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Advanced Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Advanced Merchant Services is a merchant account provider in operation since 1999 that serves most standard-risk domestic businesses. The company initially boarded high-risk merchant types under its subsidiary, Next Level Payment Solutions, but the subsidiary seems to no longer be active. Advanced Merchant Services appears to resell the products and services of First Data (now Fiserv) and Clover as a POS solution. Unfortunately, the company has received a high volume of complaints regarding telemarketing tactics from its ISOs and independent sales agents.
Before we dive in, here’s a short summary of what we’ll cover:
- Advanced Merchant Services’ various payment processing services.
- AMS has not received many complaints recently, but past complaints mention “slamming”, which is very serious.
- There is little information about the company’s contract, but the information we’ve found mentions expensive fees.
Advanced Merchant Services Payment Processing
Advanced Merchant Services (AMS) offers a range of payment processing solutions for businesses. They emphasize their commitment to providing competitive rates and staying at the forefront of processing technology. This suggests a focus on offering cost-effective and technologically advanced payment processing options.
EMV-Ready Terminal Offerings
AMS promotes the availability of free EMV-ready terminals for businesses that process with them. EMV terminals are crucial for meeting current global processing standards, indicating AMS’s commitment to ensuring their clients’ compliance with these standards.
The company offers the Clover® program, which includes the latest payment processing technology. Businesses can start with a free Clover® Go or potentially qualify for a free Clover® Mini, indicating AMS’s effort to provide modern and versatile payment processing hardware.
Location & Ownership
The company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, NA, Walnut Creek, California; and Esquire Bank of Jericho, NY; and it is headquartered at 6440 Southpoint Pkwy Suite 140 Jacksonville, FL. Jason Felts is the president and CEO of Advanced Merchant Services. LinkedIn lists Brian McElroy as owner of Advanced Merchant Services.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Appears to offer variable contract terms through First Data (Fiserv) with…
- Complaints & Service: Complaints number more than 30 on…
- BBB Rating: Has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received…
- Sales & Marketing: Appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received…
Advanced Merchant Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||30+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Sales Tactics|
Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate over 30 negative Advanced Merchant Services reviews, many of which accuse the company of scamming clients. The vast majority of these Advanced Merchant Services complaints have been posted in relation to the company’s sales tactics, specifically the slamming-style telemarketing pitches that have been alleged by some businesses. These complainants often state that they do not trust the company at all after receiving this sales pitch and then subsequently dealing with Advanced Merchant Services customer support. If you have your own Advanced Merchant Services review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Advanced Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Advanced Merchant Services. Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Advanced Merchant Services Customer Support Options
Advanced Merchant Services has responded to some public complaints, stating that “issues with the call process” were to blame for many of these sales-related complaints. It is unclear whether clients who post about being tricked into unwanted equipment are ultimately released from their agreements.
Advanced Merchant Services Customer Service Numbers
- (888) 355-8472 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
- (904) 800-7323 – Sales Inquiries
Other Support Options
- Customer service email addresses
Advanced Merchant Services offers dedicated phone and email customer support to all of its clients, but these channels are not enough to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.
Advanced Merchant Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Under 5 Complaints
Advanced Merchant Services currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB-accredited. The company has received 1 complaint in the past 36 months.
An “A” Performance Overall
As of a previous update, the company received 1 positive informal review, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. At this time, the company has no informal reviews on its BBB profile. With such a low complaint total, we agree with the BBB’s assessment of an “A.”
Advanced Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||Yes|
Advanced Merchant Services Contract Terms
There is very little public information about the standard Advanced Merchant Services contract at this time. The company does not disclose its pricing and fees on its website, and there aren’t many client complaints that focus on specific costs. One complaint describes an early termination fee of either $395 or $495, and most complaints about the company’s sales tactics also seem to mention long-term merchant account contracts and equipment leases. Beyond these reports, however, there isn’t a lot of evidence as to the company’s pricing and contract terms.
As a reseller of First Data (Fiserv) contracts, Advanced Merchant Services may have contract terms similar to those offered by First Data (Fiserv). First Data (Fiserv) offers a wide variety of contract terms and pricing plans, but its standard agreement is typically a multi-year contract with an early termination fee of $495, a monthly PCI compliance fee of $19.95, and tiered pricing. Businesses that process up to $50,000 each month will receive a swiped rate of 2.69% plus $0.19 and a keyed-in rate of 3.69% plus $0.19. Businesses whose monthly charges exceed $50,000 will receive a swiped rate of 2.29% plus $0.19 and a keyed-in rate of 3.29% plus $0.19. Another facet of these contracts are non-cancellable, long-term equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing.
The available evidence suggests that Advanced Merchant Services rates and contract terms are not competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts. The company’s reliance on independently contracted sales agents may result in some variation in pricing and fees from agent to agent.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Advanced Merchant Solutions also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional Advanced Merchant Solutions rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
General Contract Dissatisfaction
It is also likely that the company offers credit card terminals and POS systems through First Data Global Leasing. Despite the lack of complaints related to Advanced Merchant Services’ contract terms, the available evidence seems to indicate that clients who accidentally sign up for service with the company aren’t pleased with the costs incurred. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Advanced Merchant Services fees or contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review. We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Advanced Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Advanced Merchant Services appears to market its services primarily through a combination of telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents. This marketing strategy is often linked to elevated complaint rates within the credit card processing industry, and Advanced Merchant Services appears to be no exception. We are currently able to locate dozens of Advanced Merchant Services reviews that describe aggressive telemarketing tactics and deceptive conduct by the company’s sales team. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Specifically, a large number of Advanced Merchant Services reviews claim that the company is engaged in a practice called “slamming.” Slamming occurs when a sales agent calls a place of business posing as the business’ current credit card processor in order to convince the business to open a new account with that agent’s company. In Advanced Merchant Services’ case, multiple business owners claim to have received calls from Advanced Merchant Services reps claiming that the business needed to update their credit card processing machines due to the new EMV regulations. The following complaint describes a typical exchange:
Company claims to be Advanced Merchant Services and says that our business credit card machine needs to be upgraded to new one. We are on the national Do Not Call List. They still call almost daily and hound our staff about us needing a new machine. They finally faxed us paperwork that must be filled out so we can get new machine. Paperwork needs bank account number and is thru a different bank than our usual bank who already had our credit card merchant service account and who already knows our bank account number. Liars, as they appear to be from your same card merchant company, but they are NOT. They try to trick you into filling out/signing their forms, which will switch your card business to them instead of your usual merchant company. Sorry way to do business!! Don’t give them info. Don’t deal with them.
The reports of Advanced Merchant Services using this tactic are consistent from business to business and can be found across multiple online forums. This makes it less likely that this issue is simply confined to a few agents.
Ensure Your Provider’s Identity
Businesses that are contacted by Advanced Merchant Services (or any credit card processor, for that matter) should make absolutely certain that they are dealing with their actual merchant account provider before signing up for any “upgrades” or “rate reviews.” Additionally, If you suspect that Advanced Merchant Services is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden costs.
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