February 2019 Complaint Roundup: Never Trust a Buyout

What Are Other Merchants Saying?

Negotiation image
© 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 January and February. 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.

Don't Ever Trust A Buyout

Tina's January 15 comment on our United Card Solutions review states the following:

Alexandra Sparks ~ has anything come of this? I am very interested in a class action lawsuit against these criminals. My 80 year old mother, an Italian immigrant, who’s english is still evolving, was completely scammed by a female named Christine. She even went into such detail about how to return our equipment to First Data ~ “we will send you a box with the return labels, and a form letter that we send to First Data telling them to ‘cease and desist’. We have an agreement with them to honor our requests. You will receive this 90 days after your contract begins”….Seriously, how do you do this to an 80 year old woman, knowing that you are talking over her head??? Of course First Data couldn’t care less what we were told, and we now have 2 leases….

This is typical appalling behavior from United Card Solutions, but it's notable that this UCS representative assured Tina's mother that UCS will send a “cease and desist” letter to leverage UCS's “agreement with [First Data] to honor our requests.” This agreement obviously does not exist, and cease and desist letters are virtually meaningless to credit card processors. It is likely that this was a knowing lie by the sales agent, and it's possible that the agent was trained by United Card Solutions to use this very tactic.

Remember: the contract is king in the world of merchant services. Your processor expects to be paid the full amount it is entitled to under your contract, and it will not willingly release you to a competitor. Many reputable and non-reputable payment processors offer to buy new merchants out of their current contracts, but our advice is to never trust someone else to handle your account cancellation process. Instead, cancel your own merchant account without paying a fee, and then buy a new terminal outright instead of leasing from your next processor.

Possible YapStone 1099K Errors

Donald Torrey's January 27 comment on our YapStone review states the following:

Just received my 2018 1099k from yapstone, does not match my records. Waiting to see how they plan to correct it. Advise everyone to check their records. I have stopped doing business with both Home away and Vrbo. It has gone down hill since Expedia bought it.

We have seen no other evidence that there has been some kind of systemic error at YapStone that would generate multiple 1099K reporting errors, but Donald's advice is sound. If you process through YapStone (or any processor, really), you should be sure to review your 1099K carefully. If you find a discrepancy, you should be sure that your processor refunds (or eliminates) any IRS reporting fees.

Another Possible Chyp Alias

Ron's February 6 comment on our Chyp review states the following:

A simple google search of Hero Payments phone number turned up this other name the are using It also appears Robirds has entered into the CBD business.

As Ron warned us last month, it appears that Chyp's management team might be moving on to new brand names. The shift to high risk marijuana and CBD merchant accounts represents a new sector for the Chyp team, but merchants are still advised to exercise caution with any Chyp-affiliated brand. CBD vendors who are looking for payment processing will likely have a better experience working with a top-rated CBD merchant account provider.

Clover's EBT Troubles

Rebecca Landis's January 29 complaint on our Clover review states the following:

I am just starting to use a Clover Flex for SNAP EBT tokens at a farmers’ market. It appears that First Data won’t allow manual entry of cards with bad mag stripes. And we could not use the machine to clear offline food vouchers. Most farmers’ markets have just one wireless card reading machine. When it dies, we authorize over the phone on laborious forms, that have to be cleared one by one on the new equipment. This is part of offering SNAP EBT, and First Data is shirking that responsibility.

This is the first we've heard of Clover's inability to accept SNAP EBT payments, but this seems like an issue that could plague any of the leading mobile payment processing apps. Products like Clover and Square are generally optimized to offer snappy checkout experiences at conventional retail and restaurant locations. Any occasion that requires card-not-present transactions or phone authorizations is straining the intended use of the product. Merchants who regularly accept EBT payments will be better served by working with a top-rated EBT payment processor.

One Agent's Poynt Review

Jaron Rice's January 23 comment on our Poynt review states the following:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Poynt reseller through Elavon. I have a number of them in the field and have seen some of them fail. The ones that have had issues thus far have been the 3G models. I’ve never had an issues with the WiFi models or the Poynt 5 handheld. I think the entire undertaking was ambitious and they probably launched a years sooner than they should have. That said, they recognized early on the issues they were having and have authorized Elavon to replace any failing units no questions asked. My clients were overnighted new devices. Elavon recently invested $100 million into Poynt and I’m confident that the investment will pay huge dividends. The best thing about the device in my opinion is the options you get. You can use it’s native register app, you can use eHopper POS, Lightning Register, Silver Fox POS, eThor, talech and a bunch of other POS softwares through this single device. Ultimately, it gives you freedom and flexibility unlike anything I’ve seen. I’m excited to see where it’s going.

Poynt seems to finally be making some inroads in the POS market, but merchants would be wise to watch out for the issue Jaron describes with the 3G models. We remain optimistic about Poynt's potential to be a widely used POS product, but merchants can expect some hiccups as the product finds its way. For now, a top-rated iPad POS provider will be the best fit for merchants who are looking to use the newest POS equipment.

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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