Merchant One Review


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

Merchant One Overall Rating

"D" Credit Card Processor Rating

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Merchant One Company Overview

Merchant One Logo

Merchant One Logo

Merchant One (merchantone.com) is a branded independent sales arm of United Bank Card and uses First Data (FDIS) as its processor. This Miami, Florida-based merchant account provider has done a great job of marketing itself and has a very professional and persuasive website. Since our last update, Merchant One has rebranded its logo and revamped its website; however, its old site claimed that the company serviced over 90,000 merchants, including well-known brands like Paul Mitchell and H&K Furniture. Merchant One provides credit card processing services for nearly any need and has an iPhone app for wireless processing. If one only reviewed this company’s marketing strategy, this company would score as a top provider. However, not is all as it seems with Merchant One.

Merchant One Sales & Marketing Tactics | D

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

This reviewer found a few instances of misleading marketing and reports of deceptive sales tactics. To start, Merchant One promotes processing rates starting at 0.39% on its homepage as well as through online advertisements we found. Not only does the quoted rate set unrealistic expectations, but only a tiny fraction (if any) of a merchant’s transactions would qualify for it. The site fails to mention what type of transaction qualifies for the 0.39% transaction rate or that merchants will experience additional fees outside of that rate.

In addition to the misleading rate promotion, Merchant One’s website used to state that merchants “will not be subject to any long-term agreement” and “are absolutely free to cancel their services with us at any time—for any reason.” Based on merchant complaints describing cancellation fees ranging from $200-$300, this claim was either a new policy or a complete falsehood. As of this update, these claims appear to have been removed from the Merchant One website, indicating that they might not have been completely truthful. Although the company has removed these claims, we are still awarding it a “D” for the time being.

Merchant One Marketing Example

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated sales tactics]

Merchant One Costs & Contract Terms | D

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: Variable
Keyed-in rate: Variable
Termination fee: $295+
PCI compliance fee: $100 per year
Equipment lease: Variable

Pricing and fees of a Merchant One merchant account will likely vary by merchant based on business type, processing volume and the agent setting up the account. Merchant One’s standard merchant account contract (available below) can range from three to five years with an early termination fee of $25 per month for the remaining months of the contract term (known as Liquidated Damages), or $295, whichever is greater. There are several complaints from merchants saying that neither the contract term or cancellation fees were disclosed by the agents during the application process, so merchant should be sure to check the embedded document for the actual text of the ETF (found on page 38). The company also appears to charge an annual PCI Compliance fee of around $100. We will hold the grade to its previous rating and update this section as Merchant One’s contract policies become available.

Click here to see a copy of the standard Merchant One program guide
Merchant One Program Guide

Merchant One Complaints & Service | C-

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 60+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Hidden fees

It is evident that the dispute resolution process at Merchant One needs improvement, because there are numerous Merchant One negative reviews across several consumer protection websites. On average, Merchant One has a moderate-to-high number of complaints in comparison to other providers of its size. The problems seem to center around merchants feeling as though they were deceived by the company’s advertising and sales processes. Many also complain of undisclosed fees and undisclosed contract terms during account setup and high cancellation fees.

Merchant One BBB Report | C (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 41
Billing/collection: 22
Advertising/sales: 16
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 0

As of this review, the BBB is reporting an “A+” rating for Merchant One despite receiving 79 complaints over the last 36 months, which is down from 81 as of our last update of this review. The types of complaints mirror those found on other complaint websites, with 41 under problems with service or products, 22 filed under advertising and sales issues, and 16 under billing and collection. Of the total complaints, 62 were resolved with BBB assistance while 17 left the merchant dissatisfied with Merchant One’s response. Based on Merchant One’s complaint count, resolution ratio, and business size, we are adjusting the rating of this section to a “C” for the purposes of this review. You can learn more about why we adjust BBB ratings in our rating criteria.

Bottom Line

Merchant One’s use of deceptive marketing tactics has had a negative impact on its rating. Although the vast majority of Merchant One’s customers are probably satisfied, this company has a high number of complaints compared to other processors of its size. That, coupled with the resounding themes of non-disclosure complaints and misleading rate promotion, makes it tough to score this provider well. Business owners considering a merchant account with Merchant One are advised to thoroughly read and understand the terms of the contract before signing.

This review was originally published on 7/30/12 and was last updated on 7/10/14.

Leave your review of Merchant One in the comment section below:


Merchant One Review

Rated 1.625 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-10 13:45:16

The number of negative Merchant One reviews is moderate to high for its size and time in business, and some complainants describe the company as a ripoff… Merchant One’s (merchantone.com) use of deceptive marketing tactics has had a negative impact on its rating. Although the vast majority of Merchant One’s customers are probably satisfied… Learn more in this Merchant One 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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38 comments

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  1. Shannon

    Sleazy Slimy business practices. AVOID. I tried to cancel because of all their crazy fees, and was told that I had to pay a $295 termination fee. I asked to be put on a very minimal plan to finish out the few months I had left… they agreed (because it would have cost about $60). I just found out that they “charged off” my account and its now a negative item on my credit report. They also had been sneaking in extra charges for over a year because i did’nt “opt-out” of some unnecessary “fraud coverage” they offered. So basically if they send you a letter that says if you DON”T respond (AKA SONT SEE THE FINE PRINT BURIED IN A BILL SOMEWHERE), then that means you ACCEPT their new product. WOW! not to mention the charged was masked to make it hard to understand what it was if you did see it later on. The finally agreed to fully refund me after offering half the amount siphoned out of my account and fighting me the whole way. Save yourself the headache and avoid companies that do business like this..

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  2. Phillip Simmons

    We opened our MerchantOne account in May 2009. We started using another company 2 years in and didn’t realize we had a 5 year contract with MerchantOne, like most of the complaints nothing was disclosed about a contract and or is not on any documents we signed for MerchantOne. Today, I call to cancel the service because we have been out of our “contract” since May 2014 and was asked to sign a form to cancel service and was sent a balance form of what is owed!?!? When I spoke to a service rep of MerchantOne he told me we owed for a Annual PCI – Compliance Fee of $129 and monthly processing fee. I get the balance form and it’s both fees mentioned above and more… there was a collections fee of $50 and NSF $25. We haven’t used them in 2 years to process any credit card payments, they have been collecting a monthly fee of $56.85 and their Annual PCI – Compliance Fee of $129 and some other monthly fee of $24.50 all this time. I am disputing the fees/charges. I could see paying the Annual PCI Compliance Fee if we were to continue service, but it was paid in August 2013, that should cover us to date? The collections fee, I have no idea what that is and am still waiting on an explanation. If we owe anything it would be for the month service and NSF charges. Definitely buyer beware and do your research before getting involved with a company like this!!!

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  3. Dan D

    Someone needs to file with the State Attorney General of Florida on Merchant One. If you are local and have been scammed by Merchant One please get the ball rolling for everyone else. This is yet another racketeering outfit and the consequences will be stiff! More people need to start standing up to these crooks, we have made it our mission to report anywhere we can to prevent others from being victims to Merchant One. They will eventually get shut down but in the meantime we all suffered from their fraud and deceit. The time is now so speak out!

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Dan, can you provide some details about your experience with Merchant One? Your comment may be deleted without a matter-of-fact account of your experience.

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      1. Dan D

        Phillip,

        They charge more fees than stated,they screw up and take money they are not entitled to and they take absolutely no responsibility for their own screw ups. They have a D rating for a reason and I wish I would have done more research other than the topten site that comes up at the top of google and is a bunch of B.S. When I say do not use merchant one I mean it, it was a very bad experience and expensive mistake. The truth needs to be out there, they have hundreds of BBB complaints as well so that’s all there is to know. Thank you for this venue to share and help others not make the same mistake.

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        2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  4. Jay

    Merchant One is HORRIBLE. Hidden fees, staff not helpful….very bad experience with Merchant One…do NOT go with Merchant One….you will be very sorry. Bad company, expensive, poor service, you will be sorry. Others are much better. thanks, Jay

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.
  5. Scott Jones

    Merchant One had us sign an agreement that you could not read assuring us verbally that we could cancel if we found a better deal. The agreement is one page and I am told makes reference to the terms and conditions as found in the 32 page ‘program guide’. This program guide is not provided by VISA and MasterCard, but also contains their own ‘fine print’ such as early termination fees, etc.

    All binding paperwork is not presented at the time of signing, but only referred to as a website address where you can go and read all of the ugly little details about additional fees and obligations. This is deceptive as they do not bring this to your attention and let you know there are more terms and conditions they will hold you to, nor do they give you an opportunity to go online and review the 32 page document before signing.

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    2 / 2 found this review helpful.

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