A Reseller of CardConnect
CardConnectDirect (cardconnectdirect.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Fishers, Indiana. The company previously operated under the names “AdvoPay” and “Advocate Merchant Solutions” but appears to have rebranded to CardConnectDirect at some point in 2016. CardConnectDirect resells the services of CardConnect, which itself is a large subsidiary of First Data.
CardConnectDirect Location and Ownership
Founded in 2010, CardConnectDirect is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in Walnut Creek, California, and is headquartered at 11140 E 106th St, Fishers, Indiana 46037. The company also appears to have operated under the name “Wise Payment Systems” for some time. William Wise is listed as the founder and CEO of CardConnectDirect.
CardConnectDirect Review Table of Contents
- Sales & Marketing: CardConnectDirect employs a team of independent sales agents and has received multiple complaints about its sales team.
- Costs & Contract: CardConnectDirect appears to offer a five-year contract through First Data with a variable early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: CardConnectDirect has received more than 10 public complaints from merchants and employees.
- BBB Rating: CardConnectDirect has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 4 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With CardConnectDirect
Types of Businesses Served
- Auto repair
CardConnectDirect Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
CardConnectDirect is a reseller of CardConnect’s merchant services, which means that its contract terms are likely to be similar to those offered by CardConnect. Reports of CardConnect’s contract terms include a high early termination fee (over $500), a PCI Compliance fee, other monthly fees, and a tiered pricing structure. CardConnectDirect is showing multiple complaints online that mention a five-year contract term with cancellation fees that can exceed $1,000. One complaint in the comment section below cites an annual fee of $100 (charged twice to this merchant), a $7.50 statement fee that ballooned to $19 over time, and other assorted fees.
Beware Equipment Leases
An advertising brochure from the company also states that the company’s equipment leases (likely provided by First Data) are non-cancellable. Although these reports suggest that CardConnectDirect does not offer especially competitive contract terms, we do not have exact figures for the company’s pricing at this time. According to the available evidence, however, we do not expect the CardConnectDirect’s contract terms to be competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts. We will award CardConnectDirect an average grade of “C” until more specific information is available.
CardConnectDirect Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||10+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||High Fees|
Low-Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate more than 10 negative CardConnectDirect reviews outside of the Better Business Bureau, a few of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Most of these complaints were posted by merchants and complained of difficulty cancelling the service, high fees, excessively long contracts, and non-cancellable equipment leases. The other complaints were filed by former employees and described a negative, unethical office environment. A company representative replied to some complaints against CardConnectDirect with a copied-and-pasted response that did not appear to be especially helpful. For CardConnectDirect’s size and time in business, this is a low-to-moderate complaint rate.
CardConnectDirect Support Options
The CardConnectDirect website provides a dedicated phone number and email address for customer support, but it is unclear at this time whether these lines are serviced by CardConnectDirect or First Data. CardConnectDirect’s communication channels are lacking in comparison to top-rated merchant account providers for customer service.
CardConnectDirect BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||2|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||2|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty 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 10 Complaints
CardConnectDirect 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 4 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months, which is down from 12 complaints at the time of our last update. Two of these complaints stemmed from problems with products or services and the remaining two were filed regarding billing or collection issues. All four complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. CardConnectDirect also is showing two negative reviews on the BBB website.
What Merchants Say
One merchant describes misrepresented rates and charges after account cancellation:
STAY AWAY!!! Credit card processing is the big mystery of the world.. so let me help you. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. I was promised all kinds of great interest rates that would work for my small business. What I got was extremely high interest rates and charges that I was told I would not have. Even when I cancelled the service, with no charges on the machine, the bill was $55.40. My salesman had a lot of excuses ” the company didn’t give me the small business rate they promised” ” I am working on it” and so on.. Not that he did anything about it. I would have saved hundreds, if not thousands, by just using the square instead. I don’t want any one else to make the mistake.
It appears that this merchant could benefit from knowing how to cancel a merchant account without paying a fee.
An “A” Rating
At the time of a previous update, the BBB had posted a notice about excessive complaints related to nondisclosure of the company’s early termination fee, along with a written resolution from CardConnectDirect promising to take action to reduce these types of complaints. This notice has since been removed. The company’s complaint total is enough for us to agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
CardConnectDirect appears to partner with ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. This hiring practice can generate a high number of complaints for a merchant account provider due to the fact that independent sales entities are often untrained and unregulated. In this case, we are able to locate multiple CardConnectDirect complaints that cite deceptive sales tactics by a CardConnectDirect agent, specifically regarding contract length and misrepresentation of rates. This is consistent with negative reports that have been filed against CardConnect. If you suspect that CardConnectDirect’s sales team has added undisclosed fees to your account, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.
There are also at least three online complaints that appear to have been posted by current and former employees of the company, who allege that the company has a poor training and support network as well as high turnover. These complainants also note that CardConnectDirect representatives appear to have posted multiple fake positive reviews about the company in order to improve the CardConnectDirect’s reputation as an employer. Although it seems that the company’s internal issues are not having a serious impact on the service it offers, it is troubling to see that CardConnectDirect may be willing to mislead the public about its reputation. To its credit, the company does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.
CardConnectDirect Marketing Example
About Phillip Parker
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.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip