• Report: #372862

Complaint Review: Sterling Payment Technologies

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  • Submitted: Sun, September 14, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, March 29, 2012

  • Reported By:TAMPA Florida
Sterling Payment Technologies
1111 N. Westshore Blvd. Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

Sterling Payment Technologies Early Termination "Fee" after 4.5 years - Sterling Stole $400.00 Tampa Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Already lodged a report

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Fees

*UPDATE Employee: Fees

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Contracted Fee

*Consumer Comment: Abusive Fees

*UPDATE Employee: Sterling is Not at Fault

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Sterling payment technologies is a credit card processing company in Tampa Florida. I used them for about four years. I actually left once and later switched back because I was unhappy with the customer service from the other place.

After being back with Sterling for another year (I had used them for 3 years prior) I decided to consolidate my 2 locations under one merchant service company - Crescent. The Tampa Palms studio was using Bank of America for about 8 months - who did NOT charge me a fee for leaving them.

All of these companies promise the world to get your business. This one, Sterling, will actually punish you with a $400.00 fee if you leave them. If you want it back, they will tell you that you must come back to them. Aside from a bad business practice, I call that extortion. That said, do the smart thing and AVOID using Sterling Payment Technologies.

After my calls and emails were ignored for the most part, I contacted the President of Sterling, Paul Hunter. He told me that they won't return my money because they incurred charges and paid a commission to the sales person who put me in as a "new" customer when I came back to them in April 2007.

I attempted to enlighten Mr. Hunter that I paid them 16 months of fees and charges that more than covered their chosen structure of compensation to their sales people.
As well, I did not choose to be a "new" customer when I went back them. Had I gone to my old account, apparently I would have not been charged the fee for leaving them.

Sterling Payment Technologies is like an ex, who loved you while you were with them but will burn you when you leave. Something that other credit processors do not do because they know it is a non-ethical policy and bad for long-term business.

It is my responsibility to share this experience with whomever is considering using a merchant services processor. Beware of Sterling Payment Technologies and their partners. I see that, as I went to this site to file a report about Sterling, I am not alone. Do yourself a favor and avoid them.

Dave
TAMPA, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/14/2008 06:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sterling-Payment-Technologies/Tampa-Florida-33607/Sterling-Payment-Technologies-Early-Termination-Fee-after-45-years-Sterling-Stole-40-372862. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 5Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Already lodged a report

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

If you think processing with them is a pain, try working for them. It is equally horrible.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Fees

AUTHOR: Party Land - (United States of America)

Regarding well trained customer service staff, I agree they are well trained--in fighting off practical and reasonable requests.  My complaint was that not only was I charged an early cancellation fee when my company went under, I was also charged two months of inactivity fees AFTER I notified the company that I was going under.  To date the inactivity fees have yet to be credited.  It took me 6 months of letter writing to get the well trained customer service person to agree to a 50% reduction in my cancellation fee.  I did appreciate the consideration but why did I have to send 15 e-mails over 5 months--that's right, because she was well trained to fend off such requests.  Now I have to start a whole new letter writing campaign to get some relief from the inactivity fees.  How can you charge inactivity fees when you were notified that the business was closing?  Of course there is inactivity, I was closing.  So you hit me with both?  And you customer service person defends your position--because she is well trained, no doubt.  Maybe in 6 months of writing you will finally get tired of hearing from me and just do the right thing.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Fees

AUTHOR: Alice Spicer - (United States of America)

Sterling Payment Technologies charges an early termination fee to recover costs incurred when setting up a new account.  Most processors in the industry charge such fees.  In addition to helping to recover setup costs, the fees, as all agents know, act as an impediment to sales representatives who move their merchants between processors to take advantage of bonuses they receive for bringing in new business.  In many cases, merchants are utilizing rented equipment and termination fees also help to recover the losses processors incur on such account terminations.
 
We are proud of our customer service. We have well-trained and dedicated customer service representatives who work hard to resolve any issues and keep our merchants satisfied with Sterling. Like mobile phone companies, airlines, gyms all merchants who require a service contract they also have termination fees for merchants who break their agreement - but we will always work to resolve an issue like this, most often to the benefit of the merchant.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Response to Contracted Fee

AUTHOR: Alice Spicer - (United States of America)

Sterling Payment Technologies charges an early termination fee to recover costs incurred when setting up a new account.  Most processors in the industry charge such fees.  In addition to helping to recover setup costs, the fees, as all agents know, act as an impediment to sales representatives who move their merchants between processors to take advantage of bonuses they receive for bringing in new business.  In many cases, merchants are utilizing rented equipment and termination fees also help to recover the losses processors incur on such account terminations.
 
We would have appreciated the courtesy of the representative contacting us about this issue, especially given the length of our relationship with him/her.  The complaint in the Ripoff Report does not offer us any information on which to provide a more thorough response since the name of the representative, the specifics about the merchants charged, and the circumstances regarding their departures are not provided.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Abusive Fees

AUTHOR: Party Land - (United States of America)

My story is not much different than the author.  However, my sales rep, Dave Harlow from First American, told me expressly that fees may be charged if I switched companies but WOULD NOT be charged if my business went under.  I knew my company was shaky but we make it another 18 months before I closed.  I notified Sterling in July 2011 of my closing and was charged a non-use fee in August, then September before they eventually charged me the $395 cancellation fee--after I had already notified them and after my busiess had gone under.  I recognize that processors cant be handcuffed by retailers that jump services every other month but $600 in fees after I went under and after I notified them?  How shameful is that?  They would not listen to me and they would not listen to my sales rep.  (assuming he tried to work on my behalf.)  Sterling, as I'm sure are many other processors, is a greedy group that would just as soon watch you bleed out than offer a waiver on fees for closed businesses.  They made their money on me for 18 months.  So i get hit for $600, half of a house payment because the economy hit me harder than them?  Again, shameful.

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#6 UPDATE Employee

Sterling is Not at Fault

AUTHOR: Sterling Payment Technologies - (U.S.A.)

Dave was a merchant with us under an initial account in 2003 which he closed. He was signed to us again with Brad Lesher. Dave then closed his account again in 2007 and we charged him our standard early termination fee. This is a fee much like those one is charged with when terminating one's cell phone contract. Dave's friend and agent, Brad, collected commissions when he signed Dave both times. Brad should have been upfront about the charges Dave would incur by terminating his contract early.
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