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BlueDog Review: Fees, Complaints, Comparisons & Lawsuits
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Note: As of 2022, the merger of BlueDog and Fortis appears to be completed, as the BlueDog website now redirects to Fortis. We will no longer be updating the BlueDog profile and would point interested merchants to the Fortis profile.
A Full-Service Merchant Account Provider
BlueDog is a merchant account provider that serves most business types, including some high-risk industries. The company was founded in 2010 by an original co-founder of Eliot Management Group. BlueDog is a reseller of First American Payment Systems and First Data (now Fiserv) merchant accounts as well as Clover point-of-sale products.
BlueDog Payment Processing
BlueDog claims to process payments for businesses of all types and sizes. They accept all major payments, including all major credit cards, contactless options, mobile payments through the FortisPay app, and ACH transfers and checks. They offer chip and pin terminals, POS systems, virtual terminals, an online payment portal, over-the-phone payments, and smartphone payments.
BlueDog Location and Ownership
BlueDog is headquartered at 2205 14th Avenue Vero Beach, FL 32960, and is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank NA, Concord, CA, and of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, OH. Ron Eliot Dichter is the CEO of BlueDog.
BlueDog Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: BlueDog offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $495. The company relies on the First Data Payeezy payment gateway for e-commerce transactions.
- Complaints & Service: BlueDog has received more than 25 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: BlueDog currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 17 complaints and 2 reviews in the last 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: BlueDog hires independent sales agents and has received some complaints about its sales practices.
BlueDog Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||20+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Sales Tactics|
Low-to-Moderate Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate over 25 BlueDog complaints, some of which accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. Commonly cited themes among complainants include unexpected fees, higher-than-anticipated processing costs, persistent sales calls, high termination fees, and poor customer service. The company’s complaint total is roughly what we would expect for a processor of its size that offers its pricing plans and engages in its sales approach.
BlueDog Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against BlueDog. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
BlueDog Customer Service Options
The BlueDog website provides dedicated 24/7 phone and email support in addition to general contact information. This level of support meets our expectations of the top-rated customer service processors.
BlueDog Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||6|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||2|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||7|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Over 15 Complaints
BlueDog has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and was formerly BBB accredited since May 2019 but is no longer accredited. The company has received 17 complaints in the past 36 months. 6 complaints were related to product or service problems, 7 were due to advertising or sales issues, 2 were delivery issues, and 2 had to do with billing and collection. Only 1 of these 17 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 16 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 17 complaints, BlueDog has received 2 positive reviews on its BBB profile.
An “A” Performance
Given the company’s relatively low complaint total, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
BlueDog Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.49% + $0.15|
|Keyed-In Rate||2.98% + $0.15|
|Interchange-Plus Rate||IC + 0.3% + $0.15|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.89% + $0.23 - 2.90% + $0.30|
|Payment Gateway Fee||None|
|Payeezy Pro Plan Fee||$19.95|
|Statement Fee||$5 Per Month|
|Early Termination Fee||$0|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$495|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
BlueDog Contract Terms
The standard Bluedog contract is a three-year agreement through First Data (Fiserv) with an early termination fee of $495, a $9.95 monthly fee, a $5 statement fee, and no PCI compliance fee. The company offers interchange-plus pricing of interchange plus 0.3% plus $0.15, tiered pricing of 1.49% plus $0.15 (2.98% plus $0.15 keyed), and a cash discount pricing program that is intended to cost effectively nothing for merchants by passing costs to customers.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, the BlueDog program guide also states that the company provides a virtual terminal and payment gateway through Payeezy, powered by First Data (Fiserv). Payeezy offers 2 separate plans, the Basic Plan and Pro Plan. Neither plan charges setup fees, statement fees, or gateway fees. The Basic Plan charges a rate of 2.90% plus $0.30. Meanwhile, the Pro Plan offers a lower rate of 1.89% plus $0.23 and a monthly fee of $19.95.
BlueDog Equipment Leases
BlueDog’s contract includes a built-in equipment lease through First Data Global Leasing, but the company also allows merchants to purchase their equipment outright for a price close to retail. Long-term equipment leases usually cost far more than the purchase price of the equipment, so we always advise merchants to purchase equipment upfront whenever possible.
BlueDog Pricing Complaints
We have found over 10 BlueDog pricing complaints, most of which are related to higher-than-expected fees and an unexpected early termination fee of $495. Judging by merchant feedback and the company’s own advertised pricing, BlueDog is likely more expensive than the cheapest merchant accounts.
We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
BlueDog Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Inside/Outside Sales Team
BlueDog appears to rely on a combination of independently contracted sales agents and in-house telemarketers to sell its services. The use of independent sales agents is commonly linked to elevated complaint rates, and we have found over 10 BlueDog complaints related to the company’s sales agents. Merchants cite misrepresentation of rates, nondisclosure of fees, and persistent telemarketing even after requests to stop. These complaints have been posted periodically over the past three years, which strongly suggests that this sales approach is standard at the company.
This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
No Misleading Quotes
BlueDog does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. In fact, it openly promotes interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent pricing structure available. If you suspect that BlueDog is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden charges.
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