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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20 comments

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  1. Keith T

    BEWARE OF THIS BUSINESS…I was referred to encore so I called them. I told them I want a transaction by transaction account. they told me that they would have to charge a higher percentage per transaction. I agreed to that so long as there was no contract binding me if my new small business failed. After obtaining their equipment I was being charged about 10% per swipe. Being a repair facility that could be $100 per swipe. I closed the business but still kept my account open with Encore and paid their monthly account fees. After having them for a year I call and told them that I wanted to cancel and was told that I could not unless I paid a penalty for breech of contract. Well to make it short. Instead of transaction by transaction they tricked me into signing up for a 4 year contract. DIRTY BUSINESS TACTICS………….BEWARE

  2. David

    The Texas attorney general needs to monitor the owners and managers of this company. The rep (Joe) gave me story on how smooth everything would be because I already used EPN (software) and didn’t need a card reader. Not true. they wanted to set me up with a new EPN and “charge me twice”. For all the rate discounts it doesn’t make sense when the fees are enormous, you can’t have continuity or control of your business.

    He promised to follow up but, never did.

    I hope they don’t burn me when I try to cancel?

    1. David

      Follow up to my January 20, 2014 post.

      Well, things were quiet and I thought that Encore respected my multiple requests to not engage their services for reasons previously stated. Today, March 6, 2014 I received my first notification that they debited my business banking account for $67.00.

      Encore Payment Services and it’s owners, managers, and apparently employees/contractors are collectively scam artists, liars and thieves. My thief is named Joe Barrett (214) 796-9110. He allegedly grew up in Kopprel, Texas according to him. The reason this was slightly important in mentioning is that he looks you right in the eye with awe shucks country talk and after he was through I mentioned to him I actually know the town well as my Father was a school administrator there after he retired from being a full time administrator in another district. When I mentioned this to Joe he became kind of white and I should have taken the papers out of his hands at that moment, torn them up and kicked him out of my home, (yes home) where he showed up to meet me unannounced.

      Warning to all business owners. I now get to go through the unpleasant task of closing my business checking account because of this. They won’t fix the problem they just lie and lie and lie drag it out until they get their hooks into you.

      At least half of my business I provide direct services to law enforcement, Judges and District attorneys. If I ever would call in a favor it would be on Encore. This business must be stopped!

      I am highly disappointed and disgusted. I will never speak to any credit card processor company again.

      1. Michael

        ENCORE BIGGEST SCAM credit card company today.
        I was also scammed in 2011-2013 (post mar 8 2013)
        Still upset that they continue to ripoff the consumer and are still in business.
        Biggest scam company around but keeps on ticking.
        Unbelievable they still exist with such poor ethics.
        Switched to world pay and am very satisfied.

  3. Jen L.

    Horrible customer service. The sales rep flat out lied regarding the terms, fees, rates and the fact that she was coming back the next day with my copy of the contract. They do not have the original either, just what the rep faxed them which is unreadable so I have no way to know what was in the blurry microscopic print. When I went to cancel after the contract was up, I was informed that I didn’t give 60 days notice prior to the 2yr date so it automatically renewed for another year. Now our machine broke and they refuse to program a new unless we lease it from them which is a 48 month lease at $39/month. The leasing people are aggressive and call and hang up on my employees once they say their name and it’s not me (hello, we have caller ID). I called them today to beg them to waive the $395 cancellation fee as I completed original contract and now we cannot take credit cards as I refuse to sign their lease. I asked her if she could reply to my one of my 5 previous emails so I could have something in writing and she told me to have an attorney contact them if I wanted anything in writing or a legible copy of my contract. Are they lying about something in the contract? Definitely something shady going on here.

  4. Chad G

    I have a very busy practice. The Encore representatives would call repeatedly and would not let my staff off the phone. Finally I instructed my staff to hang up on them because you could never get a word in edgewise to explain that we had other patient calls to tend to. Their sales tactics are very poor and aggressive. It is beyond me how anyone would become their customer.

  5. Maximilion

    WHAT A JOKE!!!!!! The WORST company I have ever dealt with!! I processed a cc for $1000.00 yesterday and they are now telling me that I can not have the money because it is over what my usual sales are. I faxed a copy of the signed cc slip and also a not signed by the customer, still I am told I need to refund the money to the customer and have them pay another way. This is just crazy!!!!!! HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE COMPANY

    1. Maximilion

      Well, now this BS company is holding over $6500.00 of my companies money due to the fact that we ran a card for $1000.00 which was over our “normal” ticket. WHAT A JOKE! You call the company to get answers and just keep getting pushed off to another person. We are a local family owned company that relies on the credit cards we process to go into our bank account so we can pay our bills. I would trust the bum living under the bridge down town with my money before I would ever trust this JOKE of a “company”!!! BEWARE!!!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ENCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Yu Whish

    As a former employee of this hell hole, I can confirm all of these comments. This place is a COMPLETE joke. All of the employees are completely uneducated about the products and services. This is because #1 the company doesn’t train anyone and don’t have any good documentation or internal resources and #2 their hiring strategy involves hiring the cheapest labor possible which amounts to a staff with not a whole lot of experience, intelligence, motivation, or general apptitude/skills to learn or perform even the simplest of tasks. Encore is completely unorganized, dysfunctional, and no one is on the same page. Internal communication is extremely poor. There are no cohesive well defined company values or mission whatsoever. Their ONLY focus is on CLOSING SALES. PRODUCTS, SERVICES, CUSTOMERS, AND EMPLOYEES ALL TAKE A BACK SEAT, AND IT SHOWS!

    If for some reason you choose to do business with these shady people, at least keep these points in mind:
    #1 DON’T LISTEN TO SALES REPS. READ YOUR ENTIRE CONTRACT AND MAKE AN INFORMED, INTELLIGENT DECISION BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING!
    #2 DON’T LEASE ANYTHING! Buy a broken terminal online for a couple bucks and tell them you want it reprogrammed. When they can’t get it downloaded, they will offer you free equipment.

  7. Andrew

    I worked for this company with the promise making huge bonuses. Although I did make 3100 on my first 2 months I shelled out over 600 in gas money not to mention the 5000+ miles I put on my car. My first month I went over 1000 min on my cell phone plan mostly due to being on hold for at least 2+ hours a day. When I started training they told me 3 year agreements, I wrote it down 3 different times. Then when it came to my first sale I was told no its a 4 year agreement. This company has serious communic accation issues and customer service is not a priority. I had a customer that had equipment that wasn’t working they called me and I called on behalf of the merchant only to get the run around. The. Merchant never got any help and canceled his account because of it. The final straw for me was when a team leader named jeff that does the morning conference calls told ke to lie to a customer and don’t worry about it because he does it all the time. I’m far from perfect but the policy on being “ethical” is far from the truth. They lease equipment for $2500 plus that you can get online for 250 total. They have an annual fee of 99 dollars and a set up fee of 125. They also send you on bogus appointments and micro manage every minute of your day. Imo good intentions but very poor follow through.

  8. Michael

    BEWARE: Encore systems is a fraudulent ripoff scam. Cancelled my contract July 2011. They continued to debit my bank account for 1 1/2 years before I found out. They claimed they didnt receive the signed termination letter I sent. I cancelled again in Dec 2012 and again they claimed the letter they received wasn’t signed. My banker called and made them verify the letter was indeed signed and demanded Encore to stop billing my account. Termination date was now officially Dec 28, 2012. On March 06 they charged my account $250 cancellation fee even thou my original 3 year contract expired in Jan 2012. Encore intentionally procrastinated and claims the contract automatically renews annually after the original contract expired. Encore systems is a scam and I will be pursuing legal actions against these clowns to stop this nonsense of ripping off the consumer. A class action lawsuit should also be initiated against them for this Scam they are running. I strongly recommend any other bankcard processing company out there and if you are dumb enough to sign a contract with encore make sure your attorney reads the contract before you sign.

    1. Mark Rushing

      Anyone interested in filing/joining a class action suit against Encore, drop me a line. I am in a legal battle with them right now and I never even activated my service or signed a contract. I signed an application which they now say is a contract and was supposed to get a copy the following day.. Never happened. When I did get hold of the rep he said that he had quit because they are crooks so I called them and spoke with their district manager who said they had fired the rep because he was a crook. Bottom line, I am out around $400 and have never even unboxed the machine, I cancelled and they pulled the old it wasn’t signed game on me as well so I sent them six more copies all signed and they still drafted another $76.50 and reported they hadn’t received the cancellation order till it was too late even though I have transmission receipts showing that it was received. These people are a complete rip off company from their sales force all the way to the management. Management tried to play me along until they could get me beyond the 60 day trial period so they could hit me with another $500 for ETF.. They are scum of the earth and I will get my money back plus some.

      1. sharon mckinnis

        I would love to enter into a class action law suite this company is horrible. The rep misled me into signing a contract with knowing about the rebate that was to accompany the monthly cost. The numbers were double the amount I was told. Upon my first bank statement charges were added with a check cashing process I did not agree to. I called the sales rep Shyla Goodwin of Citrus County Florida to explain these fake amounts. She tried to tell me that she herself was unaware of the rebate that should have been on my account.Shortly after she no longer answered her phone to settle this matter. She told me that i could send back the equipment close out my account, close out my business banking account and i would be out of the contract. I have since sold my business and I’m now being sued by northern leasing in the amount of $4,000 after they froze my bank account. Stay away from Northern Leasing as well they are New York city crooks.

  9. Jeff Harkness

    This is the WORST company I have ever had to deal with in the 40 years I have been in business.

    In October we started looking for other rates and found a much better deal for us. We never signed another contract and told them we were going to use another card service provider.

    The contract was up in December 2012 and we signed up with another provider and told Encore we would not be using them for our card services anymore. They charged us the $95 annual fee plus other charges that total $152.

    Then in January and February they again charged my bank account $17.50.

    My contract was up and they still pulled this…

    Best to stay away from these people and look for reputable companies to handle your card services….!!!

  10. Rebecca Hayes

    STAY AWAY, FAR AWAY! The absolute worst, cheating company ever!!!! They lie, forget to send you contract, don’t provide clear answers, hide as much information as possible to CHEAT YOU OUT of HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS!!!! You can’t even cancel without a 90 day notice, PLUS they charge you $95 annual fee!!!!!

  11. AUDREY Rangel

    I worked for encore for 3 weeks as a IBA. Janice Carter was the recruiter. She was a true professional and a pleasure. The leads or the preset appointment were fake. I went to 6 preset appts and none of them agreed to a meeting nor were they there when I arrived. I tried to get them to let me set my own appts but they said I would fail that way. They told me I was bucking their system and causing waves because I wanted to forego their fake appts an do it on my own. I wasted alot of time and money.They lure you in with promises of free preset appts…………………but they are not real.

  12. Carolyn Edwards

    I signed with a friend of a friend with Prodigy, I mistakenly trusted here that she would help to save me a little money,and be honest about all the promises she made , being fairly new at her job she was constanly on the phone with Bo Wilson, one of the owners of prodigy or whatever they call themselves to make sure they could honor these promises so stupidly I assumed that even if she was new at her job the owner would steer her in the right direction as what she could or couldnt promise me such as excellent customer service , slightly lower prices and the payoff of the terminal lease I was already in and a $ 300.00 sign on gift as I would have to lease one of their machines because I had a first data which I was told did not work with any other companies processing, and at this point still unaware I had many other options due to my lack of educating myself on the credit card terminals and processing , which by the way I take full responsibility of not doing so. So after alot of messed up paper work chaotic signing and resigning, alot of faxing back and forth along with trying to take care of customers in between, unknowingly I signed every right away that I had as a consumer to a one sided( of course to the leasing companies side) unconscionable 4 year lease, that she even sneaked in my signature on one part, but only the part where I fully understood what I was signing.) The funny thing is that that machine was at my shop not long after she left I called her and she said she would return the next day to hook up the machine and bring in the paperwork back that promised to pay off my other lease. she did return to hook up my machine which was also a chaotic mess, I asked for the paper work she was suppose to return and I was told that I would receive it in the mail, now I was very nervous.She assured me she would see to it I would get it back if I didnt receive it soon.Then the trouble began, the machine was constantly dropping tips and some transactions altogether our close outs turned into a nightmare would have to wait till next day to speak with the processors in which they had to rerun peoples card numbers which in itself didnt seem right, our telephone was staticky with the machine hooked up and the internet would not work and I had 5 girls screaming at me about how the machine just didnt work right. It even just up and batched out sometimes when noone was around it. I called the sales person to please help with the machine and she said she quit because she just felt like she was doing something wrong GREAT so then I proceeded to call Prodigy and ask for either someone to come help us or send a machine that worked,then I started getting the run around. at this point still no buy out so now I was gonna have to pay for 2 contracts. I had signed a contract with lease source but my first bill came with a company named Northern Leasing, I thought it was some kind of mistake so I called to find out and they said they were now my leasing company my lease was with them they had bought out my contract from lease source, so I asked them about help with the machine because it did not work properly and then( here we go ) this man proceeded to rudely and obnoxiously tell me to bad I leased machine as is What ? so now what do I do he then told me to figure it out it was my problem. So I boxed the machine up in the box it came in and sent it back where it came from and reconnected my other machine and called them to reinstate I had a business to run!! I cut off my acct. to them after only 11 days of being with this business if thats what you can call them!! Then the 4 year noncanceable lease problem began, you can only imagine the harrasment from these rude arrogant threatning whoever they are, anyway long enough, The other day I drove 6.5 hrs to New York to civil court of course they are suing me, it was interesting to say the least but it will be long and drawn out and I will be present in that court room for the duration!! My suggestion to anyone wanting to sign up with them or be employed by them PLEASE!! Think twice and research, research . I would hate to see anyone go thru what I and so many others have because we didnt . They prey on the small businesses counting on it!! They are misleading, relentless and unethical to say the least!

  13. Dennis' barbershop

    I’ve been dealing with eps for about 6 months now! Awful!! I had a “yes man” of a sales rep, Scott comfry, come in and tell me that he would match the “squares” service agreement and give me a lesser percent. I had 60 days to cancel if I wanted to. Everything was good until about 75 days in when. I started getting charges of 40, then 60 now 100. They also took 10 a month for a rental for the terminal. Now square gives u the terminal free. My contract I signed has the 10 fee crossed out and 0 added but I was still charged. They refunded my money and acted like that made things all better. That’s money they never should have taken. That equal to a robber stealing from a house getting caught in the act, returning the items and saying no need to call the police. There has to be some punishment or responsibility. I just want out of their shady business but they are telling me that I have to pay 450 to cancel. I only am leaving because they breached their own contract. I just want to walk away from them robbing me again. I also blocked them from my account and now they hold my transactions hostage. 41 dollars they took from me for a 2.97 charge. Pretty shady! In short DO NOT DO BUSINESS!!

  14. Chris Dagger

    I just had a rep from Encore visit me telling me he could save me a fortune. When I asked for a copy of the contract so I could review all costs, I was told they don’t provide a copy for review, but if I signed up and changed my mind, I could cancel within 60 days. I’m always dubious of companies who won’t provide the contract for review, and never sign up for anything on the spot.

    1. Reed Bolduc

      Stay away from this company, signed me up saying it will integrate into quick books but sadly that was false as the “salesman” Jerry had no idea how anything worked, I was supposed to get a card reader, it never showed up, I get no return calls from my rep or the company and when I called to close the account I was told it would cost me $450 to close the account and I agreed to this in my contract, well I asked for a copy of this contract and to this day they can’t seem to find it and asked me to refer to my copy which surprisingly never received either and didn’t sign. I turned it into my bank that will block all charges to my account from today on, maybe that will motivate them to find my paperwork :)

      Stay away from this company

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