January 2019 Complaint Roundup: CardConnect’s Surprise Annual Fee

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 December and January. 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.

CardConnect's New Year's Surprise

Kim's January 3 comment on our CardConnect review states the following:

Appears CardConnect needs additional revenue. What kind of company will put in fine print on a Nov 2018 statement that you will be charged a $199 Annual Membership Fee (in all the years we’ve done business with them we have NEVER paid a “membership fee”). I was told that it is to support the platform?! and it was for services provided in Jan-Dec 2018. Does not seem ethical to me that at the end of the year they impose a fee for you doing business with them in the prior 12 months. Wish I could blind side my customers with “hey, thanks for doing business with us in the prior 12 months, as a gift we are charging you $199”
Maybe their customer service will improve with the additional funds they raised this way, but we’ll never know as this is the last straw for us with this company.

Another merchant named Anna replied to her a day later:

Samething happened to me Kim! I called and was transfered to several people, all to get a rude associate stating he was the “Supervisor” over the whole department and was hung up on after asking that very question you asked. Why are you charging retro? I have been a customer since 2012 and never been charged an annual fee! My annual fee I was charged was $288! Talk about a totally being blindsided! I canceled as well and currently on hold with my bank to dispute the charge! Warning stay away from this company!!

Both business owners describe the fee as an unspecified “annual fee” rather than a fee related to any specific service or event, and both of them also state that this fee is intended to retroactively apply to calendar year 2018. It seems that CardConnect has decided to disclose this large fee of a variable amount in the fine print of its November statements rather than alerting merchants in a more direct fashion. If you are a CardConnect user, we recommend checking your monthly statement for this fee and getting it refunded or eliminated.

A Paysafe Agent's Warning

Kimberly Hernandez's December 28 comment on our Merchants' Choice Payment Solutions review states the following:

Everything changed once Paysafe acquired MCPS which is fine IF it’s a change for good. Their intentions were to weed out agents that were dishonest, and agents that were “too high maintenance” – meaning my constant questioning of my pay, of unnecessary refunds to merchants causing me to go into the red, for retention making poor decisions and not reviewing he original contract NOR any previous notes of what these owners were doing… it was very clear that these were owners that ‘used the system due to what retention kept doing over and over’ without even blinking, nor taking the time to get anyone involved to ensure the money they GAVE away was correct. The refunds were even calculated incorrectly giving them even a HIGHER refund. I still can’t figure out where ‘he’ got the numbers, yet I have that all printed as well to keep as I knew I’d be needing it.


As for the contracts, the owner needs to do is simply ask the agent to WAIVE THE ETF. It’s that easy. If I feel I can trust that merchant, which I can normally tell especially if they are signing more than one location, I’ll do it every time. Most never burned me and my retention is very high.. I keep my people, actually establishing real relationships because it does matter.


Paysafe has shown proof that they WILL indeed go against any contract signed by myself, the owner, and underwriting. So that I will have to agree with on all the complaints I’ve read, as it’s definitely fact. The reasoning I was told for this was to keep their retention high and keep ‘their reputation intact’.

We've excerpted bits of Kimberly's post because it is very long, but there is some useful information for both merchants and sales agents in her story. Merchants should take note of her suggestion to ask their agents to “waive the ETF.” Most agents are empowered to remove this fee and will do so if, as Kimberly describes, they “feel [they] can trust that merchant.” Merchants should do their best to build trust that they will not bail on the contract if they want to see this fee removed.

For agents, it's important to note that Paysafe appears to be undertaking a review of its sales policies. Kimberly alleges that the retention department regularly refunded merchants without her consent, thereby cutting into her residual payments. She further claims that this practice was meant to preserve Paysafe's reputation, which means that the company may be focusing on ISOs that have generated a high number of complaints. As merchant advocates, we are happy to see Paysafe's approach, but ethical agents will want to ensure that the company is undertaking this review in a fair manner.

Chyp's New Aliases

Ron's December 5 comment on our Chyp review states the following:

Mychol Robirds co-owner of CHYP has started a new processing company called Hero Payments. Not sure if it is a re-branding or a split off. I-Payment providing processing.

I would proceed with extreme caution.

Chuck S added the following reply to Ron on January 1:

Tony Lemma started a new company called MAGNA PROCESSING. Same building as Securus. Same bullshit scam. Same terrible rates and huge leases to pay off his crappy life. Do NOT do business with them. Steve lemma his older brother finds his life and company so just think SECURUS PAYMENTS (FRAUD) when you think of MAGNA. Anything with LEMMA in it, RUN AWAY. SCAM

These two reports suggest that Chyp's ownership team may be transitioning away from Chyp to continue their practices under new brands. Merchants should be aware that Chyp is a “C” rated processor that emerged from the dissolution of a “D” rated provider named Securus Payments, and that Mychol Robirds and Tony Lemma are veterans of both operations. We will publish reviews of Hero Payments and Magna Consulting in the near future. Until then, merchants are advised to exercise caution with any Chyp-affiliated brand and to generally avoid dealing with any of the worst-rated merchant accounts.

Know Who's Behind Your Merchant Cash Advance

John Stone's December 24 complaint on our Handepay review states the following:

Avoid Handepay at all costs, terrible morals and shocking behaviour.
This is a long review but if you are thinking of using handepay please read it so you can see the type of company you are dealing with.
I have been with handepay for a while and put a lot of transactions through my terminals. Last year I took a cash advance from Quick capital … This was repaid through the card machines
Recently I was shopping around for the best rate on card terminals and wanted another cash advance for an equipment purchase.
I was offered both from an alternative company. I told handepay I was shopping around and they knocked a miniscule amount off my fees. I declined this and sadi I was going with another provided. Miraculously I was transferred to retentions who tells me they didn’t think I was seriously leaving, if I was I should have been passed to them.. after providing them with the fees I was offered I still haven’t had a counter offer from them but in the meantime they couldn’t compete with my cash advance from another supplier.
Here’s where they show their true colours . When I told them I was taking the cash advance from another supplier and paying it through my terminal (after Evo payments gave me a written confirmation this was fine) handepay got involved with Evo pay and told them not to change my bank details to the new supplier.. basically if they couldn’t have my business no one could. This just shows the true lack of integrity and resembles a child spitting their dummy out.
Backfired… I’ve still got the funding elsewhere.. and am now changing card processor too.
Handepay are a very greedy company.
They want the business from everywhere and when they don’t get it they sulk.
Your terminals are rented from “merchant rentals” handepay set your rates and quick capital provide the cash advance.. on paper all seperate entities… BUT… all ran from and registered to the same building in haydock and a quick check on companies House shows same people involved in all of them.
I have also had numerous referrals that have never been paid…
One thing is for sure I would never ever refer or recommend handepay , terminal rentals or quick capital to anyone again and will make sure I let as many people I can know about their underhanded tactics.
Another thing they like to do is report negative reviews to trustpilot . I can assure you this is genuine , I have emails and phone call recordings to back it up and also my business is Stone Tyres in ST Helens should you or any prospective customer wish me to verify anything in here.. Shambles of a company and one to be avoided at all costs.

Merchant cash advances are alternative funding sources that offer merchants a one-time lump sum in exchange for a portion of their future sales. In order to collect those future sales, the lender must either be the merchant's current credit card processor or otherwise insert itself into the merchant's payment processing flow. This is why Handepay fought so hard to keep John from accepting a merchant cash advance from a third party: another company's involvement takes advantage of the service Handepay provides with no benefit to Handepay. The company's efforts to limit John's options and its tactic of posing as a separate company are worth criticizing, but there is also a reasonable explanation for why it took those actions.

Riverside's Current Lease Prices

Zack's January 8 complaint on our Riverside Payments review states the following:

This is absolutely the worst company we have ever worked with. They promised the moon and the stars and couldn’t deliver. It was a constant battle. Every day there was a different excuse for why they didn’t fund the money as promised. We had switched from Bank of America merchant services which worked flawlessly. After two weeks of getting the run around, we decided to switch back to Bank of America as we felt we could not trust Riverside and needed our funds in a timely manner to operate our business. They refused to honor their satisfaction guarantee and we were left to pay a four year lease on equipment we can not use. To put this into perspective, they strapped us with a $210.00 a month charge (originally it was over $400.00 but when I refused to pay that high of a charge for equipment, they lowered it) to lease the exact same equipment we lease from Bank of America for $36.00 a month. In short, this mistake cost our business over $10k which I am still paying for. Buyer Beware!

We have been skeptical of Riverside's ongoing influx of positive reviews, and this is a major reason why. The company still appears to offer extremely overpriced equipment leases to merchants as a way of recovering the revenues it sacrifices in low rates. Merchants are encouraged to purchase credit card terminals rather than lease them whenever possible.

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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