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.


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com/credit-card-processors/merchant-one-review/

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.
  6. Tom Davis

    How can the BBB give this company an “A+” and this review be a “D”?

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Tom, the short answer is that we dig much deeper into the business practices and type/volume of complaints filed about a provider. The BBB only evaluates the complaints filed and resolved within its own platform. This often encourages providers to work diligently to solve BBB complaints in order to maintain a good rating even though they are not correcting the problems that caused the complaints in the first place. We specialize in reviewing and rating merchant account providers, which is a complex industry that cannot be accurately rated within the BBB’s broad criteria which covers all types of industries. In fact, we have reviewed over 300 providers and found that the grading across providers with the BBB is vastly inconsistent.

      If you would like more detail, please see our Rating Criteria.

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  7. Paula Wills

    Well I guess I’m the latest victim of this fraudulent company! Totally deceived by the undisclosed extra fees, annual fee & the best was the 3 year contract that I had know idea I had entered into. Gina Gordon the sales person told me I could cancel at anytime and never mentioned an annual fee. I found this out by notifying them of a $99.00 charge on my account. Obviously I had no idea of an annual fee and them proceeded to find out I was in a 3 year contract. Pulled out my contract and found the $99 annual fee in small print but no where on there is there a 3 year contract term. It says in Section IV that it is disclosed in Section III. Well Section III is no where to be found. After contacting them again they said they can send me the “Program Guide” which stipulates that term. Okay so you’re telling me on top of all the other undisclosed information in the application process you want to send me documentation of my contract which was never disclosed at the time of my signing. HUH! Well I’m in the process of waiting for a call back from upper management after telling the customer service rep that I don’t feel he should take the brunt of my anger. If I don’t get the resolution from upper management I will be contacting the BBB, Attorney General & my attorney. These people need to be stopped!!!!

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  8. Fallon

    This has to be one of the worst companies to deal with. From the beginning three years ago the sales rep did not explain the numerous extra charges we would be charged when we signed the contract. They are continually adding charges and raising processing fees and compliance fees. After the company convinced us to purchase a terminal from them so we would be charged lower processing fees we were told four months later the terminal was discontinued so we would have to spend another 200 and buy a different one. They lock you into a three year contract charge high termination fees when try to leave early. Their customer service reps are rude even when they mistakenly overcharge our account and should be apologizing for their mistake which happens often. Unhappy with this company from day one thankfully the three years of hell with this company is over.

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  9. Jim

    This review is right on the money……They requested additional signers on our account when we refused and stated that we would go elsewhere they opened the account anyway without our knowledge and started charging the monthly fee also without our knowledge. We never made any tranactions with this company and it took four months to get them to stop charging the fees….We are out the $100 bucks…..My advice Run …..Run like you hair is on fire from these folks!!!!!

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  10. Terri Billingsly

    I put in a card payment online with Paul Milburn Acreages…..this transaction showed declined several times so I notified the company via email over the holiday. Since it has been a fiasco as one company states that I am the one putting the hold on my account…ummm how is that???? Merchant One has the credit card services for that website and all I get from Milburns office is that they cannot do anything that they never recieved anything although My BANK WELLS FARGO….has in my account a hold on the payment and it is held by MERCHANT ONE….AT SOME POINT THEY ACCEPTED MY PAYMENT AND HAVE A HOLD ON THIS PAYMENT WHICH IS THE ISSUE…..each entity is telling me neither is at fault yet they are still holding my money and account up. This has been going back and forth since monday….Milburns office speaking with my bank and then merchant one and it has gotten NOWHERE. So I contacted MERCHANT ONE myself as Milburns office wants Merchant ONE to speak to my bank….well problem there is no info can be obtained or discussed without me being there….so why have them call my bank if they cannot get any information??? Milburns office has not been the nicest in this instance either as they act as though I am not being truthful with them even though they have a copy of the hold on my bank account sent to them by my bank WELLS FARGO. Speaking with Merchant One today due to not being able to get anywhere with Milburns office and it is just like all the complaints I read online this morning about MERCHANT ONE……sad that a business with such potential has such horrible customer service and excuses. 179 complaints in 6 months!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Very dissappointed and disgusted with both entities at this point!!!!

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  11. Mike Cassella

    Besides the high PCI compliance fees we were just charged $99 annual fee. I had selected merchantone based on the sales rep saying there were no annual fees. My contract does not disclose any annual fee amount, but it also does not say there is none. Loophole? It does state monthly fees, statement fees etc etc.

    Deceptive advertising. Cancelled and we will see what kind of termination fees they have. Contract clearly says NONE, I am guessing they will continue to bill me my minimum $25 monthly fee and call it something else other than termination.

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Mike,

      How much did they charge you for the PCI Compliance Fee?

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    2. Terry Boothman

      Mike,
      Don’t bet on their NOT charging you a serious cancellation fee. We had the same issues and likewise were billed this fee. I forget the exact amount, but it was several hundred dollars. We refused to pay it and, after a barrage of threatening calls and letters, they relented. Note to all commenters: there is NO reason to comply with any of their charges. Simply cancel your account and cite the numerous complaints that you find here and elsewhere. They are highly unlikely to take legal action for a few hundred dollars.
      Tom Booth

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      1. Drew

        Most likely they will send you to collections and ding your credit. The cancellation fee is $295 or $25 a month, whichever is greater and they just took it straight out of my account.

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  12. National Security Consulting & Investigations PLLC

    Our company signed up with Merchant One because of the offers they had advertised. We quite quickly found out that 1) you have to agree to ‘terms of service’ electronically, without even getting to read what you are signing. There is no way to sign up without agreeing (sort of like with free downloads on the net) and if you hit ‘continue’ apparently you are authorizing to lots of terms that are not disclosed to you.

    As high tech crime investigators, we find the sales tactics are clear bait and switch techniques. To date, we have had monthly charges taken out of our account that were never authorized. They ACH the $9.95 that they disclose, but then do additional charges for $34.78 or other amounts like $99.00 that just somehow show up. When you try to get someone to credit back the charges that were taken out without authorization, they promise to fix the problem and tell you the charges will be credited back to your account “within two weeks”. Those credits not only do not happen, but additional charges come out. These folks, in our opinion as fraud investigators, have a wide variety of fradulent tactics going on include wire fraud and banking violations. We strongly urge anyone who has had problems with this company to report these issues to your bank, to the Better Business Bureau and to your local police department. They are doing this on a wide-scale basis. From the postings on this website alone, at least 173 other complaints have been filed for their various nefarious tactics. This is probably a very small sample compared to what is actually going on. You can also legally post the facts on the Internet–so we also encourage you to do that.

    As of this posting, they have ‘scammed’ us to the tune of $200.00, even though we did let them know we are aware of their various fraud tactics. Each person

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  13. Drew Horn

    Merchant One is misleading! I signed up with them two years ago, only to find they capped the transaction dollar amount on purchases, which hurt us dearly due to our high ticket sales. Also they raised our interest rate about 5 times during the year “due to higher interchange rates”…. So the advertised rate didn’t last long. Also their statement fees, yearly $99 account fee, and PCI and monthly fees were exhorbitant. They hold you hostage to a three year agreement, and if you cancel early, (which I just did) they say they charge you $25 a month for every month left on your contract. However, if this amount is less than $295 then they charge you the greater amount. So it has cost me $425 to get out of my account this year. DO NOT RECOMMEND! I recommend Dharma Merchant Services – Non contracts, no limits, great service, low rates and fees!

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  14. D K

    Having been with this processor for over 3 1/2 years, I started to shop again.There are much better companys, with out all the bad reviews. A 3 year committment or pay the termination fee was my agreement. Well, sometime down the road, their terms were amended to 5 years and auto renews. Which they said I was obligated to recently. They have added 4 more pages to their policy. the page that said 5 years, page 28, did not exist when I went with them. Thats the latest in a scamy company that one would think, having access to your moneys, should, would, and could, be upfront and honest. For mobil, which I use, no swipe, their iphone ap ad specifiys one rate, and your hit with a higher one. Keep shoping and stay clear of this con artist, Merchant One

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  15. Patty Romeo

    I am completely disgusted with their after hours or weekends emergency help with my terminal! The referred me to no less than 5 different phone numbers, NONE OF WHICH WAS ANY HELP! I would not recommend them in the future so go elsewhere for your credit cards terminal needs….

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  16. Tom Eure

    I set up my a/c with Jennifer Liehn-Pupo and you programmed my machine and told me I was good to go. Now I find out that you are holding my deposits until you can do a site survey. I’ve been in business for 41 years and have never been asked for this.
    My contract says nothing about this either. So I will call Jennifer back tomorrow, today she said she could not believe this was happening and she would get it straight. If you didn’t want me to make charges before the site survey you should not have turned on my machine.
    This terminal, as I have explained over and over, is for our old customers from 20 years of craft shows. Our main terminal is at our shop at the Greenbrier hotel, a pos system. We only run customers that have nothing to do with the hotel thru our home machine which is not many. I explained all of this to Jennifer and she said we were good to go.
    So tomorrow if I do not receive satisfaction for the $267 you have not deposited in my a/c but took charges for I am going to contact the interstate commerce commission and report you for fraud.
    I just want to get these two transactions in my a/c and then I do not want to do business with you anymore. I have wasted more time on this than you can imagine. This afternoon I spoke with a very arrogant young man who told me what I could and could not do including calling the ICC. This person also told me that the survey people had tried numerous times to contact me. I am in my home office everyday and no one has called me. Believe me you won’t like what they have to say when they find out how we have been treated by your company.
    If anyone along the way had said “you have to have a site survey before we will give you your money” I would have cancelled my a/c right then. But no, you waited until I noticed that my deposits were not coming thru and then told me. This constitutes fraud and is punishable by a fine and other means.
    Tom Eure
    http://www.atlantisleather.com
    [phone number redacted]

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  17. Tony

    I made the HUGE mistake of switching to MerchantOne last year.

    After speaking with “Kevin D. Brown” and going over exactly what I was paying at the time, he assured me, repeatedly, that they would save me money on credit card processing. Kevin D. Brown is a lying POS as is MerchantOne. After a few months of seeing fees that greatly exceeded what I was previously paying, I closed the account.

    They proceeded to bill me a termination fee of several hundred dollars which I did not pay. If this isn’t extortion, I don’t know what is.

    Then they put a chargeoff on my credit report putting a ding in my otherwise perfect credit.

    Don’t walk, RUN from this company.

    If there’s a class-action suit against this deplorable group, I want to be a part of it.

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  18. Badger Wrestling Club

    The long-term contracts and billing practices of Merchant One are misleading and borderline fraudulent in our view. This has been a time consuming and disappointing situation for our organization.

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hello,

      In order for this review to remain published, would you mind adding more detail about your experience?

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  19. Kelvin

    It has been over 2 years that I did buisness with this company, I was borded and thought I would see if Merchant One had changd there ways, and it looks like they havent changed at all. I read all these reviews and say to myself thats the kind of crap they pulled on me 2+ years ago.
    Just type in Meerchant One scam and it is amazing what this company does to small buisnesses.

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  20. Mark

    I needed to cancel my services because of months and months of random fees and when i told them i needed to cancel they said “they do not recomend it because we are under contract and will be a hassle” because of cancellation fees. This company has put my business account in the hole too many times because of their hidden fees I do not recomend them to anybody unless you read their (30 page contract) that they say they do not have!…

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  21. Tom Booth

    I’d agree with all the negative comments above. We were also told there would be no “cancellation fee,” or hidden fees of any kind. We’ve been bombarded with unexplained fees, often with mysterious codes. Today, upon asking for cancellation, we were told there would be a two-year cancellation penalty amounting to $600.

    This is a fraudulent company: you should simply avoid doing business with them under any circumnstances.

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  22. George

    This company is horrible. Their fees are outrageous.

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    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi George, can you provide more details of your experience? Otherwise, we’ll have to delete this comment since it’s not technically a review of the Merchant One’s services.

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  23. Dennis Kendrick

    Wow,
    I thought I was the only one being deceived and screwed over.
    Does any one have any info on the best way to handle this deceit and fraud ?
    thanks.

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  24. Debby Arango

    Please help put scam companies like this one out of buisness. Fees,Fee’s… anything thing they want to charge
    they take right out of your account. Every month I had more and more money taken from my account, and when I would call to ask they said it was in the paperwork.
    After 2 years with the company They charged me 250.00 to close out with them, of course they didn’t tell me
    that!! It was just missing from my account. We also had to close all buisness accounts so they would stop taking money.
    Take warning stay away you will be sorry! I will also make a complaint to the BBB , but I heard they have an A
    rating with them . Something fishy there too.!!!

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  25. Shawn W

    Stay away from this one. I’ve been with this company for 6 years. I started out paying 15 dollars a month now every month a new fee. Bill went from 15 to 221.00,129.00,86.00,79.00,68.00 dollars. Now they’re charging a 28 dollar fee three times a year for processing paperwork. A 99 dollar a year fee for annual fees, 87 dollar a year pci fee, and a 3.75 monthly fee for pci. Also a 19.90 dollar fee a month for comstar fee. Also gateway monthly fee that has been as high as 43.00 dollars a month. Those fee don’t even include the fees you pay for charging a credit card such as transaction fees and other charges. By the way the fees I signed up to pay are out the window. When you get a large charge amount your fees go up suddenly. Went as high as 3.15%. Over double what I signed up for. When I called to complain they said we’ll now set your rate so it don’t happen again after the damage is done. For three months they over charged me 19.90 refunded the money then charged me over the next two months also. If I had never caught it I’ll still be paying double. Worst company ever stay away.

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  26. Vitaliy K

    Please Stay away, the worst merchant to deal with. It was very easy to sign in, not possible to sign off.

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    1. tim rock, cpa

      absolutely THE worst company i have ever worked with (22 years practice). watch out for all the hidden fees including the never mentioned annual membership fee of $99/yr that was hidden in the fine print of the contract. and when you cancel, look out! the fax number they provdide to cancel conveniently never works. it actually me 8 days and many phone call and faxes to get it done. i compared to CMS and happily cancelled merchant one. unfortunately, merchant one is not (all of a sudden) easy and friendly to deal with once you try to cancel…and the HIDDEN fees are ridiculous! i have MANY clients that accept cards and they will certainly be “schooled” by me on merchant one. STAY AWAY! seriously. tim.

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  27. Kevin Barwick

    I signed a contract in February 2011. I was verbally told that I was on a month-to-month contract. Besides having frustrations with all the hidden and extemporaneous fees, they were not responsive to my need for them to own up to a mistake they made regarding PCI Compliance.

    After several months of being charged $24.50/month for me allegedly being non-compliant with PCI regs, I called Merchant One to get this cleared up. The rep arranged a conference call with Control Scan. CS and Merchant One admitted they made a mistake in how it was inputted, i.e. absolving me of any negligence. Although I had been compliant from the beginning, Merchant One chose to not refund me for any of the months, but one. My five calls to them never transpired into any help toward me.

    I thus decided to cancel my contract with Merchant One. I signed the cancellation notice. When I found a $295 charge on my checking account I called once again. They said that there was a three-year contract to which I originally signed. I was never told about a three-year contract, nor was I sent their Program Guide stipulating this policy.

    A Merchant One supervisor refused to refund me the cancellation fee, leaning on the fact that I signed an original contract (which indicated only the “possibility” of an early termination fee). I felt as if I wasn’t heard nor respected by the “Customer Service” reps.

    I would not recommend Merchant One for any small business needs!

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  28. ron salvetti

    We have had the same issues with Merchant One as described by other reviewers, that is their deceptive promise of no additional fees, cancellation at any time and a one year contract. We specifically wanted a one year contract for our new business and were assured that this would be the case. We were rushed over the phone to simply sign the contract, our rep assured us that the contract was for one year and we needed to sign now. Shortly after, we were charged the 90.00 compliance fee and then learned that we had a 3 year contract that we are obligated for, personally, even though we are an LLC. Run in the other direction from Merchant One!

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  29. Patricia Kruger

    When we opened our account with Merchant One almost 9 months ago. We were told we could “cancel at any time”. Yet, when I tried to cancel this month because I just was not using the service (I’ve only used it three times in 9 mos) They tried to force me into agreeing to pay a cancellation fee of $675. When I objected they said, “business has been tough this past year, we have to make our money somehow.” When I told them I was told I could cancel at anytime and never signed a contract (everything was set up online) they sent me an application with a forged signature on it. And, conveniently, my salesman had no recolection of the promise he had made to me when we opened the account. Ultimately we had to cancel our bank account and reopen. I am very disappointed to find this company to be so unprofessional. Being dishonest is not the way to get ahead.

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