Advanced Merchant Services Review

Advanced Merchant Services Overview

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Founded in 1999

Advanced Merchant Services, in operation since 1999, is a merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk, domestic business types. 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.

Headquartered in Florida

The company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, NA, Walnut Creek, California and Citizens Bank N.A., Providence, Rhode Island and is headquartered at 76 South Laura St, Suite 1370 Jacksonville, Florida 32202. Jason Felts is the president and CEO of Advanced Merchant Services.

Advanced Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Advanced Merchant Services appears to offer variable contract terms through First Data with an early termination fee of up to $495.
  • Complaints & Service: Advanced Merchant Services has received more than 30 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Advanced Merchant Services has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 4 complaints and 1 review in the past three years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Advanced Merchant Services appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received a high number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Advanced Merchant Services

Advanced Merchant Services Statement Analyzer

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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO
  • Restaurant
  • B2B

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Advanced Merchant Services Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swipe Rate 2.69% + $0.19
Keyed-in Rate 3.69% + $0.19
Early Termination Fee Up To $495
PCI Compliance Fee $19.95 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

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 merchant 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.

Variable Pricing

As a reseller of First Data contract, Advanced Merchant Services may have contract terms similar to those offered by First Data. First Data offers a wide variety of contract terms and pricing plans, but its standard agreement is typically a multiyear contract with an early termination fee of $495, a monthly PCI compliance fee of $19.95, and tiered pricing. Merchants who 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. Merchants 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’s 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.

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’s contract terms, the available evidence seems to indicate that merchants 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 contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

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Response from Advanced Merchant Services

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Advanced Merchant Services Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

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 merchants. The vast majority of these complaints have been posted in relation to the company’s sales tactics, specifically the slamming-style telemarketing pitches that have been alleged by some merchants. 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.

Advanced Merchant Services Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Advanced Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants 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 merchants who post about being tricked into unwanted equipment are ultimately released from their agreements. Advanced Merchant Services offers dedicated phone and email customer support to all of its merchants, but these channels are not enough to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.

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Response from Advanced Merchant Services

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Advanced Merchant Services BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 2
Billing & Collection Complaints 2
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Under 5 Complaints

Advanced Merchant Services currently has a “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB-accredited. The company has received 4 complaints in the past 36 months, 2 related to product or service problems and 2 having to do with billing or collection. Advanced Merchant Services has not resolved and of the 4 of complaints to the merchant’s satisfaction. All 4 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

An “A” Performance Overall

The company has also received 1 positive informal review, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. Though its complaint total is low, in light of a lack of a resolution to any of those complaints, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B.”

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Response from Advanced Merchant Services

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Sales Complaints

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 complaints that describe aggressive telemarketing tactics and deceptive conduct by the company’s sales team.

Slamming Allegations

Specifically, a large number of merchants have claimed that Advanced Merchant Services is engaged in a practice called “slamming.” Slamming occurs when a sales agent calls a merchant’s place of business posing as the merchant’s current credit card processor in order to convince the merchant to open a new account with that agent’s company. In Advanced Merchant Services’s case, multiple merchants claim to receive calls from Advanced Merchant Services reps claiming that the merchants need 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 merchant to merchant 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

Merchants who 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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Response from Advanced Merchant Services

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Our Opinion of Advanced Merchant Services

An Average Processing Option

Advanced Merchant Services rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company has received an alarming number of complaints about its sales tactics, and a few merchants accuse the company of being a rip off. Advanced Merchant Services does not appear to distinguish itself in terms of its pricing or contract terms. Merchants are encouraged read and review all contract terms (including the identity of the company involved) before signing up for any service. For now, merchants will be better served by dealing with a top-rated overall payment processor.

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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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