May 2018 Complaint Roundup: How To Shut Down Sales Calls

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, April, and May. 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.


E-Z Telemarketer Repellent

Matt’s April 24 comment on our Small Business Growth Alliance review states the following:

They are relentlessly harassing, and do not listen when told that we’re not interested. They will call and say “Hi, I spoke to (INSERT ANY NAME) from your company the other day…”. If you recognize the name as a co-workers, you’re roped in that way. If you don’t, they’ll say, “oh well while I have you…”.

Them: Your credit card machine is outdated.
Me: We just got this machine brand new 2 months ago.
Them: Oh well we mean the fee structure is outdated…

A load of BS. I do have some advice on how to end the conversation with them – just ask for the name of the company and make sure they can hear you typing away as you Google them. That’s the only way I got him to hang up.

I spoke to a rep named Andrew.

Matt’s experience with this telemarketer is typical of complaints about SBGA’s sales practice, but his response is a pretty clever way to shut down unwanted sales calls. We know from experience that most providers are aware of their ratings on CPO and other review websites, and poorly reviewed providers are sometimes even trained to slander or discredit CPO when asked directly about it. However, you can shut down their sales pitch pretty effectively by turning the call back on them and asking them about specific criticisms made by reviewers and commenters. “Other merchants are saying that you lie about who you are during your sales presentation. Why do you charge a $495 early termination fee? Why are you holding this contractor’s funds?” The sooner you can convince them that you’re wise to their sales tactics and put them on the defensive, the sooner you’ll be removed from their list.


Advanced Sales Trickery

Deby’s April 25 comment on our Main Street Processing review states the following:

Had someone call from Main Street told me they were working with WorldPay to fix an over charge that we had encored. It was BS they try to get your info and then switch your Merchant company. I caught them in 2 lies and then called them on it. Bad People….

This sounds like a fairly advanced form of slamming in which a sales rep identifies your current merchant account provider before they call you and then poses as a representative of that company. Reps can sometimes determine who your current provider is from your website, by visiting your location, or by contacting one of your employees under a different name. This is insidious because “we’re working with WorldPay” is a more trustworthy opening line than the usual “we’re from merchant services” or “we’re with Visa/MasterCard” lines that we see from slammers.

In this case, Deby did the smart thing and asked more questions to determine exactly what the caller’s relationship was to WorldPay. Another way to prevent this issue is to limit the number of people who know what processor you use and ensure that your business’s website and physical location do not disclose who your processor is. It may seem like an excessive level of security, but it could save you from getting duped.


Always Follow Chargeback Protocol

Laura Wacker’s March 20 complaint on our Priority Payment Systems review states the following:

We have a business that takes credit/debit cards. A customer complained that they were charged twice. We were not paid twice and our merchant service documentation confirms this. They have sent us a letter giving us 2 days to respond to it. They want proof we were not paid twice or they will deduct it from our account. If we were not savvy enough not to send them the page that proves it, we would be giving away a lot of credit information on other customers. Watch out folks!

Anyone who has ever experienced a chargeback knows how frantic the situation can feel. You might not immediately know why the customer initiated it, but you do know that you’re at risk both of losing the product and revenue from a sale and of having your merchant account shut down. That’s why a letter like the one above, which demands sensitive transaction information within a short time frame to prove that a charge was legitimate, could seem like a reasonable request.

Don’t fall for it. Any chargeback resolution should be handled between you and your merchant account provider. They will contact you in the event of any chargeback, and they should have access to the transaction details themselves. If for some reason they can’t access your processing history, you should ask them why. And if they need documentation from you, be sure to limit the scope of the information you provide to that specific disputed transaction. While it is true that the chargeback resolution process comes with some tight response deadlines (and getting tighter), you shouldn’t let the force you to make a bad decision that puts your customers’ personal information at risk.


The Trouble With Resellers

Johnny’s March 21 comment on our Revel Systems review states the following:

If you want your business to lose money then Revel is for you. We had a reseller attempt to convert an item list of nearly 10,000 items to import into Revel, it bombed, and obviously they do not know how to use Excel properly. We had to can revel last year after only 1 month as it nearly crippled our 6 retail stores. Revel still drafted out of our account these ridiculous monthly fees of over $1,200.00 a month and were not even live for 9 months, yes they took over $10,000.00 in monthly fees in 2017 and we were not even live but one month in 2017!!

In January of 2018 since the company is out over $45,000.00 over this scam at this point for nothing, the reseller was told to get this running now!!! Unfortunately we are now stuck with this junk and it is causing numerous problems at all stores. We got absolutely no training, this reseller basically got this up and running half ass and disappeared. We got no training, still have numerous issues and have no support from the resellers. Folks this Revel POS is not suited for anything but small single store restaurants, trust me you do not want any part of Revel for any multiple retail type of business. I have never seen such a poorly written piece of software. It is lacking so many basic things that any off the shelf POS system has. My biggest concern is that Revel allows these so called “Resellers” become resellers in the first place. In all fairness I sincerely doubt all Revel resellers are as useless as ours. But folks we got screwed big time by this con artist of a reseller.

Some POS providers like Revel hire a large number of independent “certified resellers” to sell and install their products. These resellers essentially function as independent sales agents, and occasionally they are accused of offering the same shoddy service and low reliability despite being “certified.” Johnny’s experience is a worst-case scenario of what can happen whe low-quality resellers pass themselves off as experts.

When it comes to a POS system like Revel that requires extensive setup and on-site training, you should not take the risk that your reseller could blow off their training or lose interest in the job after making the sale. You will be better served by purchasing the system from Revel itself or from a fully staffed, local ISO that happens to resell Revel. You should also consider whether you need a system as elaborate as Revel’s at all; many companies now offer lightweight solutions that provide the same array of services with minimal installation or training.


Shift4 Payments Forces A Switch

Edward Burris’s April 30 comment on our Shift4 Payments review states the following:

From what we’re seeing in the field, Positouch, FuturePOS, Restaurant Manager are telling merchants to either switch to Shift4 Payments or pay an additional $89.00 per month for using their provider of choice. They’re not correcting anything. I’ll get a correspondence between merchant and Shift4 Payments/Harbortouch

Shift4 Payments is the parent company of Harbortouch, and it acquired the restaurant point-of-sale companies Positouch, FuturePOS, and Restaurant Manager in February. According to the above commenter, it seems that any restaurant that previously used the Positouch, FuturePOS, or Restaurant Manager technology with a non-Harbortouch merchant account provider is now being forced to switch their merchant account over to Shift4 Payments or pay an $89 monthly fee. If the commenter’s claim is accurate, this would be a disruptive and costly demand placed on merchants whose previous merchant account contracts offer lower rates than Shift4 Payments. Moreover, these merchants may need to pay early termination fees to exit those contracts, and the commenter above does not state whether Shift4 plans to compensate merchants for those termination fees.

If you are a Positouch, FuturePOS, or Restaurant Manager user who has been informed of this fee, please provide details in the comment section below. If you have not been informed of this fee, you should contact Shift4 Payments to ensure that an $89 fee is not added to your monthly statement without proper notification.

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!

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

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