Beacon Payments (beaconpayments.com) is a merchant account provider that serves small, medium, and large businesses based in the United States. Founded in 1998, Beacon Payments can be found at the address of 25 Temple Place Suite 2L, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. The company is a First Data reseller and a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. David Selenow is listed as the principal of Beacon Payments and Gerald Kadish is listed as the company’s CEO.
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Beacon Payments appears to hire independently contracted sales agents to market its services. As a general rule, this practice makes it difficult for any company to monitor and regulate its sales team’s behavior, which in turn tends to result in elevated complaint rates among merchants. Beacon Payments, however, does not appear to receive many complaints in relation to its sales force.
We were able to locate only two Beacon Payments reviews that criticized the sales team. In one complaint, a merchant was contacted by a sales representative, given a “merchant account application” that was actually a contract, and then was unable to reach the agent after that point. The merchant was surprised to see that they were being billed for a service they hadn’t received. Beacon Payments responded by issuing a full refund, and the merchant expressed satisfaction with the response and suggested that they had perhaps been too hasty filing a complaint. The other complaint regarding sales tactics is a similar case to the one above, in which a merchant unintentionally signed up for service.
The Beacon Payments website actively promotes Interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent rate structure available. This is a positive indicator that the company does not condone deceptive sales tactics, but the company’s overall rating does suffer from the few complaints available about its sales team.
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
As noted above, Beacon Payments seems to be straightforward about its ability to offer Interchange-plus pricing to merchants. The transparency of this pricing structure appears to have kept merchant complaints to a minimum, as there are only a few complaints about the company’s standard contract (which is available in part below). This document describes a three-year agreement through First Data with a variable early termination fee. The only negative reviews of Beacon’s contract terms mention the company’s monthly minimum fees, which appear to amount to $10 if a merchant processes over $1,500 per month and $40 if a merchant processes under $1,500 per month. If you have any knowledge about the standard Beacon Payments contract, please leave that information in the comment section of this review. See the Beacon Payments Program Guide.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||<10|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
At the time of this update, there are only a few negative Beacon Payments reviews outside of the BBB, indicating that the company is not a ripoff or a scam. The only available complaints describe difficulty cancelling service, aggressive sales tactics, and dissatisfaction with the company’s monthly fees. Beacon Payments offers a dedicated 24/7 phone support number on its website, although it’s unclear whether this number is serviced by Beacon Payments or by First Data. Regardless, the company’s overall complaint rate is low enough to warrant an “A” rating for the purposes of this review.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||1|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||2|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||1|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Beacon has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2011 and currently holds an “A+” rating. At this time of review, Beacon Payments is showing four BBB complaints in the last 36 months, two of which were related to billing and collection, one of which was due to a problem with the product or service, and one of which was related to advertising or sales. The merchants were satisfied with the company’s response in all cases but one. There are also three informal negative reviews posted to the company’s profile. In light of this information, we agree with the BBB’s overall rating.
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About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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