About the author

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/commerce-payment-systems/

37 comments

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  1. Eugene

    I signed up for service a week ago and am still waiting to get paid for two processed credit card transactions. Their fraud prevention routine is ridiculously burdensome for both the merchant and his/her customers. At this point, I am not sure whether I have been scammed or just subjected to poor management.

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  2. david

    i want recommend CPs. they have been a wonderful processing company. I had 2 other processors in the past and none came close to the service we received from CPS.

    Thanks so much

    David Simai MD

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  3. David

    Account closed Jan 8. They took $9.95 in March 4. And just took 108.95 April 2. Called customer service and got a runaround. Just want my money back. Good company if you want to keep paying for nothing. RIPOFF COMPANY BEWARE

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  4. Had Robinson

    Every review above about sums up Commerce Payment Systems — lies, lies, lies and hidden fees everywhere. Stay away from these people!

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  5. Scott E.

    Sales Rep Danielle Cirillo talked a very slick, fast game about being the cheapest and best company around. I gave her the entire scope of my one-man business and the type of credit card amounts and transactions I use.

    Every step of the way she assured me that it was all a virtual “slam dunk” in terms of ease of processing and setting me up with an account.

    BUT BEWARE, after she sent me email notices saying all the usual hype like “welcome aboard” and “congratulations”, etc., etc., I received a curious letter 2 days latter from some idiot in the “underwriting department”. How this department operates is akin to a secret society of brown shirts. Once they use their sales rep to farm all of your confidential credit information, bank account numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc, they then send you a letter saying everything is all set up………except for one little tiny remaining detail: you must sign a one sentence caveat in their little letter that states you will never exceed a certain amount of money and that no transactions will ever exceed a 30 day purchase time limit. WTF???? As a talent agency for celebrities, ALL of our events are booked for advance dates that far exceed the 30 day limit!!!! So why in the hell did the Sales Rep Danielle waste all my time with filling out applications, mailing 5 different forms of private ID’s for “proof of business operating address”??? Something is rotten in Denmark and it ain’t the cheese!!! It’s bad companies like COMMERCE PAYMENT SYSTEMS!!! Stay the hell away from these scam artists. Read at least 5 complaint letters on this website and that should do the trick for you. They will face their own special reward at the end of life……

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  6. Joe Walters

    Wish I had read the numerous negative comments related to this group of crooked B’s before I used them. Thank goodness I caught this early and it only cost me a couple of hundred extra bucks for this scam.

    DO NOT USE THESE CROOKS.

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  7. Mark Tyson

    This company should be investigated and charged with criminal activity. How are they getting away with robbing money from our bank accounts!!! I have been trying to get my money back for two months and they move from one lie to another and one scam to another and the state of New York is allowing this to happen! If you speak with Gavi Liebviwitz or Jena from their customer service – hang up and DO NOT offer any confidential information!!! They will debit your bank account without notice, permission or conscience.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  8. Nate Johnston

    Worst company I have ever had to deal with in more than 20 years of business! Fee structure is extremely misleading. There are tons of extra fees on top of the .35% they take off the top for processing your credit card transactions. The fees are charges through third party companies instead of directly through Commerce Payment Systems, so technically they are only charging the .35% but the actual cost for each transaction is much, much higher than that.

    Stay away from this company! They will cost you a fortune!

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  9. jim o

    DO NOT use Commerce Payment Systems, it is a total rip-off. They will not return your calls but will take your money. I have had so many charges and have never used there machine. When I did get to talk to them all I got was a run around. I have cancelled with them but they still take money out of your account. When you talk to them they say we will put in for a refund and that accures at the end of the month. So far the charges keep coming in and the refunds are a joke!! Worst company that you could ever deal with! WOULD NOT want anyone to use this company!!! The best advice is to stay away from this company and change your bank account number….

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  10. alice

    Commerce payment systems has held tens of thousands of dollars of our funds. Their customer service is the runanround system and they currently are holding even more payments made to our company. We have to reconcileour books daily to make sure our funds are received. We cannot even get a return phone call from them.
    The funds are those we legitimately have received via our website from tenents. There are no unverified or bogus charges in the amounts withheld. In fact, they are entire accounts frim 2 corporations we own. DO NOT USE THEM. They are only great at the sales pitch. Afterwards they overcharge fees untill you call them on it and do not release YOUR money.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  11. KennyT

    BEWARE!! Commerce Payment Systems has an ALIAS: EVOLUTION BANKCARD. STAY AWAY!!

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  12. Patty Dowd

    Jay Leigh with the company gave incorrect information to gain a customer. We have cancelled and continue to receive charges that are not included in the contract. They deny receiving the cancellation notice and it has been emailed several times. There is no supervisor available to resolve issues after being placed on hold many times for hours and then Jay will not respond to emails or phone calls nor anyone else. This company should be closed down immediately. IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO GO WITH THEM FOR YOUR CREDIT CARD PROCESSING…DON’T BE A FOOL…TAKE ADVISE FROM ONE FOOL AND FIND A DIFFERENT COMPANY. FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH SIMILAR ISSUES, PLEASE SHARE HOW YOU WERE ABLE TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM.

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  13. Rose Ferraro

    We went through a 48 hour underwriting process to be able to take credit cards with Evolution Bank Card/ Commerce Payments. After this process they said we were approved to take payment. We are a contractor Elite Concept Services. We ran a payment for a large sum on July 23, 2013. The payment was approved by the customers card and funds transferred to Commerce Payments. They sent our account to risk management before we could get out funds. I had to spend hours providing additional information. They have us signed up to accept on line payments as well as a phone swipe. I had to go with the customer the bank to do a manual swipe. No one ever said we would need to do that. Once I provided everything to them they said 24 to 48 hours. Then when I called on Monday July 29th he said that we passed the risk management and it would be another 24 to 48 hours. I waited for the money to show in the account as of today July 31, 2013. I called to find out where the money was and they said they just received it July 30th from Evo international payments l the risk payment group. They told me they sent it Monday July 29th. Now Commerce payments told me today it was approved yesterday but would be 24 to 48 hours before we have the money. They are a total scam. THEY RIP YOU OFF HOLD YOUR MONEY> THIS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  14. Brooklyn

    What a group of unprofessional people. First off the sales rep. checked out my license picture and used his personal cell phone to inform me how pretty I was and when was I headed in his direction. Second off the swiper could not be used on my phone because of the operating system I was using. Already had the device mind you. My bank account was charged $48 for a security on the device. This charge was not expected, we were told there were no upfront costs or fees. Then the other lady Im in business with also switched to Apriva Pay with Commerce Payment Systems and was billed an additional $144 a month after we had returned all equipment and cancelled the account. Upon calling back, because they tried to draft an additional amount, we discovered the account still had not been cancelled and told we were not eligible for any refund. I called again 2 days ago and spoke with a manager the told me he put in a request for our refund to the security company and it would be 5-10 days. The first time the refund was denied was because there supposedly wasn’t a description in the complaint. What a racket, hassel, ect!!!

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  15. David Guzman

    This has to be the worst company for credit card processing I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. If you call customer service, plan on at least a hour long wait while you get transferred from department to department. If your company has charges of $500.00 plan on sending in everything to get approved for any amounts over $500.00 (they do not inform you of this up front). You will never be able to speak with anyone that can answer a question directly. They will hold payments for any number of reasons and in my opinion border on criminal. I intend to follow up with my state’s attorney general’s office as well as any federal agencies that investigate this sort of thing.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  16. Steve Oden

    By far the worst merchant provider out there. Fees were never what was quoted, never recieved monthly statements. Canceled account and still kept charging monthly fees. In the process of submitting a claim to the Better Business Bureau. Should have looked at the BBB report before going with them. Also you will wait on hold for 30+ min to talk about anything regarding your account. Merchants BEWARE!!!

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  17. Darlyn

    We returned the machine on 4/12/13 after only having it for 2 weeks. Not only have they NOT “cheerfully refunded every penny” like the website claims, they charged us another $20.65 on May 2nd! I have called over 7 times and had to wait on hold somewhere between 10-45 minutes at which time they always say the same thing, “you should receive your refund soon.”

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  18. Nic Huette

    Was told no other fees aside from their “low processing fees” yet annual fees unauthorized by me kept being charged with my monthly statement.
    When I contacted customer service they refused to return funds, especially after I cancelled my merchant account with them.
    This is a completely unethical company that takes advantage of businesses by passing on “made up” annual fees to merchants when Commerce Payment Systems should be covering those fees themselves.
    Go with a reputable company or local bank for card processing. My review of commerce payment systems is that they are snakes and liars and cheated me out of hundreds of dollars, wasted hours of my time, and caused me distress and frustration.
    I hope they get sued and would love to see a class action lawsuit filed against them and see them go out of business for doing business this way.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  19. dawn

    I have 2400.00 in cc charges and they charged me 300.00 dollars visa network access fees..22.78
    visa assessment fees 41.80
    pci-dss regulation update 99.00
    this is a scam company I’m going to my bank
    so scared they will withdrawl all my funds

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  20. Peter

    This company is the worst I have ever dealt with, I started a small business nearly 3 weeks ago and I have been processing transactions since day one. When I contacted them regarding my funds being on 100% hold they told me I still needed to fax over a utility bill which I did right away. Then after various emails probably 10 or so between myself and a rep and after I had faxed the document I then asked could they let me know when the funds would be removed from hold, a couple of days go by and no response so i send another email and still no response, one final email and another couple of days still no response. I then get of the phone, and speak to someone, they say “we just need a voice recognition” so my funds are no longer on hold now then? “yes they replied you will have then within 24-48 business hours”. After this I send an email to say that I have been a bit disappointed in the service as a new business owner I need those funds and didn’t see why they had such a lack of response. What happens i get phone call the day after that there is another problem, back to square one my funds on hold again, seemingly another document is needed. I then asked what would be the cancellations procedure, well you can refund every transaction or you can cancel and we will hold your funds for 180 days. This has and is a bit of a nightmare for me just now, I really dont have much money left and they will have 3 weeks of funds after this weekend of business, I am now getting short on cash after just paying my 3 employees there first salaries and I have stock to purchase before 4th July week which is going to be crucial for me. If I get the funds cleared by what I have read I may also have a shock with fees, and if I get them to clear the funds and I survive through this I will be looking to tie up with my bank that they cannot take any money from me and I will cancel and go somewhere else straight away. Really disappointed I fell for this scam company and advise others not to make the same miss-take.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  21. Dana

    Commerce Payment Systems is a SCAM! The sales person said they would save me over Square. NOT SO! Tons of hidden fees, charges coming in from Authorize.Net and American Express separately! Double charged or gateway fees. You can’t see all of this happening until the first statement cuts, 6 days after they bill your checking account! Super difficult to cancel, never received fax, customer service never gets me emails. Won’t issue credits/refunds. Square charges total for the month would have been $34.77. All the charges from me switching to Commerce, totalled $116.95 (for $966.96 worth of charges for the month). I just about fell out of my chair! This is highway robbery, besides the face they DID NOT SAVE ME over Square. BEWARE!!!!!

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    1. Dana

      Follow Up… asked to cancel last month, they give you the run around, say that the cancellation department handles all cancellations at the end of the month, but it didn’t get cancelled! Now I have $200 worth of PCI fees billed and I didn’t even charge anything! I just wrote to the attorney general’s office. I also sent my bill out on facebook to show the rest of the world what crooks they are! Hope it goes viral and puts them out of business!

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      1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  22. Gary

    Right there with ya’ folks! We started with this company in Jan 2013. Nothing but run around just trying to get set up. Online application had online signature option, then underwriting says signature doesn’t match signature on driver’s licensce – duh! Had to jump through several hoops just to get set up (took nearly 2 months)
    Gateway technical issues, finally resolved, then took 2 weeks to process our first cc transaction – had to send invoices to CPS to ‘verify’, some stink about sending 2 transactions through on the same day. Then find that transaction was way overcharged – CPS stated someone entered $10 instead of 10 cents on each of several entries, and that they would refund – didn’t happen.
    As others state, calling is all but futile. Customer service reps say anything to pacify – if you can even get through to one!
    Monthly charge promised to be $4.95 + $5.00 for gateway. Monthly charge is $34.95 every month. Tried to access my account online, when I tried to register, website stated I was already registered. Requested ‘forgot password’ web site stated would email password reset – tried this 5 times, and never received an email to reset password – so, I cannot see what’s going on with the charges.
    This month, June 2013 – $133.95 charged to my account. Am now going to have to go through the process to cancel – wish me luck!!!

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  23. Laurie Wilson

    Set up an account with Commerce Payment Systems. Paid $60 for a small credit card terminal to use in my android phone. I downloaded Apriva Pay as instructed yet I was unable to use the device. I called technical support and went through the setup process again…still didn’t work. They advertise 24/7 technical support yet when you call your are left listening to music most of the time. When you do reach someone you are unable to get the issue resolved.

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  24. julie yudowitch

    This company lies, cheats, and steals your hard earned money. Sales says one thing and customer service says another. They will make unauthorized bank draft from your account for fees they promised you would never pay. if you call customer service about it you will sit on hold for hours just to get hung up on. If you try to cancel the account they will say they are sending you a form but they don’t actually send it. You will actually have to contact your bank to lock these people out of your account in order to end your “service” with them.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  25. Artiness

    (Fixed errors)

    DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY

    I contact commercepayment.com but get a call back from commercepaymentsystems.com

    My Sales Rep: John Lane [CPS] Senior Account Executive

    Here are the discrepancies and dishonesty:

    1. Sales: The monthly service fee of $4.95 is waived in June 2013. (one month free)
    Customer Service: “It’s not in writing, we do not know about it.”

    2. Sales: Never mention of other fee, such as $69 yearly fee or when I will be charged for it.
    He said I will be paying only $4.95/ month beginning in July 2013, but June is free.
    Customer Service: “There is $39 or $69 fee for the terminal”

    3. Sales: Offer me the wireless terminal FREE of charge
    Customer service: I have to pay $300 for it

    4. Since I do not agree to pay for terminal or yearly fee, I asked for cancellation.
    Customer service said he will send the form on Monday June 3, 2013
    On Wednesday June 5, 2013 I still never receive the form.
    The next day on Tuesday June 4, 2013 I am being charged $19.95 for 2 times.
    (Luckily I contact my bank and file claim against unauthorized charges and I got my money back)

    5. Sales replied my email one time on June 3, and never contact me back
    I try to contact sales, John, it went to voice mail.
    I tried to contact customer service. I am 14th on the line, after 30 minutes, it cut me off.

    I am so sorry I ever believe in the dishonest that the sales department to lies for customer to sign up. The customer service does not care about customers.

    I do not know how people can work in a place like this.
    It’s golden rule. You do good to others, good things come back to you and vice versa.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
    1. Artiness

      Update: Here is the whole story in details one more time:

      Tuesday May 21, 2013 – I spoke with John Lane (sales person): I asked how much I will be paying and he said its only $4.95 per month and I will be billed in July. June’s monthly service charge is free. I looked through all contract and discount rate, and asked him many questions. He confirmed it is $4.95 per month. That’s all I will be paying.

      Wednesday May 22, 2013 – I got email from underwriting team of my merchant id number

      Friday May 31, 2013 – I receive a terminal that I cannot use because it needs a land line, and I do not have a land line. So I email John (my sales person) that I need a wireless terminal. I received no reply.

      Monday June 3, 2013 at 11:30am – Since I received no reply from John so I call customer service to explain that I receive a terminal that I cannot use I asked him to send me a wireless terminal in replace for this one, but he want to charge me $350 for it. He also mentioned to me that there will be yearly fee either $39 or $69. (that I never know about)
      The customer service said the company will charge me the yearly fee at the beginning of July 2013.
      So I told him I do not know or do not agree to pay those amount. My sale person, John Lane, has never mentioned to me about it.
      I asked to cancel my account on Monday June 3, 2013. The customer service said he will email me the cancellation form for me to sign.
      I asked him to email me right away, so I could do it right away, but he refused but he just said good bye. And as of Thursday June 6, 2013 at 3:00pm I never receive any cancellation form.

      Monday June 3, 2013 at 12:15pm – John replied my email that the wireless terminal should be free and he was upfront about the cost.
      I replied his email to confirm with him whatever he said to me in writing because customer service wants those promotion in writing, not verbal. After I asked John to confirm his promised in writing, I never heard from him since.

      Thursday June 6, 2013
      2:21pm – Got another reply from anonymous underwriter with the same customer service phone number to call again. (The underwriter do not have cancellation form to send to me)

      2:57pm I called again, 4 lines were ahead of me and finally I get to speak to Denny, customer service, after 30 waiting time.
      Denny asked me why I want to cancel, and told him the whole story. He send me cancellation form right away as I asked.

      It is very hard to solve problem with the company because sales do not want to bother anymore after they finish their jobs. Customers have a hard time getting through the phone line to talk to customer service people. There is no collaboration between employees within the company. Other departments do not care about any customer service issue. Sales want to sale and make commission, and end up manipulate customers to sign contract and withholding the information of actual fees and charges that will occur. The company then once have my bank account information then decided to take any amount of money out any time they want.

      Thank God..!! Finally I can get this resolve and no one would ever take money from my bank account again..

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  26. Shannon Smith

    Slime, slime, slime…
    I checked my bank transactions and saw a charge go through our bank account. There was another charge from a gateway billing company. Called Commerce and thier charge was explained satisfactorily. I asked about the gateway charge and the service rep told me I had to call the gateway company as they shouldn’t be billing us. Called the gateway company and was told that Commerce set up the account for direct billing to our account so between the two of them we are getting a double dip on fees. Gateway said I had to call back Commerce and get them to fix it. Waste of my time.

    During the original call to Commerce also asked the rep about a $7.95 Amex fee. He said that that was a merchant bank fee and Commerce was not responsible for it. He told me to call Amex and tell them that if they did not remove the fee we would stop taking Amex. I told him that we did not want to quit taking Amex. He said “they don’t know that.” I asked the service rep why we had to fix this when we did not give Amex our bank account information in the first place but Commerce did. He said that Commerce did not authorize it. I stated then that the only option he could give me was to lie to Amex. He said he did not tell me to lie, but gave me an option that I could pursue. Slime.

    The piece that bites me the most is that these answers came readily as if this was not the first time the rep had handled these issues or else there was already canned jargon that pops up on the screen for these twits to read.

    I WOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR MERCHANT SERVICES!!!

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  27. JL

    This company have kept over 6k from our company and 16k from our clients credit card, worst business experience ever!, we lost couple of our more important clients due to their multiple unauthorized charges, currently still dealing to recover our money since 2012, currently putting together al legal resourses to protect our company capital and evaluate damages.
    Doing business is a big challenge on these days but people without ethics like them is only taking advantage from many small new business.
    Recommendation: Save any kind of proof obtained from this company, letters, emails, telephone call records, request everything on writting to protect your company.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  28. Matt

    Im reading all these comments and im scratching my head… I signed up with them a year and change ago and theyve been nothing but a pleasure! Great customer service as well as really cheap rates.

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Matt,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

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  29. Connie

    Very poor customer service and it seems very fraudulent. What I told the sales rep and what is on the application are totally different. You can’t talk to them you have to wait for them to call you back. This company seems very fishy. Also they have an F with BBB

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  30. dung Tran

    This CPS is BS, it’s been 4 days and I didn’t see any fund in my bank account. Calling them every day, and they keep me run around with no result, they keep telling me that they are busy and it’s under the review, at one time they even asked my credit card to verify. I am switching to local. How do I get my money back from this Merchant account?

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  31. Sheila

    Very Poor Business Practices!Signed up with this company in Jan.2013.Actually did not set the cc machine up to start with this company till 3/292013.Called in that day to make sure everything “was a g”,was told by rep everything was fine.A month later our cc funds are not going into our business account.We call,stated signature was left off on the form.If we had npt called we would have been overdrawn.They never bothered to call or email us and let us know.When asked why they did not contact us,they stated we did in Ja. when we sent you the welcome package.Please! we did not actually hook the cc machine up until as I stated 3/292013.Good thing,we would have really been in the hole! My advice,find any cc processor,but do not go with these people! If this is not taken care of we will have to file suit as we have no choice.Paypal,the only way to go!And yes,they offer to businesses online or brick & mortar.TJB COLUMBIA,TN

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  32. Mike G.

    These guys are the worst merchant service ever! They completely BS the customer with false rates and they fail to tell you about all the monthly surcharges. When I asked why I was billed fees that weren’t in my contract, they said the very fine print says they have the right to change policy at ANY TIME WITHOUT INFORMING THE CUSTOMER!
    Do not use this company!!

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  33. MT

    CPS was the worst merchant credit experience ever! I wish I knew of this review site and had read Chris’s comment before I signed up. When I asked why I was billed fees that weren’t in my contract, they said the very fine print says they have the right to change policy at ANY TIME WITHOUT INFORMING THE CUSTOMER!
    Even after they emptied my bank account, I received no notification of any kind. They also seemed to have overcharged for processing payments. Sometimes calls would be answered by a “No longer in service” message or no call back. After nearly a month, I still have not received a response to my request to cancel, in spite of both calls and emails, it’s always “still in process”.

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  34. Chris

    ABSOLUTE worst credit card processing company we worked with. Lies, lies, and more lies re their fees, customer service, and reliability. I hope anyone who is considering signing up with these characters reads all the negative reviews and choose any other reputable company out there.

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