Last Updated: February 14, 2014
Gravity Payments Overview
Gravity Payments (gravitypayments.com) is a small merchant account provider based in Seattle, Washington, and founded in 2004. According to a representative of Gravity Payments, the company primarily uses First Data and Cynergy Data as its processors but services the accounts directly. The company offers a broad range of financial services, including merchant cash advances, credit card processing, debit card processing, gift and loyalty card programs, equipment sales and leasing, and PCI Compliance consultation. Gravity Payments markets its services nationally, though most of its customers are in the state of Washington. Gravity Payments is a registered ISO/MSP for BMO Harris, N.A., Chicago, Illinois, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, and is located at 1455 NW Leary Way, Suite 200, Seattle, Washington 98107.
Gravity Payments Sales & Marketing Tactics | A+
Gravity Payments appears to hire W2-employed inside and outside sales agents to market its services, although it is possible that the company also employs independent sales reps in some cases. We are currently unable to locate any Gravity Payments merchant complaints that accuse the company’s agents of unethical conduct, but we have found one complaint from a former employee who felt that she did not receive adequate support from her employers. However, this complaint appears to be an isolated instance. It also appears that the company actively markets Interchange Pass-through rate pricing to all of its merchants, which is the most transparent pricing model. The company does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.
Gravity Payments Costs & Contract Terms | B
According to a company representative, Gravity Payments sets contract length and cancellation fees on a case-by-case basis. We have located one sample contract provided by the company (available here and here) that outlines a three-year agreement through First Data with an early termination fee of $495. This agreement also includes a minimum monthly fee of $35 and flat rate pricing of 4%, and the Gravity Payments website mentions a PCI Compliance program that costs $85 annually. Overall, these contract terms are more expensive than industry averages, but it may be that the merchant in question could not qualify for more competitive terms. At this time, we will take the company’s representative at his word and assume that Gravity Payments offers contract terms that can range from very competitive to very costly depending on a merchant’s business type, size, and time in business. The few available complaints about the company’s contract terms express frustration with its early termination fee.
Gravity Payments Complaints & Service | A
We are currently able to locate three Gravity Payments negative reviews, none of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. All three complainants report different issues, including difficulty cancelling service, frustration with the early termination fee, misleading advertising, and poor employee support. Two of these complaints received identical responses from a company representative within minutes of each other, and it is unknown whether the merchants’ complaints were resolved. The low complaint volume and lack of a consistent theme lead us to believe that most Gravity Payments clients are satisfied with the service they receive. According to a company representative, Gravity services customer accounts directly rather than outsourcing support to its processors. In keeping with this, the company offers a dedicated phone number and email address on its website.
Gravity Payments BBB Report | A (CPO Adjusted)
As of this review, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting accreditation and an “A+“ rating for Gravity Payments with six complaints filed in the last 36 months. Of the complaints, four are regarding billing and collection disputes, and two are for problems with products or services. All six have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. Given the company’s low complaint volume and solid resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A.”
Gravity Payments rates as a reliable merchant services provider according to our rating standards. The company is showing very few complaints across all consumer protection sites and appears to offer a wide range of contract terms. Merchants are encouraged to read their contracts carefully and check their application against their program guide to ensure they understand the fees they will pay.
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