| Jerrold Leichter wrote:
| > It's also clear that they don't expect customers to look closely at, or
| > question, their bills.  If they did, they'd make sure that meaningful 
| > names appeared on the bills, or at least were available if you called to ask
| > about a charge.
| a company can operate under possibly 3(?) different names ... a dba
| name, a legal name, and some sort of general use name. the legal name
| that a merchant signs a contract with a merchant financial institution
| ... can be totally different from the dba name.
| i once found a legal name on a statement that was something like
| "minority women owned title ?-something, no. ??? company" ... which was
| totally different from the name on their store-front. I assumed that
| their legal name was to help highlight their classification when bidding
| on gov. contracts. the "no. ???" apparently was to differentiate them
| from other companies that had also included the same reference to their
| minority women owned status. I don't remember what the "title
| ?-something" was ... but it struct me as something where a minority
| female owned small company was given special treatment in gov. bids.
| i don't think it is so much a short coming of the merchant/financial
| institution relationship ... it is just the general nature of the way
| the society operates.
The banks, operating through the clearing agents, could if they wished impose 
a requirement on the way names appear in billing statements, regardless of how 
the names appear on contracts.  Alternatively, they could at least require 
that an end-user-familiar name be made available in whatever database records 
all merchants, which the banks obviously have access to.

This is yet another situation where the banks are really the only ones who can 
fix something that hurts the customers and merchants.  In the past, I denied a 
charge to a company whose name I didn't recognize.  It turned out the charge 
was legitimate - it's just that the name and location listed for the company 
were completely unrelated to anything that appeared on their website. Once I 
denied the charge, the bank was done.  The vendor had to go through the 
expense of getting in touch with me, and then I had to write a letter to the 
bank authorizing the charge.  Meanwhile, the vendor was out the money.

                                                        -- Jerry

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