• Report: #187916

Complaint Review: MBF Leasing, Northern Leasing, Universal Merchant Services, Fith Third Bank And Matt Nathan

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  • Submitted: Fri, April 21, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, February 16, 2009

  • Reported By:Pacific Palisades, California
MBF Leasing, Northern Leasing, Universal Merchant Services, Fith Third Bank And Matt Nathan
P.O. Box 2070, 16W281 West 83rd Street,, 245-A2 Fischer Ave. Milwaukee, Burr Ridge, Costa Mesa, Illinois U.S.A.

MBF Leasing, Northern Leasing, Universal Merchant Services, Fith Third Bank And Matt Nathan Fraudulent billing, lying about lease terms. ripoff Milwaukee Illinois, Costa Mesa Illinois, Burr Ridge Milwaukee

*Consumer Suggestion: Me Too!

*Consumer Comment: There is no respect here for MBF Leasing

*Consumer Comment: Charges questioned

*Consumer Suggestion: Begging your pardon...

*Consumer Suggestion: MBF ripoff rebutal

*Consumer Comment: MBF Leasing LLC / Northern Leasing Systems Inc / Universal Merchant Services SCAM

*Consumer Suggestion: Got out of my lease

*Consumer Comment: Credit Card Scams for New Businesses...

*Consumer Comment: One More Victim

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: What a RIP-OFF

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Brendan nailed it

*Consumer Comment: To (two) Kenneths

*Consumer Comment: To (two) Kenneths

*Consumer Suggestion: Read your Merchant & Lease Agreements

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The truth of the matter.

*Consumer Comment: Who has prevailed against MBF in court?

*UPDATE Employee: hoping to clear the names of some of the companies listed here: Transfirst, Fifth Third Bank

*Consumer Suggestion: Media Required

*Consumer Suggestion: Also ripped off by Northen Leasing and you cannot win

*Consumer Suggestion: We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

*Consumer Suggestion: We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

*Consumer Suggestion: We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

*Consumer Suggestion: We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

*Consumer Suggestion: Universal Merchant Services, MBF, Merchant Services,Transfirst Bank

*Consumer Suggestion: I Also Filed A Complaint With The FTC

*Consumer Suggestion: FIGHT THESE PEOPLE/ FILE A COMPLAINT WITH FTC

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Their rep. solicited my shoe store to use their credit card processing sevice. We were very busy and I foolishly did not read the contract. I just asked him what I was signing and he just told me it would save me "hundreds of dollars in processing fees"! He never mentioned anything about a 48 month lease on their machine @ $69.99 per month deducted from our store bank account. Auditing our account I noticed that they deducted $80.71 each month and not $69.99. I called them and informed them I was told I could cancel at any time. They said no! They said "read your contract"! They said the rep. could not have promised that. The contract says it the service can be cancelled for a $395.00 charge if cancelled within one year of the contract and for $295.00 if cancelled after one year.

The contract also says the lease of the machine from MBF Leasing cannot be cancelled for any reason. So I was lied to and in fact swindled according to my lawyer. He says I can close my account but that they will then come after me in small claims court in New York He also says the New York court would be sympathetic to me and that we would probably prevail because this is obviously a rip-off!

However he said MBF Leasing would assume that I wouldn't journey to New York to defend myself, and that is how they would ultimately prevail by getting a default judgement and transfering it to California.

I am hoping for a class action lawsuit. These people are lowest form of disgusting pig puke, and I'd love to see them go down!

Bud
Pacific Palisades,, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/21/2006 03:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/MBF-Leasing-Northern-Leasing-Universal-Merchant-Services-Fith-Third-Bank-And-Matt-Nathan/Milwaukee-Burr-Ridge-Costa-Mesa-Illinois-60527/MBF-Leasing-Northern-Leasing-Universal-Merchant-Services-Fith-Third-Bank-And-Matt-Natha-187916. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Me Too!

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

I'm in if a class action lawsuit is filed.
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#2 Consumer Comment

There is no respect here for MBF Leasing

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

I have a story about MBF Leasing but mine is slightly tilted from the rest of the stories I'm reading. I'm in agreement with Brendan, from Minneapolis that the two Kenneth's from Los Angeles are one in the same and working for this leasing company himself to intimidate and pull some of you off from prosecuting. It goes on is other forums all the time, why not in this case?

I did open a small cleaning company and had no need for a credit card machine, however my partner mush have had other ideas. Because even though a long list of creditors cooperated whole heartedly with me when I learned my partner had maxed out my business credit card to $30,000, opened four other rotten credit cards and ran them up to almost $200,000, bought a new car and various other things, all under my name and social security; taken from my business license application and in a very short time of (about a month).

Yes I admit my back was turned; my mother fell ill and was dyeing in the hospital while this was going on, not to mention these bills were not coming to me. When I did learn what was happening and contacted the creditors coming after me MBF is the only company I wasn't aware of at first because I never received any written correspondence or any of the habitual costumer service calls from them. Not to mention this time the money was being taken by automatic withdraw from my own personal checking account and not my business account this time. I did catch this weird withdraw early on and signed the fraud applications with my credit union and thought that was the end. No it has been anything but; it was the beginning of hell for three years now.

It took me a while but I was finally able to find out what office of the FBI I was supposed to file my complaints with, and at that I had to contact my state congressman to get that far. My complaints are filed and warrants are in place to prosecute so now, it's only a matter of the courts time that she (my partner) will be going to federal prison for as long as law will allow.

Meanwhile back at the ranch; I'm still trying to get MBF off my back end. I do not know who they are and I do not have their equipment.

None of the below mentioned is true for me.

1) is an owner of the business, I was the owner and not her.

2) understands the lease terms and payment, and I did not see the contract to understand it.

3) confirms the checking account from which all payments will be ACH'd. No one called to confirm anything with me personally.

I had to finally close my own personal checking account I've had for a lifetime to open another so they can't keep stealing from me. I've tried to talk to them, my FBI team has tried to penetrate to no avail because we can't get past the hired bill collectors or I'm given worthless information and phone numbers that go no where. And like all you others the only reason my phone is ringing off the hook is because I closed the checking account they were siphoning from. I have to laugh when I talked to the first bill collector I talked to because I didn't have an account number so he asked for my phone number to look it up; low and behold he didn't have my phone number on file, yet he's calling me, I certainly wasn't calling him. Can anyone answer that one for me?

MBF Leasing should be cooperating fully when it comes to flat out fraud; not hindering.
I'd like to join you in a class action law suit if only to put to an end this contract abuse.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Charges questioned

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

My wife and I too lease a credit card machine from MBF. I have questioned MBF on the following charges from our bank account and have received no explaination. A formal complaint was filed with the bank that referred MBF as well as with the sales rep.

First, MBF notified me in writing that $4.95 loss damage waiver would be charged to my account if no proof of insurance was filed with them. I sent a copy of my insurance policy that covers the contents of my business. They continued the charge so I contacted them. They stated that I needed a rider to cover the machine. I asked how much coverage would be needed and they stated $2035.00. The machine sells retail for less than $500.00.

Since my bill went up more than $4.95, $7.35 to be exact, I questioned that. The sales rep told me that was sales tax. I contacted the State of CT revenue services and MBF is not filed as a sales tax payer.

Next I was informed of a $54.00 tax payment on the equipment that was due that included a $25.00 processing fee. I contacted MBF and they stated that the tax was owed for the property tax for the county that I was in. My county does not tax. I contacted my town who does collect for property tax and MBF was never sent a bill or filed to pay the tax. All business equipment to be taxed had to be filed no later than 11/1/07.

My sales rep refunded me the $54.00 and apologized and stated she was looking into the $4.95 loss damage waiver charge.

I also contacted the State of CT revenue services fraud division to investigate whether or not MBF is paying the sales tax that it is collecting from me or other businesses leasing in the state.

MBF, you are correct and we did sign your lease. Being a new business, I have learned a valuable lesson, don't take anyones word about what they are selling you. I am curious what the response will be about the above charges.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Begging your pardon...

AUTHOR: Justice@last - (U.S.A.)

Contrary to the most previous entry, Northern/MBF Leasing does not perform "verbal confirmations." A one page lease is signed and a week later, the lease comes in the mail with three additional pages. The only time MBF verbally communicates is for collecting funds, when they are no longer able to debit from accounts which have been closed.

It is also doubtful that MBF is unaware of the fraudulent circumstances in which their contracts are signed. There are after all countless contractual complaints and lawsuits against them. Yet MBF makes no effort to properly train their sales agents, independent or not. Even if MBF claims no wrongdoing on their part as they are not present during induction of signatures, they are still the ones responsible for retaining services from crooked agents. Knowing the issues that surround their operation, MBF has yet to put effort into screening more thoroughly their agents.

Lastly, the state of Missouri has found these scoundrels' operation to be misleading. Indeed a court has made them responsible for misrepresentation. Contrary again to your statement, it is possible to take them to court and prevail.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

MBF ripoff rebutal

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

I was angered enough by reading the slander put out by Bud in Pacific Palisades to register and rebut the claims he made in his rant.

First of all I have worked in the creditcard processing industry for over 10 years. I admit I have worked for the shady sales offices who have "ripped a merchants head off"( industy term) and had them sign leases on equipment for either way too much money, or for equipment that was not compatable with the srevice the merchant was receiving. As soon as I could, I left those offices as quickly as I could because they tend to both burn out the salespeople fast and also ruin the name of the company as quickly.

Now on to what angered me about the letter, I have noticed a general lack of people accepting responsibilty for their actions and this sickens me. I am not unsympathetic to the unfortunate situation the merchant has placed himself in-BUT he signed a binding legal contract without apparently reading it. Bud is incorrect in several of his points he made in his rant. MBF is an equipment leasing company and does NOT set up merchant accounts. a processing company does this. MBF only leases equipment and has NO idead what the sales rep has promised the merchant and probably doesn't care. They get a lease app from a company wia a lot of personal information and give a credit score to the sales office with a leasing factor. This factor determines the funding amount for the credit card equipment based on the term of the lease. What angers me is when Bud blames the bad, slimy salesperson who (I agree) completely misled him( and probably ripped him off totally) about what he was signing. But no one had a gun to the Bud's head and although he was lied to, he signed the contracts (I assume he signed up for merchant services and a lease on the credit card terminal).

In every leasing company I have either worked for or with, when the merchant is on the phone completing the verbal lease confirmation, the lease company tells the merchant that they are recording the call for quality control or some other nonsense. The real reason for the recording the call is to get the merchant on tape agreeing to the terms and conditions of the NON CANCELABLE lease(and they say non cancelable about four times during the call). I have writern scripts for the verification staff and they all say about the same thing. Do you agree to pay X amount of dollars for y months? If Bud did not agree to these terms all he had to say was "I do not agree to this" and the verification was over and he would not have had anything further to worry about.

I have seen this scenario play out over and over where the merchant either is bullied into signing paperwork they do not understand, or is outright misled (lied to) by the sales rep and all the merchant has to do is not complete the verbal confirmation and the deal is null and void. I have also seen situations where the merchant signed all the paperwork and completed the verbal verification and a day or two later decieded it was not econimically feasable to pay an exorbidant lease payment. This is called buyers remorse. Anyway, I have vented, and feel a little better. But I want to make people aware that the Big Bad Leasing company ripping off the poor defenceless merchant story is a load of B.S. People need to be responsible for their own actions and accept the responsibilty for what they do.

I wish Bud the best in whatever he tries to do, but dont hold much hope for him especially if he tries to go to court to resolve this. He signed the contract (and completed a verbal confirmation), so I believe it is unlikely that a judge will believe he didnt know about a lease term or payment.
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#6 Consumer Comment

MBF Leasing LLC / Northern Leasing Systems Inc / Universal Merchant Services SCAM

AUTHOR: Mbf Sucks - (U.S.A.)

I was also victimized by a Merchant Services (UMS / Universal Merchant Services) (http://www.merchantsvcs.com) representative that was working also as an ISO (Independent Sales Organization) for MBF Leasing LLC, (AKA Northern Leasing Systems Inc.) in much the same was as described by almost all the other victims speaking out here as well as on other public channels.

Essentially the ISO rep called up my business manager and spoke of very attractive savings on merchant service fees, exclaiming that a fortune could be saved if we switched to their POS (Point Of Sale) service. My business manager scheduled for me to meet with the rep. at a restaurant where I very closely read over many pages of fine print regarding the "merchant services" portion of the "money saving offer". The ISO rep. became very edgy and somewhat impatient, as we got closer to closing the deal. When I was presented the "Equipment Finance Lease" page, I questioned its purpose and meaning since I did not require any POS equipment. Hastily, the rep explained to me that in order to get the benefit of having same day batches to my bank by way of "bypassing the middle man", I would need to use their equipment. Being somewhat technical savvy myself, this did not make a lot of sense to me so I questioned further. Finally he said that I could not save hundreds of dollars per month unless I used their equipment. Surely, the savings and fast excellent service would cover the cost of the equipment lease and then some, he assured me. So in 2005 I signed the mostly blank page for a lease term of 48 months at $99 per month. On closing the deal I had asked for my copies of all the papers I had signed, but he jokingly said I don't have a copy machine with me. He offered to bring copies tomorrow to my shop. As in everyone else's case, this did not happen.

After a couple of months I checked to see whether I was actually realizing any savings. Behold, I was paying hundreds more per month in service (and other) fees, in addition to the monthly lease payment! Also, the batches were taking the same amount of time (36 - 60 hours) to process into my bank account. American Express and Discover were still charging me directly as well. Unhappy with the overall situation, I called to notify them (MBF and UMS) of my intention to switch back to my own banks service and equipment. UMS had a process and an avenue for canceling. MBF Leasing however, informed me that I could not cancel under any circumstances, and if I wanted out, I had to pay over $4000. They then faxed me a nearly illegible micro print copy of the lease contract with 3 additional pages that were never presented to me and are absent of my initials or signature. As I continued to research this situation I became aware that the equipment being leased to me was only worth about $350 new.

In Aug 2007, I closed my bank account to prevent further withdrawals since no letters or calls to MBF were getting to any compromise. Of course this resulted in their usual bombardment of rude and threatening phone calls and letters (further detailed on my website).

I sold my business and transferred the UMS account to the new owner in Mar 2007. UMS continued to charge me a service fee of about $75 per month for several months after the account transfer to the new business owner. Once I realized this was happening I called them to find out why I was being charged. They said I owed nearly $500 in cancellation and various other fees, and that they had no evidence or information that I had transferred or otherwise canceled service with them. I then verified with the new business owner that they did in fact sign with UMS per our agreement with my sale of the business to him. I then called UMS back to inform them of everyone correspondence had taken place with and that I could not be liable for their claims and charges against me. I then received several threatening letters warning me of collections activity if I do not pay. I sent certified letters and continued to call until finally they agreed to waive the cancellation and ACH denied fees. They still wanted to charge me another $75 service fee however. It seemed very crooked that they still wanted the service fee when they already admitted that they knew the UMS contract was transferred to the new business owner. The UMS representative (Suzanne Dowe) finally decided (after much debate, writing and faxing etc ) to divert the final service fee to her corporate office instead of to me. She did however, refuse to reimburse me for the $75 times 5 months of service fees (about $375), which I will be suing for once I am finished with this MBF problem.

I have filed a lawsuit and contacted various authorities including the BBB, my state AG, the FTC, and various others regarding MBF Leasing LLC. Information regarding the lawsuit is being updated on my website.

My website is: (((redacted)))

I wish you all the best of luck.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Got out of my lease

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

Anyone having these problems like I did with this company also should write to the States Attorney General in that State. Mine was from ILLINOIS. I wrote to my state first and complained in Colorado. They forwarded my letter to Lisa Madigan.Attorney General. Susan Bruenning the Citizen's Advocate for the Consumer Protection Division at that office was kind enough to take of this for me. Their phone number is 312-814-3810. They wrote directly to the company and they let me out of my lease stating there was no wrongdoing on their part. hummmmmm I thank them personally for all the help they gave me.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Credit Card Scams for New Businesses...

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

I too was swindled by credit card processing scam.

I was called about accepting credit cards shortly after aquiring an existing business. We invited them right over and after a long conversation about fees and yearly charges we felt comfortable giving our business to these people. When I asked if we HAD to buy the credit card processing machine or if we could just use the internet website for processing (seeing as I do almost all business through the internet). She (Jenna Lastname) told us that we HAD to have the credit card processing machine in order for the "Virtual Terminal" to work.

So after signing all the paper work and getting the machine setup she gave me a support number which came in handy seeing as she never set me up with the right account.

She set me up with the processing service for the card machine, but didn't bother to setup the web terminal. I then had to make countless phone calls and a number of emails to yet another company (name withheld because they were not involved in initial scam) who finally got me setup. In the process I somehow aquired an additional merchant account (so now I have 2 instead of 1) for my web transactions.

Needless to say I began calling the Captial Merchant Services where the rep was from and started demanding they take back the machine that they mislead me into believing I needed. After serveral phone calls I was told that nothing will be done, the debt is mine to settle regardless of what the agent has done and that if I cancel my service or break contract they will seek a legal route.

After all of this and countless problems we have conceded to simply paying for the machine (only 2 years left) and never doing any business with Capital Merchant Services again.

We have since moved on to QB credit card processing and are very satisfied. I thought nothing could be done and was actually looking for MBF leasing online to change my bank account to a new account for automated billing when I found this report. I SINCERELY HOPE THAT SOME SORT OF LAWSUIT OR CLASS ACTION IS TAKEN AGAINST THESE PEOPLE.

Bottom line is these people pray on new businesses that don't know about credit card processing in's and out's.
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#9 Consumer Comment

One More Victim

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

Pretty much similar story to Dick's above, just different bank. Salesman totally misrepresented himself. Never saw a copy of the contract until we were served. Interestingly enough, they filled it in, forged my wife's signature in 2 places and printed her name wrong next to it. I read on a law forum where one guy was out of the country on the date his name was forged to the contract. Unfortunately for them, I have free airline benefits and a son in NY who I can stay with. My daughter worked for the Atty. General's office in Calif. I have lots of attys. for clients. One of them is coming over tomorrow to get all my documentation. He works for a big Los Angeles Law firm hq'd in Century City. Can we all say "class action".

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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

What a RIP-OFF

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

I was also lured into this scam. I was told by the representative of the Credit Union that I bank at, that this company would save me alot of money on our credit card transactions. The phone calls from the company comes every 2 to 5 minutes 24 hours a day. I answer the phone and their system hangs up on me. I try to call them back and get the most rude and irrespectful people on the other end. I have also tried to get out of the contract in as little as 1 week after signing the contract. I was told that we had 30 days to cancel.

Evidently the company is in it to rip off the small businesses of America. I recently called to complain again about their phone tactics and the person handling my account began to scream at me. I asked for a supervisor and he said that they did not have any.

I called back repeatedly trying to get a supervisor and was immediately transferred back to the rude representative. I finally was transferred to him again, but rather than leaving a message, I press the '0' on my phone keypad and was transferred to the receptionist, supposedly to at their corporate offices, and she transferred me back to the rep.

Everyone within this organization is in on the scam. I definately want out of this contract so I can go on with my business without this type of hassel. What is this world coming to, when Americans are scamming Americans. Shouldn't we be better than that?
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#11 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Brendan nailed it

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

In our case, a sales representative claiming to work for Chase Merchant Services scheduled an appt. with us stating that he could save us money over our present card services. We accepted his invitation for a consultation. When he arrived, we produced for him our last 3 months credit card statements. He reviewed them and said, no problem, he would be saving us money. From there, he produced a contract that he wanted us to sign and said that he would fill out for us later. I know, that was a big mistake. We asked him if there would be a charge for any equipment as we had already owned our own terminal which by the way, appeared to be the identical model that they would later supply. He replied no. After we viewed our first statement, sure enough, not only did we have a HUGE leasing fee, even the percentages charged by each CC company were higher! We immediately called the Chase Merchant Service number provided on the sales reps card, but there was only a message machine that promised we would be contacted within 24 hours. We left several messages and never received a return call. Finally, after 3 months of calling (probably 15 attempts) someone did pick up the phone. When we asked them to talk to the sales rep that sold us the contract, they told us that he was no longer with the company. Obviously, the contract that we are locked into was misrepresented. Why would a company with excellent credit and 7 years of CC business that owned it own terminal want to pay a total of $9600 in fees to lease another terminal which was identical to the own that they owned???? Sure, we need to be more careful on signing these kind of contracts but you really cannot deny companies like MBF are solely designed around trying to "trick" small businesses into foolishly signing ridiculous contracts and that they often, such as in our case, use misrepresntation to do so. After 3 months, we found a legitimate company to go with and are now dealing with the usual barrage of calls from MBF. Those calls are funny as they hang up on you half the time. Sometimes you get a recorded response that says there are no reps avail. When they do get you and ask you to pay, we say no way and they reply very nicely, OK, thanks!
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#12 Consumer Comment

To (two) Kenneths

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

If I am not mistaken, there are a lot of "ex-employee responses" or other "you can't fight them" sort of threads dealing with MBF leasing on this sight with responses by people with the name, "Kenneth" from Los Angeles. Every time they say something like, "I was just searching the internet for blah, blah, when I came across this complaint and felt the need to comment."

I apologize if I am mistaken, Kenneths, but I just wouldn't put it past MBF Leasing to post these types of responses in order the discourage people thinking about fighting their leases. Just an observation.

On to the rebuttal. Kenneths, the issues raised by consumers here are not because we want to back out of an honest contract. Many of us were induced into the contract under false premises.

My company was told by MBF that we needed the terminal in order to process transactions with CardServicesInternational. When we asked why we couldn't just by a terminal from the internet, we were told that those terminal wouldn't work, it was the software from MBF that we needed. So, we signed, and then we found out that this wasn't the case. We were also told that we would have access to a service/help line, and that we could cancel in within a month if we didn't like the service.

Needless to say, we couldn't cancel, the "software" doesn't exist, and there was no operative help line, only a bill collection line.

Why would anybody here pay 2000-4000 dollars for a 100 dollar terminal if we weren't lured in by false information or premises?

I understand that it is important to understand what you sign, but is an issue with the ethics involved with a company like this. They exist only by misinforming and deceiving their customers. In fact, they don't even provide any useful services as a business. Their service is to exploit consumers, and their income is based solely off of how successfully they mislead the customer.

There has to be a way to fight a company that exists essentially as a legal scam, even when facing "the contract." Right now there is a law firm in New York looking into a class-action suit against MBF. I don't know much about the progress of this suit, but am gathering materials to send in and join. I would encourage everybody deceived by MBF to do the same. If anybody has any information regarding this case, please post it here.

Companies like this are intentionally unethical. MBF needs to be held accountable for the literally millions of dollars they have pried out of honest people's bank accounts with their greedy, dirty little intrusive hands.

Good luck in your fight, and keep doing research and posting the results here! If we get enough information, we may beat them.

Regards,
Brendan
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#13 Consumer Comment

To (two) Kenneths

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

If I am not mistaken, there are a lot of "ex-employee responses" or other "you can't fight them" sort of threads dealing with MBF leasing on this sight with responses by people with the name, "Kenneth" from Los Angeles. Every time they say something like, "I was just searching the internet for blah, blah, when I came across this complaint and felt the need to comment."

I apologize if I am mistaken, Kenneths, but I just wouldn't put it past MBF Leasing to post these types of responses in order the discourage people thinking about fighting their leases. Just an observation.

On to the rebuttal. Kenneths, the issues raised by consumers here are not because we want to back out of an honest contract. Many of us were induced into the contract under false premises.

My company was told by MBF that we needed the terminal in order to process transactions with CardServicesInternational. When we asked why we couldn't just by a terminal from the internet, we were told that those terminal wouldn't work, it was the software from MBF that we needed. So, we signed, and then we found out that this wasn't the case. We were also told that we would have access to a service/help line, and that we could cancel in within a month if we didn't like the service.

Needless to say, we couldn't cancel, the "software" doesn't exist, and there was no operative help line, only a bill collection line.

Why would anybody here pay 2000-4000 dollars for a 100 dollar terminal if we weren't lured in by false information or premises?

I understand that it is important to understand what you sign, but is an issue with the ethics involved with a company like this. They exist only by misinforming and deceiving their customers. In fact, they don't even provide any useful services as a business. Their service is to exploit consumers, and their income is based solely off of how successfully they mislead the customer.

There has to be a way to fight a company that exists essentially as a legal scam, even when facing "the contract." Right now there is a law firm in New York looking into a class-action suit against MBF. I don't know much about the progress of this suit, but am gathering materials to send in and join. I would encourage everybody deceived by MBF to do the same. If anybody has any information regarding this case, please post it here.

Companies like this are intentionally unethical. MBF needs to be held accountable for the literally millions of dollars they have pried out of honest people's bank accounts with their greedy, dirty little intrusive hands.

Good luck in your fight, and keep doing research and posting the results here! If we get enough information, we may beat them.

Regards,
Brendan
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Read your Merchant & Lease Agreements

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

I am an employee of the FTC and process paperwork on complaints from merchants. I have been doing this for a number of years. I wanted to share some information with those merchants who feel they were misled or taken advantage of above.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors business practices (putting it simply). We are concerned and want to know when consumers are lied to, taken advantage of, and / or feel misrepresented.

I have only read the above complaints and I have not had an opportunity to hear from the sales person in question. However, I can share with you my knowledge of these types of complaints to shed some light on the issue for everyone involved.

First, consider all facts in the claims against companies. Regardless of what type of company, we review the facts. In most circumstances, we see consumers sign and agree to contracts they later resent or wish to cancel. If a consumer signs and agrees to the contract, we must abide by that as this is what a court will rule as well as our agency.

As Kenneth above from TransFirst mentioned, a consumer must read all agreements and contracts prior to signing. By signing, you are agreeing to ALL terms and conditions (including the lease costs in this matter as well as the fees from the Credit Card Company). We can only step in if a company has charged any amount not disclosed or debits a consumers bank account without authorization.

I did my homework prior to writing my reponse. Fifth Third Bank, TransFirst, and their respective sales offices have all processing fees listed on their "Merchant Processing Agreements". I called MBF Leasing and they have "non cancellable on their lease contracts and the associated fees are in ink. Therefore, this is not a matter that the FTC can be involved in as this becomes a Civil matter with the consumer and the company it has contracted with.

I would be hard pressed to say that those of you who have complained above did not have a contract in which you signed willingly. It is no different if you leased a black BMV and the next day you went to the sales person and wanted out of your lease. You signed an agreement. Thus, you agreed to all terms and conditions of your vehicle lease. When you lease a credit card terminal, it is no different.

If you read my response and still have ill feelings of resentment, you should call the office who sold you the terminal and discuss your concerns. However, you must understand that you did agree to whatever contract you put your name to.
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#15 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The truth of the matter.

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

I was searching the internet for some bancard documentation when I ran across this complaint against TransFirst, MBF Leasing, and UNIVMS. As a former President of TransFirst, I would like to share my knowledge with all you who are "disgruntled". I have been in the payment industry for 20+ years and I have a wealth of knowledge.

I would first like to comment on those merchants' complaints about the leasing companies. All leases require 2-3 signatures by every merchant. Further to this, the majority of lease companies (like MBF and Northern) require a "verbal confirmation" whereas the leasing company actually calls the merchant(s) and confirms that the merchant who signed the lease:

1) is an owner of the business,

2) understands the lease terms and payment, and

3) confirms the checking account from which all payments will be ACH'd.

The lease will not be in "effect" until all 3 items are confirmed above and these conversations are recorded for the leasing companies protection. With this said, I can not believe it when a merchant says "I did not know about a lease".

First there are several signatures on the paperwork a merchant must sign, then the leasing company actually calls the owner at their place of business to confirm they understand all terms and conditions (including Non-cancellable terms). The only exception to this is if a sales person forged a merchants signature. In this case of fraud, the merchant must call the authorities as well as the leasing company and the sales office for whom the sales rep works for. This circumstance occurs very rarely if ever in sales offices.

Secondly, the comments the TransFirst employee made reference to are not 100% correct. It is true that Fifth Third Bank sold a portion of their portfolio to TransFirst. However, his comments on the ISO (UNIVMS) are false.

I respect the fact we had an employee try to salvage our company's name. However, to put one of our affiliates down is not professional and the comments made are not true. After 2 years of service, you should know that by now. Did you ever stop to think that it is this office that brings business to TransFirst which employees you? It is safe to say that without this office, some people at TransFirst would not have jobs (perhaps you).

UNIVMS is TransFirst's largest sales office in the country. In addition to this, they have the lowest amount of chargebacks and complaints of any office as a percentage. For example, if an average office has 3 complaints a month, and this office is 5x as large. Then, it is safe to expect the same ratio of complaints (which would equate to 15 per month). However, this office actually has less than this number. This is due to the fact they have been around a long time and they have seasoned sales reps.

Regardless, anyone in customer service is going to receive phone calls which are from people who need help or who are unhappy. This occurs in all companies. I can not think of one company who has a customer service department where its customers actually call them just to say, "I just wanted you to know how happy we are with your service." That just does not happen.

Most of the calls are from frustrated merchants seeking help or assistance. 99.99% of these calls are handled in a professional manner and the merchant(s) end the call feeling that their problem / issue was resolved to their satisfaction. However, there are always those merchants who are never happy no matter what.

I will end with this. It is a merchants responsibility to read all contracts. Every fee is listed in black and white and that is what the courts will look at (as well as the FTC). The FTC does not care about a merchant who did not read a contract before signing it. This is not fruad and in this case a merchant was not "taken advantage of". This is a circumstance of a merchant not taking the time to read a contract. If you sign it, you are agreeing to it.

I am sure if we reviewed all the lease and bankcard applications and documentation, 99.99% of all merchants signed willingly, thus agreeing to all terms and conditions. There is no misrepresentation in this case, just ignorance of those who did not read before signing. Period. I know this is short and to the point but it is the facts of life. That is why the leasing companies prevail in court time and time again. They have proper documentation which is solid agaist a merchant's complaint(s).

I can not speak for the FTC. However, I am most certain they follow suit to the courts decission. Only in a case of forgery have I ever seen a merchant win against a leasing company. Valid proof of signature is required to show the court that the signature on the lease is not the same as a driver's license or passport. To protect themselves, the leasing companies are now requiring their agents to submit a copy of a driver's license and a copy of a voided business check to protect themselves from these types of lawsuits.

I hope this helps all merchants (and employees) understand a bit more. Perhaps a change of opinion will take place with those who consider all sides to a dispute and not just theirs (this is what a judge will do). I can assure you that Fifth Third Bank, TransFirst, and the sales office mentioned are all on the up and up and are all very professional entities. I wish you all the best.

Regards,
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#16 Consumer Comment

Who has prevailed against MBF in court?

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

My husband and I plan on taking this all the way to court. We are expecting our case to be handed over to their attorneys. We will not give them another cent. We closed our bank account and reopened a new one.

No kidding 2 days after that, MBF starting calling 15 times /day. I have a little fun with it and give the debt collectors a very hard time when they call. 1/2 of the calls, they just hang up on me anyway, and when they do, I call them right back and give them hell for it. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

For those of you who have "settled" outside of court, did they give you a deal? I'd like to know who has gone to court and not defaulted and won!! We have to unite against this corrupt company. I love all of your comments on here and am happy we're not alone in this. God Bless you all! And stick up for yourselves against these scammers! :)
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#17 UPDATE Employee

hoping to clear the names of some of the companies listed here: Transfirst, Fifth Third Bank

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

I am currently an employee of TransFirst and make my home on their Techincal HelpDesk. I was searching for an industry newsletter when I came across these reports and would like to add my $0.02 to the complaints filed, but rest assured, i'm not here to completely alleiviate these companies of responsibilty.

Transfirst is an "acquirer" for *certain* 5/3rd bank merchants. I have been in this company for over 2 years now, in 3 different departments, and have worked closely with the entire company. I maintain a solid working relationship with the executives inside our company, from every state. For what it's worth, the employees here at transfirst are just as disgusted with the actions we regularly see from MBF leasing, Northern Leasing, and especially Universal Merchant Services.

I can assure you that Transfirst has nothing to do with the contracts set up by these ISOs(Independent Sales Organizations). We are merely the group responsible for collecting the sales, processing through the various networks, and billing for the processing costs. We maintain a working relationship with these companies due to the large volume of business they bring in on an honest, hard working level.

I will not even begin to refute that there are sales people working for MBF, Northern, and UNIVMS that are less than honest in their approach and finish. We at Transfirst try as hard as we possibly can to provide a fair, educated experience to our merchants and become just as disappointed as you when your contracts are presented fraudulently and secretive.

About a year and a half ago Transfirst acquired a portion of the 5/3rd bank portfolio, but only those residing in 5/3rd's Milwuakee office. We have found their service to be exemplary. When working to accomidate their portfolio they presented us with a good base of merchants that were pleased with the move to a new processor, but, as always some that were unhappy at being moved to a new company. We have nearly doubled the size of our merchant support group to better serve our merchants and continue working hard every day to increase these relationships.

I have a couple of suggestions to those caught in the midst of a bad contract with MBF, Northern, or UNIVMS. First would be to contact your processor and very calmly explain the situation you are involved in, and the company that has caused this, whether it be the terminal leasing company, or the sales group that signed your account. This will not be universal Merchant Service or MBF, but the actual Acquirer. Transfirst, Nova, Firstdata...etc
The more feedback the processor receives about the sales groups they interact with, the better able they are to make a decision.

My second piece of advice is to continue to contact the BBB, and the FTC. spread the word as much as possible to other business owners you know, and anyone else who will listen. Your power is in your voice.

Having said that, keep that voice low and calm. These companies tend to shrug off offensive, angry, and hostile merchants calling it a "bad day", or blaming their anger on money management issues. Trust the words of an insider, You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar is a golden phrase in the credit card industry. When you're speaking with the customer service rep, or technical rep at the processor(those who provide your terminal support, or answer your statement questions), they are people just like you.

We are not a faceless entity, we are individuals and whether it sounds like it or not, we sympathize with you completely. We understand the stress involved in managing money for a small business, and it is in the processors best interest to keep you happy, productive, and growing financially. The sales groups that sign your contracts dont exhibit this same empathy.

I wish you all the best of luck in getting vengence on these sales groups that so fraudulently depict the credit card industry. Remember that we dispise them as much as you do.
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Media Required

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

I also am in the same boat and have written to Tom Martino with the troubleshooter for Colorado. You may of heard of him but he is in the media and does investigate these kind of things. The BBB can only go so far then stops, wrote the FTC and the States Attorney General of Colorado but they sent a copy to ILL States Attorney General. Nothing has happened yet but I would love to get into this Class action law suit to.
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#19 Consumer Suggestion

Also ripped off by Northen Leasing and you cannot win

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

I too have been a victim of NL. I have a report filed here in rip off reports. I've filed complaints through BBB, state's atty and a few others and nothing seems to work. I contacted my atty who told me that these people are professional swindlers.

I too signed a one page contract that blossomed into a five page contract with no way out. I tried to join the pending class action suits, but could not. The atty's in NY with the class action suit felt that I should try a class action suit in my own state. Atty's here felt that it would be more like me trying to relieve myself of a debt and therefore could not collect on monies for a class action suit. My phone rang 20 times a day as well. NL would make calls and hang up on me!

I was served with papers and threatened just like many people on this site. I finally had to "settle" with a check. People have been wronged by this company should band together to stop this! A person I spoke with today regarding NL said that maybe a media company who would take this to the news to report on this company would be a good start.
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

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

I am in the same boat, I spoke to a lawyer. He said that the contract they have us sign is so bad that it can be considered a scam. MBF Leasing will probably take us to court in NY, however, if you file a lawsuit against them on the count of them misleading you and having you sign fraudulent contract, then they will have to come up to your state to defend themselves (which will cost them $$$).

ALSO, if you choose not to return the equipment, state of NY cannot force you to give it back to them. Only your state can, and they won't fight you in your own state. So at least keep their equipment for now.
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

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

I am in the same boat, I spoke to a lawyer. He said that the contract they have us sign is so bad that it can be considered a scam. MBF Leasing will probably take us to court in NY, however, if you file a lawsuit against them on the count of them misleading you and having you sign fraudulent contract, then they will have to come up to your state to defend themselves (which will cost them $$$).

ALSO, if you choose not to return the equipment, state of NY cannot force you to give it back to them. Only your state can, and they won't fight you in your own state. So at least keep their equipment for now.
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#22 Consumer Suggestion

We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

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

I am in the same boat, I spoke to a lawyer. He said that the contract they have us sign is so bad that it can be considered a scam. MBF Leasing will probably take us to court in NY, however, if you file a lawsuit against them on the count of them misleading you and having you sign fraudulent contract, then they will have to come up to your state to defend themselves (which will cost them $$$).

ALSO, if you choose not to return the equipment, state of NY cannot force you to give it back to them. Only your state can, and they won't fight you in your own state. So at least keep their equipment for now.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

We need to the lawsuit against them as well.

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

I am in the same boat, I spoke to a lawyer. He said that the contract they have us sign is so bad that it can be considered a scam. MBF Leasing will probably take us to court in NY, however, if you file a lawsuit against them on the count of them misleading you and having you sign fraudulent contract, then they will have to come up to your state to defend themselves (which will cost them $$$).

ALSO, if you choose not to return the equipment, state of NY cannot force you to give it back to them. Only your state can, and they won't fight you in your own state. So at least keep their equipment for now.
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#24 Consumer Suggestion

Universal Merchant Services, MBF, Merchant Services,Transfirst Bank

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

This is a Credit Card Processing SCAM. They target small business'.I own a retail business. They give you false information, promise to save you money by switching to their credit card processing services.

They sign you up for a bogus lease drawing monies out of your bank account, many hidden fees are drawn. They are not responsible for providing the service or savings they promised and then say you are not allowed to get out of the lease.

They will not save you a dime, in the past 2.5 months, it has cost my business over $1000 for switching to them.

They claim they can't be stopped and will win in court. They will take unauthorized monies out of your account. Promise documentation for the deductions but never send them. They have you sign a one page letter and then mail it back to you with an additional 5 pages attached that you never saw or read.
They are fraudulant and they know it and are proud of it.
They are trying to scam my business for 10,000.I have to change my bank account. From what I've read on the internet (from ripoffreport.com), once I do that they will start to harass and call my business 10-15 times a day.

They go under many names:Universal Merchant Services, MBF Leasing, Merchant Services,Located in Irvice CA. First they fax you then they come door to door.

Transfirst Bank is the processor that they connect you to. The whole thing is a scam. Stay away. I have filed with the FTC and I am filing a small claims case to try to get my $1000 back.
Retailer
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

I Also Filed A Complaint With The FTC

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

To: Bud in California and Mark in Iowa. I took the suggestion seriously and I filed a complaint against MBF Leasing with the FTC just a few minutes ago. I agree that the more of us who complain, the stronger our case will be and the more likely it is that the case will be heard. It takes courage to do this, but the more legitimate places we file, the better the chances are of making our case with a good outcome.

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#26 Consumer Suggestion

FIGHT THESE PEOPLE/ FILE A COMPLAINT WITH FTC

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

Hello: My wife and I have a similar problem with northern leasing, and I assure you they are not going to win. What you need to do is go to the following website: FTC.GOV and click on file a complaint and take the time to fill out the complaint form and send it, it probably does not take more then ten minutes to fill out, and fill out as complete and factual as you are able. We have done this and their responce states that if enough people file complaints they will start investigating this company. WE MUST UNITE TOGETHER AND FILE THE COMPLAINTS AND FIGHT THESE PEOPLE AGAIN GO TO FTC.GOV AND FILE A COMPLAINT
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