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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.
Should You Trust Argus Merchant Services?
Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints
Here's Who We Trust.
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
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:
Argus Merchant Services also offers a customer service form on its website and a sales email at email@example.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.
Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
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.
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
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2.69% + $0.19
3.69% + $0.19
Virtual Terminal Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee
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.
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.
Does Argus Merchant Services Use Deceptive Marketing?
Advertising & Sales Strategy
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Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
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.
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.