Everest Merchant Services
Everest Merchant Services Overview
Everest Merchant Services (ems-merchants.com) is a nationwide merchant account provider providing credit card processing services to merchants for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, signature cards, customized gift and loyalty cards, and debit cards. The company can also supply merchants with the equipment and software necessary to facilitate payment transactions through internet processing, point of sale terminals (POS), mobile gateways and wireless POS systems. Everest Merchant Services offers free websites for their payment processing customers and small business financing through merchant cash advances, which utilize a percentage of future credit card transactions as a repayment vehicle. The company initially began operations on September 8, 2010, with business offices located at 261 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, New York.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
As of this writing, it is unclear whether Everest Merchant Services primarily utilizes in-house or independent sales agents to market its services. There are numerous complaints about nondisclosure or misrepresentation of contract terms at the point of signing, and there are also a handful of negative reviews filed by former employees of the company. The company’s $500 Best Rate Guarantee appears to be the source of some confusion amongst merchants, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has investigated this guarantee and determined that it is a valid advertisement.
The BBB page for EMS formerly noted an issue with EMS incorrectly implying on its superpages.com profile that it has obtained BBB accreditation. This issue appears to have been resolved and is no longer listed on the company’s BBB page.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$185 per year|
Because EMS appears to resell the services of Cynergy Data, the standard EMS contract is likely to be very similar to the standard Cynergy contract, which includes a $495 early cancellation fee and PCI compliance fees of up to $185. One complaint did mention that EMS offers Interchange-plus pricing, although this particular merchant did not end up receiving the appropriate rates.
Because EMS advertises a number of different guarantees and promotions, it is reasonable to assume that the terms of an EMS contract will include provisions addressing these promotions. Even so, merchants are encouraged to carefully review any contract they are given, regardless of a sales agent’s guarantees.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||Poor service|
We’ve located roughly 10 Everest Merchant Services negative reviews on non-BBB consumer protection websites (including the comment section of this review), most of which cite an inability to reach any customer service representatives from EMS to resolve the stated problem. Other complaints mention unexpected fees and nondisclosure of contract terms. The company’s website provides an email form and a telephone number that may or may not be related to customer support; it’s also possible that the company relies on Cynergy Data for its customer support in addition to its payment processing. Regardless, EMS does not appear to have a very responsive or available customer service team.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this update, Everest Merchant Services (EMS) has been assigned a “B-“ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is not accredited. The BBB formerly gave Everest an “F” rating but has since improved its rating in reaction to Everest’s correction of the superpages.com issue mentioned above. Of the 39 complaints filed against EMS, 19 were related to the product or service, 12 were related to advertising or sales issues, seven had to do with billing and collection, and one was due to a delivery issue. One complaint was not resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction despite a good faith effort by EMS, while the rest were.
EMS rates as an average merchant account provider largely because of its BBB rating and complaint record. The company’s rating may improve once more is known about its contract terms. As always, merchants are advised to carefully research the company before signing any contracts.
This review was originally published on 3/21/12 and was last updated on 7/24/14.
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