Funny or Scary?

27 Jan 2016

Funny or scary?

I have often drawn a parallel between startup businesses and children. For example, children running around recklessly is funny… until they get hurt or hurt someone else. As another example, children say the funniest things until those funny things turn into what adults would consider being an insult. We encounter the byproducts of “adolescent” companies (or startups in the industry) quite often. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s scary. Today’s scenario is for you to decide.

Pizza Hut has a new topping… tradelines!

We received a call this morning from a nice gentleman. He said, “I don’t mean to bother you I’m sure you’re busy. But I had a friend buy a tradeline from another company and the transaction showed up as Pizza Hut. Do you know why this would be?” As you can imagine, we were as confused as you are right now. After we assisted him by directing him to possible solutions, we were scratching our head as to what this meant. We speculate that a “company” (most likely advertising on Craigslist), is selling tradelines through a Yahoo email account and processing his transactions at his primary place of business; Pizza Hut. Now, we can joke and ask questions like “how many pizzas do you have to sell to justify the cost of a tradeline?” But, this might not be a laughing matter at all.

The Pizza Hut franchise owner’s perspective.

Setting aside the actual product sold (whether pizza or tradelines), if you could transact different products through a single merchant account intended for only one product, you can do the same thing for any product. For example, guns, drugs or other fraudulent financial transactions. There’s a reason companies must abide by bank’s “know your customer” rules. All these reasons are designed specifically to prohibit the Pizza Hut/tradeline relationships. Who’s on the hook when these payments through Pizza Hut are exposed? The owner of that franchise.

Furthermore, when you purchase tradelines through a company that doesn’t specialize in them, you put yourself at risk. A company will focus on what they specialize in. That makes sense, right? If pizza is the specialty of the company, then that is the focus rather than tradelines. This means that they have both 1) less experience in tradelines and 2) they pay less attention to the tradeline customers since it is a side gig. It is significantly more likely that the tradeline will have late payments, high utilization, etc. – all things that could hurt your credit standing. Finally, if they don’t specialize in tradelines, they likely will not know how to address any issues that arise.

**Tip: When buying tradelines, make sure to buy from an organization that specializes in tradelines – they are the ones who know what they are doing.**

Final thoughts:

We’ve written many times about how to find and hire a legitimate organization and avoid scam laden organizations. I suppose the word scam is not the most appropriate term here. Rather than avoiding “Scams”, you should focus on avoiding companies that are unprepared to provide the services that they offered.

I would add to that list “companies” that process payments through a Pizza Hut merchant account. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Updated: November 15, 2021

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