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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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25 comments

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  1. Leeanne

    When our business closed, Harbortouch told us we could cancel contract in 90 days with no fees. When we returned equipment they charged us $7380. In June of 2014 we were forced to close our business. In July 2014 we called Harbortouch, since we were only one year into a 5 year contract with them for our POS system. We explained the situation and the representative told us that if we waited 3 months, until October, then we could return the equipment and cancel the services and avoid any further charges or obligations. So we continued to pay for the services, and as instructed, in early October we cancelled the service and returned the POS system equipment. We specifically asked if there would be ANY additional fees or charges of any kind, and we were assured that there would not be. Then in late October, I received a Non-Sufficient Funds letter from my bank saying that Harbortouch had attempted to withdraw $7380 from our account without our knowledge. When I called Harbortouch about it, they said that the charge was for “Contract Termination Fees”. When we told them that we’d been told specifically that there would be no additional fees, they brought up the contract over and over again. When we explained that we were told we could cancel the contract if we waited and sent the equipment back in 3 months, they said that only one part of the contract was cancelled, and that we must have misunderstood. But their representative had been very clear with us that we would be able to cancel ALL of the contract with NO additional fees. I believe that their practices are very unethical. They are trying to collect “Cancellation Fees” that equal the amount of 4 years of services, even though we have returned all of their equipment and they will not be providing us with ANY more services.

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  2. heonice

    Those sale reps of this companies are liars. Cannot believe a big company like this can have their employees go out there and lie to their customers and get the customers paid for $250 for the cancellation fee after the customers bear all the cost caused by their fraud and lying. The sale reps named Jon Smith tries to sell me the POS for a gas station and had me signed some kinds of they said contracts. When they delivered the equipment the tech guy came out to my store and said it will not working for my store because it won’t connect to the gas pump system. I was at work and my husband was at the store. That sale reps guy Jon Smith kept pushing us to let the tech guys to install the equipment which will mess up the whole POS system at my store. After talking to me on the phone and I refused to do it. Jon Smith called my husband and said that I told him to let the tech guy to install the equipment. He lied to me and my husband. He tried to set us up so the equipment is installed and he’s done with his job and I’ll be trapped on the mess. After fighting back we decided to return the equipment and request the money they charged us for monthly fee. Harbor tough refused to return the money and charge us $250 more for the cancellation fee which is ridiculous.
    This Company go out there cheating and lying to the customer and had them pay for a cancellation fee? That’s ridiculous. I want to bring this case to court but due to the expensive lawyer fee I give up on this but I want to say this out loud to any customer out there thinking about buying this project please have a second thoughts.
    Please very be careful with all the sale reps. They are just a bunch of liars. They try to sell you the products and don’t give a damn of what you need. And the management system don’t give a damn of your situation. They said they listen to customer’s review or whatsoever but they don’t give you a solution and won’t listen to you

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  3. Joe

    Without a doubt, I have never had to work so hard to make someone else money. I have had the worst experience possible with this company. Despite my attempts to try and get reasonable rates, and somewhat decent tech service, I have lost a lot of money dealing with this system. Every single tech I have dealt with with the exception of a select few, have been a big fat waste of my time. If I were to be paid hourly for the amount of time I have spent on hold with this company I would be a frickin millionaire. Do not buy in. Link POS, Clover, whatever…. Just do not fall for the bull they are trying to feed you.

    Curtis Stevens, I don’t know why your employees don’t feel that it’s important to pass up larger problems to senior advisers, but the only success I had was sending an email to Jarad Issacman.

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    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
    1. Curtis

      Joe,

      You are not my client so I don’t know the details to really comment. I personally have a lot of clients and they are happy. I do my best to ensure they are. In this business, you can’t have 100% of merchants happy but Harbortouch does try their best. Things do get lost in the shuffle and they are always trying to improve things to prevent it. When you have hundreds of employees, there is always room for improvement. That is why it is so important that you sign up with an agent that will always be there for you if things are being dropped by corporate. Harbortouch probably has over 30,000 POS deployments by now. That’s a lot of customers…

      When it comes to processing rates, that all comes down to the agent you signed up under. I would reach out to them. Regarding tech support, their goal is to always have a hold time of no more than 3-5 minutes. Recently, they upgraded their phone system and still working out the bugs with that as I mentioned in another post.

      Curtis

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  4. Richard

    Harbortouch worked well for us between 2011-2013 – Tech Support was really effective. We have referred Harbortouch to many business owners. Now, Tech Support is a 30min wait (not possible for restaurant operations to do so). Live support is quicker, however, we do not have desktop computers in the dining room. We have been charged $12.50/Tabbedout for several months without authorizing this service. I reviewed the camera system to find the Tabbedout Rep actually went to our system to activate while flirting with our server. We ask for this service to be removed (several times) via our Rep, Harbortouch and Tabbedout. We are currently still being billed for Tabbedout and our statements do not reflect a credit. While this was a red flag, I also reviewed our contract and we are billed erroneously (at least $40 more a month) Unfortunately Harbortouch is becoming more like wireless phone companies and the numerous banks with class-action lawsuits for these kind of “charges” arbitrarily place on monthly statements. I do make a point to request “competitive rates”, lower our transaction fees, more often than before. The rates seem to be escalating vs. the other POS/Merchant Services companies that profusely try and gain our business.

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    1. Curtis

      Richard,

      Harbortouch recently changed and upgraded their 12 yr old phone system. I believe there are still getting it working 100% correctly. This should only be temporary. Their goal is to always have a wait time of no more than 3-5 minutes.

      I would encourage you to keep at them about getting the refund for Tabbedout. Your sales rep should be a good resource for that. For Tabbedout.com to work, they had to automatically enroll all of their clients when they launched the feature. If there aren’t any merchants taking it, consumers will not want to download the app, it’s a catch 22 type of thing. They gave everyone a 60 day trial and placed notices in merchant’s statements for a few months letting them know this and how to opt out. They event sent out packages with tabbedout.com materials, etc. They put in every effort to inform merchants of what they were doing and what they can do to avoid any possible charges if they didn’t want it. I’m not sure if you opted out during the trial or not but some accounts do slip through the cracks. They will refund you, you may just need to follow up if it isn’t going through unfortunately.

      Tech support fee of $59/qtr is in yuor contract. You used to pay $59/qtr per system since you signed up. They recently converted it to a monthly fee of $20.50/mo and gave notice in their monthly statement. They made this change based on everyone’s feedback.

      Always read your monthly statement. Any future changes will be listed in advance on your statement.

      Curtis Stevens
      Independent Harbortouch Dealer

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      1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  5. Mike

    Harbortouch is unreasonable and horrible. I had bad experience with them, new comers please do not sign up with them. So, my restaurant is closing and I call harbortouch to cancel and I am willing to sent all the equipments back to them. I understand there is a $250 cancelation fee and am willing to pay. So, when I spoke to harbortouch they told me there will be a $250 fee AND OVER $8,700+ to cancel. YES HOW UNREASONABLE IS THAT! It cost me more $$ to cancel than to keep my contract with harbortouch. How they get $8,700+ is my monthly charge of $145 x 59 month (remaining of the lease) = $8,700+. Harbortouch please be a reasonable company and be considerate of your customers.

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
    1. Curtis

      Mike,

      Harbortouch provided the POS system to you at no upfront cost. They invested thousands of dollars into your business. Based on the numbers they gave you, sounds like you have two systems. They invested almost $10,000 into your business. If you do not fulfill the 5 year obligation, they must receive the remaining monthly service fees for the term or they lose a lot of money. What would you do or expect from me if you had invested $10,000 in my business? They sent you brand new equipment, which they can’t turn around and give to another new merchant. They spent hours and hours programming your system, training your staff, coming onsite to install your system, providing tech support, etc.

      Curtis Stevens
      Independent Harbortouch Dealer

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  6. Dan

    Beware of the Harbotouch POS sale reps. They made me signed the paper without telling clearly it is a contract and then they will slapped me with fees each month and yearly. Well until i realized after 3 months, I called them to cancel and guess what? A $250 early cancellation fees. Well it was my mistake to sign the contract but they shouldn’t charge if they don’t provide any service to us. In my opinion their sale reps are scam artists and their company don’t give a crab about that. The more people signed the more money for them. So beware of those scam artist.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
    1. Curtis Stevens

      Dan,

      Please know all sales reps for Harbortouch are independent contractors and what they promise doesn’t reflect the corporate office or the company as a whole. Since we are not employees for the company, they can’t be liable for what a sales person says. If it helps at all, all terms and fees are on the application the merchant signs. So it isn’t like they are charging made up fees or creating contract terms that weren’t agreed to. Please know sales reps have the ability to waive any merchant processing terms as well, but depends on how they set you up for this to occur.

      Curtis Stevens

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      1. Phillip Parker

        Curtis,

        In our view a company’s liability isn’t removed just because its sales reps are independent contractors. In fact, the company creates the conditions and policies by which the reps can sell its merchant accounts and processing equipment. Therefore, it is the entity ultimately responsible for the complaints it receives and fails to resolve amicably. I also find it highly unlikely that sales reps can waive *any* terms & conditions of the contract. In actuality they probably have the ability to adjust/waive certain fees and service length commitments, which also likely have the effect of raising or lowering the commission the rep receives on the account. Although it is the responsibility of the merchant to fully read the terms of the merchant account agreement, many are unaware of the pitfalls of failing to read it. Honest reps will reveal important terms prior to signing the account; however, many fail in this regard for fear of losing a sale and instead choose to omit any mention of fees or terms that may cause merchants to balk. Dan’s complaint appears to be an example of such a scenario.

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        3 / 3 found this review helpful.
        1. Curtis Stevens

          Phillip,

          When I was talking about waiving terms, they can waive the ETF, so essentially it is month to month as there wouldn’t be any ETF. I was basically saying since they are not employees of Harbortouch, they can’t control what promises are made to the merchant as they are not employed by them. If a sales rep tells a merchant there is no contract and they don’t waive the ETF, the corporate office can’t be liable for promises made by a sales rep. if that rep was an actual employee of said company, that would be a different story. As a consumer, every merchant should always get things in writing. Would you ever go buy a car, take a sales person word and not get their promises in writing? Corporate is held more responsibility if that rep is an employee but if they are an outside rep working on their own as an IC, corporate has no control since they are not working at their office.

          Harbortouch only enforces what has been signed by the merchant. Yes, most merchants do not read what they sign like they should. It is important to go through an honest rep that will disclose all the facts to them.

          His complaint was saying all of their reps are scam artists and the corporate office doesn’t care and I would disagree. I have a well established reputation online and I’m sure Harbortouch has many other reps with a lot of satisfied clients. A few bad apples shouldn’t be a representation of the company as a whole. The corporate office does care about doing the right thing and that’s why you will see the CEO making posts all over the web saying to merchants to contact him if needed.

          Curtis Stevens

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          1. Phillip Parker

            Curtis,

            I’m not implying that Harbortouch doesn’t care about doing the right thing, but to say that they have no liability for what their independently contracted agents promise, or fail to disclose, when selling their services is ludicrous. In fact, numerous merchant services companies have been sued by the FTC because they enforce contractual terms that were misrepresented by their ISAs. When a company enforces contract conditions that were omitted or falsely represented to a merchant by an agent who is approved by the company to market its services, the company is ultimately liable for such actions if it fails to resolve the situation amicably. Our reviews reflect such a philosophy.

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          2. Curtis Stevens

            I can’t say in regards to the merchant account but when it comes to the POS system, the merchant signs a sheet at installation where they must check a box stating that they agree to the 5 year term as well as when they sign up. So there is no way for them to not know about the 5 yr term in regards to the POS system.

            In my opinion, people should read what they sign. if they don’t, it is no one’s fault but their own. We must be held responsible for our own actions or lack of. Today, people should know better to read what they sign, we all know that.

            Curtis

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  7. Anna

    Harbortouch is an AWFUL merchant service company to work with. They have hidden fees that they either access your account for or they withhold from a deposit. The fee is never on their statements and it is up to you to discover it and call them. Customer service is lousey as well. Employees act as though they hate their job and that the customers are a headache. I am thouroughly disappointed with my experience and urge anyone to use any other merchant service company other than Harbortouch. I would gladly pay a higher fee for a more honest company.

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  8. Thomas Atkinson

    Harbortouch and United Bank Card is a very dishonest company. I am sueing them and you can not even have them served in Arizona. They are not listed with the corporation commission in Arizona which is illegal. I had to have them served in Pa. and they did everything they could to avoid being served. They use sales agents that falsify documents and lie. I can’t wait to get this company to court. Don’t use them unless you want to get ripped off.
    Thomas Atkinson
    American Home Water

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Thomas, can you elaborate on how you believe they were dishonest with you? It may help other merchants who are researching these providers.

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  9. Daniel

    We processed with Harbor touch for a couple of years and they always put our money in the bank. However they also took a lot of our money in fees for things that made sense only to them. Their statements and fee structure is complicated and customer service is poor until you cancel your account and then they will offer better rates if only you will stay. On our final statement the total fees added up to 1% more than our first statement from first data. We are very happy with our decision to leave harbor touch.

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  10. Micheal bohn

    harbor touch sent in unqualified sales people who made promises about equipment and software and this proved to be only 50 percent true if that high a number. They want you to basically do your own programing and then have any support by phone. the sales person (who said she had not been paid by harbor touch yet on her last three sales) knew i was 69 years old and little experience with pos but claimed we would have boots on the ground the first week. Well I told them to cancel the order. Never recieved any equipment but they try to get money out of my checking account which my bank reversed… Now i recieve bills with threats, they can bring it on. I would love to see them in front of a judge, me their lawyer, and their sales person.

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    1. Curtis Stevens

      Initial menu programming is included. Harbortouch then offers unlimited training so you can make future changes yourself. Onsite installation is included as well.

      When a merchant cancels a POS order, they must also cancel the merchant account. Corporate can’t legally close that account without written authorization from the merchant. As a sales rep, I’ve learned this with past accounts by having this come up. The POS order is cancelled but the merchant account isn’t until requested by the merchant, which of course incurs monthly fees until then.

      I would reach out to your sales rep to take care of this. If not, send an email to customer service and request a refund and follow up with them until they do.

      Curtis Stevens

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  11. Michael Dammon

    We opened our restaurant in August and had intially decided to use Harbor touch but after having trouble getting our credit card machines and unable to get anyone on the phone about when they were coming we cancelled with them and went with first data ( who are an awsome.proffesional company. So Just to be clear we never recieved our equipment never processed a transaction with harborview. A month into business and our bank statement shows withdrawls to harborview. We call to let them know we are not clients even talk to our bank saying they are not authorized toautomatic withdrawl. It has been 9 months and this week harborview hit our account with five $25 charges a total of $225. We call to remind them againwe are not their clients we have never actually processed a payment with them becaise we never even recieved the equipment promisedand they wanted to offerus a $50 credit! For what??!? We are not even using your services. Its like you just stole $225 from my account and now u want to fix it by offering me credit on services I do not use?? What a fraud. I would strongly advice you pick ANYBODY elseto process with these people are straight thieves!

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  12. Curtis Stevens

    Hi Agnes,

    I would also suggest reaching out to your agent, it is in their best interest to ensure you are happy. If you work with tech support, they will always continue to work until your problem is resolved. I find it is better to email the service department on any non-pressing issues. You can email them at service at symbol harbortouch d o tc o m. The other solution may be is you can purchase another retail pos software that they have for a nominal fee. Reach out to your agent for more info.

    Jared’s email is simple. It is his first name J a r e d at symbol harbortouch d o tc o m. I didn’t paste the email in this post to keep scrappers from getting it and filling up their inbox’s with spam.

    Curtis

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  13. Agnes Asare

    This is (Aggies Food Mart & More ) We had harbortouch Pos System since 2011. Their Pos is horrible,equipment and customer service is bad. We lost many customers and thousands of dollas due to faulty Pos System. We paid for $127.00 monthly for two Pos system Plus $118.00 quartely, is horrible. For the past 6 weeks both pos system did not work and thy tried to fix but no luck. They finally fixed one and the other pos still broke. We are loosing customers and money everyday and they still go and withdraw money each month from our account.. We told them to come and pick up their Pos system and they said then we have to charge us $4500.00. Then we asked them to come and pick up at lease one pos system but no reply. We need the email address to contact The CEO Issacman but l his email is not good when I write him,it keep on returning back. Can someone give me the real email for the Harbortouch CEO? It is terrible.We made a biggest mistake in our life. We are planning to contact out Business Attorney about this case. Any Advice?
    Thanks
    Agnes & Michael Asare

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    1. Diane

      We also made this giant mistake. We have not process 1 sale on this terrible system! I want to send it back but they want us to still pay for it! I also have constantly called them. They were supposed to send a technician out to get ours up and running (at our expense) and they never showed up or even called! I am interested in pursuing legal action but I think there is strength in numbers!

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      1. Curtis Stevens

        I would suggest emailing [email protected]. That email is monitored by senior support supervisors and that would give you a communication trail as well. Your agent is supposed to help get involved as well. Reach out to that person too.

        I have seen Harbortouch go beyond the call of duty with some of my merchants to ensure they are happy. They are not perfect but if you stay on top of them, it will eventually get fixed! They do not take the stance of take it or leave it attitude. I’ve seen them spend too much money fixing issues in the past and do not know if other POS vendors would have done the same.

        Curtis Stevens
        Harbortouch Agent

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