Eliot Management Group (EMG) Review

Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating

Eliot Management Group

"D" Credit Card Processor Rating

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Eliot Management Group Overview

Eliot Management Group Logo

EMG Logo

Eliot Management Group (e-mg.com) is a mid-size merchant account provider based in Fort Worth, Texas, that appears to have opened its doors in 1999. The company provides services to small businesses for credit card processing, debit card processing, gift card processing, check processing, and merchant cash advances, as well as supplying processing equipment and online payment gateways.

Eliot Management Group is an ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank and may be under the same ownership as, or have ties to, Appstar Financial, Apex Merchant Group, Trans Tech Merchant Group, Summit Merchant Solutions, First American Payment Systems, and Certified Payment Processing, as suggested in several merchant reports. Although no public information exists to verify these claims, most of the mentioned companies share very similar complaints. Eliot Management Group’s headquarters can be found at 100 Throckmorton Street, Ste. 250, Ft. Worth, Texas 76102.

Eliot Management Group Sales & Marketing Tactics | D

Eliot Management Group seems to rely primarily on an “agent hiring mill” marketing strategy wherein the company actively recruits and hires both independently contracted sales agents and internally employed sales representatives. Additionally, the company engages heavily in telemarketing and appointment setting.

Based on merchant complaints, it appears that agents are either poorly trained in the terms and conditions of Eliot’s merchant account agreement or are encouraged to omit important details during the account setup process. This is evidenced by numerous merchant reports claiming surprise over fees and service commitments, and complaints of misleading sales tactics. At minimum, the complaints suggest a lack of oversight that allows many agents to engage in deceptive sales practices and that Eliot often enforces the contracts even when merchants claim that an agent misled them.

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated sales practices]

Eliot Management Group Costs & Contract Terms | D

Costs and fees of an Eliot merchant account will likely vary based on the agent setting up the account as well as a merchant’s business type. Numerous merchants report that actual fees are much higher than what they were originally quoted and that they experienced several fees that were never disclosed prior to account setup.

In addition to processing fees and other monthly fees that can vary, Eliot’s standard merchant account agreement includes an annual PCI Compliance fee reported to be $125 per year, a three-year service agreement that automatically renews for one-year terms, and a $495 Early Termination Fee (ETF). Both of the fees are automatically debited from a merchant’s attached checking account and there is only a small window of opportunity to cancel service before the service agreement renews. Eliot Management Group also appears to partner with Northern Leasing to sell equipment leases.

Eliot Management Group Complaints & Service | F

We are currently able to locate over 140 Eliot Management Group complaints on this and other consumer protection websites, and many of these complaints outright allege that EMG is a scam or a ripoff. This is a high number of complaints in comparison to similar-sized providers. The overwhelming themes of the complaints are reports of hidden and undisclosed fees, unauthorized debits from checking accounts, inability to resolve problems, difficulty cancelling service, and poor customer support. Many of these problems seem to be traceable to deceptive sales tactics used by agents and failure to verbally disclose important fees and conditions prior to setting up accounts, instead relying on merchants to read the fine print. With the exception of complaints to the Better Business Bureau, it appears that, in many cases, Eliot’s management chooses to enforce contracts rather than satisfy merchant grievances.

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated customer service]

Eliot Management Group BBB Report | D (CPO Adjusted)

As of this review, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is giving Eliot Management Group a “C+” rating based on 153 complaints filed within the last 36 months. The complaints are divided into 98 regarding problems with products and services, 32 with advertising and sales issues, and 23 with collection and billing disputes. All but four of the complaints have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction, which seems to confirm merchant claims stating that Eliot only worked to resolve their problem once they contacted the BBB. We have adjusted the rating of this section to a “D” for the purposes of this review according to our own rating criteria.

Bottom Line

Eliot Management Group rates as a substandard merchant account provider according to our rating system. Like the companies with which Eliot Management Group is allegedly affiliated, Eliot suffers from numerous complaints of deceptive sales tactics by agents, nondisclosure of important fees and conditions, and poor customer support when attempting to resolve problems or cancel service. The company can improve its rating by amending unfriendly and predatory contract policies and eliminating complaints of deceptive sales tactics, unauthorized debits, and poor customer support.

Leave your review of Eliot Management Group in the comment section below:

Eliot Management Group (EMG) Review

Rated 1 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-17 15:21:59

We are currently able to locate nearly 300 Eliot Management Group negative reviews on this and other consumer protection websites, and many of these allege that EMG is a scam or a ripoff… Eliot Management Group (e-mg.com) rates as a substandard merchant account provider according to our rating system… Learn more in this Eliot Management Group review.

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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.

Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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  1. Judy

    Everyone should file a complaint with the Attorney General of their state. I am seeking a private attorney. It’s only a $495 termination fee but they continued to extend my contract on behalf of a “RATE REVIEW” with holding information that it renews my contract. The hook…. I didn’t ask for a rate review they have on file a Bonnie. I am not Bonnie. They let you go around and around. STOP this company from fraudulent contracting. I may have to take them to small claims.

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  2. ReTile

    To Eliot Management Group new customers,

    SCAM, SCAM, SCAM, don’t sign on with them they say they will save you money and better then square but the fact is with the monthly fees that add up and the credit card charge fees will be just about the same or more than square. We made a huge mistake by signing on with them and for only a month in we were being charge all kind of fees and not even made a single transaction. They say $20 monthly fee turn out its $45 dollars fee and the rate they promise of .59% was only if it’s a qualified regulated (no explanation as to what is consider qualified regulated) or else we will be charge from 1.59% to 3%, turn out their rate is higher than square. Please, do more research and absolutely don’t sign a contract with them. Everyone who give a negative review on here is in fact been hurt by them and they are speaking out because of great dissatisfaction.

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    1. Richard Aleksander

      Direct your complaint to the Better Business Bureau in Fort Worth. They have an online form to save time.

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  3. Margaret

    I wish I would have done a little more research before “signing” with Elliott Management. The rep made it sound like I was “just giving it a try” to see how much money we would save. We just had to sign the standard paperwork to keep his boss happy. He did not mention that in fine print in the middle of 15+pages of paperwork we were committing to a 3 year contract with a hefty cancellation fee. Okay, I could accept responsibility for my ignorance and live with that especially if indeed we saw the savings on our credit card processing fees that he claimed we would. After one year of using this processing company our total dollars of credit card charges were down but the dollar amount of the fees were significantly up! I understand that different cards carry different charges but how does one really know if you are receiving competitive rates on your processing? I know I find it very confusing and almost impossible for the average customer to be able to verify this. So my advise would be to go with someone you trust (like I had before I left for the allure of savings) and hang up on all those callers who want to give you a “free analysis”. From my experience Elliott Management is not a company you can trust..

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  4. Richard Aleksander

    Just found out that Tony Tinderholt, Director of Recruiting and Training for Eliot, is running for State Representative from Fort Worth, on a campaign platform that includes the military invasion of the nation of Mexico. Here’s the web page of Fort Worth Star Telegram’s editorial about him; the comments section includes a post which I wrote. http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/10/04/6173108/invading-mexico-is-not-a-good.html

    Eliot has a long history of misleading its clients, abusing Eliot’s access to the banking accounts of its clients and mistreating its own employees.

    Given the custom of Republicans to appoint officeholders from regulated industries to regulate their own industries, the candidacy of Mr. Tinderholt to the Texas legislature should be a warning to consumers, small businesspeople and anyone else concerned with fairness in business: Don’t put the fox in charge of the henhouse.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.

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