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Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com/credit-card-processors/appstar-financial/

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  1. Brian Shevlin

    Robert Close is the horrible unethical lying representative of AppStar that I had to deal with. I also, like every complaint here, was sold by a smiling representative who showed me discounted monthly rates if I switched to their company. After switching, there were more than 10 major mistakes and errors in the first 90 days, including charging me $109 in fees from the month prior to me signing up. When they were unable to do what they had promised, which was to transfer my Authorize.net account to my new account with them, they again charged me 1 month service fees of $69.80 for an account that they were unable to transfer. They are now saying I owe $495 to close the account that they could not transfer. This company’s purpose is clearly to prey and steal from small businesses that are unable to afford expensive lawyer fees to litigate illegal and unreasonable business practices. They lied to me about the actual fees, they constantly charged me incorrect and “accidental” additional charges every single month, just so you would be forced to cancel your contract with them and pay huge fees for canceling the account that they couldn’t provide. Sad, evil horrible business that should not only be shut down, but the people who operate this company should be investigated for criminal behavior.

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    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
  2. JOYCE

    I too have bad experience with Appstar Financial I paid my monthly fee for a year faxed the letter to cancel and then they took funds out of my business account Which I had to close to have it stopped. I have contacted the BBB in SanDiego and in St. Louis along with the Attorney General in St. Louis so far no help. How can a company still stay in business with these complaints.

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  3. Rachael

    Doug came in to talk to us about their merchant fee rates, which we agreed to. My boss had made it clear that this was just a meeting to talk about what they offered, not to sign anything that day. At first Doug was seemed nice, but when things got busy and said I had to go, that changed. I then said I would talk to my boss and call him back in two days and said what time I would call him at. Instead of waiting for me to call he came into the office two days later at the time I said I would call. I pointed that I had said I would call him, to which he responded that he is driving really far to meet me and working around my schedule. I said I didn’t have time to talk with him many times before I finally had to get my boss to make him leave. When my boss came in to tell him to leave, it didn’t go very well. Doug was on the phone with his manager and handed the phone to my boss so my boss could talk to his manager. His manager was very rude on the phone, even asking my boss why he such made poor business decisions because we wouldn’t sign up with them. My boss handed the phone back to Doug and told him to leave. The whole thing was very irritating, long and very unprofessional.

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  4. nancy

    Appstar is the worst credit card processor ever. There are many hidden fees. They are impossible to cancel because they make the rules up as they go. Awful company

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    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
  5. Tony

    A representative of Appstar Financial contacted my business and claimed to be able to reduce our credit card processing charges by a large margin. They wanted copies of our processing statements which is standard. The sales rep, David Beck, became very pushy and in a huge hurry to get a quote for my store manager. My store manager was scheduled for a “stress test” and David Beck, who represents Appstar Financial, was extremely persistent that he provide the information that he needed so he could get a quote. He then duped my store manager and coerced him into signing documents with my name in order to obtain what he called a quote, when in fact it was a merchant account for processing services. He then submitted this paperwork knowing that I had not signed or authorized my signature in order to create new accounts. He did so without any power-of-attorney or corporate resolution authorizing creation of any account or any binding contract for my corporation. When the paperwork was returned to my business, it was brought to my attention and I promptly told David Beck that I didn’t authorize, nor did I want any contract with Appstar Financial. He in turn then had a supervisor from San Diego call me and tell me we were obligated for this contract. This supervisor then advised me he would turn me over to his legal/collection department. My company is a corporation and it requires an officer of the corporations signature to make any legally binding contract, which it clearly did not, as I have not signed anything. The only officers are myself and my wife. This conduct is reprehensible and must be stopped!

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    4 / 4 found this review helpful.
    1. maureen

      All of you, you NEED to contact the BBB. No, NOT because they will help you, they absolutely WON’T, but so they will no longer be able to keep up the fraud of an “A+” rating. Last I checked they had over 200 really BAD complaints against Appstar, but amazingly, hilariously (if it didn’t cost us all so much) continued their A+ rating. I worked with one of the bosses there, and he said his hands were tied, none of us could “prove” Appstar was a scam, we had all “signed” their fraudulent contracts. Obviously, the BBB is not to be trusted anymore than Appstar. I worked with them for MONTHS on this; but it says right on their BBB page that Appstar has “paid” for membership in the BBB, and as I recall from the Dateline special, that’s what really gets you the A+. But I think if that 200 complaints number turned into 500, and then 1000, it would be impossible for the BBB to maintain and explain away the A+ rating. Please help, and lodge a formal complaint, all of you, because that’s the only way to protect future business owners like us, from going thru the hell Appstar put us through. All of you, do you know that Appstar has ruined all of our credit; it has. It is so hard to fight and disprove that.
      In our case, their own rep was so disgusted at our treatment, he QUIT, and offered to testify in our behalf if we wanted to sue them, or if they sued us. Like some of you, we got smart and shut down our business bank accounts (TWO of them!); but at the cost of our credit. I live to see these slimeballs, especially DAVID RASPBERRY, who some of you have mentioned, go to JAIL. Horrible, horrible, unethical crooks and thieves. They will not stop until all of us together make them stop! Report them to the BBB!

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      1 / 1 found this review helpful.
      1. Tony

        I have submitted a complaint with the BBB and have most of the complaint ready to file with the Texas State Attorney General. I am awaiting their response before I proceed with the AG’s office. These guys are really BAD!!

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        1. maureen

          Tony — I feel for you. I filed a formal complaint with the BBB, both in Texas and in San Diego, where they claimed to be based out of when I told them the contract was not legal under California law, where we signed it. Guess what? After months of proving to the BBB with paperwork, bank statements, an actual copy of California Law, and proving they were based in Texas and lying, etc………the BBB did nothing. They said “there was nothing they could do,” that all 200 of the complaints on the BBB site were “resolved.” I read most of them. they were “resolved” because Appstar made some horribly unfair “offer” that did next to nothing to rectify the problem. When the business would not accept such offer, as ridiculous and disingenous, the BBB said, repeatedly: “Business (Appstar) made good faith offer to resolve situation, client declined, this case is considered resolved.” It was absolutely maddening. I took it to the top of the San Diego office. They all said they were ‘very concerned’ and saw a “pattern” of abuses. But they weren’t serious. Appstar is a paid member of the BBB. The BBB does not ding the ratings of paid members. Google the story on the BBB in Los Angeles.
          Also of concern: one year ago when I filed my BBB complaint with the San Diego BBB, they had over 200 complaints on Appstar. Now, one year later, they have “208,” SEVENTY of which are from 2013 alone, AFTER they listed “200.” Pretty bad math, there. All I can figure is the BBB is REMOVING the complaints! There were over 8 in the last month alone! You absolutely cannot trust the BBB. Go straight to the Attorney General. Any of us here, I’m sure, will support you with our own cases if you need it. Send them all of the complaints here as well, and on the BBB site; they’re not blind. Good luck to you! Bring these evil crooks down!

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  6. Michele Murphy

    I am rejecting this response from the Business Appstar. My 3 year quota was up on 8/17/13 and customers should be able to cancel any time before it rolls over to the next year.(Like I did) Not wait thirty to ninety days before it expires in writing . I know It is in the letter I signed back in 2010 but, this is a way for this company to make extra money when My term was for filled and I called to cancel on 8/2/13 to not extend this service.. That means I called 15 days before my term was up that should be sufficient. I signed the documents 3 years prior. The letter that Appstar sent to you saying still keep my account open was because I was changing terminals. Please look into this company for it is trying to gauge small business owners by putting things like. “Cancellation needs to be in writing 30 to 90 days prior to year up.” Calling ahead of time to cancel is sufficient enough.

    NOT SATISFIED!!!!!!!!

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  7. Brandon

    I was a sales rep for this company. they actually have great rates but there is alot of hiden fees and the equipment prices are outragous. they didnt pay me nearly what i was promised and failed to pay me my final commission. I give them an F

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  8. Don

    I signed a contract with them and cancelled it within 3 business days. That’s when they gave me a hard time especially the manager Christopher. He called me a lier after I told him why i was cancelling and told me they would charge me the cancellation fee which they did. He was very arrogant and so was the local rep. These individuals woul not work with me and are not very professional, I will not do business with company again and will not recommend them to anyone. The agent also said that the reviews on this site were wrong and not true, don’t believe them.

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  9. Nick

    The rep Debra Frye came in to sign us up for Appstar, she made changes to the contract, when we got the paperwork in the mail, it was different. We we sent the swiper back and did not proces any transactions. Heard from other merhcants, that Appstar is the worse, $1200 to cancel, and they keep taking $75 per month from your account, plus $95 as an annual feee. Had to close the bank account.

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  10. D

    I worked for this company for one week and one day. They tell you 2-4 appointments per day is possible. I never received more than 2 per day. I ran 11 appointments. Of the 11 only 2 customers knew I was coming and actually wanted to see me. The rest either did not know I was coming or said they only booked the appointment to get the annoying telemarketer off the phone. Training was over the computer for 4 hours. They went through a massive agreement customers have to sign in about 10 minutes. Then they assign you to a manager and give you an appointment the next day. You have to check in prior to each appointment. After you are asked to leave, get a no or someone somewhat on the fence you have to call and your manager will ask to speak to the customer. Each customer I had I read the right way and knew they were not interested. But my manager insisted she talk to them and when she got nowhere she would tell me to move on and that person was a jerk. Every time you call your manager you are placed on hold because each one is dealing with a sales rep or sales reps in the field. It was terrible. From what I hear all processors are like this. So not just AppStar. Don’t waste your time working for them.

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  11. Greg

    I went into contract with Appstar about 1.5 ago. They didn’t pay my cancellation fees to previous to previous provider, as promised, I did not hear from agent since my contract started, even though I left him dozens of messages about it. BE AWARE!!

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  12. Tom Beecher

    I concur with this website’s review of Appstar Financial negative marketing tactics of repeated telemarketing calls using aggressive methods. Even after courteously informing them we’re happy with our current processing and not interested they continue to call. Time to reevaluate what this is doing to your name “Appstar”; Do not use “Appstar”

    Sincerely
    Tom

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  13. G. Mayfield

    I had a salesman visit my business from App Starr. Salesman had shady practices selling machines using the company name. Made several calls to the company and ran into a brick wall because company refuse to believe there was fraud on the salesperson part. Calls to set up account were in error which revealed the poor management and customer service of App Star. Appstar has been unprofessional, the salesperson rude and angry because he was exposed for stealing money from the potential customer. Further legal action has been taken.

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  14. Mike Grover

    While canceling with Appstar I was informed about the cancel fee and the very small window to cancel without a fee. Cost me $595.00 to get away from them. This was after many years with them. I also have never liked their billing fees. Stay away from Appstar!!!

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  15. Beverly Meneses

    My experience with Appstar is less than pleasant. On May 6, 2013, a rep named Daniel called our office asking to speak to the owner. My daughter answered the phone and asked who it was. I knew it was a sales call and I picked up the phone and said we’re not interested. Daniel says, “Well the other girl said the owner was available. I don’t know what you guys are all about, but I want to talk to the owner.” I told him we’re not interested and to please do not call again. He called three times in succession, each time progressively becoming more rude. The third call he said, “What are you gonna do about it?” after again, we told him not to call back. If their telemarketers are an indicator of how they do business, I definitely would not consider them. A quick search on the internet revealed the numerous complaints about this company. Obviously, they’re not worth doing business with.

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  16. Lenny

    Man called me at work attempting to trick me into having someone from the company come by our garage tomorrow. I asked what was in reference to and he said credit card processing. I politely said no thank you that we were happy with who we had and he proceeded to hang up on me. I called the number back and was prompted to join their do not call list and that they had purchased their leads from Dunn and Bradstreet but apologized for any inconvenience. 2 minutes later the SAME person called me back and I said you just hung up on me and now you are calling back. He responded with something like “well I get this all day people saying no, and not even giving us a chance and you aren’t the business owner so I dont care about anything you have to say. I asked him if this is how his company does business, to which he replied, yes, i am just being honest. I informed him that I am the office manager and make all calls related to our credit card processing and that we use the company our owners daughter works for so we will not be changing. After hearing that his attitude changed and he said ok and hung up. I just couldn’t believe the nerve he had hanging up mid sentence the first time and then calling me back again. If I were anyone I would NEVER do business with this company and I feel sorry for anyone who already has.

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  17. Jared

    I signed up for appstat about a year and a half ago under the impression I was not in a contract, I hate contracts, weather its my lobby rugs, telephone, uniforms etc.. I went to close my accout and they said I was in a 3 year contract and had to pay $595 to get out of. Everybody I talked to just kept reading the same scribt about the contract and verbal aggrements dont count.
    The papers I signed said nothing about a contract, but the fine print references another set of documents that they dont give you that says the 3 year term.
    I was lied to my my salesman and now hes gone, I owe $595 or If i stay they can give me beter rates now. I dont want to do business with someone I cant trust and you cannot trust appstar.
    Even if you stay for 3 years the window to cancel is very small, and then it auto renews for another year, but it says it all in the 20 pages of fine print that they dont give you and isnt anywhere on the contracts that you sing, but they can email it to you later.

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    1. Jillian

      We had the EXACT same experience!!!

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  18. Karen

    The complaints here about the salesperson and the cost of services and their collection practices is all too familiar. I did sign up with these scam artists but ended up never using their service; not even once. The cost was to be $29.95 per month plus a percentage for each sale processed and a small per item charge. The cost was negotiated to be less than what I was accustomed to with Paypal so I decided to sign up. Some months later when I discovered someone was taking $65 and $64 per month from my checking account, I contacted my bank to put a stop on the charade. I then realized who it was and immediately overnighted by FedEX a termination letter to three locations of AppStar. I explained to the salesman at the outset that I rarely use credit card payment services. In fact I have such a rare need for them that I FORGOT I had signed up with them until I discovered the charges which soon discovered had accumulated to over $500. When I received an acknowledgement from AppStar of my decision to terminate, they told me I would have to pay a $640 termination/cancellation fee. I told them I was not giving them one more dime for a service I NEVER once used. The man, David who phoned me the other day, says that it is stated right in their contract they will not honor salesmen’s agreements. Hmmm… Not even if it is writing on their Agreement form? So now they are going to file a report with the credit bureaus on me personally about my non payment for a business agreement. They have attempted twice to collect the $640 from my bank account using different ach names. Fortunately I bank with a small town bank who watches out for me. These people truly are scam artists. Watch out for them. I wish I’d looked at the reviews before I signed.

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  19. Mrs Gamez

    after 5 yrs of doing business with them, they stilled charged a 495 cancellation fee and charged me well over $1000 in fees. Do Not use them as your processor. My rating is a Big F

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  20. Jamie Bellows

    I had an agent come to my business to give me a quote. He came at 11:30 in the morning. I am the sole owner operator and employee of my business. He said he would be able to save me over $150.00 a month on my credit card services. First I would have to lease the equipment credit card machine,pin pad and check reader from them for 60 months. This was at a rate of 79.99 a month but he could get it down to 59.99 a month. Thats $3,599.40 it would cost me to rent this equipment. I asked how much it would be if I bought the equipment outright. Was told the cost would be the same. Then I was told he need me to sighn an application so he could get me a quote rate as to what I would save. Finally after saying “NO” I would not sign anything and he wouldn’t leave. I pulled the “silent partner” (my husband) card and said I would discuss it with him just to try to get him to leave. Still he wouldn’t go. Said he wanted a meeting with my husband. Called my husband knowing he had day off and said I needed his help. Meeting set up for 5:00. Finally he left my store at 2:30 . All the while I was trying to wait on and help customers. 5:00 came and he proceeded to put the pitch to my husband. Once again tried to get signature on application to get rates. This time with my husband saying”NO” he was able to aquire the rates. After some figuring my husband pointed out that I could buy all the machinary on line for less then a thousand dollars. That he might save me $50.00 a month, possibly. At which point the sales man wanted a voided check so we could sign the deal . We said no we would contact him if we were interested. At which point he went off about how could we not sign when he was going to save us $700.00 a year. When my husband finally losing patients raised his voice and told him to leave he did. A VERY BAD experience. And oh yeah he said at the push of a button I would have the thermal paper overnighted to me. I can only imagine the extra cost for that. My opinion is that this is a major scam and people should be warned.

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  21. Sean'a Puertas

    I have the same story.. The sales agent continued to come into my salon and acted so nice and sincere. As a new business owner I was a little unsure, but he explained everything to me. I signed the contract and now I’m dealing with the devil. 90% of his explanation was a lie! How he worded the contract was false. I have a small town salon and I’m being drown by fees and stuck in a contract that can only be cancelled for $400.00 they constantly charge my acct for this and for that… It’s exhausting! Frustrating! And just unbelievable how backstabbing an manipulative this company is. Run run run run away from appstar financial!!

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    1. Caroline

      File a complaint with BBB of San Diego, where the corporate office is located. Keep all records of contact, fees, etc. As of right now we are entering arbitration with them. They have done the same to us and have cost us more than $1000.00 ….good luck!

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  22. Sue

    Appstar contacted us surrounding our merchant account. We had been dissatisfied with our former merchant services, and our contract had just come up for renewal. We switched to Appstar, based primarily on their A+ BBB rank, which I confirmed personally. I guess the BBB is not what it used to be. Our problems with Appstar are that, once we changed over, they began to question us regarding large charges. On one occasion a client charged $6000 for new equipment for their office, and we were not funded for over a week while Appstar “confirmed” with our client by phone personally that she had made the purchase. It made it look like they were checking up to make sure we weren’t thieves even when we confirmed with them that this purchase had been made in our offices. We were furious. Our client was irritated, and it made our business look cheap and not trustworthy. When we called Appstar, they told us that we were only approved for charges of $1200 and that all charges above that had to be “approved” before we were funded. We never discussed this “limit” when they signed us up. The client’s account had been debited the first day, and we paid for the equipment a week before Appstar gave us OUR funds. I asked them what would happen if a client wanted to make a large purchase on their credit card and they said “we would probably have to see our financial statement.” What??? Then he went on to say that in reality that “they were giving us a loan when they accepted our customer’s credit card.” We never had this happen with our old processor–they just sent our money no matter how high the purchase amount. I cannot recommend this company at all. They make you look like you have bad credit or something, even though you have an excellent business and a good rating.

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    1. Pat

      You cannot rely on BBB ratings anymore. If you are a paying customer of the BBB you can get just about any rating you want. I even had the BBB call my business a couple of years ago and try to get me to join. When I refused, the salesperson threatened me and told me my business could get into a lot of trouble. I did an end around and got the guy fired. However, do not make big financial decisions solely based on BBB ratings. I no longer release any of our financial info to D&B anymore for similar reasons. My company is in it’s 60th year of business, so we are not new to running a business. You can find out a lot about companies on the internet. Take the time to do the research yourself.

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  23. Anthony

    I was pursued by appstar and how they were the best, there rates were better then my existing provider, however after i signed the agreement with them they gave me a limit to where i can only process payments of less than $500 and then they tell me that i was not approved for my online merchant service. I requested a higher limit but was denied so i was forced to re-open with my previous provider after i closed that account. Appstar will not let me cancel my account unless i pay $500.00. What i do not understand is how they can change what i signed for after the fact. There service is horrible and i was lied to. Now they want money to cancel.

    There service, after the fact and all the sales pitches, was not suitable for my company and was not brought to my attention until after i signed the contract. The issue was that i process payments over $500.00 frequently and i would have to have the customer call and approve the payment.

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  24. Dr. David Bennett

    STEER CLEAR OF AppStar Financial services. From start to finish they will make promises to get you to sign only to renege on those promises after you sign the contract.. When asked where the contract modification were they said that they will only send an “AMENDMENT” to the contract after the contract is signed.

    VERY untrustworthy AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

    Better Business Bureau of no help what so ever. Don’t know if paid subscription by AppStar to BBB is of any concern.

    [Last paragraph redacted for solicitation violation]

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  25. Caroline

    I am STILL having issues with this company!!! BBB is a joke in San Diego, they are not helping either! We signed, and changed our minds within 24hrs, but not only did they not honor the cancellation that was made, they took money out of our account each month, sometimes 2 times a month. Each time the merchant transaction ID was different and the amount of the transaction varied by a few cents or dollars here and there so it was hard to stop their unauthorized transactions with the bank. Not only that, but NOT ONCE did we get a statement on our “account” to show what the charges were for!!! *APPSTAR IS JUST A LEGALIZED SCAM!! & it appears no one is stopping them from stealing from all of these small business owners!!! They should have been put out of business long ago, but they continue to make easy money stealing!!!!! IT IS SO WRONG! I rate this company F-

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  26. robert

    was mislead into signing a contract. after signing, immediately retracted , sent back 2 days later cancelling as instructed, faxed desire to cancell as instructed, now being charged monthly payments, or i can pay $ 400 now to cancel.
    run from these people.i see why they have a d rating

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  27. Sue Bishop

    This company keeps calling my residence and no one speaks when I answer. I have tried to get my name off calling list, but they have deceptively added it each time. I want them to stop calling and remove my name from their list.

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  28. Steven

    I too question how Appstar got the A+ rating from BBB! I can assure you, it is not due to their customer service nor their honesty. If you are approached by these people, DO NOT sign a contract with them. They told me that when I finished leasing the credit card machine after a 2 year contract, the machine would be mine. The company that owns the machine says that is not the case and now I am stuck paying $54 a month for a CC machine that every other company gives you free when you sign a contract with them. Further, I have not received a statement for over a year, which is how I found this site….I was trying to locate contact info to find out where my statements were and came across this site and felt COMPELLED to leave a review……my rating….F-

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  29. Easton Yoder

    Appstar Financial is a scam company do not do business with them. I had a sales rep. come in an promise I would save $1,000 a year by switching to them. after all the fee’s on the bill i was paying 4 and 5% on credit card processing. I call every month to complain they didn’t care. then charged me $495 to cancel service. Stay away from this company.

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  30. LaVerne Dumas

    I have been with Appstar for nearly three years. During that time they have charged me an annual fee, a monthly statement fee, and taken $$$$$ every month far and beyond anything else I have been paying before. The saleperson talked a good talk and didn’t mention that there was a $450.00 closing fee. I hadn’t read the fine print until later (4 pages). I am trying to get out of the contract 60 days early and they refuse to allow it without the penaly. Don’t get involved with this company, they are rip off artists.

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  31. TIFFANY

    A rep (Haywood Scott) called from 877-553-1136 which shows on the caller ID as “800 Service” he was very rude and ended up hanging up on me. After reading these reviews, this was probably the best outcome. I called back that number and the automated system immediately gives an option for removal from their call list. I removed all my business numbers and then I went to the website to find a customer service number that would allow me to report the rep. This number is listed on the website (858) 712-0150 but it does not allow you to speak with anyone unless you know a name. At this point, it may not be worth it especially since, as previously mentioned, this is probably the best outcome.

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  32. Philippe

    I have been called over and over again by appstar, there are pushing it at every phone call. The last person that called me, beside interrupting me every word I was saying, was calling me “honey”, “sweetly” at the end of pretty much every sentences. Forced me to accepted an appointment. Now I am usually contacted on the phone from other company for services; in a year and a half of business I have never encountered a services provider that is so desperate and hard sell mannered. I strongly desappreciate there ill mannered still.
    On one side I appreciate that one person from that company told me about a certain “Durbin amendment: putting the processing fees down 50%”
    But nevertheless it’s too much hard sell for me to move forward with them without questioning everything the might want to say or sell.

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  33. robert jenkins

    I have been a consultant with this company for several months and have not seen any of the above complaints surface in any way. First, the merchants I have called on about 60% of the time fail to provide a current monthly statement as requested at time of my appointment. This is due to their having no statement from their current peocessor for the last 6 months or longer. Secondly, they are not too happy to even talk to me because they have been ripped off so many times by previous companies. No one undercuts our discount rates and I am a local rep and the only one in a 60 mile radius, so our service is beyond reproach. Previously, I was a banker for over 25 years and pride myself on representing our services in an honest, truthfuo manner. I constantly check back with my customers to see if they have any complaints or need anything else to help them in their business.
    I can say most of the commpanies I commpete against against do ALL of the things we do not do.
    We are not affiliated with “Summit Processing” in Ft. Worth, Tx.

    When Visa/Mastercard lowered their interchanage rates in 2011 App Star was one of a handful of companies who passed on these charges to their merchants. The remainder of companies added these charges thereby raising their rates! DO A LITTLE MORE RESEARCH IN YOUR WEBSITE!!!!!

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    1. maureen baumgartner

      Robert: You don’t know what you are talking about, because YOU are not a merchant getting RIPPED OFF by them. We made the supreme mistake of signing an “Application” “just to see if you qualify” with a nice local guy (who has now quit in disgust over this nightmare) only one month ago. We were never shown a “contract” and never shown or given the 19 page “terms and conditions;” he just said we could “apply” to see if they liked our credit. Turns out the “application” was a BINDING CONTRACT, it was “approved,” and a week later, they set a “limit” of $500 for our business. We asked how could we be bound to final terms that weren’t decided until AFTER we signed an “application.” They basically said too bad, that’s our policy, you signed. They KEPT our first $8000 in sales, and are STILL sitting on it. We have had NO money since December 17th, and are barely keeping afloat. Harry Mort, the “supervisor,” has made MULTIPLE false promises to release our money, on a DAILY basis, and every day, it turns out he LIED. They charged us over $400 in “processing fees” on $$ they NEVER processed into our account. Harry told me to refund my customers, then run it through again later when they receive their refunds. So I DID, just as he instructed. THEN, he now says, Appstar “accidentally” ran, “on their end” a DOUBLE $4,000 refund (I ran 4k as instructed, then they ran another 4k refund to the same customer “on their end” without my consent. They admit they did it, but now they say they are “holding” our other sales money, $600, hostage “until they get paid back the 4k they mistakenly ran a refund on.” WE haven’t received a DIME of this money, it is all Appstar holding it, and screwing up, yet they take NO responsibility for running a huge refund w/o authorization. I thik they’re lying, they just are using it as leverage over us. Our local rep is so disgusted and downhearted he called me to tell me he QUIT Appstar! Oh yes, more money in FEES this morning, $20 for taken 7 “25 cent per transaction” debit cards. That’s a debit card fee of $2.58 per card on small amounts! This is a scam company that doesn’t even tell you their “application” is in fact a “contract,” and that they “reserve the right” to change the terms after you sign. Harry NOW promises they’ll WIRE money to my account tomorrow “if our mistake is corrected and we’re paid back our 4K” for THEIR OWN mistake. Like every other promise good Ol’ Harry has made, this one too is a LIE! Just Google “Appstar Scam” Robert: and then YOU DO A LITTLE MORE RESEARCH!!! There are THOUSANDS of complaints like mine. In 21 years, we have NEVER dealt with a company like this. Harry says I am not “allowed” to talk to anyone higher than him, and will not give me a number for a higher up. This after I followed all his instructions! His WORD is not good, and he has zero integrity. He just whines: “I tried!” Now we have ZERO money and must borrow to stay afloat! The BBB is PAID by Appstar, it even says it right on their website! There is an AD for them on it, too! Robert, by now I hope you’ve quit in shame and disgust, like our rep did, who is an honest guy. You know thousands and thousands of us aren’t all lying and only YOU are telling the “truth.” Shame on you! Stealing from hardworking small business people! Didn’t your mother teach you morals???

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    2. Daniel

      I worked for this company and within 3 weeks started noticing more and more shady practices. The same corporate sales manager named “Christopher” in one of the previous comments supervised me. He quit the company April 7, 2014 or so I was told. This company focuses on dimwitted sales people that have a good heart to win over a merchant’s business. The merchant trusting the salesman (who to the best of his knowledge is ethical) takes the bait and signs a binding contract in which they call an application for a better rate. My sales manager didn’t want the merchant to read our “application”, wanted me to fill out the “application” for the merchant, and was not willing to give rates in writing until the merchant signed their life away. I was met with tons of opposition when I asked for details about our contracts and practices. I was repeatedly told that I’m a salesman and not a processing expert or a customer service agent. Which seems impractical since we’re selling on the premise of having a “local rep” available to the merchant. My sales manager tried to bully me over the phone into ripping off people and even took to coercing me into outright lying. I am guessing they didn’t want their salesmen to think and have their own mind even though this a 1099 job. This has been a great experience for me because I met several business owners and learned about the processing industry and this fraudulent company. This knowledge will certainly help me seeing that I am currently finishing up a business degree in leadership and entrepreneurship. I am sorry to all of you who have been scammed. Here is some information on the company: This company does business as Amazon Processing, LLC and that will also show up on a majority of their paperwork as this is the name they use in order to process through Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. The Leibowitz brothers (Mark and David) who own and run AppStar Financial also own Mulligan Funding, LLC. Appstar Financial purchases their leads for their sales through Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Also, you may want to take up your issues with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov instead of the Better Business Bureau which is just another company with less viable information than that of Fox News. Hope that helps!

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  34. Ascar Egtedar, MD

    This company is full of rude, pushy con artists. I never completed my application process yet they continue to charge my office account with false charges and are very tricky about it. Then they charge a $495.00 close fee to close an account I never opened! What a joke!!! You will be sued for non authorized transactions and to all the businesses out there…BE VERY CAREFUL ! This company is horrible!!!

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  35. David Reite

    Don’t Use Them, They are Scam Company, The salesmen lied to my face when I asked him what something on the contract said! Long story short, it ended up costing us $2.50 more to use appstar per transaction. I called up to complain about it, and cancel an they still wanted me to pay the early term fee. I told them, why when your salesmen lied to me about the % on the contract….Anyways I now have a ding on my companys credit report because of these !#$@#$% In principle I will not pay them.

    DON’T USE THEM! THEY ARE A BAD COMPANY, STAY AWAY!

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  36. Bernie Cavanaugh

    My experience was excruating. The salseman came to my shop with no shoes, unshaven and reaking of alcohol. Need I say more?

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  37. Jack

    In 15yrs of retail and numerous processors I’ve not run in to anything quite as bad as Appstar. The salesman was the most endearing quality within Appstar. Too bad he was terminated after 6 months. Within a year a competitor was able to beat their rates. So as a good businessman I changed processors – save money when possible- This is when the “ugly” side of Appstar appeared. Was told I needed to send a letter stating my desire to close account. Done -out of mind – next days challenges ahead. Well much to my chagrin 26 days later I received a statement charging minimum fees both for my credit card and debit processing. Call them to be told no letter received. Hmmm find original letter and fax again along w printout of confirmation from fax machines prior activities back 1 month. Done – out of mind- next challenge. Week later receive call from person stating they has best rates and how could I leave? Watch me walk out – should have run. 1 month later a repeat of the prior month – no letter received etc etc.. By now I’m close to livid – remaining calm knowing I’m dealing with challenged staff I attempt for the 3rd time to fax closing letter and ask for all fees to be reversed – was told “absolutely not!” That’s when I resorted to 1 “F-bomb” and was assured by the recipient that she would now guarantee my account to be closed. Finally The catch 495.00 to close account and 100.00 to close debit account(never mentioned). So for 595.00$ I am free from Appstar. May someone read this and not become a victim of Appstar Finacial

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  38. Bill

    the worst ive ever dealt with. They have lied and tapped my account for fees and charges that make no sense. Im going to cancel according to my contract 30-60 days from my anniversary date, but am worried that they will continue to bleed my account because of thier ambiguous contract language stating that they may, at thier discretion, collect “additional” and “other” fees from my account. Has anyone had any success with issuing a stop payment at thier bank to keep these vultures out? If so, what kind of fallout ensued?

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    1. Norma

      I tried the stop payment but it didn’t do anything and now will be closing my checking account. So I am sure collections will follow by these vultures. I also feel lied to.

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      1. TIna

        I ran two seperate businessess and therefore had two seperate accounts with App Star. Had the same problem with them saying they never received my cancellation letters. They continued to take the monthly fees out of both of my accounts for 5 months! Back in November they finally acknowledged my cancellation letter and took a hefty $495.00 fee out of my checking account. Around this same time I closed my other business and closed that checking account. I thought since I no longer had a checking account for them to rob, I was in the clear! WRONG! They went ahead and took the other $495 cancellation fee from my other business! Both businesses are LLC’s so I thought that offered me some protection but they said because both accounts had my SS# as a back up, they could take the money from any of my accounts! BEWARE! All in all they got roughly $1600 out of me!

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  39. Gem

    My recent story is so egregious, it is disgusting. The AppStar sales rep came into my retail store in the morning. I told him now was not good. He was persistent and listed off other merchants he said he had signed up. I then gave him my contract with my then provider, for him to review while I waited on customers. He came back to me and said they could beat the terms. I said what would be the lenght of my contract and any termination fees. He said, ” that is the beauty with AppStar, there is no contract. You can get out whenever you want and there is no termination fee.” He then highlighted where I needed to sign to implement the terms he had discussed with me. I signed where he had highlighted. He then gave me my copy of the application. I’ve seen discovered I have been hit with an annual fee of $95. I called the company to get an explanation since this was never disclosed nor in my application agreement (which is all he said there was…and I never received anything except that). The guy over the phone tells me my contract references the annual fee. I tell him I have no contract and what the sales rep had told me. He said he pulled it up and would be glad to send me a copy. I said no, that they had to honor what had been represented to me. He said for me to read page 4 of my application agreement….I looked at my copy the rep left me. He had taken out pages 2-4 so I would not have a copy of them to read later. I talked with 4 people today at AppStar. Each one was defensive and had no concern whatsoever about the sales rep’s tactics, deceptiveness, etc. I have filed with the BBB, hopefully they’ll do something. I am filing with my Attorney General’s Office also. Also, I let our merchant association head know. P.S., I have left 3 messages on the cell phone of the rep from the business card he left me. He has yet to call back, and one was from over a month ago.

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    1. Chang

      Hello,
      My name is Chang doing deli in sorrento valley area.
      I have almost same experience with you.
      Could you update me the next story?
      I made contract last december and I am still using Appstar but I really want get out.
      they charged $125 this month for PCI compliance again.

      Thanks,

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      1. Norma

        Your only option is to close your bank account and go rogue to make them work with you. Hopefully you did not enter into a lease agreement for any equipment. I was told that I was going to be given equipment and then I found out after I signed all the paperwork that it was a non-cancellable lease. I am not even the owner of record for the company and they are trying to damage my personal credit because I signed. I am now in settlement talks. I am not going down without a fight. Hurt my credit, way overcharged for several hundred dollars worth of equipment. I wish I could give you some good news, but I am on a mission now to make sure no one uses this company if I can help it.

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  40. Phil Hewett

    I was considering becoming an agent for AppStar, but after reading a few of these I’ve reconsidered. I’d be interested in the results of your full review. Is this the same AppStar that used to be based in Texas? Why did they leave?

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  41. Bridget Connelly

    We had the most bizarre experience with this company yesterday. It seems that they feel harassment is the way to go to get new clients. On Monday, someone from the Appstar office called and spoke with the person who works at my front desk (who happens to be my mother.) They said they would like to bring some information about their company. My mother said it would probably be a waste of time, since we are very happy with our current company. He said he would just send someone with some forms for us to look at. On Tuesday, one of their agents arrived with a form that had already been filled out and ready for me to sign. When my mother told her we were not interested, she said she needed to call someone from her office. So she went outside and talked on the phone and reentered about 4 times. Every time she came in my mother was more and more definite about how uninterested we were. I run a Pilates studio and it is really distracting to have this going on during a class. On the fourth time she reentered she handed my mother her cell phone and said my boss wants to talk to you. When my mother said she did not want to speak with anyone on her phone, this woman insisted. My mom told the man, very adamantly, that she didn’t want to be involved with their business in the first place but now there was no chance of it at all. After she hung up that phone, the man called the phone at my studio and told my mother that SHE was being unprofessional. I was not surprised to see all of this company’s bad reviews.

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  42. Todd

    I cancelled by merchant account back in June, to be effective on my one-year anniversary in August, to avoid the cancellation fee . AppStar continued to charge me a monthly fee, despite the fact that there was no activity on the the account. When I called them to complain about the fees and reiterate the fact the account was still opened, AppStar stated that they did not received the signed letter, and that they were only willing to cancel my account for a $495 fee. What?! They stabbed me in the back with the monthly fees, and then raped me with a outrageous cancellation fee.

    What a mess!

    Stay away from AppStar Financial. Process at your own risk…

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  43. Tracey Hartley

    I signed a contract in late Jan 2008 that renews automatically every year. I called this summer to cancel when I closed my business and I was told that to avoid a $495 cancellation fee, I had to send something in writing 30 – 60 (maybe 90) days prior to the anniversary date in order to avoid the cancellation fee. I have continued to be charged almost $40/month in monthly fees, including almost $8/month in a statement fee. I am upset about two things. First, they charged me a “compliance fee” last week of $124.75 for an account that they know is closed because I told them this past summer. Okay, fine, that’s understandable. BUT, when I called today, I was told that the amount would not be refunded or even prorated when my cancellation is finally effective. The lady I spoke to today said that I was told wrong this past summer because I cannot cancel early by sending something in writing, but that in order to cancel AT ALL I have to send it in writing 30-60 days before my anniversary date. I am irritated that I have to keep this checking account open to continue $40/month in fees, but I am FURIOUS that they will not issue a refund of a compliance fee that I did not SPECIFICALLY agree to, but because I didn’t opt out of it, they are charging me.

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Tracey,

      Sounds like they trying to make you jump through a lot of unnecessary hoops to cancel. You might want to read this post: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors

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  44. Daryl Cipperly

    I would like to let everybody know how unhelpful Appstar has been for me. I closed my business on March first of 2011, and my contract is not finished until September of 2012. I have contacted Appstar a couple of times to see if they could do something about the early termination fee of $495.00, and so far they have told me that they can’t do anything. After I spoke to them the first time back in March I did the math and my monthly fees would have been about the same as the early termination fee, so at that time I decided to just ride it out until the contract was up. The other day I got a notice of insufficient funds from my bank, and what I found out was that it was another fee from Appstar that I was totally surprised by. I went back through and looked at my contract again and discovered that the wording in the contract stated “early termination of this agreement MAY result in an early termination fee of no less than $495.00″. The “may” portion is what I am having a problem with now. That would lead me to think that somebody who was able to make a decision could look at the facts and work with me, but so far I have not found that person. If anybody has been in this spot I would certainly like some advice on how to find the right person to talk to. Thank you for your time.

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  45. Jeanette Driskill

    VERY misleading! Salesperson looked at my previous contract and told me there would be no problem canceling this service. I was in a 3 year contract. Now AppStar won”t let me out of my contract. We also had requested a much higher daily limit then we received and was told they could up the amount after looking at our checking account balances. Well we do not keep all our funds in our checking account and it is really none of their business, they said we had a good credit rating. Our main item is a $5000.00 piece and our salesman knew this going in. I am very unhappy and would like to get more information on how to get out of this contract!

    Thank You!

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Thanks for the information, Jeanette. Getting out of merchant account contracts is very difficult, but since you were mislead you might have some leverage if you threaten to report them (or actually do report them). Check out this post to get some ideas: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors

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