Up until recently, my business partner and I have loved using the Shopify platform. My partner and I come from a background of eCom and Fashion, launching a company together via Shopify a few months ago. But just when all is going well, sales growing and buzz trending, Shopify's "Risk" team hit our shop with a "HOLD", shutting down our website (without any notifications, emails, dashboard messages, etc) and withholding all payments from our customers. Now unless this has happened to you, it probably doesn't mean anything YET, but it will so keep reading, and seriously consider about moving to a new platform other than Shopify before they do the same.
So we started digging deeper into the issue and what this "hold" meant. We emailed and called Shopify's customer support "Gurus" to learn more. Apparently there is a False/Positive issue going around with Shopify where their Risk team can flag any store, falsely accusing a store as high risk, and making them having to pay more per month. Shopify told us we couldn't use their standard Shopify Payments Gateway (which comes with your membership), and instead that we must transfer to another provider, allowing Shopify to still earn the 2% per transaction, and making us, the business owners, having to pay more since we must now use another payment provider to accept credit cards for our customers during checkout.
Furthermore, researching on Google and Shopify's community forum, this has happened A LOT to new and growing businesses on Shopify. They flag a business, which according to their Terms of Service, are high risk. But if you actually read Shopify's TOS, these "high risk" businesses are classified as super shady shops, often selling harmful or illegal products. But that wasn't the case for us. We are a fashion brand selling clothing. My partner and i have spent time building ecom and fashion businesses, most recently Jet.com and other companies in New York City. Our company abides to all rules, legalities, state filings, business requirements, etc, which yours probably does to, but beware that Shopify may randomly send you a message telling you your shop is High Risk as well.
What is unfortunate is this terrible customer experience from Shopify and it’s Gurus. It is enough to make us move platforms, and unfortunate for Shopify as they lose yet another customer.
I do not know your case here so hard to comment, but from what you writing it seems very special and not acceptable. I guess you should have some warnings and explaining from Shopify as they can not just shut down peoples hard work if that is the case here.
Anyway it would be good if Shopify come on and clear out this terms for others to know.
Similar has happened on one of our shopify stores. They are asking for authorisation from two ip holders of products we sell. We buy through an authorised wholesaler so the ip holders won't supply us with docs (as we don't deal with them directly). They won't accept invoices outlining the supply source along with documents that show the wholesaler is authorised. They have had no ip complaint, there are loads of brands on this site and they have picked on two that they've heard of without justification of any sort.
We are having the same issue. We switched to shopify payments due to the extra 2% they were charging for the use of authorize.net. We immediately switched and were put on hold. Shopify payments is hold with 70,000 dollars of our money for 3 weeks. We have provided every form of documentation as we are a distributors that ships from our factory. They do not understand our business model at all! We are still on hold and the "guru" cannot help in anyway. You can not complain, call, email or get anyone to respond. Several of the guru's have agreed that they can do nothing. We are speaking to our attorneys to address this issue. What is worst is that we spend over 6-8 months learning the system and put 10,000 work of labor at the new website only to find out that they are crooks. We will be suing for sure regardless of the outcome.
@Chris_Ramirez This happened to me and they did not refund or pay the money from my orders, they just kept it and refused to address the issue. I have tried to contact them but I keep getting told to contact the risk team (which does not have an email or a number). Someone need to just sue them to make them understand what they are costing business owners.
Chris - have you contacted a class action attorney? You need at least 10 to file any type of suit and seeing Shopify TOS are now showing a US registered address that opens the door.
I've had my store for over three years now. Been seeing the same types of items, doing pre orders, stock, drop shipped - never an issue and now all the sudden my gateway is on hold. I can't even disconnect it because I have an outstanding Capital. Trying to get anyone to answer any emails is near impossible, there TOS also states their processor is Stripe. I've spoken to stripe directly, gave them links, showed them items and their legal is saying there is ZERO issues with my store. So if their own processor (who that is who they are blaming right now) has zero issues, and if you read the TOS it states if the "bank" "processor" has issues that's an issue, then who is really being the ass here and doing all this? The lady I got an email from was Emma and all a guru keeps telling me is its in the que to be answered. What que? I contacted an attorney that keeps tweeting to their support over same stuff. You pause my gateway you better pause every single store out there selling the same items from the same vendors I have as well. I also heard this past week pauses were due to Funko SDCC requesting large bandwidth and huge processing (as they don't use PayPal, just card processing) and even then Funko site crashed numerous times during payments and shipping screens. Anyone who had Funko on their site were paused, I don't even have them visible and I have my license with them direct. Emailed invoices and everything else, still no reply I'm about ready to lose it.