The poor lady who runs a website selling old images has had her work stolen by Catholic Online and sold in their Chant Art section for over a year (taken offline since last week) without compensating her even though she is still listed as the owner in their user agreement. We also know that the company added the old Catholic Encyclopedia to their website simply to spite the owner of New Advent (Michael Galloway told me this directly). Here is a link to a pdf of the entire complaint filed with the Kern County DA about Catholic Online. It’s a very disturbing list of accusations. We can vouch that many of them are true from first-hand experience.
- was holding several thousand dollars of your money.
- hadn’t released the money to you even though you had requested its dispersement three months earlier.
- doesn’t ever answer the phone.
- doesn’t ever respond to voice mail.
- doesn’t ever respond to email unless you make threats.
- lies about receiving documentation you sent.
- does not follow its own dispute resolution policy.
I think that would be called theft and fraud and such a company should be shut down and exposed publicly for stealing peoples’ money.
But then again, this is Catholic land so organizations such as Catholic Financial Services and its parent company Catholic Online will most likely never be exposed for criminal behavior outside of this blog.
Update: Back on May 9th Catholic Financial Services acknowledged receipt of our completed forms and said that our withdrawal request was being resubmitted. Today (May 24th) we received all of our paperwork back from the post office unopened with an “unclaimed” note attached. This means that a) CFS lied about getting our mailed paperwork and b) They haven’t checked their P.O. Box for about three weeks.
Following up on our dealings with Catholic Financial Services (Catholic Online) here and here, shows that things haven’t changed a bit with the company. A month after we started asking for a reason why we weren’t getting our money we received a note that a $2 transaction had been revoked by the sender and that was holding up our transaction of several thousand dollars. When I said that we would be happy to have the transaction decreased by that amount so we could get the rest of the money, we were told that we had never filled out all the paperwork for our account.
I filled out the paperwork and overnighted it to them as well as faxed it. Then I waited. No response. I sent them a couple of notes and was told that our transaction was being put back in process. That was on May 9th. It is now 22 days later and follow up requests for a date when we will receive our money have been ignored. I filled out their official dispute resolution form last Sunday and received an automated reply that I would here back within 48 hours. It has now been three days.
The only other correspondence I have received from them is a threat to legal action against our company for posting about our experience dealing with them.
If you currently advertise with Catholic Online I strongly suggest stopping. If you were thinking about it, think again. This company is bad news.
Well, it has now been three weeks since we tried to withdraw our money from Catholic Financial Services (CFS). It has been one week since we started calling and emailing both CFS and Catholic Online asking why we don’t have the money yet. To date there hasn’t been a response.
However, we did receive an interesting note on Monday. I can’t go into the details but you never want to see your business’ name followed by words like “lien”, “levy” and “IRS”. You also don’t want to do a search for words like that online and find that other government agencies have put your company name together with those words.
As nice an idea as it was to have a Catholic alternative to Paypal, if you want to see your money again, don’t even think about signing up with Catholic Financial Services or doing business with Catholic Online in any fashion.
Please pray that the organization is able to right its ship and regain its commitment to orthodoxy which it seemed to be losing over the past year. Catholic Online has been a valuable source of information almost since the beginning of the Internet and it would be a shame for it fail.
After having to threaten legal action in order to get our Catholic Liturgical Library data released to us last month after they shut down the site without warning, Catholic Online (Catholic.org) has figured out a way to outdo themselves in the poor customer service realm.
Catholic Online created a company called Catholic Financial Services which is basically a Paypal knock-off. A couple of years ago we were in talks with them to use Catholic Financial Services as a payment option on our website. Fortunately, they broke all our agreements and we never implemented the integration. However, we did keep our account open for possible future testing.
When people give money to Catholic Online, they are given an option of giving money through Catholic Financial Services to a member business / charity. We have had a few people give us money in this manner. On the 17th of March we requested a withdrawal of funds from Catholic Financial Services. This last Wednesday our accountant said that the money never came through so I went on-line and found that the funds were “processing” – twelve days later.
I called CFS and left a voice message on Wednesday. I called and left a voice message on Thursday with both Catholic Financial Services and Catholic Online and sent CFS an email asking why the funds hadn’t been transferred. I also spoke to a rep at Catholic Online who said she would pass along the message. Today, still having not received a reply, I called CFS and actually got a live person. This is the first time in over a year that I have ever gotten a live person on the line there. I asked for a status on my funds and was put on hold. For HALF AN HOUR. I hung up and called Catholic Online again and was told to leave a message on the CFS voicemail. I asked to speak to Art Marquez, their director of IT and was put on hold for fifteen minutes before being dumped to voicemail.
Now all calls I make go directly to voicemail.
If anyone out there is considering doing business with either Catholic Online (catholic.org) or Catholic Financial Services (catholicfs.org), think twice. These people have no qualms in breaking their word and have a total disregard for customer service. They make honest Catholics look bad.
A couple of weeks ago we sent a request to Catholic.org, our former host for catholicliturgy.com, to send us our database for the site because we wanted to bring the hosting back in house. We never received a reply so we made another request last week. Again there was no reply but today, without warning, they shut down the Catholic Liturgy site. I have now sent a third request for our database and mailing list and still have not received a reply. The site will be back up as soon as this issue is resolved.
UPDATE: We would like to do an overhaul of the Catholic Liturgical Library site in the next few months. What would you like to see?
Update 2: We have finally been sent our database but are still waiting on our mailing list. Our sales manager called and apologized today for the “mixup” and lack of communication. While I am sure that she was sincere about the lack of communication since it appears that she informed tech support multiple times about the request, the complete lack of contact by the company concerning the deactiviation of the domain and the failure to reply to any of my communications until I mentioned legal action is not excusable.
I do not recommend that anyone do business with Catholic.org as they have repeatedly broken promises over the last two years, ignored tech support requests for weeks and now shut down a website without warning and without turning the data back over to the proper owners.