Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Michigan business owner faced discrimination

A small business said its credit card processing company discriminated against it because of an apparent mistaken assumption. The processing company allegedly believed the Kalamazoo business owner was practicing voodoo.

The online business, which has operated for six years, specializes in providing spiritual supplies for African Diaspora religions. That includes many religions, such as paganism, hoodoo, voodoo and witchcraft.

A few months after signing a contract with a new credit card company, the owner said she received a troubling telephone call from the company. The person who called told her the company was closing her account because it did not provide service to sites connected to voodoo. The business owner said she called the company to find out what had gone wrong. She said the credit card company reassured her that it was only a rogue employee or a prank and that her account was active.

Then, customers began calling a few weeks later to say their credit card purchases were not going through. Nevertheless, the credit card company seemed to be processing the cards but not placing the funds into the business owner's account. In all, about $600 was missing.

Her attempts to straighten out the problem failed. The credit card processing company sent a letter saying it was terminating her account because of contract violations, which it was unable to name.

Disputes over contracts can disrupt business operations. That was the case in this situation where customers paid for products, but the credit card processing company failed to give the business the money.

A lawyer could assist a business that had a dispute with a vendor. A lawyer might be able to pursue action for monetary losses or damages.

Source: FOX 17, "Kalamazoo business owner says her connection to Voodoo led to discrimination from a business partner", Dave Spencer, August 06, 2014

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