Volusion Surprises Merchants With $25 “PCI Security” Fee

Yesterday, Volusion surprised merchants with an “up to” $25 PCI Security Fee that will be put on their next monthly bill. Here is their message to merchants that was not made public:

PCI SERVICE FEE: Due to increasing Internet security risks and growing regulatory compliance demands, Volusion is making extensive investments to maintain industry-leading PCI security standards. In order to continue delivering this highest level of security for your business, we must pass on a portion of this monthly cost to you of $25.00 (€19.35). You will see this fee reflected on your next monthly invoice found at https://my.volusion.com/PlanUsage.aspx. Thank you for being a valued Volusion merchant.” (Source)

Not surprisingly Volusion merchants are outraged. On Facebook:

“Why is it there cheapest plan only 15 dollars it should be over 25.00 because of the new fee.” (Source)

On Convergent7 Forums:

“I for one am absolutely livid about this. One of their PCI upgrades caused the customer checkout problem we were all having that started back on January 8th that took them about 20 days to fix, and cost (Us anyway) thousands of dollars in lost orders. And now they want to CHARGE us for the pleasure?” (Source)

“This may be the impetus that gets us to another platform. I am already sick of paying more than everyone I know on other platforms – all of whom get better service and less hassles. It’s bad enough I’m now getting nailed for taxes, but now another $25.00, which will also be taxed. It is a B/S moneygrab and Volusion just doesn’t care. So what if they lose a couple hundred accounts that are completely fed up. They will make that all back 50 times over with a $25 hit to 10s of thousands of accounts. Geez, it may even be a way of them weeding out accounts like most of us that don’t like Volusion and express their opinions candidly.” (Source)

I am very surprised that Volusion is making their loyal customers pay for their own security infrastructure costs. What are your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments. Edit (2 hours after publish): One of Volusion’s marketing guys, Matt Winn, sent me an email shortly after I published this article asking if I would provide their response. It furthers upon why they are passing these charges on to their customers. I have included it below.

Hi Rachel, Hope this message finds you well. I saw the article you posted on your site and was hoping that we could add a spot of clarification and explanation from our side. Would it be possible to include our response to your piece? While it’s understandably never ideal to pass on fees to our customer base, our top priority is ensuring that our merchants’ businesses are as secure as possible. With security threats increasingly impacting our industry, the demands for regulatory compliance grow as well. Staying ahead of this security curve requires significant investments, the majority of which we’ve addressed without passing unnecessary costs to our customers. To help supplement remaining investments, merchants on our standard plans are seeing an increase of either $1.83 or $3.74, with merchants on larger plans seeing a higher increase that aligns with their demands. Enhancing security measures while maintaining a high quality, affordable service is a balancing act that we continue to face – our goal is to do so with minimal impact to our merchants. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks! -Matt

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