we couldn’t simply pretend this didn’t happen. I am not writing to complain, or out of fear that Chosen Payments will lose business due to this. I am writing to hit the issue head on and be the transparent person you all have grown to know. Simply put, many of our loyal Chosen Payments clients sent “What the heck is this” emails to us notifying us of the misleading tactics. Thus I felt it is my duty to ensure the truth was put out there, and the industry in which I call my family, has the proper knowledge to make educated business decisions.
I want to thank you for your loyal business and assure you that Chosen Payments will continue our dedication and commitment to your success and education. We value the true partnership we have with the NLA, trade magazines, state associations and most importantly, the great operators we serve as clients.
Please feel free to call me anytime you have a concern. I value your business and I value our relationship.