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.
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  1. Barbara

    I too have fallen victim to First Data and their shady business practices. I was never able to process even 1 credit card through there system and they continue to charge me every month for what they say is a fee for the debt they incurred, I have gained nothing and I don’t understand what this debt they incurred is. I called their customer service and I got a lecture about if I bought a car it would be the same as my debt with them. Where is the car, the asset I would have to offset the loan. What are they even talking about they are the worst at customer service. This month they sent me a property tax charge even thought I don’t have their equipment any more and only had it for a month. I too will close my account and let this go to collections I have no other choice other then giving them money every month for no reason what so ever.

  2. Gillian Cordery

    Do not use First Data. It has taken me over a year to cancel my account with them. I have faxed and mailed and called repeatedly and they still debited my bank account with monthly fee and a $151.75 membership fee. In total they took over $500 from me. They threatened to sue me if I cancelled my bank account to stop them from being able to access my money. They will put you on hold pass you around and give you other numbers to call. You cannot get a name to reference back to when speaking to the 100th person so you start from scratch each and every time you call to try to cancel. Do not use them.

  3. Richard

    Here’s the latest from “Foist Data”: Security Metrics and First Data had quite a falling out about a year ago. This meant that Security Metrics wasn’t First Data’s contracted vendor to administer PCI compliance certifications to First Data’s merchants. This did not stop Security Metrics from soliciting First Data’s client base in order to extract annual PCI compliance fees from them. No matter however, since Security Metrics is more professional and easier to deal with than First Data. Security Metrics doesn’t arbitrarily yank fees out of your bank account without notice and as a further bonus, Security Metrics will permit a merchant to renew their PCI compliance for as little as $29.95. That’s noticeably less than what First Data charges.

    Since, in all likelihood I will not be renewing my contract with Sam’s Club Merchant Processing later this year, I did not want to waste good money on another year of PCI compliance fees with First Data. Besides, I am already PCI complaint with another credit card processing company that offered me a much better deal than Sam’s Club. When I spoke with a customer retention specialist with First Data last year, she assured me that if I did not intend to process any card charges after February of 2014 through the end of my contract in September, I would not have to pay for a year’s worth of PCI compliance fees.

    The problem with the pledge one First Data employee makes is the failure in finding another employee with First Data who will honor the initial promise. While having it out with yet another inept, attitude latent First Data employee, I was initially told I was PCI compliant. Suddenly, in the middle of our dispute I became noncompliant. I thought this strange, specially since First Data had to issue me a credit for attempting to force me to pay twice for PCI compliance fees on the same account. Why would First Data approve a credit for PCI compliance fees if I wasn’t PCI compliant to begin with?

    Sure enough, I obtained my PCI compliance certificate from Security Metrics and I am indisputably complient through July of 2014. I had to email my certificate of compliance to First Data twice before someone in their PCI compliance department with affirm the received information.

    In a recent bulletin, the muckety-mucks who reside within the protective ivory towers at First Data have decided to bait their merchants with “free” PCI compliance while they take away the incentive of the annual, complementary Sam’s Club membership. This is known as a zero-sum game.

    I am looking forward to giving Sam’s Club and First Data the heave-ho at the end of my contract.

    1. Richard

      I thought First Data’s malicious mayhem and gross negligence had subsided, at least for the time being. Reading my most recent merchant statement however, I see that the systematic incompetence and lack of adherence to customer care continues.

      After contacting First Data about an separate issue and unexpectedly finding out they never updated my PCI compliance information, their top notch staff working in conjunction with their stellar computer records system erroniously debited my account for noncompliance fees. Coincidentally, this debit occurred on the very same day I made First Data aware of their mistake and sent them a copy of my PCI compliance certificate. Adding duplicity to ineptness, a First Data employee from their PCI Compliance Department assured me I would not be penalized for First Data’s error. First Data then proceeded to extract fees from my bank account later that same day.

      After a good 20 minutes on the phone with a “Customer Loyalty” representative and a PCI Compliance Department employee recently, I am still uncertain when my money will be properly returned to me.

      As unbelievable as it seems, the person from First Data’s PCI Compliance Department actually instructed me to forward an email I received from his own department back to the same department that originally sent it to me. This email confirmed First Data’s receipt of my PCI certificate as well as confirming my current status as complient.

      With such a blatent disregard for ethical business practices as well as the demeaning and disrespectful way First Data treats their customers, I can’t help but wonder why a major class action lawsuit against First Data has not been announced.

  4. Robin Barrows

    We were saddled with First Data by our local bank when we opened out guest house in 2006. Since we are absentee owners credit cards are the only form of payment that work for us. We have been battling first data ever since over their numerous fees and security charges making the cost of using credit cards well over 6% and some months well over 10%. Their statements are horrifically confusing. The happiest day of our business lives was when we switched to another credit card servicer. It was not that hard to do and we wished we had done it years ago!!!!!!

  5. Sally

    I have been quite happy with First Data in my many years with them so I don’t really understand why all of you are so angry. My friend showed me this site because they were thinking of using First Data like me but had 2nd thoughts after reading all the negative comments. I don’t know about all of you but I thoroughly read through contracts I’m signing and when I signed with First Data I had many questions about the credit card machine lease term as well as other fees on it. My sales person provided straight answers. Their rates are competitive with other companies but occasionally they’ve increased. I’ve heard from other business owners they all do but I just call First Data for a rate review and they lower them. This is the same as I go through for many other services I receive like phone and cable, it’s sort of annoying but really all service providers, airlines, car rental, hotels are feeing us all to death. Initially I optioned not to lease after confirming with the sales rep the part of the contract that states the lease is non-cancelable because my business was new and I didn’t feel confident I would be still be in business for 3 or 4 years. They explained to me how leases work, all leases, car, apartment, copy machines, etc. that all of those leases are non-cancelable as well, this is not a cancelable rental but a non-cancelable lease. This made sense to me! I’ve since been very successful in my business and decided to lease a point of sale system from them to help me better manage my business which I love and learned all their leases include replacement warranty!

    1. Phillip

      Hi Sally,

      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location.

  6. ZoiaEducator

    I am being scammed by First Data Global Leasing right now. I had a bad service from them for 6 months JUN13-JAN14 and I returned to them their credit card machine. But they are flooding me with threats to report to collection, trying to extort money for their fake electronic leas of 48 months. No small business owner would ever sigh such a lease.
    Please contact me at consign at zoiasfashions dot com. United people could reach better results against this parasites who live milking small business owners’ accounts. Please let me know if anybody here has found class action against FDGL. I see complaints from 2006 all over the Internet on them. But the fat multi-headed corporation is prospering on other people’s headaches. This is very wrong that a Consumer does not know how to fight this monster that has at least 8 addresses all over the USA. My UTube is zoiacalifornia. Please see my posts against First Data. Please join me! Thank you.

  7. William

    Has anyone been charged cancellation fees or anything else to their Sam’s Credit Card from First Data for terminating their contract? I’ve just closed my account so they can’t get anymore money from my bank account but I’m concerned they may hit my Sam’s card now. I intend to terminate by business account with Sam’s Club for pushing this company on their members. I will boycott any banks or other businesses who promote them. I have also filed complaints with two online sites gathering complaints for a class action suit against First Data, just do an internet search for class action first data.

    1. Kathy Channing

      I do not know what Sams Club will do or if First Data can charge your card but from what I’ve read and have been told by the Senior Legal Analyst at First Data Global Leasing, you will need to check your credit records. I am assuming they will damage your credit records via not being able to collect? Please contact your State agencies, Department of Trade and Consumer Protection under unfair business practices.
      Good luck to you, I battled with First Data Global Leasing for over a year and my bank is who recommended them to me. I also had to repeatedly go to my bank after First Data Global Leasing had agreed to terminate my contract and tell my bank to stop them from removing funds. I had to literately scream at the bank manager and tell him if he continued to allow them to remove funds from my account, that I would call the police and tell them I am being robbed and that he was in on it. Again, good luck to you. Kathy

      1. William

        Thanks for the reply Kathy and thank goodness for this website. Thank you Phillip! I’m going to let all my business aquaintances know about your site and advise them to go here before signing up with any merchant card processors.

  8. Bob Segal

    First customer service is the worst. I was consistently told to leave messages for any questions and never got a return call. After 3 years, I cancelled my account due to excessive fees and was told I would receive an email form to complete. It never arrived and when I asked what email they sent it to the customer service rep repeated an incorrect address. After a month of no activity I received a statement showing nearly $100 in fees deducted from my bank. When I call, I was told the account was still open and would not be closed until the form was completed. They claimed the fees were valid and I would not be reimbursed. The customer service rep belligerent, interrupting, and made threatening remarks. There is no reason to deal with a company like this when there are many good companies out there.

  9. Kathy Channing

    I thought I was done with First Data Global Leasing? I’d recently wrote and told you all of how you can report First Data to your State Department (commerce, Attorney General, etc., where ever you can get your complaint heard and get some assistance), anyway, I thought I was done with them. I gave my bank copies of the letter stating that my contract had been rescinded and it is signed by FDGL senior legal analyst. I’d also told my bank that this company was not to remove funds from my account.
    The other day when looking thru my account, I see First Data removed funds and the bank allowed it!!! Might be time to go above the State and see who else is going to listen.
    Can you imagine what would happen to any one of us, if we removed funds from another account? I am sick to my stomach with this bank and FDGL. There is no doubt they both stand to gain on my losses!
    Stay away from First Data and tell your friends to stay away from them too!

  10. Kathy Channing

    To all the victims of First Data Global Leasing Merchant Services ,
    I was able to get the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in my State to help stop First Data Global Leasing from destroying my small business and my credit score of 8+. I called their office and was asked to file a complaint on line. A week or so later, I’d received a call from one of the officials in the State working for the Department of Agriculture under Fair trade practices, and he asked me several questions. He said he would do the best he could to help me and added that it could take months to years to resolve. I told him First Data was sued by the State of New York for 60 million under RICO laws and that nothing has changed, the pattern is still the same and that they could easily be sued using RICO law today. I added that I didn’t care about the money First Data caused me to loose, I just wanted the contract they made up dissolved and First Data to leave me alone for the rest of my life.
    About one month later, I’d received a letter from the Senior Legal Analyst at First Data Global Leasing stating the lease agreement with First Data would be terminated, and a letter from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection stating that First Data Global Leasing would be put on their watch list for the next 3 years! Do not give up. file complaints with every single office you can find that will listen to you. I hope this is the end of my dealings with First Data Global Leasing and I hope this information will help some of you out there struggling with this company. Good luck to you! Kathy

  11. Michael Long

    First Data is the worst credit card processing company in the world!! They don’t disclose anything!! Their fraud protection is a joke and non existent!! They cripple small business owners!! Please DON’T USE FIRST DATA!!

    1. Kenneth Harris

      I was not with them long enough and encounter similar problems. First Data/ First Bank Merchant Services stole funds from my bank account and then closed my account with them. I will not rest until something is done.

  12. David

    First Data is a big mess. Their customer service is abhorrent, their systems are in chaos, and I strongly recommend not doing business with them if you can help it. I fault the various managers and leaders of the company; they have their heads up their rear ends.

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