What is Telecheck: Get a free Telecheck Report

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Ever had a check denied at the cash register? If so, you may be in the Telecheck system for a transaction you are unaware of causing Telecheck to deny your check.

Telecheck is a consumer reporting agency that collects, maintains and reports consumer information related to check writing transactions and bank accounts.

Telecheck allows merchants to screen checks to make a decision to accept or decline a check. It guarantees to the merchant the full amount of a check approved through the Telecheck system and offers merchants a warranty service option to handle the collection of returned checks from consumers.

Some banks and credit unions will utilize Telecheck when deciding to open a checking account. This process may even be in addition to Chexsystems. Financial institutions are vigorously working to minimize fraud and risk on all levels.

How Telecheck Works

The information on your check is examined with Telecheck’s database. Telecheck utilizes some type of predictive risk scoring model that allows merchants to determine whether or not they should accept your check.

Of course the check writer is not privy to this risk scoring model but it relies upon historic statistical models which establish the level of risk involved in check transactions.

The analysis determines the probability of the check being returned for insufficient funds and the possibility of check fraud. Telecheck accesses its databases and evaluates the customer’s check writing history.

Check approval is contingent upon the consumer having no adverse information in Telecheck’s system and on the check writing patterns of the consumer. If you are in the Telechecks system you may not be able to write checks in certain businesses.

The merchant makes a determination to accept or decline your check based on Telecheck’s decision to guarantee the check for the merchant. If Telecheck tells the merchant they will not guarantee the check, then the merchant makes the decision to decline the check based on Telecheck’s “no guarantee”.

The merchant can always override Telecheck’s decision to not guarantee the transaction but that would mean the merchant takes on the risk if the check returns insufficient funds or some type of fraud is involved. Most merchants choose not to override Telecheck’s decision because they do not want to assume the risk.

A decline by Telecheck does not mean your check is bad

Telecheck does not have access to your bank account balance. Your check may be declined simply because Telecheck does not have sufficient information in their databases about you to complete the verification process. This does not mean you have done anything wrong.

Another reason your check may be declined is that you have an outstanding debt in Telecheck’s database. That database includes any merchant who uses Telecheck, not just the particular merchant where you were declined. Telecheck retains adverse information for 7 years. Read “8 Reasons your check may have been denied by Telecheck” for more information about why Telecheck declines checks.

Dispute Telecheck

Telecheck is considered a consumer reporting agency because they collect, store and sell consumer information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs consumer reporting agencies so you have the same remedies available to you as you would if disputing an item on your credit report. Read “How to Dispute Telecheck” for more information on how to challenge the information in your Telecheck report. It is worth the time ordering your Telecheck report and disputing mistakes and errors that may exist.

Telecheck in some instances also acts as a debt collector. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) governs what Telecheck can do when collecting a debt.

If you write a check and the transaction is declined because of Telecheck, the clerk doing the transaction is supposed to give you a courtesy card with a seven-digit Record Number written on the front of the card. You may contact Telecheck with that Record Number to inquire about the transaction.

The major difference when disputing an item in Telecheck as opposed to Chexsystems, is that Telecheck will remove your negative record once the item is paid. Chexsystems may retain a negative item, paid or unpaid for up to five (5) years unless the bank tells them to remove the item or you successfully dispute the item.

Telecheck is a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and you are entitled to a free annual file disclosure you can visit them at http://www.firstdata.com/telecheck/telecheck-declined-check.htm

The best way to get your Telecheck report is to write them

TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Attention: Consumer Resolutions-FA
P.O. Box 4514
Houston, TX 77210-4514

To verify your identity, Telecheck requests the following:
(1) a daytime contact phone number
(2) a copy of your driver’s license
(3) your social security number
(4) a voided check (I would not give them this piece of information as it is unnecessary to verify your identity and none of their business)
(5) a copy of a tax or utility bill reflecting your current address

Declined Check Information for Check Writers
1-800-366-2425

Returned Check Collection
1-800-366-1048

Call to get your Free Annual File Disclosure pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act
1-800-366-2425

Fraud, Identity Theft, Forgery
1-800-710-9898

Headquarters
TeleCheck Services, Inc.
5251 Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77056



Comments

  1. Linda Anderson says:

    In all the years ive had the same bank account without any bounced checks ,and many ,many purchases over 300. I wrote a check for an amount under 250. and telecheck refused my check , two weeks prior I wrote a check at the same store and was not any problem as i have for many years in same store , to my unbelief telecheck refused my check and I was humiliated to the point of tears, I could not beleive what was going on, the sales lady tried 2 times , I had pleanty in my account was told that they have no control over this, and was ask if I had any other means of paying , I did , but was reluctant as is large amount it was with . out of fear that what i was carring would be seen by others I felt as if I were put in a compramised position, and stated so to the manager, I am still devastated over this and in disbelief ! After paying for my purchase I went to the car and immediately called to be told by a recording this has nothing to do with and credit , my bank account , or any bad checks , , its simply my account has had to much activity, asking for a reprosenitive I finally spoke to a woman there who repeated the same thing adding the fact Ive wrote to many checks is why they refused my check! really! I said to her who are these 3 people that they can tell me when and how I can spend the money I have ! she repeated they refused because you have written so many checks in short period of time ! Im fuming and started to ask her another ? when she hung up on me ! who do these people think they are that they can tell me when and how I can spend my money! really ! you have humilated me ! and I will never go there to shop again!

  2. My identiy was stolen. The person picture is on camera and I still have a telechex problem with Wal-Mart. I don’t trust the telecheck. I don’t even write checks for any store. Telecheck is not a reliable source plus my bank don’t even exist. My bank cleared my checks and restore my money to my account. My bank don’t even exist anymore. Nonetheless, Walmart continue to keep me in their data base. When I have to return a purchase I have to have the receipt. Name not clear but at least the theif can’t write checks on me anymore.

  3. Lisa Phillips says:

    As stated above, the comment section is no longer the place to ask a question. You can find the answer to your question in the Q & A Section of the website under How to Dispute Telecheck.

  4. Yesterday I had tried to make a payment to my sprint account using a check, which I normally do not do, and it was declined. They gave me a receipt, and a phone number with a seven digit code. I called the number, it was all automated, and I was still confused. I had to call a second time, and finally whenever I had reached the option of “paying for my delinquent fee” I was answered by a customer service representative. She told me that there had been two charges on my account, one for walmart, and one to home depot for over $400.00. This was from 2006, and I do NOT remember making any purchases to home depot. I was either 17 or 18 year old teenage girl at that time, and today I requested my bank records from that time period, and I couldn’t find that charge anywhere. What should I do? I don’t know if this affects my credit, how I prove that the charge wasn’t mine. I’m just lost. Do I verify with the last four of my social security number? She had asked for my license and bank account information. I’m so lost, please help me.

  5. I wrote a check at Walmart and it did not clear my bank because a payroll deposit bounced. I am still trying to get the payroll issue cleared up, but before I was aware of the problems I tried to write a check at the grocery store and it was declined. I am so thankful to telecheck, because instead of notifying me of the problem my bank tried to redeposit the payroll check and did not show my account being negative, yet they declined my check to Walmart.

    I called telecheck when the check to the grocery store was declined, followed all of the prompts and spoke to a live person who explained why they denied my second check. I told them what was going on with the bank and they notified me that they would continue to present the check until they maxed out their attempts or the check cleared. I was then able to contact my bank and prevent them from presenting the check again and costing me returned check fees each time. Telecheck noted my account as to what date I would be making the check good and as soon as I do they claim they will clear my account. I’ll let you know how that works out.

    I know it can be inconvenient, but I am glad for the service.

  6. Lisa Phillips says:

    Yes, unfortunately many consumers have the same story when it comes to Telecheck and they make it very difficult to speak to a live person. Their website does have a “frequently asked questions” section that may address some of your concerns and if that does not help you may want to order your telecheck report just to see what; if any, information is in your files.

  7. Regina Paugh says:

    I have written checks at Save A Lot grocery store since it’s opening. Recently, the store is not accepting my check. I went to the bank and there is sufficient money in my account. The telephone number is a recording. I want to talk to someone from telecheck to
    explain what it going on. As I can see from the numerous complaints, I am not alone.

  8. Lisa Phillips says:


    I can certainly understand your frustration. It is quite unfair to have a check refused simply because there is no information about you, which seems like the reason your check was declined. I suppose merchants such as Nordstrom have good reason to use Telecheck in order to curtail loss due to fraud but Telecheck can adversely affect good customers. You are entitled to your Telecheck file and it would be worth the time to see what information exists, or does not exist about you. You can order a free report once a year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you write Telecheck requesting your free report you should inform them that one of their merchants is not following procedure by not giving you a courtesy card with the code number to contact a live person at Telecheck.

  9. Dorothy Ayer says:


    I’d like to leave a reply. I have/had no idea who these people are, Telecheck. I have never had a returned check unpaid, yet “Telecheck” refused a check on behalf of Nordstrom’s that I wrote. I was not given a 7 code number by the clerk. I called Telecheck, and they told me, through a recording, that they’re simply suspicious of me, or unsure of me. Whichever is more politically correct. The bottom line is they have NOTHING on me except a judgement of character and behavior based on….oh, I don’t know…magic? Really? Guessing? Well, I have no idea who they are either; I am unsure and suspicious of Telecheck. So touche. I will no longer be writing any checks to ANY consumers whatsoever that utilizes this company called “Telecheck.” Where are we living? In Nazi, Germany or something? Shameful!

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