Harbortouch Review


Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating

Harbortouch Overall Rating

"C-" Credit Card Processor Rating

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Jump to: Sales & Marketing | Costs & Contract | Complaints & Service | BBB Complaints

Harbortouch Overview

Harbortouch Logo

Harbortouch Logo

Harbortouch (harbortouch.com) is a merchant account provider based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Launched in 1999, the company provides card processing services, point-of-sale systems, electronic cash registers, and card processing terminals to U.S. merchants. It appears that Harbortouch acquired, was acquired by, or is otherwise associated with United Bank Card. Harbortouch also provides and online payment gateway through Authorize.net, gift and loyalty cards, check services, cash advances and more.

Harbortouch claims to handle merchant accounts for over 110,000 business locations and process in excess of $9 billion annually. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of First National Bank of Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska.

Harbortouch Sales & Marketing Tactics | C

Key Points – Sales & Marketing 
Uses independent resellers? Yes
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? No

Harbortouch hires independently contracted sales agents (ISAs) to resell its merchant account services. This is a standard practice within the industry that often results in unregulated or unsupervised agents reselling a provider’s services without effectively disclosing contract terms. On this website and elsewhere, reports are common of a Harbortouch sales representative promising to waive fees or provide month-to-month contracts only to fail to follow through, leaving the merchant on the hook for some unfavorable contract terms.

Online complaints seem to indicate that a common point of miscommunication has to do with Harbortouch’s heavily promoted deals for free equipment or a free POS system. Some merchants report that they agreed to receive free equipment or software but cancelled before receiving or implementing these services, only to be charged with a cancellation fee. It is our policy to hold companies responsible for the conduct of their sales agents, and we therefore award Harbortouch an average grade of “C” in this category.

Harbortouch Marketing Example

Harbortouch Costs & Contract Terms | D

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $250+
PCI compliance fee: $99 per year
Equipment lease: Variable (up to 5 years)

The Harbortouch terms and conditions (available below) outline a three-year agreement with automatic renewal for two-year terms, a Liquidated Damages early termination fee of either $250 or the number of remaining months in the contract multiplied by $35 (whichever is greater), and transaction fees according to a tiered pricing schedule. Merchants who receive equipment from the company will be subject to a $79 annual fee and a $99 annual security fee.

Despite these official terms, the company’s use of independent sales agents means that contract terms may vary from agent to agent. A representative of the company confirmed in the comment section of this review that many of the contract terms are liable to be altered by a given sales representative, so merchants are advised to review contracts carefully and only deal with agents they trust. Multiple complaints have described a situation in which a sales agent agreed to waive or alter certain fees and then failed to follow through on those changes. It seems merchants should be aware that they will likely be on the hook for the actual language of the contract in some cases, rather than the specific deal reached with their agent.

Click here to see a copy of the standard Harbortouch terms and conditions
Harbortouch Terms and Conditions

Harbortouch Complaints & Service | C-

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 70+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Undisclosed fees

Harbortouch is showing a moderate-to-high number of complaints for a company of its size, almost all of which cite deceptive sales tactics and apathetic customer support. It appears that Harbortouch has paid Ripoff Report to be a part of that site’s corporate advocacy program, which allows Harbortouch to flood Ripoff Report with dozens of identical testimonials in an effort to obscure the details of merchant complaints.

We had previously given Harbortouch a “B-” in this category based on the fact that the company’s representatives seemed to actively respond to merchant complaints on many websites. Given the company’s attempt to cover up its reputation on Ripoff Report rather than respond to public complaints, we are inclined to lower Harbortouch’s rating at this time. Harbortouch offers email and phone support on its website in addition to equipment and software manuals.

Harbortouch BBB Report | C- (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 121
Billing/collection: 86
Advertising/sales: 23
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 2

Harbortouch has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2013. As of this review, the company currently holds an “A“ rating with the BBB and has had 232 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. The bulk of these complaints (121) stemmed from problems with Harbortouch’s products and services. Eighty-six complaints were filed regarding billing and collections issues, 23 involved problems with advertising or sales, and two were filed in regards to delivery issues. Of the total complaints, 195 were successfully resolved. Harbortouch responded to the remaining 37; however, these were not resolved to the customers’ satisfaction.

Outside of the BBB, we located approximately 70 other complaints. Many of the complaints noted that unauthorized fees were charged to customers’ accounts and that several were charged annual fees multiple times a year. Additionally, several customers cited poor customer service and deceptive selling practices. Because of these factors, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C-.” To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Bottom Line

Harbortouch rates as slightly below average in almost every section of this review because its practices are roughly standard for the industry. Harbortouch’s use of independent sales agents appears to be generating a high number of complaints about the company, and the contract terms they offer vary from agent to agent. Of additional note is Harbortouch’s unclear affiliation with United Bank Card, a company with similarly average ratings from our site.

This review was originally published on 2/18/13 and was last updated on 7/16/14.

Leave your review of Harbortouch in the comment section below:


Harbortouch Review

Rated 1.875 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-16 14:22:49

Harbortouch (harbortouch.com) has approximately 300 public complaints, and many of these accuse the company of being a scam or ripoff. Several of the Harbortouch complaints noted that unauthorized fees were debited from merchants’ accounts and that several were charged annual fees multiple times a year. Additionally, several customers cited… Learn more in this Harbortouch review.

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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. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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32 comments

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  1. HarbortouchNJ

    Please note that the term for the Harbortouch POS agreement has been reduced to 36 months for all new merchants. The $69/monthly hardware support fee & $60/quarterly software support fee remain the same. If you are dis-satisfied with your credit card processing rate simply call Harbortouch customer service and request a ‘rate review’. Your total cost of ownership for a Harbortouch POS is significantly cheaper that purchasing or leasing a similar POS such as Micros or Aloha.

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  2. Terri S.

    Harbortouch intentionally lies and cheats merchants out of hard-earned money by INTENTIONALLY NOT DISCLOSING THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS to those merchants.

    How convenient, Curtis Stevens, that you blame the misunderstandings on INDEPENDENT SALES REPS and refuse to do the ethical thing and be an honorable company. You are CROOKS and THIEVES!!!! You allow your sales reps to say whatever they want to say in order to get a signed contract.

    MERCHANTS: Who in their right freaking mind would sign ANY CONTRACT that has the following disclaimer as the last paragraph on the last page of their Terms and Conditions???:

    “10.13 Entire Agreement: HARBORTOUCH’S REPRESENTATIVES MAY HAVE MADE ORAL STATEMENTS REGARDING THE EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE OR SERVICES SET FORTH HEREIN. NONE OF THE ORAL STATEMENTS CONSTITUTE WARRANTIES, MERCHANT SHALL NOT RELY ON ANY OF THEM, AND THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE AGREEMENT. THIS AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THE EXHIBITS ATTACHED HERETO AND INCORPORATED AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THIS AGREEMENT, CONSTITUTES THE ENTIRE AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBJECT MATTER HEREOF, AND SUPERSEDES ALL PREVIOUS PROPOSALS, ORAL OR WRITTEN, AND ALL NEGOTIATIONS, CONVERSATION OR DISCUSSIONS HERETOFORE HAD BETWEEN THE PARTIES RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT. CUSTOMER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN INDUCED TO ENTER INTO THIS AGREEMENT BY ANY REPRESENTATIONS OR STATEMENTS, ORAL OR WRITTEN, NOT EXPRESSLY CONTAINED HEREIN.”

    What the hell does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means!!! That no matter what a representative told you or wrote down or emailed you or faxed you or promised you regarding this agreement with Harbortouch, it doesn’t mean SQUAT. They can say anything they want, even outright lie to you, and their a$$ is covered by this paragraph alone.

    Never in all my years of dealing with credit card processing companies and POS companies have I ever seen such a blatant display of INTENTION TO DEFRAUD and flagrant DISREGARD FOR ETHICS.

    HARBORTOUCH, YOUR COMPANY IS SLIME. YOU LIE. YOU CHEAT. YOU STEAL. And you intentionally defraud your customers.

    Rot in HADES…….. with all your ill-gotten gains……..

    Terri S – Minnesota

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    1. Curtis Stevens

      Terri,

      Based on what you are saying, it doesn’t sound like you are a current or previous client of Harbortouch, but a competitor, which removes any validity to your comments. Plus, it isn’t good business to bash other companies, makes you look bad.

      Harbortouch doesn’t have employees selling their products. They use outside, independent agents/contractors to sell their system. We as a contractor, are responsible for selling the system, they have no control or knowledge over what we say or do since we are not even at their place of business. With that said, Harbortouch must have that clause in the agreement or an agent (a good or rogue agent) could promise the merchant the moon. Sign here and we will pay you one million dollars. Without that clause, it could open Harbortouch up to a lot of liability by simply want some sales person says. Harbortouch can only honor the agreement. HOWEVER, the application and paperwork spells everything out. It lists all the pricing, what is included, etc. So it doesn’t matter what the rep says as it is all covered in the documents the merchant sign. So if an agent doesn’t disclose everything orally, the merchant can still read all the details on the documents they must sign to get approved. This also allows them to verify if everything they’ve been told is true as well.

      In short, before the merchant signs up, they can legally verify everything to avoid and prevent any possibility of the concerns you are bringing up. All terms and conditions are disclosed to the merchant. They must sign them before even getting approved. If Harbortouch was such a bad company, I wouldn’t be in business selling their product, have hundreds of merchants all over the country and be able to make a living.

      Curtis

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  3. 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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    1. Odean

      They did the SAME EXACT THING to me. DO NOT Make the same mistake we did….DO NOT SIGN THE CONTRACT!!!! They are Liars, Cheaters and deceivers. They make their money off of small business owners that cannot afford to fight their shady dealings.

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    2. Curtis Stevens

      Hi Leeanne,

      I do apologize if there were any misunderstandings between you and Harbortouch. When you spoke to customer service at Harbortouch, there must have been some kind of misunderstanding regarding the cancellation fees. The 90 days notice or waiting 3 months for no other fees to apply has to do with the merchant account. There would be no early cancellation fees with the processing contract if you give 90 days notice. The POS agreement is a separate contract and sounds like the cancellation fees for that were not made very clear. I do apologize for the mix-up between those two contracts. Unfortunately, when a merchant cancels before the contract term is up, Harbortouch is at a significant loss. Merchants are required to send the equipment back and also pay the remaining service agreement as if they would for the entire contract term. Receiving equipment back doesn’t make up the thousands of dollars that was initially invested in your business that we haven’t been able to recoup through the life of the contract. The best thing we can do with the used POS is spare parts. Every merchant receives a brand new system, just like you did when you signed up. So if we invested $8,000 by placing two POS systems and 1 KDS system at your business for no upfront cost, we are not close to breaking even by just simply getting used equipment back after 15 months of service and no other fees. We are in the red by thousands. The best option would be to transfer the POS to another business owner, which would release your obligation for the remaining term.

      Curtis

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    3. Ray

      They just did EXACTLY the same thing to me. Took $7000 out of my account. I’m at a loss with the whole experience..STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.

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      1. Curtis

        Ray,

        I will assume you are a customer of Harbortouch with a POS system and not in fact a competitor. It sounds like you either closed your business or something similar and were charged for the remaining term of your contract. You can’t expect a company to invest thousands of dollars into your business and not try to collect if you don’t fulfill your part of the deal. A contract must be honored by both parties. Harbortouch did their part. How does that make them a bad company?

        Curtis

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