When I signed up with IMS to have them process my credit card transactions, I spoke with and Account Executive, who told me the standard information on how IMS could help me with my needs. He sent me a copy of the Merchant Application via E-Mail and simply told me to read the application. I knew going in that I would not EVER terminate with IMS prior to six (6) months because of the $395.00 cancellation fee that is CLEARLY spelled out in the contract. I therefore gave it 12 FULL months even though my credit card processing transactions fell off to an average of one a month and from January to March 2008 fell off to zero. I had to pay $40.00 a month even with no activity and I finally decided in March that I would have to cancel the service as there was simply no need to keep it. Then I see this $295.00 fee on my April 2008 bank statement and immediately called up the IMS customer service department. They told me that there is a "standard cancellation fee" no matter how long you have been with them. Literally, the representative coldly and rudely in a nutshell told me that I had no recourse and there was nothing I could do. By their account, if you don"t go to the website due to high pressure sales tactics of wanting you to sign right away, they could charge you a MILLION DOLLARS since it is not clearly stated on the application.
I have talked with my fellow business owners and they state that in their contracts, all fees are CLEARLY spelled out on the agreement. IMS on the other hand rely on telling the client to go to a website to read the agreement and to locate all fees there. If a client does not have access to a computer, they say they will CHARGE a fee to send a written copy of the agreement. Had I known about this excessive fee should it have actually been stated on the application, I most likely would not have gone with IMS. This is an underhanded tactic to trick people into signing with them knowing that people will most likely NOT go to the website to check on the fee or pay to have a written copy sent to them. How hard is it to put a final termination fee on the Merchant Contract as other credit card processing companies do?