• Report: #394877
Complaint Review:

Ultimate Business Solutions, Advanced Merchant Capital

  • Submitted: Tue, November 25, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, July 23, 2010

  • Reported By:West Palm Beach Florida
Ultimate Business Solutions, Advanced Merchant Capital
1928 E Highland Ave, Box 612 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

Ultimate Business Solutions, Advanced Merchant Capital Charged Credit Card $495.00 for Free action. Then charged $495.00 for unused training. Phoenix Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Advance Merchant Capital Lawsuit

*Consumer Suggestion: Update on Company

*Consumer Suggestion: Why they are a SCAM and what to DO about it

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The report I filed previously against Ultimate Business Services was a goof. It should of been Ultimate Business Solutions. The meds I take generate occasional confused thoughts. I'm cautious normally. This is repeat against the real guys.

A phone call entered my house February of this year despite my 'Do not call' registration. Why am I taking action now? I forgot about it as they didn't send me the "Welcome' package. They did accept the $495.00 I charged on my credit card. Is this starting to look slippery

The problem with charges is they become buried among other whimsical acts. Cash flow companies thrive on this.

Ultimate Business Solutions (UBS) offered an opportunity(?) to help small businesses. UBS would provide cash interest free. Supposedly working through the major Credit Companies. Recipient would pay back the Cash Advance from future profits. (Isn't that the way a loan is usually paid?).

UBS would then pay me a percentage. I think he said two percent.

Told me I could get started for only a $495.00 fee. Since charging a purchase is simply too easy. It doesn't pinch the pocket until later.

I quess the pinch wasn't ouchy enough, because I forgot about it. Until the second week of July. When the Director of Operations rings my phone and has "Some exciting news!"

He tells me how they have a program in which they call a series of companies once a week for six months. Supposedly, this will cover any changes which may occur in their operations.

Now he wants me to fork over another $1250.00 to obtain a "block' is the word he uses of companies they'll call. What shut down my positive thoughts on this venture was his insistence I do not contact any of the merchants. In other words, they were going to pay me for doing nothing!

I told him to get lost.

When I discovered the $495.00 charge on my credit card statement, I called USB. Interestingly enough, the agent at USB told me they can't find any record of the February transaction.

I quickly called the credit card company. They knew nothing of this hold. What does that tell me?

West Palm Beach, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/25/2008 09:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ultimate-business-solutions-advanced-merchant-capital/phoenix-arizona-85016/ultimate-business-solutions-advanced-merchant-capital-charged-credit-card-49500-for-fre-394877. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Advance Merchant Capital Lawsuit

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

Advance Merchant Capital is involved in a lawsuit with its affiliates.  See.    State of Arizona, ex rel. Terry Goddard, Plaintiff, v. Lesie Mersky, et al. (all named in personal defendants listed below) and/or Jane Does 1-10; ABC Enterprises 1-10, and XYZ Corporations 1-10)

I'm not a lawyer, but I think all that stuff in parenthesis means "and all the other companies and all the other people involved not named here".

Anyway, the document is  SW2010-003062  and SW2010-0310768.

Their businesses and money, up to $79 million, have been seized.  All of their bank accounts and everything are all listed on the document which can be viewed on the internet.  Defendants  include Canielle Ashrafi aka Danielle Mersky Massoud Massoud Ashrafi aka Amir Ashrafi, Massoud Amir Ashrafi, Marci L Bennett, Heath Gerondale, Darrin Giefer, Michael F. Hilliard, Bruce Kriends, Nikki Kriens, Michael David Malkin, Donald Brian Manchip, Vincent McLain, David A Mersky, Janice P Mersky, Leslie Spencer Mersky, Marta Elena Quiban, Raymond Quiban, Jr.; Christina Saldana, Alan Waddle, David Weaver.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Update on Company

AUTHOR: RPS - (United States of America)

This company was recently raided by the State of Arizona and the Principals have been criminally charged however since they have not yet been convicted they are still operating.

The other consumer made some valid suggestions however they were not entirely accurate on procedures.

First, for a Merchant Account Holder to be of concern on the risk side they need to have a Chargeback Percentage exceeding 1 to 2% of all their transactions.  The problem in this case is that the Offender is the Processor and is VERY unlikely to punish themselves, take away their own Merchant Account, and report themselves to MasterCard (Who maintains the TMF List (Terminated Merchant File)).

In this case the fraud would need to be reported to Mastercard and Visa proper.  Unfortunately that is no easy task as they usually dont deal with Consumers.

In this case the FTC would be appropriate as they used the Telephone to market the scam.  In fact the FTC was involved with the Raid on Bank Card Empires Offices.

A Good rule of thumb is simply to never give your Credit Card Number to someone over the phone, especially when you have no idea who they are.

There are VERY few legitimate work at home programs out there however there are some and it takes one doing due diligence on the company or companies in question to make an educated decision.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Why they are a SCAM and what to DO about it

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

My mentally disabled friend was recently ripped off for over $5,000. They won't even respond to her written request for a refund other than try to tell her how it is great, have missed multiple appointments to discuss a refund and will not refund anything.

Who are they?
These guys are doing business under a lot of different names, but they all come back to one thing - they are trying to rip you off:
Bank Card Empire
Ultimate Business Solutions
AIG Promotions
HBO Media
Edgemont Productions

#1 Evidence that they are a SCAM

First of all let's think about their offer. They want you to be an affiliate to refer people to sell their merchant account products. Take a look around at affiliate programs out there. The legitimate ones don't charge you $500 for the opportunity of referring people to them. That is ridiculous and should warn you right away that something is wrong. The website that they are selling you is a replicated website which means it is useless in the search engines and is just a copy of the same thing they give everyone else - they call it 'your' website but it is just their website with your affiliate ID. Legitimate affiliate programs don't charge you to link to their website as an affiliate.

Second they will try to convince you to pay them to market their own product for you. Does that make any sense at all??? If they were making money by marketing their product why would they cut you in? They wouldn't!!

Here's an example. Let's say I have a business selling merchant accounts. And I make phone calls on the telephone to sell my product. Let's say I make an average of $3 per call. Would I turn around and tell you I would call those people on your behalf for $2 per call? Of course not! I would want to keep the $3, not share it with you. However let's say I make less than $2 per call - say $0 per call. In that case I would sell that to you all day. Think about it! Them charging you for them to do their marketing for their company is obviously wrong. If they were making money on those leads why would they sell them to you instead of use them themselves? The obvious answer is that they aren't making money on those leads and they know perfectly well that you won't either! (Of course once it a while someone will make money, but the VAST majority will lose money.)

When I called in they told me that if I spent $5,000 that I would make $2,000 per month forever and would turn a profit on the original $5,000 within 2-3 months. This is FRAUD. They know perfectly well that this won't happen. If it did, they would spend their OWN $5,000 and not MY $5,000 to turn their own profit in 2-3 months. Ask them what percentage of people who buy make a profit. Either they will lie to you or they will deflect the question or say they don't know. (They could know - they just don't want to know.) My guess is that it is well under 1% of those who sign up who make money.

Look around online. You will see a LOT of evidence that A) People aren't making money, B) they won't give you a refund.

Here's how they work:
They get your name as a lead from somewhere indicating that you want to own a business or make money from home. They have several reseller companies some of which as far as I can tell are Universal Business Solutions, AIG Promotions, Edgemont Productions, etc. I couldn't figure out for sure how they all fit together but you can know you are part of this same scam if you hear any of those names. Unfortunately, eventually they will change their names to something else because of all of the bad press.

The bottom line is that their REAL business is not selling merchant accounts, their real business is selling their SCAM to you.

Other things of interest:
Bank Card Empire currently has an Unsatisfactory report with the Better Business Bureau and has 76 complaints! That is a lot of complaints for a small company! According to the BBB the business owners of the company are:
Mr. Michael Malkin , Secretary / Treasurer
Ms. Danielle Ashrafi , Director / VP of Agent Relations
Mr. David Mersky , President
Mr. David Weaver , Vice President

They currently have 2 lawsuits pending - 1 in MI and 1 in AZ filed against them - both for fraud. (From what I can tell the principle owners seem to live in MI but the company is based in AZ - there is also some indication that they are based in Houston, TX).

Look around on the web - there are lots of other sites with complaints about them other than just ripoffreport.

So if you haven't bought yet - DON'T. Hopefully you are one of those wise enough to do a little research and realize this is a really bad idea.

#2 If you have been taken in, what can you do to fight them?

So let's say you have bought and realize that you made a big mistake. Whatever you do don't just be intimidated and walk away. That is what they are counting on you doing!!! They call it breakage and make a lot of their money because people are just passive and scared and don't do anything when they get ripped off. You need to do something. If not for yourself, then for the thousands and thousands of other people who they are ripping off. (I got involved with investigating them because they ripped off my neighbor who is mentally disabled and living in poverty and still they won't refund her.)

Here are things that generally work and don't work:


1) File a chargeback through your credit card or credit cards that you purchased with. This is the #1 most important thing to do. First it means you might get your money back. Second, it HURTS THEM. You see the bank that provides their merchant account watches to see how high of a risk they are. The more chargebacks they get (whether you win the chargeback or not) the higher risk the bank considers them. If they get enough chargebacks, eventually the bank will freeze their money, stop doing business with them and possibly even puts them on something called the TMF making it almost impossible for them to get a merchant account anywhere. The bank will take a reserve out on them depending on how many chargebacks they get - hurting their cashflow and ability to scam more people. Also if they get more than 100 chargebacks in a month they get on the watch list with Visa & Mastercard - something VERY expensive for them. If you have Discover make sure that Discover knows what they are all about and they will probably eventually take away their Discover account completely - Discover is aggressively avoiding merchanting these type of companies.

By chargeback I mean call your bank that you have your credit card through and ask to chargeback (get your money back) - have them use the reason code not as described because they promised you income you didn't receive. Or if they charged you more money than they told you they would, charge back using the fraud reason code. (Mostly explain to the person at the bank the details of how you were ripped off and they will help you out. If one rep isn't helpful try another until you find one that is sympathetic to you.)

2) If they fight your chargeback and win, chargeback again! This is super important. First, you have a better chance to win the 2nd chargeback than the 1st. Second, it counts against them twice!! So their bank looks at them as being twice the risk - if they got you for $5,000 and you chargeback twice the bank looks at it as $10,000 in chargebacks so you get to do double the damage! Eventually they will have to stop fighting chargebacks because if they don't they will lose their merchant account.

3) File a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General Consumer Protection division. The Attorney General's office is the one legal entity that can get to these guys - they have the ability to fine them, shut them down, and even put them in jail. It's their job. You can search online and find the website and file a complaint right online. Be sure to have as much evidence as possible of fraud. What is most important is to provide as much documentation as possible as to how they Misrepresented what they sold you - things like they told you that you would make money in a certain time-frame and then you didn't. In any case, file the complaint. The attorney general's office will pay attention to the volume of complaints - the more complaints they get the more aggressively they will go after them.

4) File a complaint with the Attorney General's Office / Consumer Protection Agency in your state. Most states won't do much but some states have very strict telemarketing laws that they will go after them for. If you live in Kansas definitely file with your state, because they probably aren't in compliance with the 7 day written right to refund.

5) File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. This makes their count of complaints go up at the BBB. It also takes them hours to respond to the complaint. Once the complaint is closed with the BBB (the BBB won't actually do anything) refile the complaint with more information. Once that closes refile again and again until the BBB won't refile it. Each time you do this, they have to spend a bunch of time responding to it and the BBB complaint count goes up.

6) Post on places like RipOffReport and other similar websites on the Internet. Be heard and tell your story. You may provide evidence for lawsuits - you will definitely hurt their reputation causing other people to not buy from them and to get their money back.

7) Be persistent on the phone with them. Every time you call in and argue with them about a refund you are costing them money. Don't give up. They have everything to lose. Not everyone at their company is dishonest, perhaps we can convince some of them to go find a job working for an honest company. You have nothing to lose - they already have your money.

8) Be creative. There are probably a lot of other things you can do that are perfectly honest and legitimate that will cost them money to keep your money that they should be returning to you.

Things that aren't all that effective.

1) Going to a lawyer or threatening them with a lawyer (unless you have a brother or uncle that will do it for free.) Let's face it - you probably don't have a spare $20,000 for the first round of taking them to court.

2) Going to the FBI, FCC or FTC. It's not what they do.
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