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prs98520

join:2011-03-22
Aberdeen, WA

[Equipment] Analog Credit Card terminal with Comcast

We have had Comcast digital voice at our business for about 2 years and never had any problems. About a month ago we switched credit card processors and had to get a new machine. The machine seemed to work OK until yesterday when it started giving error messages. The machine support tech said that the machine has an analog modem which can't keep up with the speed of the digital voice lines. They said a dsl filter might work, but then I talked to a comcast tech who said that isn't true. The only other options they gave us were to add an analog line for the machine, or upgrade to a new machine that's compatible. Any other ideas?


bbtech6650
Premium
join:2004-10-28
Pittsburgh, PA

What machine did you have? What machine did they give you?


prs98520

join:2011-03-22
Aberdeen, WA

Previous machine was a Verifone VX570. New machine is a Hypercom T4205.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
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reply to prs98520

You are paying lots of money to your credit card processor.

They pile on one charge after another---

---yet have they served your needs? NO!!

If they were mensches, they would have provided you with credit card terminals that DO work with VoIP---

---such as Verifone Omni 3740 / 3750 which can be used on VoIP lines or even directly on the internet (IP broadband)!
»www.merchantservicestotal.com/ve···nal.html

---or the Hypercom Optimum T4100 which can be used directly over the internet (IP broadband) with no phone line at all
»www.merchantservicestotal.com/fr···ine.html

SO:

You need to ask your new credit card processor company why they have failed to meet your basic needs, and why they are working with such antiquated technology!


Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
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reply to prs98520

I'm shocked if the processor's tech actually said the machine's analog modem couldn't keep up with the speed of digital voice lines. There are reasons why data can't always be transmitted over VoIP, but that's not one of them. If that's an analogy, I can't think what they're referring to - possibly baud rate (see below) but they should use better terminology.

If I remember correctly, (please correct me if I'm wrong) Comcast Digital Voice doesn't run over the internet. Therefore, latency and jitter should be a non-issue and things like faxes, alarms, and credit card terminals should (at least in theory) work properly.

I actually have heard of situations where a DSL filter solved such a problem. If you have one handy you could give it a try. However, since the setup used to work and now doesn't, I suspect some change has been made that you are unaware of.

If you use a regular phone on the line for your terminal, do you hear the audio dropping out, or any noise that shouldn't be there? Is there any chance another phone or device connected to that line has a bad connection?

Do you have a fax machine? If so, does it work on the credit card terminal's line?

Is there any way you or your processor could lower the "baud rate" of your terminal?

If they will give you a terminal that connects via IP rather than phone lines, (as PX suggested) that would be the best solution. I installed those a few years ago for myself and a nice side effect is that they are lightning fast compared to the ones I was using before.

Good luck and let us know how you solve the issue.
m.
--
Recommended ATA Settings | e164 - make your DID accessible via SIPBroker!


prs98520

join:2011-03-22
Aberdeen, WA

Thanks for the advice, here's some additional info:
-We have comcast TV, internet, and phone, and it all comes into the building via a single coax cable, so does that answer your question about whether comast runs over the internet?

-Comcast called last week to say they would be doing upgrades in our area over the weekend, which is coincidentally just before we started having the problem. Today, we had a comcast tech come out and check all the lines, and said everything looked fine on their end. After he left, we ran a credit card through the machine and it worked fine. However, when we tried to close out the day on the terminal, it wouldn't connect again.

-One of the posts I saw elsewhere on this forum suggested installing the dsl filter backwards. Does anyone know if this is accurate?
Thanks.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

The dsl filter backwards MIGHT help, try it both ways. But I agree with PXE, you really ought to have equipment that can use your LAN directly.


PX Eliezer7
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Hutt River
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1 recommendation

reply to prs98520

said by prs98520:

Thanks for the advice, here's some additional info:
-We have comcast TV, internet, and phone, and it all comes into the building via a single coax cable, so does that answer your question about whether comast runs over the internet?is is accurate?

Mango's point is that cable company phone services (such as Comcast Digital Voice, Optimum Voice, and similar services from Cox and TW) do use an IP-type format, but are carried over more protected and proprietary channels rather than over the public internet.

There is a perception that this results in superior quality, less packet loss, etc., compared to a VoIP service not run by the cable company....I don't think that's an issue here.

------------------------------------------------

I stick with my original point.

I run a small business myself, and know what it is to be ripped off by credit card processors.

These people have served you poorly! Don't put up with it.

They should have DISCUSSED what type of connectivity you had (POTS, VoIP, cable company VoIP, or direct internet IP) and selected your equipment accordingly.

As I showed you, your credit card processor seems behind the times!

You pay them LOTS of money, yet they screwed you.

------------------------------------------------

I have more respect for hookers than for credit card processors. At least the hookers are honest about things.

Can you imagine if a hooker tried to charge you EXTRA for a linen change fee, laundry fee, condom disposal fee, miscellaneous cleaning fees, pimp commission fees, et cetera, et cetera?

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
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Not that you're bitter, right PX?


PX Eliezer7
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Oh, no, not me.

Keep in mind that most of the significant credit card security breaches have been by VERY large companies, not small businesses.

Yet small businesses are being subject to new requirements that don't add true security, but just allow the credit card processors to force the small businessman to pay even more fees.

And the new rules say that a business that does 50 transactions a year, is in the same category as one that does 19,999 transactions a year.

No, I'm not bitter.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
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Hutt River
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1 recommendation

reply to Mango

said by Mango:

Not that you're bitter, right PX?

But I do think that hookers generally offer better value!

mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
reply to PX Eliezer7

said by PX Eliezer7:

said by prs98520:

Thanks for the advice, here's some additional info:
-We have comcast TV, internet, and phone, and it all comes into the building via a single coax cable, so does that answer your question about whether comast runs over the internet?is is accurate?

Mango's point is that cable company phone services (such as Comcast Digital Voice, Optimum Voice, and similar services from Cox and TW) do use an IP-type format, but are carried over more protected and proprietary channels rather than over the public internet.

Isn't PacketCable what cable companies used for their Digital VoIP services?
--
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
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www.toao.net
kudos:12

Yep.


PX Eliezer7
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reply to mazilo

said by mazilo:

Isn't PacketCable what cable companies used for their Digital VoIP services?

Yes, but it's still IP, at its core. That's why I said "IP-type format".

Built on top of the industry's highly successful DOCSIS cable modem infrastructure (version 1.1 or greater), PacketCable™ networks use Internet protocol (IP) technology to enable a wide range of multimedia services, such as IP telephony, multimedia conferencing, interactive gaming, and general multimedia applications. Working with CableLabs member companies and technology suppliers, the PacketCable™ project addresses issues such as device interoperability and product compliance with the PacketCable specifications.

»cablelabs.com/packetcable/

JTS33

join:2003-05-03
USA
reply to PX Eliezer7

said by PX Eliezer7:

I stick with my original point.

I run a small business myself, and know what it is to be ripped off by credit card processors.

These people have served you poorly! Don't put up with it.

They should have DISCUSSED what type of connectivity you had (POTS, VoIP, cable company VoIP, or direct internet IP) and selected your equipment accordingly.

As I showed you, your credit card processor seems behind the times!

You pay them LOTS of money, yet they screwed you.

It seems most all credit card merchant processors for small businesses are simply resellers for a few big companies: Elavon, First Data, and RBS Lynk are the main ones.

And it just comes down to which reseller is willing to give you the biggest cut of their own take. Rates ARE negotiable, and it will vary on how badly they want your business at a given time. I find most people don't understand credit card rate structures (of which there are many different kinds) and the marketing is geared towards that. The more you understand, the less you'll be giving money away needlessly.

I'm more concerned about my actual credit card rates than if my credit card processor (I mean, reseller) is behind the times. I bought my own terminals anyways since it was cheaper (the places that offer "free" terminals generally make up for it by charging higher rates). And dial-up terminals are the easiest and least expensive as far as the mandatory annual security compliance requirements are concerned.

prs98520

join:2011-03-22
Aberdeen, WA

Wow, I didn't know my question would stir up the repressed furor of small business owners toward the credit card industry, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels taken advantage of. In fact, that's part of the reason we switched our processing to a local bank that is giving us lower rates and better service than we got from the national guys. However, because we're in a small town, they probably haven't had much experience with VOIP phone lines and didn't know there would be an issue. We are talking to them about upgrading to a digital machine, and I'm sure we will only have to pay the difference. The only possible fix they are still suggesting we try is to change the baud rate of the terminal to 9600 - does anyone have an idea whether that will make a difference?



fukitol
Solon for President
Premium
join:2001-06-11
PonziWorld

Contrary to what many people may think, CDV is subject to almost as many problems as their Internet service. CDV and Comcast Internet share the same last-mile infrastructure, the same battery backup (or utter lack thereof!) at the "neighborhood nodes," etc. So, while the CDV traffic may ride a different channel on the coax than "regular" IP traffic, it will still be subject to noise, drops in electrical power, and other things. This makes CDV unsuitable for fax, modem, CC terminal and other such transmissions - just like "regular" VoIP.

Changing the baud rate to 9600 might work - most of the time. However, it isn't guaranteed. You have two options for 99.9999% reliability:

- Get a Qwest POTS phone line for your terminal. The Bells are typically held to different/higher service quality standards than Comcast.
or
- Get the Internet-capable CC terminal.
--
Tutto nelle banche, niente al di fuori delle banche, nulla contro le banche



bbeesley
VIP
join:2003-08-07
Richardson, TX
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to prs98520

said by prs98520:

They said a dsl filter might work, but then I talked to a comcast tech who said that isn't true.

The DSL filter will have absolutely no impact on line quality from eMTA delivered voice services. These filters are low-pass filters designed to filter out the high-frequency noise that is sometimes inherent in DSL lines.

eMTAs used by the cable companies deliver a standard ITU telephone interface, not a digital line as your card processing tech is believing so their presumption of speed is a bit off as well
The most common problems that can plaque credit card, fax and other modem-based services on cable telephony are noise problems, especially in the return path frequencies.

I would suggest working with Comcast to check a few things very closely.
1. Have them check the drop and all fittings to make sure they are correcly installed and that there are not kinks or other damage to the cabling. Ideally, the eMTA should have it's own drop and not run through any splitters or house amps that are also being used for television services.
2. Have them make sure your levels are within the DOCSIS spec, especially the return carrier which ideally should be between 42-48db to get it up above the noise floor but not so high as to begin to cause distortions
3. Make sure there are no indicators of return path noise such as incrementing T3s or uncorrectable errors. Ideally you don't want any more than 1 T3 in 24 hour period and uncorrectables should be no more than .1% of total errors. If either is higher than this, it is a good indicator that there is noise somewhere and that noise will cause dropped packets and poor performance on the IP side of the eMTA that will impair a credit card machine's ability to dial and maintain a connection.

Another thing you will want to do is have the credit card machine technician turn off any error correction if it is enabled. If you are having dropped packets due to noise, error correction in the modem can exacerbate the issue by increasing resends until they casacade and cause the connection to fail.

Hope this gives you some general direction for getting this resolved.


fukitol
Solon for President
Premium
join:2001-06-11
PonziWorld

What bbeesley See Profile said. However, good luck getting a CDV tech who will actually put forth the effort. I'm sure that some exist, but...
--
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