Alpha Card Services Review
UPDATE 1/24/2019: Alpha Card Services has rebranded as Simpay (simpay.net). We therefore will no longer update this review. Please refer to our Simpay review for more up-to-date information.
Alpha Card Services, Inc. (ACS – alphacardservices.com & alphacardservices.net) is a nationwide merchant account provider headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania. ACS claims that it currently supplies equipment and services to over 15,000 merchant locations throughout the United States. The company has been in business since 2000 and maintains its corporate headquarters at 1210 Northbrook Dr #475 Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania 19053. Alpha Card Services is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, as its acquiring bank. Lazaros Kalemis is listed as the owner of Alpha Card Services.
- Sales & Marketing: Alpha Card Services appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received some merchant complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Alpha Card Services offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $250 or more.
- Complaints & Service: Alpha Card Services has received more than 15 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Alpha Card Services has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received seven complaints in the last three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Alpha Card Services
Alpha Card Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||15+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Given its size and time in business, ACS is showing a low-to-moderate number of publicly listed complaints. Common themes among these complaints include deceptive or aggressive tactics by independent sales agents, undisclosed hidden fees and contract terms, and apathetic or unreachable customer support. It’s possible that ACS customer service is handled by the corporation that provides processing for Alpha Card Services, which appears to be either First Data or Global Payments.
Alpha Card Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
|Product & Service Complaints||3|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||4|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
An accredited member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, ACS has an “A+” rating with seven consumer complaints filed in the last three years. These complaints consist of three problems relating to a product or service and four having to do with billing and collection. Three of these complaints were resolved with the assistance of the BBB while the remaining complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final assessment from the complainant. Given the breakdown of the complaints and the fact that only one of them was filed in the last year, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
Alpha Card Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee||$250+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$19.99 Quarterly|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
According to complaints filed on this site and elsewhere, the standard ACS contract is a three-year agreement that renews automatically for one-year terms following its expiration. A sample copy of the standard Alpha Card Services merchant agreement is available below, and it quotes an $89.99 annual membership fee, a $35 monthly minimum fee, a $10 statement fee, a $19.99 quarterly regulatory compliance fee (which may be a PCI compliance fee), a $40 monthly PCI noncompliance fee, a $35 chargeback fee, and a tiered pricing schedule. There is also an early termination fee associated with most ACS contracts that begins at $250 but can include the remaining months of a contract. This fee is a liquidated damages fee, which has the potential to increase a merchant’s overall termination fee by a significant and unpredictable amount. Merchants are advised to read the small print of any contract they are given to ensure that they will not be held accountable for more than the $250 cancellation fee (and even this fee is often negotiable). See the Alpha Card Services Merchant Application and the Alpha Card Services Program Guide.
Alpha Card Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
ACS appears to hire both direct sales representatives and independently contracted sales agents across the country to market its services. The use of independent agents is a fairly standard practice within the industry that can often result in an unregulated sales force with less-than-adequate training and oversight from the parent company. In this case, there are several reports in the comment section of this review and on other consumer protection websites describing encounters with ACS agents who failed to disclose important contract terms at the point of signing. A company representative has stated, however, that it is standard policy for all merchants to be provided with a summary sheet disclosing all fees before signing, and followup calls are then made to the merchant at two-week and then quarterly intervals. To its credit, ACS does not appear to use any deceptive marketing tactics on its website.
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