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AdvoCharge Review: Fees, Comparisons, Complaints & Lawsuits
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Partnered With the Boulder Chamber of Commerce
AdvoCharge is a merchant account provider headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. The company serves U.S. and Canadian merchants and is partnered with a number of organizations in Boulder and across the country. AdvoCharge offers a 10% discount to members of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
AdvoCharge Payment Processing
AdvoCharge processes major debit and credit cards for most business types, with a specific focus on businesses in Boulder, Colorado. They offer two service levels, called ZING and Wave. ZING passes the processing fee on to the consumer by adding it to their charge, while Wave is a traditional payment processing structure. Both include cash discounts, recurring billing, chargeback support, ApplePay and Google Wallet compatibility, EMV swipers, free signage, POS terminals, mobile solutions, and a virtual terminal. Wave also offers Level 2 & 3 processing
Founded in 2009, AdvoCharge is aligned with multiple payment processors and does not list any one acquiring bank on its website. The company primarily resells CardConnect hardware and software. Mark Tracy is listed as the CEO and co-founder of AdvoCharge, which is headquartered at 4450 Arapahoe Ave #100, Boulder, CO 80303.
AdvoCharge Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: AdvoCharge offers a month-to-month contract with no…
- Complaints & Service: AdvoCharge complaints number fewer than 10 on public…
- BBB Rating: AdvoCharge has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received…
- Sales & Marketing: AdvoCharge does not hire independent sales agents and has not received any…
AdvoCharge Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||No|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
Clean Complaint Record
As of this review, we are unable to locate any AdvoCharge reviews that accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. In fact, nearly all publicly available AdvoCharge reviews praise the company’s customer service and cite its agents’ availability as a major perk. Most of these positive reviews were verified to have been written by actual business owners. This is a highly impressive complaint record for a company that has been in business for a decade. If you have your own AdvoCharge review to make, please do so in the comments below.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against AdvoCharge. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
AdvoCharge Customer Service Options
One drawback of AdvoCharge’s service is that it requires merchants to use email as the first form of customer service contact, but the company is willing to place calls at later stages of service if required. This practice has not generated any complaints as of this review, but it has prevented the company from being ranked as a top merchant account provider for customer service.
AdvoCharge Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Total BBB Complaints||0|
No BBB Complaints
AdvoCharge is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. AdvoCharge is also not showing any informal reviews on its BBB profile, although it should be noted that customer reviews through the BBB are not subject to verification.
An “A” Performance Overall
In light of AdvoCharge’s clean complaint record through the BBB, we award the company an “A” in this section. Merchants should still be aware that there is reason to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.
AdvoCharge Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees||None|
|Processing Rates||1.00% - 4.99%|
As noted above, AdvoCharge exclusively promotes cash discount and interchange-plus pricing, which are the most transparent and cheapest per-transaction rates available. The company’s website advertises no cancellation fee, no setup fee, and no annual fee. It also advertises that its agents have a $0.00 buy rate for PCI compliance, meaning that merchants should be able to negotiate their PCI compliance fees down to zero. These are very competitive contract terms, and we are unable to locate any AdvoCharge reviews that contradict the company’s advertised figures.
One potential area for concern is AdvoCharge’s partnership with CardConnect, a “D” rated provider that resells the First Data (now Fiserv) line of Clover POS products. AdvoCharge is clear that it does not enforce any long-term contracts or punitive termination fees, but the company’s contract through CardConnect (available below) includes the following passage:
In the event that Client terminates this Agreement within five (5) years from the date of approval by CardConnect and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., or this Agreement is terminated by CardConnect within 5 years from the date of approval, due to an Event of Default, Client will be charged a fee of $750.00 for such early termination. Client’s obligation with respect to the Monthly Minimum Processing Fee will end simultaneously with CardConnect’s receipt of Termination Fee.
This five-year term with a $750 termination fee clearly contradicts AdvoCharge’s displayed pricing. AdvoCharge has been consistent about its month-to-month contracts for every year that we have reviewed it, so it is likely that this language is usually modified in the company’s official paperwork. Even so, merchants should be sure to demand that this clause is either edited or eliminated from their contract before signing up.
Highly Competitive Pricing
There appear to be numerous positive testimonials in the comment section of this review and elsewhere online, indicating that most AdvoCharge clients are pleased with the terms of their contracts. We therefore award the company an “A” in this category, with the caution that additional terms imposed by CardConnect may not be as friendly. We also do not consider AdvoCharge to be among the absolute cheapest merchant accounts at this time. See the AdvoCharge/CardConnect Program Guide.
AdvoCharge Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||Yes|
In-House Sales Team
AdvoCharge appears to market its services through a combination of its website and partnerships with a network of clients. The company’s website actively promotes cash discount pricing and interchange-plus pricing, both of which are cheaper and more transparent than industry-standard tiered pricing. Moreover, we have not found any AdvoCharge reviews that describe unethical conduct by the company’s sales agents.
No Deceptive Rate Quotes
As its name indicates, AdvoCharge markets itself as an advocate for transparent sales tactics in the credit card processing industry. The total absence of AdvoCharge complaints about the company’s sales team seems to suggest that it takes this claim seriously, and its website even has a section dedicated to educating business owners about the merchant services industry. If you still suspect that AdvoCharge is charging you hidden fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate unnecessary charges.
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