Argus Merchant Services Review: Fees, Complaints, & Lawsuits

Argus Merchant Services
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Argus Merchant Services

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PhonePhone1-888-459-0660 View Pricing

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A First Data (Fiserv) Reseller

Argus Merchant Services is a merchant account provider based in New York City. Argus Merchant Services claims to serve over 100,000 merchants and is a reseller of First Data (now Fiserv) merchant accounts and products.

Argus Merchant Services Payment Processing

Argus Merchant Services processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include: Mobile payments, e-commerce solutions, EMV terminals, POS solutions, access to payment gateways and virtual terminals, check processing, cash advances, marketing services, gift and loyalty programs, and data reporting and analytics.

Argus Merchant Services Location & Ownership

The company is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA. Its headquarters can be found at 40 Exchange Place, Suite 1607, New York, New York 10005. They also list a location at 17700 Castleton Street Suite 458, City of Industry, CA 91748. Jacob Shimon is listed as the president of Argus Merchant Services.

Argus Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Argus appears to offer a standard contract through First Data (Fiserv) with variable rates and fees.
  • Complaints & Service: Argus Merchant Services complaints number more than 10 on public complaints forums.
  • BBB Rating: Argus currently has an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 40 complaints and 7 reviews in the past 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Argus has received a handful of sales complaints but does not openly engage in misleading advertising.
Argus Merchant Servcies payment processing

Argus Merchant Services offers a variety of standard payment processing services

Should You Trust Argus Merchant Services?

Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints

Here's Who We Trust.

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
10+
Live Customer Support
Yes
Most Common Complaint
N/A

Increasing Complaint Total

We have located over 10 negative Argus Merchant Services complaints, some of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Commonly cited problems include misrepresentation of rates, nondisclosure of Argus Merchant Services fees, expensive termination costs, poor customer service, and being charged after canceling the service. One Argus Merchant Services complaint mentions an early termination fee of $790. However, a representative of the company disputes that complaint, citing a fee of $495 that is in line with a typical First Data (Fiserv) contract. If you have your own Argus Merchant Services complaint to make, please do so in the comments below.

Positive Employee Reviews

To its credit, the company is also showing multiple positive reviews from former employees. It’s worth noting that a good number of reviews about Argus are written in broken English, and that merchant reviews (as well as the company’s marketing materials) suggest that it specifically markets to Chinese-American and Spanish-speaking merchants.

Argus Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines

In 2017, a lawsuit was filed that dealt with a then-employee of Argus who was alleged by a former employee to be giving trade secrets to Argus. The suit was dismissed in Argus’ favor.

Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Argus Merchant Services Customer Service Options

Argus offers phone and email support to its merchants.

We have located a single Argus Merchant Services customer service number:

(888) 459-0660 – Toll-Free General Customer Service

Argus Merchant Services also offers a customer service form on its website and a sales email at sales@argusinvision.com.

However, these channels are not enough to qualify it as a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.

Is the BBB Rating for Argus Merchant Services Accurate?

Better Business Bureau Profile

See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.

BBB Summary

Product & Service Complaints
11
Billing & Collection Complaints
28
Advertising & Sales Complaints
0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
1
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.

40 Complaints

Argus Merchant Services is currently showing an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau based on 40 complaints filed in the past three years. 11 complaints were filed in relation to product or service issues, 28 had to do with billing or collection, and 1 was due to guarantee or warranty issues. Only 6 of these 40 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 34 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.

What Merchants Say

In addition to the 40 complaints filed against Argus with the BBB, merchants have left 7 informal reviews of the company. 2 reviews were negative while 5 were positive. Merchant reviews left with the BBB have accused the company of misrepresenting rates, having unresponsive customer service, and being charged hidden cancellation fees:

This company is charging cancellation fee $495.00 plus and Im with them for more than 2 years.When I sign up with them, theyll never let you know until read the very small prints. During the time they also let irs withhold part of my money because they said I dont enough information.Which I never understand they never ask for additional information , instead letting irs withhold my money and I dont even know when I will be getting it back. During this pandemic time we needed money for the business to run. SO PLEASE THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY!

Merchants who find themselves in this situation may benefit from taking the proper steps to cancel their merchant account without paying a fee.

A “C” Rating Overall

Given the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have adjusted its rating to a “C.”

How Expensive is Argus Merchant Services Service?

Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms

Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.

Cost Summary

Swiped Rate
2.69% + $0.19
Keyed-in Rate
3.69% + $0.19
Virtual Terminal Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee
Undisclosed
Early Termination Fee
Up To $495
PCI Compliance Fee
$19.95 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms
48 Month (locked)

Unclear Contract Pricing

There is very little specific information available at this time regarding the standard Argus Merchant Services rates or contract. Sparse information conveys a 3-year agreement with an automatic renewal for a 2-year term.

As a reseller of First Data (Fiserv), so its standard contract terms may be similar to those offered by First Data (Fiserv). 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. 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.

Argus Merchant Services does have the freedom to alter these terms depending on a merchant’s size, business type, and processing history as a reseller of First Data (Fiserv) products. However, with a lack of readily available information on the company’s rate and fee structure, merchants considering its services should refer to the First Data (Fiserv) contract as a point of reference.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Argus Merchant Services 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 rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Contract Complaints

One merchant complaint filed against the company mentions a leased terminal with a possible penalty for failing to return it on time. Another merchant reported an early termination fee of over $800, which is much larger than industry averages, and there are also reports of early termination fees of $495, $500, and $750. Still another complainant claims that the company charged an undisclosed annual fee just six months into the contract. Other complaints accuse the company of charging merchants after their contracts had been terminated.

Average Contract Terms

All of these factors suggest that Argus offers contract terms that are not competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts, and the number of merchant complaints that mention the company’s contract terms lead us to award Argus Merchant Services an average score of “C” in this section. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Argus Merchant Services contract, please share that information in the comment section of this review.

We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.

Argust Merchant Services payment gateway and virtual terminal

Argus Merchant Services offers e-commerce solutions including access to virtual terminals and payment gateways

Does Argus Merchant Services Use Deceptive Marketing?

Advertising & Sales Strategy

Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees

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Key Points

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

Telemarketing and Outside Sales Agents

Argus Merchant Services appears to primarily market itself through telephone appointment setters, ISOs, and independent sales agents. The use of independent sales agents is commonly tied to high complaint rates within the industry, as independent agents tend to receive less training and oversight than in-house, W2-employed sales reps. In this case, Argus Merchant Services is no exception, as there are several Argus Merchant Services complaints that mention the credit card processor’s sale tactics.

This compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Sales Complaints

We are able to locate a few negative Argus Merchant Services reviews that allege nondisclosure of fees and misrepresentation of rates by the company’s sales team. A number of complaints from former and current employees also admit to persuasive, aggressive sales tactics and over-promising on rates, and one former employee even openly suggests that the company scams its customers.

Some Red Flags

Sales complaints against Argus Merchant Services have been on a steady increase since we first reviewed Argus and could indicate that the company has some new issues with its sales team. The content (more than the quantity) of the available complaints is concerning enough to warrant a “C” grade in this category for the time being. If you suspect that Argus Merchant Services is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden costs.

Does Argus Merchant Services Deserve Your Business?

Review Summary & Our Thoughts

An Average Option for Most Merchants

Argus Merchant Services rates as an average option for merchant services according to all available information. The company has a low-to-moderate number of complaints online, but it’s difficult to determine the exact details of the company’s pricing at this time. Merchants are encouraged to inquire about all possible costs before signing up for service through the company and to compare Argus’s pricing to top-rated merchant account providers to get the best deal.

Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Argus Merchant Services

16 Responses

  • Jason

    Stay away from this company. They greatly raised the fees without notices. They even denied the charges made by them. Moreover, they would get excuse to charge you even after you cancel the service. The customer service is not professional at all. We should file a class lawsuit against this company!

  • Thitima Suwannthat

    This is CHEATING COMPANY. They will charge a lot of fees and try many way to take the money from your bank account. When he first come (Jake Zhou) he said everything is free with lower rate. After that the company will charge a lot of fee. I talked to him he said that’s the company fault not him?? Also bad customer service. They promised to call back by 24 hours. But they NEVER do that. A lot of waiting time.
    NEVER EVER USE THIS COMPANY!!

  • Jessica Kim

    Actually, my experience with Argus is pretty good. I only come to my store in the late evening for money close. I called my agent Frank Fan sometimes around 11pm, he still picked it up. Very professional and nice services. I even referred my cousin to him. We both like him!

    • Phillip CPO
      administrator

      Hi Jessica,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  • Matthew

    Argus merchant service is a good company. I use it for almost 2 years, nothing extra charge fee. sale keep often contact us, try to keep a good relationship with us, and also give us a great market total rate

    • Phillip CPO
      administrator

      Hi Matthew,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  • Marie Singletary

    Customer line is a little bit busy and you will need to wait for a while but they gave me a good price compared with my previous provider.

  • Ray Su

    This credit card merchant service company keep on Cheating us and continuing stealing money from our bank account, We had their charge card machine which already returned on Dec, 2017, we had proof the return and requested close account, but they still continue withdraw the machine fee $52.92 from our account, we even sent a warning letter to them on Feb. 2018.I am going to take legal action to against this company.


    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

  • Malki David

    Here’s my experience with Argus Merchant Services.
    On December 3rd, 2015. I met with Jessica Railey, a local representative for Argus Merchant Services. She promised us low rates and next day funding. As a small business, we rely on next day funding. Next day funding was a huge technical issue for Argus. One day we had next day funding and the next we didn’t. Rectifying the situation was a HUGE nightmare with numerous calls back and forth to Jessica on an almost daily basis and Argus still couldn’t get things right. Then, one day, Jessica fell off the face of the earth and we had no-one to help us. A true business professional would have provided a a name of someone who could help in their absence. With mounting frustration, we started using a different merchant service that truly funded the next day and that was far more responsive. I have been trying to get out of my contract with Unified Payments, the contractor of Argus, for almost a year now, with no luck! Last year, I called and was given the run around. Jessica finally contacted me, saying that her boss, John Maker, refused to cancel the contract. I explained to her that John Maker only heard one side of the story. Her response to me was “He doesn’t care what your side of the story is”.
    John Maker, incidentally, is listed on my contract as the agent, though I have never met him. I waited a few more months and attempted to cancel the contract once again by contacting Unified Payments. They directed me back to John Maker at Argus Merchant Services. John is always “out of the office” and refuses to returns calls. Again, Jessica contacted me, via email, to say that we would be stuck unless we started using their services and she offered us a “deal”. I am not interested in a deal; I’m interested in canceling my contract. I received a copy of the contract from Jessica, which makes no mention of terms. The terms are contained in another document, not part of the contract. Oh- by the way, Jessica conveniently cannot “get her hands” on the attachment. And, if that doesn’t sound majorly shady, it is! I have no clue what the terms of the contract are because Argus Merchant Services are scammers and they don’t want you to know. By not providing honest information, they can continue their scam. I entered this agreement with Jessica Railey in good faith. I operate an honest, above board company. Clearly, Argus Merchant Services is anything but honest and above board!

  • kim

    This is a CRAPPY company! DO NOT use this company! We used them for 3 months and everything was wrong! Very TERRIBLE experience! Whoever owns the company can’t operate and manage the company in correct way. Employees are not properly trained to do the job! Whenever I have a problem with my credit card machine or transaction, it took FOREVER to reach a customer who can really help! Every time each customer service told me something different and I had to keeping calling them back to get the problem solved. Some customer service will always refer to another customer service or another person. It was wast of my time, so I switched to another merchant service. Additionally, the sales personnels from the company were liars. The one I had was trying to sell me the product, but she couldn’t follow what was originally promised. Every month my merchant services fees were higher and higher.; many misc fees were added for no reason. I called my sales rep many times and she said she will solve this issue. It has been over 4 months and I still was not able to get my refund from all the misc charges on the account. I called company and customer services said I have to speak to the sales reps, but sales rep told me to speak to customer service. I was really FRUSTRATED dealing with these people. I even asked for manager, but manager couldn’t do anything too! I didn’t have an agreement with the company when I first setup the account and I was able to cancel my account any time. I called multiple times to cancel the account and up to date (it has been 5 months) my account is still active. My bank has been charged a few times after I cancel my account, I report to my bank and bank put a ban on this company charges. I just want to let you know DO NOT waste you time dealing with these jerks.

  • Chan

    Very disappoint this company, join in 2 month, something happen to me and need to close my store, call the representative, she told me she will cancel it for me but need me to keep few transaction, finally, I do not any transaction (my store was close, no customer) and call them back one month later, find out that representative was not working there anymore, and because of I don’t have any transaction, they cannot close my account and need me to pay the early termination fee. The only way I can waive this penalty is I refer customer to them. I did refer my friend company to them, but I so regret, my friend have an unhappy thing happen to her with Argus Merchant service.

  • Evelyn

    I am the customer for Argus Merchant Services company. The staff is helpful and nice. They solve my penalty of my previous merchant company. The machine and paper roll is free. When I come across some troubles, I contact with the sale who sells the machine to me. He addresses the problem as soon as possible. They also provide Chinese language for me,. It is good for foreign people.

    • Phillip CPO
      administrator

      Hi Evelyn,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  • Ann

    One of “Argus Invision” agent approached our business in Mountain View, California on October 2015 and offered to switch to them. This “Argus Invision” agent made claims such as:
    1. They will reduce the amount of credit card processing fees compared to our current Merchant Account provider (after inspecting our previous bills).
    2. The service they provide has 1 month Free trial period during which we can terminate service without any risk.

    Unfortunately, contrary to their agent claims Argus Invision turned out to be more expensive (charging ~3% fees) compared to our previous merchant provider (charging ~2% fees). So we decided to cancel their service before this 1 month free trial period expires. Then they charged us Early Termination Fee of $840.09 which is ridiculous and something else than what their agent promised to us under this “1 month free trial period”.

    Also, their customer service is not very supportive and we will be report this accident to Better Business Bureau and FTC. If there are other merchants who were scammed just like us please get in touch.


    Are you with Argus? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

    • Lee

      WOw..theives indeed. Not only do they sneak in annual payments – they DOUBLE it and takeout the payment from your account 6 months in! how “annual” is that? It caused me to no be able to pay my staff. These guys are tricky, sneaky and being reported


      Are you with Argus Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

    • danielle tsai

      A lot of hidden fees. Processed $7512 for a take-out restaurant, and charged $331 fees, made it a 4.3%., not what they promised to be cheaper than my previous one 3.2%. When I asked to cancel my account, they claimed that I had a 3-year-contract with them and had to pay for early termination fees. I asked them to show me the non-existing contract, they never did. They took money from my account before the monthly statement was posted online, totally sneaky.

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Phillip Parker
Credit Card Processors
2 min read
16 Comments
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