• Report: #525571

Complaint Review: Apex Merchant Group

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  • Submitted: Wed, November 18, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, December 13, 2012

  • Reported By: John — Phoenix Arizona United States of America
Apex Merchant Group
5220 Tennyson Pkwy. Suite #400 Plano, Texas United States of America

Apex Merchant Group Salesperson Plano, Texas

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former APEX Sales rep

*UPDATE Employee: Tired Of Whiners!

*Author of original report: Relevancy?

*UPDATE Employee: I just started as an APEX Rep...

*Author of original report: Yes, Really

*General Comment: Really?!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Come on "John Doe"

*UPDATE Employee: Rebutal to claim

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Apex's President / Founder - Andy Frankel

*Author of original report: Response to #4 Consumer Suggestion

*Consumer Suggestion: Nothing that pays well is easy.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I agree with complaint!

*Author of original report: Well I DID have this!

*UPDATE Employee: Funny I didnt have this

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On their web-site, Apex advertises their Career Opportunities as "A Salesperson's dream! Preset Qualified Appointments!". They also state "We also provide easy access to a Team Coordinator at every presentation to help with questions, paperwork and finding a solution to earn the merchant's business". 


During your interview, you are told that you need a reliable car and a cell phone. What they don't tell you is that you will also need a computer with high-speed internet access to mapquest the leads they give you and a working printer with plenty of supplies, as they expect you to print out nearly all the forms you'll require, including the merchant application/agreement, which is 17 pages long. It's also a good idea to have a cell phone plan with unlimited minutes, as, if my own experience is anything to go by, your team coordinator will put you on hold for 5-10 minutes almost every time you call - somewhat embarrassing if you're with a merchant.


However, the real reason I'm writing this report is because their "preset qualified appointments" are an absolute joke. I was told by my team leader that merchants often lie about appointments - you turn up and your contact isn't there and the receptionist/secretary lies and denies all knowledge of the appointment. While this is undoubtedly true in a few cases, I made several calls where the receptionist/secretary clearly knew nothing about the appointment and immediately pulled up Outlook to show me there was nothing booked.



Even worse were the appointments where the addresses were clearly incomplete, e.g. one merchant's address was given as School Rd #101- Google gave the correct address as 82**** W Indian School Rd, Suite #101 - but the really bad ones were where the addresses were just plain wrong, period, such as three separate appointments where the "stores" I was looking for all turned out to be private houses, one where the current occupants told me the merchant I was seeking moved three years ago, one where the address I was looking for literally did not exist (no such street number) and the real doozie - an appointment at a store that went out of business more than six months ago!



My team leader's response to my informing him that someone at Apex wasn't doing their job properly was to tell me that he'd listened to the tapes and that all my appointments had been set and agreed! Since this was obviously complete BS and I was sick of wasting time and money chasing bogus leads, I quit.



My advice to anyone thinking of working for Apex is, if you're prepared to cold-call merchants and generate your own leads, you could, possibly, make some good money; if you rely on the crap leads Apex gives you, you'll probably starve!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/18/2009 09:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Apex-Merchant-Group/-Plano-Texas-75024/Apex-Merchant-Group-Salesperson-Plano-Texas-525571. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former APEX Sales rep

AUTHOR: Manny S - (United States of America)

 

Here's the thing,
I think I gave APEX the benefit of the doubt in my previous statement.
I was told by my manager that I had made over $720.00 in commissions, but actually in reality, I was only paid $320!! (And this would have been only $220.00 if I hadn't fought with my so called "manager" for my money). He said that "Since APEX had to lower their fees to earn the business- it would come out of my commissions". This was not disclosed to me until after I had turned in the signed contract and After APEX had already closed the deal. I was not happy with the way APEX treats their reps and when I asked why I was not told Before hand, I was told to read the contract on the CD I was given.
Now APEX has the business owner's I closed by the shorts and could care less about their rep because APEX gets paid either way in their fees.
Apparently they must have a revolving door filled with unsuspecting reps like myself.
Upon further research (my bad for not doing this earlier) they have a BBB rating of "F" and there are many many complaints about APEX. This is a Shady sneaky company that I regret doing business with and for.
I decided to end my time with APEX immediately when I realized how they treat their reps and customers.
That's not all......... A few weeks later, every single one of those businesses that I did close ended up calling me asking for help because they were getting billed for more hidden fees by APEX and that they were actually worse off!

I feel that not only did I make a grave mistake in closing these unsuspecting business owners, my reputation was also tarnished. I honestly do not know how the managers sleep at night knowing that they are sending out their Reps to do their dirty work.

Signed: Stay away from APEX at all costs.

P.S. this post is not sour grapes; it is reality and really happened to me.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Tired Of Whiners!

AUTHOR: teelynn8242 - (United States of America)

I get tired of reading this crap. Oh we didn't know we needed internet, bogus address, they are not paying me gas!! WHAT!! Seriously almost everything in sales requires internet, phone, gas, car, etc. And then ppl want to complain about paying their own taxes..REALLY, weather you file 1099 or, W4 guess what.....you still pay taxes, sorry to burst that bubble. And as far as gas, when you file your 1099...your mileage is a deduction HELLO!! Other companies don't pay for your gas to commute to work, you doing your own taxes, keep up with your mileage. True enough I have went on a few calls where the company has been difficult to find, or my GPS, couldn't locate it at all, but the business if valid, GPS was wrong, I have been working their for a week now and have sold 3 packages good on my first week if I say so myself. So it a little tough, just because you were not cut out for this type of work doesn't mean you should put down on the company.
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#3 Author of original report

Relevancy?

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

Assuming your post is genuine, I fail to see what relevancy it has to my original report, which, incidentally. was posted almost 3 years ago. 

I have no doubt that an experienced salesperson like yourself may well be able to make decent money working with Apex, especially if you're working your own leads - the point I was making, which you appear to have missed completely, is that Apex tell prospective employees that they don't need any sales experience, as they will be supplied with "Preset Qualified Appointments" and their team coordinator will help them close the sale. As I stated, despite the claims made by my own team coordinator, many of the leads supplied to me were completely bogus and I seriously doubt that even the best salesman in the world could achieve a sale when the company is no longer in business! 
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#4 UPDATE Employee

I just started as an APEX Rep...

AUTHOR: Manny S - (United States of America)

For whatever my .02 is worth, I have been in sales practically all of my life. This is a job oppertunity that some people just dont see the value in. In the past, I have sold Life Insurance and Annuities, Mortgages, and now I decided to suppliment my income with Merchant Services. Today is my first day with APEX and of the four appointments set, one business owner had to leave early (but was expecting me and rescheduled with secretary), one flat out told me he didnt want to switch, and I closed the other two appointments on the spot!

I started at 11:00 am and my last appointment was at 4:00pm. 5 Hours of work total and I made $720.00 in commissions! That's $144.00 an hour for a job I just started. So, I have to pay taxes- so what. Most working Americans have to do it. That's what seperates us from the moochers that want the Govt. to pay for everything.

Now, there is alot to be said about experience, and I consider myself slightly experienced, but please.....If you are a business owner, you should treat your business like a business owner. Spend some money and buy yourself a descent fax machine, cell phone, internet...in the business world, you are D E A D in the water without these crucial items. Theres a saying "Spend some money to make some money". The leads are just that...leads. In an all commission position, it's up to you to close the deal and if your not closing deals, your not making money. Plain and simple.

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#5 Author of original report

Yes, Really

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

The fact you've chosen to come onto this website and post the only rude, insulting comment on this thread, supposedly in reply to a comment made over 2 years ago, says a great deal about the kind of person you are, as does the fact that the actual comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
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#6 General Comment

Really?!

AUTHOR: Responding - (United States of America)

Seriously, #5!!

#4 was not even commenting on yours. He/she was responding to #3.

Really?!?!?

That just stands to show that you are not very bright. In a position where a merchant signs a service agreement coming from someone who obviously knows nothing, is by far standing proof why you were not successful at it. Were you even engaged in the tele-training?

You sound like someone who thinks they know everything, but gets lost in translation. And by the way, to make a point, there is no need to be rude and expect a pity party. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and putting out respectfully makes it easier to comprehend.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Come on "John Doe"

AUTHOR: nelson1600 - (United States of America)

Look, I'm not here to get into a match but unless you can "HONESTLY" tell yourself that you have consistently averaged over $20,000.00+ a month in commissions (in any industry) then I would simply ask that you not be predictive on your part as to myself being cut out for a job.

If you think credit card services are a difficult sell then you more than likely would have fallen on your face in other industries that I have and still do participate in.

I choose to distance myself from Apex and many others because of the business model they choose to follow and the fact that their founder is brother to Jon and Craig Frankel.

Again, I am not here or on any board to do anything other than state the facts; if you are the type that can read through complaints from customers and employees with the knowledge of Andy Frankel's background then so be it.  

I however have already lived the scenario of standing in the office while Federal and Local law enforcement agents came into the building, blocking all entrance and exit to the facility with SUV's, and subsequently I have first hand watched the aftermath of such unfold in front of my eyes.

Currently I run a home based business brokering bulk goods in the secondary market and have more time on my hands than I can seem to fill on a regular occasion.  If the opportunity arose with an established processor (at least 10-15 years in the business using only 1 DBA with a reputable history) then I would rep for them on my own schedule.  Honestly I don't need preset appointments and I already have a book of business from my existing company that would keep me busy for quite some time.  But I'm not going to stick my name or reputation out on the line for just anyone.  You see, no matter what the transaction is for; once you buy from me or a company that I represent I will never worry about how you as a customer are going to be treated because I have this problem that has proven to be an asset in my profession because it seems to be growing rarer - ethics.  I still call on customers that I first did business with over 10 years ago; sometimes just to say hello.  Unfortunately based on some of Apex's reviews, you may not be able to say the same in 10 years.  You see, you rep for a company that has received complaints based on the treatment / experience encountered on the back end.  And you may be the exception to the rule, but most reps in this industry are concerned more about generating new business then spinning their wheels to step in and personally help resolve a back end issue.  And in most cases it's not that the rep is trying to dodge or avoid the situation, they simply just don't know who to reach out to; because if your team leader can't fix it, who are you going to call?

Moving forward; this has turned into a longer read than I intended.  I know you meant no harm in your comment and I hope you have not taken insult to any of my remarks.  The major thing you have to understand is that I was no "fly by night" salesman who just couldn't hack it in the industry.  When I worked for CMS I was an inside sales agent who called on businesses that failed to accept service from the outside rep and their team leader; so by the time I called them they had already said "NO" on at least 2 other occasions; and if you know anything about inside sales, you make less commission then outside reps because of the overhead involved in providing a seat in an office.  I was averaging between $65 & $70k a year and I worked there for two years between the ages of 19 & 21; and those my friend are completely real numbers.

To those of you who read this and are truly able to comprehend the background of this company; especially if you are a small to medium sized business owner; please checkout a few other sites available to you:  http://deceptive-creditcardprocessors.blogspot.com/ and coming soon: www.worsecreditcardprocessors.com.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Rebutal to claim

AUTHOR: John Doe - (United States of America)

i have been working for the company for over a month and have made great money, some of the appointments may not be set in stone but that is because merchants dont like sales people.I love my job and the team leaders, they do a lot to help. You have to have the want to make money, the company is great and the bonuses, which are for the expenses and are really easy to achieve, are great.

The only thing that I can say is that, i mean this by no insult, that this just wasn't the right job for you. This is the best job i have ever had, great hours and great money and you can save a lot of money for the merchants.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Apex's President / Founder - Andy Frankel

AUTHOR: nelson1600 - (United States of America)

Look, you can go back and forth and argue about the company, the leads, etc....  But try to dig a little deeper.

Andy Frankel is the brother to Jon and Craig Frankel...  Jon and Craig hired Andy as a Sales Manager for their credit card processing company / companies; Certified Merchant Services / Transaction Merchant Services back in the day.

I know because I worked there for quite some time and came to know practically everyone in the company over time.

Jon and Craig lost their business after the FTC filed a first of it's kind suit against them and placed their business under Federal Receivership; ultimately the suit was settled for just under $24,000,000.00...  That's right MILLION...

The suit charged them with but not limited to; deceptive sales practices and altering contracts.

So; now that you have some background information on the company try to answer the following 2 questions honestly.

1. If you are a business owner; irrespective of whether or not the new business is legitimate; if you had that background information, would you want to spend your money with APEX?

2. As an employee; would you want to work for an organization that at best is already questionable if you knew this information?

If your personal answer to either question is yes, then go for it...  For me, I could never; in fact I turned down interviews based on my knowledge of who these guys are...  Oh yeah, forgot to mention his list of staff on Apex's website lists several ex Certified Merchant Service alumni; including Arthur Banks...

Don't you think it's funny when you look at their executive / management list that practically none of them will tell you who they worked for prior to APEX; but a couple do...  There's a reason for this people.

I will not give direct advice or tell you what to do; but personally I will go out of my way to distance myself from these guys.
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#10 Author of original report

Response to #4 Consumer Suggestion

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

1. There is a world of difference between an appointment which is a no-show or cancellation and one which was clearly bogus to start with, as were the ones I've described.

2. Who said anything about not wanting to travel? - I didn't.

3. Again, who said anything about finding a few-hour webinar being oppressive? - I merely pointed out that I could not have taken the training without high-speed internet access, which was one of the things necessary for the job that were not mentioned during my interview.

4. Even ignoring the fact that a decent GPS system costs a damn sight more than the $50 you've quoted, a GPS is completely useless if the address given is incomplete, as in the example given in my report (which was one of several).

5. Yet again, I said nothing at all about wanting taxes taken out, paid health insurance or a sales job with security.

I honestly don't understand why you bothered commenting. As you stated, and is obvious from your post, you know absolutely nothing about Apex; it's also crystal clear from your propensity to make assumptions based on zero evidence that you spent very little time reading my original report.




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#11 Consumer Suggestion

Nothing that pays well is easy.

AUTHOR: traveler - (United States of America)

I am considering working with Apex; as such, I am looking for good and bad comments about the company.

Let me clarify a few things about this and similar positions. 1.) The company I worked for, for the past 6 years scheduled appointments for me - 50 % were no shows or cancellations. 2.) I travelled 1,500 miles per week covering appointments. 3.) I paid my own expenses/gas. 4.) I paid my own taxes (1099). 5.) I made $97,000.00 last year.

If you don't want to travel - get an office or inside sales job. If you don't want no shows or cancellations - make your own appointments (most companies pay more if you generate your own lead(s)). If you need directions, buy a $50 GPS system. If you think that a few hours on line at a webinar is opressive, try a job that requires a week at the home office for training. If you want taxes taken out; if you want paid health insurance or if you want a sales job with security - work for Walmart or Target. (I think that most large store chains (Sears big ticket stores) only pay comissions).

I don't know anything about Apex; but they seem no different than any other low tech outside sale position.

 

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#12 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I agree with complaint!

AUTHOR: JJ21 - (United States of America)

I total agree with this complaint. I worked for Apex as a sales representative for 5 weeks. In five weeks I brought home $450.00 total. I am a husband, and father of three, and this job, CANNOT support a family.

Many (more like most) of the appointments have no idea you are coming. Then you call in and get a manger to talk to business owner, which makes the business owner even more angry that you are interupting their day and making them argue with a manger on why they don't want service. They usually just handed me the phone back mad and said "I'm done."

Some appointments were out of business.

If you are 18, live at home with your parents, and have no bills to pay, then this job may work for you. And, you better have money in gas to burn. I spent about $250.00 in gas, made $450.00, and let's not forget you have to take your own taxes out.

Over all I feel that this job wasted my time, and gas, and gave me very little in return.

They want you to invest your time and gas into the company, but do not value you enough to set accurate appointments and sometimes don't even set appointments!!

 

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#13 Author of original report

Well I DID have this!

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

In response to the post from Bill Dales:

1. I am most definitely NOT a "1 day and I'm done" individual- I worked for Apex for four weeks before deciding to quit.

2. Apex most definitely did NOT supply everything needed -  I was supplied with two merchant application/agreements and an instruction/demonstration book and a CD which contained forms to print out; my team leader also send me further forms to print via email attachments.

3. High-speed internet access is required even to do the training course, which takes several hours - to imply that it is not required is simply not true.

4. Although some of my appointments were real, most of them were completely bogus, and the reason I quit was I was sick of wasting time and money looking for businesses which either did not exist or were located at a completely different address from the one I was given. I stand by everything in my report.


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#14 UPDATE Employee

Funny I didnt have this

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

I think that this response was posted by a 1 day and I'm done individual.


My Name is Bill Dales and I live in St. Louis Mo. my phone # is 314-220-4557


I have hundreds of clients and I "DO" recieve multiple qualified appts. every day w/ Apex.


There will always be Merchants that miss appts. due to busy scheduals, but w/ years under my belt in this industry I must state.............. "This post is inaccurate, and this person probrobly did not pay full attention in training."


As for the need for paperwork supplies and shipping materials, Apex satisfies all materials needed.


As for high speed cpu access I only comunicate w/ my cell phone (and if minutes are an issue, you can get a Boost mobile phone w/ unlimited nationwide minutes for under $1.20 a day), and a local street guide will get you to every appt. (granted email access and a gps in a mobile sales enviornment helps, it is not mandated)


Please remeber that on the internet there are no rules, and people can say whatever they want.


For a free Merchant Analysis please fell free to contact me @ any time, I have 100s of references available and can be reached @ 314-220-4557.


Apex Merchant Group "Better Services and Pay Less!"


(If I can't make it better I'll say "Don"t change!") I do it from time to time.

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