We are a very busy small company and not experts on credit card processing. But, like everyone else these days, we are looking for ways to "trim the fat" in our operations. Unfortunately, we listened to (and believed) the sales representative from Merchant Services, and let him RUSH our sign up.
They told us that their monthly fee would be just $12 and that the other "minimal" monthly fee would be calculated into our new equipment lease. In the exaggerated rush to sign us up before their special expired, our questions as to why we needed new equipment were not ever addressed. The sales person who visited was very smooth and had us completely believing his story - that there were only three actual processing companies, that we were signing up with one of them, and that all the other poor schmucks in the world would be paying someone a higher rate because their company would be going through HIS company. Again, all very rush, rush, rush.
Of course, we were not given a copy of any contract we signed. Several months later, I was able to secure a copy of the MBF Leasing contract. 48 months at $79.95 per month for a machine I could buy outright for under $200 - non-cancelable, of course.
And today I received my processing contract – only because I called to find out how to cancel our service and was told that we are in contract. $495 or 10% of average fees to break the 24-month contract we didn’t even know we’d signed.
What we have learned about this company:
Apparently, this company pulls the same scam over and over – misrepresenting their company and fees. They charge a percentage on the "front end", high per-transaction fees, and higher precentages on the "back end" (that is processing company jargon, by the way - we are getting more savvy about credit card processing now!)
Their promise of lowering our monthly fees were completely false. We are paying, on average, 1+% higher total fees than we were with our old processor.
They lied about their monthly fees being in the equipment lease and not in the monthly billing. Oh they are in the lease, no doubt, but we are ALSO getting charged monthly fees – LOTS of them!
Additionally, we are a MOTO account (mail order / telephone order), and rarely have a card present. As such, they lump all of our charges into a made-up category called "Non Qualified" which is at a ridiculously high percentage rate. (We have asked for a detailed list of these charges repeatedly and are always told that there is no way to get a transaction-by-transaction breakdown.)
What we have learned in general
#1 – Don’t trust credit card processing companies to be truthful.
#2 – Investigate the background of ANY company you are considering to use.
#3 – Do not lease new equipment you don’t need - if you must switch, buy it outright.
#4 MOST IMPORTANT – anyone who tries to make RUSH to sign their contract or is unwilling to give you the opportunity to properly investigate their company or to adequately study their contract is not acting out of integrity. Do not let anyone rush you on these major decisions – take your time and be sure. And if you miss out on their "great deal that ends today", you might be better off! We wish WE had "missed out" on this deal!!
If this post saves just one person from the cost and disappointment we have suffered, it will be worth the time it took me to write.