Cascading thoughts: EPA - Systems & Procedures - Hedge-hog
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How to confuse your clients with partnerships

'Officially' this post should have had the title:
Progress on our "DIY with a Difference" project
but our progress was hindered due to the above. On the 24th of May I told my friend Stuart I'd set myself a dead-line for having everything for this project in place: end of June would see the opening of our on-line shop.

It wasn't to be. Not that I was procrastinating or had too much other items on my to-do-list. No, I planned to do everything properly, including a simple but secure on-line payment system. Paypal is simple - well rather simple - and mostly secure, but we felt that is wasn't really suitable for a business like us. So we opted for the E-PDQ system (Barclays Business) mainly because we already have a (hard-ware) PDQ-system in our showroom.

Beginning June we requested a quote and everything seemed to go smoothly. Amongst other items I had to report what kind of software we are using for the online-shop: Actinic (another simple and effective to use IT-tool). No problem, E-PDQ could be integrated very simply with Actinic. We accepted the quote.... and the waiting begun. I used that time to have Actinic up to date with all the products we wanted to make available to buy on-line.

After two weeks of silence I made 1 phone call to Barclays Business Card Ecommerce support. Half an hour later various emails landed in my inbox, with all the details I needed to get going, to get the on-line shop live. Hooray!

But no, it wasn't to be. On the form I had clearly mentioned the Actinic software, meaning I was supposed to have a MPI set-up (Merchant Payment Interface). What was arranged instead was a CPI set-up (Cardholder Payment Interface)
Confused? I was, until it was properly explained to me, weeks too late. But still, why ask for the name and type of the software package when the quote was put together and then setting-up the 'wrong' system for us?

I discovered this 'mix-up' (error?) when the first green light came from the Ecommerce Support team. I thought (I know, thought too simple of course) the only thing still to do was adjusting the Actinic software 'payment-tab' with the E-PDQ details.

But no, it wasn't to be. Actinic comes with a E-PDQ setting, but that brings you to Secure Hosting - PARTNERS WITH BARCLAY'S BUSINESS CARD FOR E-PDQ SYSTEMS - and partners with Actinic. Great I thought, that's even better.
Secure Hosting account opened and following the simple instructions on their site how to integrate it into Actinic. Done in 5 minutes. The last instruction was also simple. Tell Barclay's you'll be using Secure Hosting for MPI. And that's were the fun started.

To make a long story short. After various phone-calls, emails (containing again info and instructions on the CPI set-up, not the MPI set-up), other phone-calls and new emails (with yet another incomprehensible form - which in the end was filled in over the phone with help from the Ecommerce Support), two days of silence, new emails informing me the form was filled in incorrectly (%^&$&£^£%!!), the form filled in again etc etc I finally received the second green light. Hooray!

But it wasn't to be. Actinic was working fine with Secure Hosting, Secure Hosting couldn't get through to the E-PDQ. Secure Hosting suspected that the Ecommerce Support hadn't switched my 'store' from test to live. Emails again. On their (E-PDQ) end is was all fine, they said. No, it wasn't Secure Hosting said.
Another phone-call then. Your 'store ID' has been closed (i.e. deleted from our system) because of the (1st) form info.
(Poor lady on the other end of that phone-call - I lost it big time then).

All's well that ends well. The kind lady had everything correctly set-up again for me and my little on-line shop within 30 minutes. Hooray!

Everything is working fine now, Actinic with Secure Hosting with E-PDQ, like clock-work.
But it has left me utterly confused and frustrated why some partners within a partnership have so much trouble informing their clients of that partnership.
A simple tick box on the quote form would suffice:
Software package: Actinic (we will 'sign' you up with our partners at Secure Hosting).

Or is that too simple?


Steve Roesler


Have you thought about approaching them with a KISS workshop?

Karin H.

Hi Steve

Now there's an idea! Think I'll 'team-up' with Robert Craven for this then, he frequently holds "Let's talk More Profit" workshops in cooperation with Barclays ;-)

Will send him the link to this post, he seems to be rather a fan of linking his directors-centre newsletters to my Kiss2 blog, specially when I mention his book Kick-Start your business (and he once told me he couldn't get rid of my newsletters ;-))

Karin H.

Stuart Baker


God, I lost more hair reading this story! I think that poor lady on the other end would have heard it from me, too.

Yes, Steve. How about a KISS workshop combined with Conscious Cooperation?

Good luck!

Stuart Baker

Karin H.

Hi Stuart

;-) (Made me wonder how much hair you do have).

Let's make it an international workshop then, Barclays do trade international too.

Karin H.

Stuart Baker

You have a deal.


Stuart Baker

Karin, my hair is diminishing, and stories like yours just point out to me how often people don't seem to see the broader inter-connectedness of working relationships and the effects of what we do and don't do.

There was a great "Dilbert" cartoon in the US where a carpenter is leaving Dilbert's house for the day after cutting a big hole in the roof. Dilbert looked up at the hole and said, "But what if it rains?"

The carpenter said, "Oh, that's okay. I have inside work."


Karin H.

LOL Stuart

I love Dilbert too, real great 'how-not-to' lessons.

Karin H.

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