Complaint Review: Leaders Merchant Services - Camarillo, CA California
Leaders Merchant Services Charged $350 after my account was only open 12 hours and wasn't told I even signed a contract Camarillo, CA California
As you'll find all over the internet, Leaders merchant services is about as shady a company as you could ever imagine dealing with. You'll go to their website, fill in the fields for a free estimate for services and one of their sales people will call you back........every, single, day....until you answer or call them back. The conversation will of course be pleasant because they're about to lock you into something pretty sinister and this is where they get you:
You'll be told you're filling out an APPLICATION. Not a contract or an agreement to service, merely an application fee. This was explained to me as merely a formality to see if I qualify. They take various forms of information from you as is typical, name, birthdate, address, etc etc. You're then sent an email where you get a breakdown of the fees you'll be charged (which after seeing this I should've just told them I wasn't interested in $30 a month plus all the other additional nickel and diming they do to your account) and then you're told to acknowledge the bottom of the form so they can process it and give you additional pricing. Because I assume that not every business or human being working within them are scum I agreed.
Well shortly after that I apparently have an account already setup and access to my portal would be available within the next 48 hours. I formally agreed to none of this and couldn't see any small print when sending back the application, but apparently I was now in a contract unbeknownst to me.
This obviously didn't sit right with me so within 12 hours of opening the account I immediately put through to cancel it. Even this process is deceptive. You're emailed a "Merchant Closure Form" in which you fill out the particulars of your account. I actually had to wait a day or two to eventually do this because I had cancelled so early that they didn't even have a merchant account number for me yet (which I believe is probably also done purposefully).
After I finally received it, I sent in this merchant closure form which NEVER once, anywhere on the form tells you you'll be assessed a $350 cancellation fee. I believe this is done so they don't have to deal with irate customers over the phone. Instead you'll wake up one morning, check your bank account and see that this sneaky company has stealthily taken out $350 from your balance. At that point you get irate.
I called them and they of course informed me that I did in fact sign a contract, not an application form, and that I was being assessed an early termination fee for cancelling. I told them that I never signed a contract and the only thing I was ever sent to actually sign digitally was an equipment form to pay for merchant card readers, etc. of which I never signed and sent back.
The woman over the phone said she was looking at my forms on her computer screen (Forms I never even received after signing up apparently so I have no idea what they even say) and that the fee is the penalty for cancelling. She told me that she could transfer me to some other random department but at this point I told her that Leaders can just talk to my bank instead.
I filled out a multiple page letter of fraud with my banking institution in which I used a debit card for the "application process" merely to open the account. (As an aside, from a business standpoint NEVER use a debit card like I did to ever establish service with anyone. Only use a business credit card, that was my mistake and one I won't be making again.)
My bank immediately refunded my account the $350 and I'm assuming Leaders were told they would NOT be receiving any further funds from this particular bank because they immediately tried taking money out of my actual business account next. However for this account I only keep the minimum in it to avoid fees at this time so again, a swing and a miss by Leaders. B
e that as it may, this company is just trying to get that money through very deceptive means by using the banking information I gave them for the merchant account itself. At this time I will also be contacting the attorney general and if they continue to make a collection after deceptively roping myself and many others into contracts when told they're application forms, nothing else, I will more than likely file a small claims suit with the city of Camarillo as well.
Do NOT do business with this company under any circumstances. Even their testimonials are apparently fake as mentioned in numerous REAL online reviews of the company. Evidently all the IP addresses come from India but the companies praising them are all in the United States.
I honestly don't understand how business like these are allowed to hold a license and take money from other businesses. I will not be making any more mistakes with them or anyone else in the future. Always do your due diligence on every entity you decide to do business with. There's thousands of companies out there just like this one.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/15/2019 01:21 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/leaders-merchant-services/camarillo-ca-california-after-1477102. 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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