Report: #1144437

Complaint Review: Choice Merchant Solutions - Hartford Connecticut

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: JohnW — Sturbridge Massachusetts
  • Choice Merchant Solutions 1010 Wethersfield Avenue Hartford, Connecticut USA

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A salesperson from Choice Merchant Services came to me and reviewed my existing credit card company and came back with a report saying they would save me $64 in savings per month by using them. In addition they would waive a bunch of fees including start up fee and annual servcie fee.  The first bill came and based upon the same amount of sales it actually cost me $20 more. In addition they charged me a $95 set up fee. I called and was told that the set up fee would be refunded in the next statement--IT WAS NOT!

I called the actual company processing the fees (EMS) and they told me all of the annual fees etc were NOT being waived. This month I got my statement and it was $20 more than the usual charges on charges that were $600 less than my original company thus making it about $30 over that company instaed of $64 less.

They verbally told me that there would be no cancellation fee but now EMS states there would be a $595 cancellation fee or that I would need to fulfill my 36 month contract. RUN DON'T WALK IF YOU EVER SEE EMS or Choice Merchant Services try to solicit your credit card processing.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/06/2014 11:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/choice-merchant-solutions/hartford-connecticut-06010/choice-merchant-solutions-beware-liars-hartford-connecticut-1144437. 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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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Report this company to the BBB

AUTHOR: Bills-Mcgaugh funeral home - (USA)

POSTED: Saturday, May 16, 2015

Watch out for this company. I have experienced the same issues with them as well. I suggest anyone considering credit card processing to do your research. Typically, these type companies are very shady and love to lock you into long term renewal contracts (3 years). I asked for a copy of my contract that they said i signed but never received it. I've called 3 different times within 2 months and for some reason it never gets sent to me. My processing fees are almost as much as I run through the machine a month. I unhooked mine and went to a reputable company just a few days ago so they won't be getting 75% of my profits from here on out. Guess I will just wait out the next two years and pay their minimum monthly fees and cancel service then. Its sorry dishonest companies can get away with activities like this. Government regulations should not allow practices as this but then again, our government is just as bad.

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#5 General Comment

BEWARE - Very dishonest company

AUTHOR: tjr1260 - ()

POSTED: Sunday, October 05, 2014

Since posting my complaint on Ripoff Report, I have spoken with several people from the Choice Merchant Solutions outfit.  The rebuttal filed by them here is way less than honest.  They state that the rate was too low and had to be raised from 2% to 2.5%.  This is true and I did agree to it.  How on earth everything else was changed I don't know.  EVERY charge or fee was increased from what I originally negotiated.  Also, there are a number fees that I was dishonestly not informed of.  I went through this with the original agent, specifically asking about fees and whether there would be ANY other charges.  I was assured we had covered everything.  Not even close.  

Here is what I don't understand.  When I realized I was being overcharged in every area, I contacted the agent who signed me with CMS.  I asked him to pull my contract because I wanted to go over some of the charges on my statement.  He did retrieve the contract and it was EXACTLY like the one I have (Echo Sign document).  Of course he was confused also.  He said he would get back to me.  He did, a couple days later, and voila!, like magic, he now had a new version of my contract that I alledgedly agreed to only two days after signing the original contract (the one that was actually on file when I called and asked to go over some of the figures).  Apparently, after negotiating and signing a contract, I turned around and signed a completely different document.  Everything was increased and the cancellation fees reinstated, etc.  

Now, they are pointing to an Echo Sign document that I signed two days later.  I did indeed agree to the .5% increase on card swipes, but as for the rest, it is either doctored or I failed to catch their 'sleight of hand' switcheroo of the document details.  I am sure they will respond that it is an Echo Sign document and can't be tampered with.  I am sure Echo Sign would agree.  Just like Home Depot and Google and all rest believed their security is top notch and noone could possibly hack them and get millions of customer account details.  After dealing with these people, I am inclined to believe they knew exactly what they were doing and even keep their own sales staff in the dark, allowing them to believe the contracts they negotiate and get signed are THE contracts.  

The bottom line is this:  If you go with these guys, you WILL be sorry and it WILL cost you more to accept credit cards.  I thought the gateway service I was with was too expensive.  Choice Merchant Solutions reviewed my statements and sales and told me I would save money - UNTRUE!  It is costing more.  Be careful, VERY careful.  CMS has no concern for your business.  They are a just some guys who figured out how to steal your money and get away with it.  

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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to tjr1260 from Choice Merchant Solutions

AUTHOR: ChoiceMerchantSolutions - ()

POSTED: Thursday, September 25, 2014

This customer was originally contacted by us in regards to their merchant account. The customer was please with what we had to offer and decided to sign up for our services. Once the customer signed the contract and it was submitted to the acquiring bank, it was ruled that the rate that was offered was too low. Our account executive that was handling this account reached back out to the customer and notified them that the rate needed to be adjusted. A new contract was sent over and signed by this customer. Both versions of the contract that the customer signed were with Adobe Echosign. Echosign is a software for that allows parties to apply electronic signatures. In order to legally bind the customer to the agreement, the customers IP address is captured as well. This allows us to trace back the signature should an issue arise, kind of like this one. hereis an exert from the Adobe Echosign website explaing the valididity of electronic signatures ''e-Signatures represent an inexpensive and automated way to finalize contracts and conduct business amongst trading partners. This technology empowers those who want to expediently close legally compliant business deals, as customers can sign on the “virtual dotted line” in the blink of an eye. For several years, legislation in the US, Canada, the EU, and the UK has permitted the legal use of electronic signatures:

We have copies of both contracts with electronic signatures. Customer agreed to the terms of the contracts when the signed the application. If the customer would like to see the contracts or like proof of the IP address tracing back to their computer, those can be provided. No fraud was committed.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I have the same issue with Choice Merchant Solutions

AUTHOR: tjr1260 - ()

POSTED: Monday, September 08, 2014

I have been with CMS and EMS for about 6 months.  I have recently discovered that I am being charged more than my contract specifies.  I, too was told I would save money and was sent a merchant agreement to sign, which I did, and received a copy of the contract with a second page confirming that the contract was created by Marc Tenore of CMS and signed by me on 2/10/14.  When I contacted EMS, I had them pull my agreement.  It was totally different than the one I signed and was dated two days later.  They said it showed my signature.  Virtually every charge is higher than the contract I signed.  Some are twice the amount.  Not to mention, the cancellation fee, which is waived on my contract.  Over the past 6 months, this amounts to hundreds of dollars.  We are a very small concern just trying to get off the ground.  Last month, my fees were nearly equal to my sales.  They also neglect to tell you the CC companies charge extreme penalties for 'Rewards' card transactions. 

We are yet to sort this out, but one of two things is true.  Either they screwed up when the contract was filed, using the wrong contract, or they knowingly committed fraud.  I could easily give them the benefit of the doubt, except for the fact that EMS told me they had a signed contract.  I DID NOT sign a second contract two days after the fisrt one virtually doubling my fees.  Would you?  Would anyone?  

I will update this comment once I get this completely straightened out.  Thank you.

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#2 Author of original report

Let's Be Truthful

AUTHOR: JohnW - ()

POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I contacted you directly. You told me you would get back to me the next day to see what you could do. The executive at your EMS company which is the main processor that does your actual processing of the credit cards told me the same thing. I did not hear from you or him the next day. I called again and left a message telling you clearly that if you didn't fix the situation I would contact the BBB and the Attorney General. You NEVER responded.  I left the same message CLEARLY with EMS. After not hearing from either of you for days I filed a report with the BBB of the area for you and EMS. 7-10 days later I received a call from EMS person saying that his grandmother had died and he was unable to get back to me.   (For 3 weeks??) He then canceled the account and a couple of weeks later called to make sure everything was ok and then mentioned the BBB report. He seemed definetely more concerned with the BBB report than with my satisfaction.

I can only assume that both of you acted because of the BBB report and not out of concerns for me as a customer or you would have attempted to resolve things before it reached that point and you were given the opportunity to resolve that before it reached that level. If I had never submitted that report would I have ever heard from either of you??? An honest company abides by the verbal and written contracts. You could have gotten me on the verbal promises because there were no witnesses to that but to ignore the conditions you indicated in writing--why??

ALSO in your letter of terms and comparison of the rates between my existing company and what you could do for me did you not indicate a savings of $65+ by going with your company and in both the two months that I went with you it actually cost me $35 more for the approximate same amount of transactions?

You know-- I was willing to do nothing because I figured that the new credit card machine was kind of worth it.But when EMS froze my payment releases because they were investigating me --ME?? the company that has a spotless record and NO CHARGEBACKS in the past 10 years.  Then after an Internet search on EMS --your mother company--showed that they had done that to others and in some cases there were reports that they never released the money.  THAT was it.

Want to keep your company off of RIPOFF REPORT and other similar companies--then just deal with everyone in a manner that doesn't warrant a report being made about them.  I am a very busy person trying to keep my business afloat and to have to spend time writing reports and trying to get Attorney General forms, etc is something I don't want to do. But if it will keep others from having similar problems then it is worth it.

YES--EMS canceled my account and refunded the set up fee but it was only after the BBB report was submitted.




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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Choice Merchant Solutions

AUTHOR: ChoiceMerchantSolutions - ()

POSTED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Choice Merchant Solutions prides itself on customer service. This was a bizarre situation where an outside agent falsely promised the customer things they could not upkeep. Since then the customers account has been closed without being charged the $595 fee. The customer was also upset about the $95 account setup fee, which was refunded back to them. 

This instance was also reported the Better Business Bureau by the customer. They have the closed the account on this as we were able to refund the customer the setup fee and waive the cancellation fee. This situation should not reflect the way we conduct business. Being honest with our customers is a large part in building our brand and taking our company to new heights. 

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