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/stellar-payment-systems/

2 comments

  1. Dominic A. Aaron

    Stellar is a rip-off company. I have been trying to contact the salesperson (Shannon) for over two weeks. I was due a refund of my money due to the miscommunication (lying) by this person. Please do not do business with this company.

  2. ni-fei sheih

    SPS has a shady credit card merchant account practice. First of all, they will falsely promise that their fee will be lower than your existing bank’s credit card merchant account. They will ask you for your existing statements so they will analyze whether they can beat your current rate. Then they will come back to tell you that after analysis, they can definitely lower your monthly fees from credit card transaction. But in reality, since I signed up at the end of December 2012, I’ve been charged a lot more than my previous bank (SPS’s fees have been about 2x a much as my previous bank PNC. in March 2013, SPS charged me about 10% of my total transaction. In April 2013 when i ran very few credit card transactions with them, they charged me over $50 for a total of $150 credit card transaction!!!). Second, SPS will give you the application without explaining in details on what the fees are. Also they have some hidden charges that they don’t tell you about. Their fee for running credit card transaction is outrageous. Third, when you get the bill & want to dispute the charge with them, they take their time to give you an answer (in my case, it took 3 month billing cycles before they figure out why they charged me more than double of what PNC was charging me before with the same amount of credit card transaction). So while you wait for their solution, the fees keep piling up (if you run credit card transaction while you wait, their various fees get run up…. if you don’t do any credit card transaction, you also get tagged with other fees such as monthly minimum fee….so either way, they almost see purposely try to slow the resolution process so they can charge you more fee). Fourth, when they came back to me with a solution, they said the reason that my fee with them had been higher than PNC was because I wasn’t on the right plan. So they basically refuse to take the fault where it was their fault for not signing you up to the correct plan that they told the client about initially. They basically did a bait & switch on the client. After the client catches on of their bait & switch strategy, SPS then wants you to be patient & try the other plan. If the other plan doesn’t make the fee lower than the your previous bank, they again win because they’ll collect more fee. Now I have requested cancellation (beginning of May 2013). Let see whether they will have another shady practice to collect more fees. Below is more details of some of the problems i encountered with SPS in the last few months.

    ——————————————————————–

    The fees charged by credit merchant account is more than promised in contract. Also, a charge not stated in contract had mysteriously appeared in my account.
    Stellar Payment System (SPS,800-676-4030, Fax:305-575-1512) had guaranteed with a proposal back December 2012 that their credit card merchant account will provide my business lower rate (0.99% volume percent pass through interchange+$0.15/item transaction fee+$25 fee only if monthly credit card transaction is not more than $25). SPS was so confident that they can beat my current pricing that they sent a letter saying that they decided to come up with a $1,000.00 just for me if they cannot beat my current pricing with PNC. So to determine whether they can provide a better rate for me than PNC, I provided SPS’s senior funding manager Zeeshan Saeed my credit card merchant statements from PNC. After SPS came back with a pricing proposal that beat PNC’s pricing with rate mentioned above, I signed up with SPS credit card merchant account at the end of December 2012. A working credit card machine was received from SPS on 1/15/13. The machine had some problem initially but was fixed on 1/21/13. I noticed that on 1/2/13, SPS had charged me $53.97. Before I signed up, there was no mentioning of this charge anywhere in the contract. Also this charge occurred before I even received a working credit card machine from SPS. In 2nd week of February 2013, after I received the January 2013 merchant statement from SPS, I also noticed that there were a lot of fees (PCI noncomplliance/regulatory product/sales items/ 15% interchange fee) that appear in the statement that were not mentioned before in the contract. So the overall fee charged by SPS on my credit card transaction in January 2013 ended up 2x as high as what PNC would have charged me. So I wrote to Zeeshan Saeed on 2/13/13 & he asked me to scan the statements from SPS & PNC so his team can analyze what went wrong. I sent him all of the statements but learned that Zeeshan Saeed was no longer with SPS so they assigned me Brian Katzman . Again, I sent Brian the statements twice, first time on 2/28/13 and again on 3/13/13 so his team could analyze the problem. Brian also promised to find out why I was erroneously charged $53.97 on 1/2/13 when I didn’t even begin using the credit card service from SPS yet. On 3/14/13, Brian said his team found out that my higher monthly fee in comparing to PNC was due to the 0.99% volume percent for the pass through interchange. So he lowered the volume percent on Pass Through Interchange to 0.5% on 3/14/13, and said that I should see lower fee than PNC in March 2013. After I did my own analysis with the change in pass through interchange volume percent, I told Brian that would not make my fee lower than PNC because fee charged by SPS was higher due to all these miscellaneous charges on the statement. Then Brian told me that it appears that Pnc has me on a 3 tier rate so in order to get my fee lower than PNC, he could keep me on the same 3 tier rate at lower %. So SPS was basically not honoring the lower fee guarantee and their original analysis (they didn’t notice this in their initial analysis?). SPS was not acknowledging their higher fee & now was trying to convince me that the problem would be solved by switching me to another one of their plan. I agreed to switch anyway on 3/15/13, hoping that it would fix the problem. Also on 4/4/13, Brian told me that $53.97 on 1/2/13 was a pre month service. There was no mentioning of this pre-month service when i signed up with SPS. When they charged it, SPS was very sneaky about it & didn’t leave any explanation either. On 4/10/13, I wrote to Brian again to let him know that I was still getting charged much higher fee than PNC. In fact, I was charged 10% of total credit card transaction in March 2013!! Brian requested credit of $53.97 on 4/17/13 but SPS denied it. SPS falsely advertised the deal & sneaked in hidden charges. It’s not easy to terminate account as they will try to delay the process with explanations or new deal. They’re a fraud.

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