April 2019 Complaint Roundup: New Fees From Paya & TSYS

What Are Other Merchants Saying?

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© Depositphotos – James Steidl

Here at CPO, we review every comment that we receive from our readers, and sometimes we see merchants mention a topic that isn’t covered in our reviews. To help you stay on top of the trends and issues in the credit card processing industry, we’ve gathered the following merchant complaints posted to CPO during March and April. If you would like to respond or add your thoughts to any of these comments, please follow the links to the original comments and reply to them directly, or leave a comment of your own below the appropriate company’s review.

New Brands, New Fees

Monica Bland’s March 20 comment on our TSYS Merchant Solutions review states the following:

This company raised my base rate from $5/mo to $40/mo without notifying me. They did not respond to my inquiry from their own website. After three weeks, I called and the rep barely spoke English and would not let me explain. She said they had the right to charge me any additional fees they chose because of the fine print in my contract. I did not have a contract with them, mine was with Cayan before the merge, and my contract did not say this! She told me I had been notified of any increases and additional fees on my statements which they do not send me because they are paperless. She agreed to have their internal team “investigate” my case. A couple hours later, I received an email response repeating the above. Worst ethics ever! Do not use this company!

Becker Plumbing Supply Co.’s March 22 comment on our Paya review describes a similar situation:

Been with them for several years. Very happy with them until recently they change to “Paya” . They have increased fees and added fees and charges. They never notified our company too update the horrible PCI and started charging us $75 plus a $35 fee monthly fee – (several extra hundred dollars in PCI fees). They have been charging us all sorts of unknown fees that we have no idea what they are – we are thinking of switching processors. We are now searching for another processor and may switch very soon. We don’t like being cheated !!!!!

Cayan was recently acquired by TSYS, and Paya is the name given to Sage Payment Solutions following its acquisition by new private equity owners. In both cases, it appears that a change in ownership and branding has brought with it remarkable rate increases. Examples like these highlight the need for merchants to follow changes in the payment processing industry. If your provider is acquired, you will be able to research the acquiring company and prepare for potential rate hikes. If you have experienced rate increases at the hands of TSYS, Paya, or any other processor, we recommend obtaining a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden fees.

SBGA’s Newest Sales Tricks

Nat’s March 24 comment on our Small Business Growth Alliance review states the following:

Such a horrible company that targets small companies and tell them they are with collections or with part or their bank or processor or would even say they are with the county’s business coop to trick people into trusting them. The supervisors there tell the employees to do whatever it takes to get those appointments!!! The only way to be successful in this company is lying threw your teeth. They use scare tactics on both employees and the business owners who they are trying to trick into signing the contract with them. They tell them they are part of their company and they are in charge of handling the rate increases and the new updates. So sad to hear all the stories of the companies who they made go bankrupt or simply tricked them into signing a 3 year contract. It’s sad business owners have to go threw that kind of harrassment. The company rarely adds people to the DNC list. They say not until they get them to change to their services. So many shady sh*t this company has going on its the same company that had the law suit in 2010 I believe just with a different name. Yet they are still doing the same thing they were doing before just made a new name for the company and a new website. They are located in Irvine on research drive but the building has no sign so you won’t know which one they are. Most the people there are white and they treat the others unfairly.

Kelly’s April 1 comment reveals even more about SBGA’s practices:

After reading other’s reviews now I have an understanding that this some sort of sales tactic / scam. They have been calling non stop for 3 + months and at one point our office received 6 calls in one day. The same girl that has been calling non stop has now said that actually it was her sister that was calling and she has taken over for her and they’ve changed systems so the previous information was no longer available. They continue to state that we will see a rise in credit card costs on our end and HAVE TO review our statement from our machine. But state that it is free to review and that they are required to do so by our current company. They will not stop contacting us and continue to change the numbers associated with their calls so they cannot be screened. The unsure responses and the rep being unable to answer questions is questionable alone. If you’re selling services make that known and be transparent rather than requesting our information to offer us lower rates which probably cannot be done considering most companies sign leasing contracts.

It’s nothing new to hear about SBGA sales agents using deceptive sales tactics to lock merchants into unwanted accounts, but these reports describe a few new wrinkles to SBGA’s approach. Nat reports that the company’s agents tell merchants that they are “with collections” or “with the county’s business coop“, while Kelly states that one agent claimed that it was actually “her sister that was calling and she has taken over for her and they’ve changed systems“. In our opinion, these consistently reported tactics from SBGA have gone on long enough. Merchants are advised to shut down any contact with SBGA and to report the company if they suspect they have been misled.

E-Signatures & Forgery Risk

Rhonda’s March 21 comment on our Performance Merchant Alliance review states the following:

Update 03/21/2019
The company has changed to DBA/ “AccessOne” via “BlueSquare” website at “youraccessone.com”.
I have been attempting to speak to an account manager concerning over charges and inaccurate percentages being assessed. Needless to say I still have not heard from anyone.
I explained the situation to the representative that answered the phone number.

I didn’t mention it and they were not aware that I had a copy of the original document and continued to give me the run around when I called multiple times over the last month to ask why we are being charged fees that differ from the original contract agreement.
I finally got a copy of the contract from a woman named “Ashley via e-mail”
To my horror, upon examination of the copy they e-mailed, several things were forged, changed and out right fraudulent entries were made to the document.
The pages originally had a time – date – stamp as is normal for a faxed document, the page that was forged and changed had no time -date stamp at all and with all the changes made include forging a signature, initials, changing the percentages on the fee schedule and such.
I immediately called the center back and spoke to “Ashley” again . This conversation was not pleasant, she became very rude and argumentative with me, cut me off mid sentence when i explained that they are committing bank fraud and transferred me to her “supervisor”.
Supervisor “Steven” obviously didn’t answer and I left a message for him to call immediately and that I want answers.
No call yet.
I am going to report to the BBB. I am also going to contact an attorney to see what can be done.
Buyer Be Ware

It is increasingly common within the credit card processing industry for agents to capture merchant signatures via email or in-person on a tablet screen. Merchants should be aware that providing a digital signature may give the processor the ability to paste that signature into other portions of the contract. Although it is outright fraud to falsify a merchant’s consent on a document, it is possible that some e-signature screens may include a hard-to-spot disclaimer that grants total contractual consent based on a single e-signature. To avoid this, merchants are encouraged to research where processors most often hide fees and contract terms in contracts.

YapStone Billing Error

Jodi Braswell’s March 23 complaint on our YapStone review states the following:

This is the most unprofessional company. They do not do there job. I have been talking to them for over a month now. I had a guest stay at my home who left another VRBO hose due to the cleanliness. She contacted AMEX to let them know she had not stayed in this home and wanted to be refunded for that home. Yapstone has tried three times now to take it from my account and now are saying they will deactivate my account if I don’t give them the 1200 they want. The renter left a glowing review and has called them about a dozen times now to tell them they are wrong as well as Amex. I don’t have the money to return since the money was received 60 days ago. Not to mention it’s not there money. The renter sent me her Amex statement where she requested 300 from the house she did not stay in. So why is yapstone trying to take 1200 from me. I have sent them a email from the renter I have sent tons of supporting documentation that this chargeback was not filed. This is a crooked company that does not care about the customers Home Away has. I am now having to hire an attorney. Worst company ever very unprofessional .

It appears that YapStone is improperly attempting to process a chargeback from Jodi’s account rather than the actual account responsible for the chargeback. This is a unique situation: it is a chargeback initiated by a VRBO user who may or may not have made a mistake using the VRBO interface, but YapStone (not VRBO) is the entity actually enforcing the chargeback. This means that YapStone may not have the necessary access to VRBO’s user information to resolve the issue appropriately, and vice-versa. These challenges are less likely for merchants who run their online property rental business directly through their own merchant account provider, rather than through a marketplace like VRBO or Airbnb.

Have you had an experience that you would like to share with these commenters? Reply to their comments and you may be featured in next month’s complaint roundup!

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