Petroleum Card Services
Petroleum Card Services Overview
Founded in 1999, Petroleum Card Services (pcs4fuel.com) is a merchant account provider based in Minden, Nevada, that specializes in providing credit card processing services to privately owned gas stations. Interestingly, Petroleum Card Services (PCS) is a subsidiary of iPayment and uses First Data as its card processor. Although PCS does not process in-house, it appears to manage the customer service of its accounts directly instead of outsourcing to First Data. In addition to supplying merchant accounts, PCS also sells and leases pay-at-pump and countertop card acceptance equipment. Petroleum Card Services is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||Yes|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||Yes|
PCS does not utilize any deceptive advertising or sales tactics that were apparent to this reviewer. The company appears to rely on telemarketing and independent sales offices to market its accounts, but there are currently no Petroleum Card Services negative reviews that accuse the company’s sales staff of unethical practices. In light of the company’s low complaint total and fair advertising, we have awarded it an “A+” in this category.
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$109 per year|
According to an agent of PCS, the company offers month-to-month contracts with no cancellation fee. Additionally, the agent stated that PCS passes the wholesale Interchange processing cost onto merchants with only a five cent ($0.05) markup, and no percentage markup whatsoever. These claims sound almost too good to be true, and they are directly at odds with the actual merchant agreement available on the PCS website (also available below).
According to the company’s merchant agreement, Petroleum Card Services offers a three-year agreement with a $300 early termination fee, an annual PCI Compliance fee of $109, a monthly minimum of $25, an annual membership fee of $75, and a tiered pricing schedule. These terms are more expensive than industry averages and are nowhere near the prices that a representative quoted to CardPaymentOptions.com. If you have any knowledge of whether the document provided on the company’s website is accurate, please share that information in the comment section of this review.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
As of this review, only a couple of complaints about PCS have been filed online, and both can be found in our comment section below. Of the complaints, one appears to be the fault of the merchant and not PCS, and the other appears to be an isolated incident which was resolved. Both complaints received responses from a PCS representative, who gave reasonably professional responses.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
Currently, PCS is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an “A+” rating based upon four complaints filed in the last 36 months. Of the total, two are regarding problems with service and two with billing or collection disputes. All four of the complaints have been resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction. We typically reserve “A+” ratings for providers that are showing zero complaints, so in this case we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A.” For more information on why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our rating criteria.
Overall, Petroleum Card Services scores well in our review of the company. The only factor lowering the company’s overall rating is its contract, which appears to be very costly. Since PCS is a subsidiary of iPayment and uses First Data as the card processor, be sure to fully read and understand the terms of your merchant account agreement before signing with this company.
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