Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Review

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Central Payment Corporation (CPAY)
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Central Payment Corporation (CPAY)

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11/3/2019 Update: CPAY has been entirely absorbed into the TSYS brand. The company no longer has a functioning website, all traffic is redirected to the TSYS webpage. All data in this review is current as of August 1, 2019, but will no longer be updated.

A TSYS Company

Founded in 2005 in Larkspur, California, but currently based in San Rafael, Central Payment Corporation is a merchant account provider that operates as a joint venture with TSYS as its card processor. TSYS is one of the biggest credit card processors in the industry, though the company was recently acquired by Global Payments

Headquartered in California

Central Payment Corporation (CPAY), which is located at 2350 Kerner Blvd #300, San Rafael, California 94901, was founded by brothers Zachary and Matthew Hyman, but the company’s current leadership likely falls under the TSYS umbrella. M. Troy Woods is the president and CEO of TSYS. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California, and of First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska.

Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: CPAY offers month-to-month contracts through TSYS with no early termination fees.
  • Complaints & Service: CPAY has received more than 200 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: CPAY (as TSYS) has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 131 complaints and 9 reviews in the last 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: CPAY appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a high number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With CPAY

Should You Trust Central Payment Corporation (CPAY)?

Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints

Here's Who We Trust.

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
200+
Live Customer Support
Yes
Most Common Complaint
Hidden Fees

Common Complaint Themes

For a provider of CPAY’s size and time in business, the company has an average-to-high number of complaints in comparison to similar providers. Several of these negative reviews call the company a ripoff or a scam. The Central Payment Corporation complaints share a common theme, including reports of agents quoting misleading processing rates, actual rates that were much higher than the original rate quotes, and that agents failed to disclose other important fees and contract terms. A few complainants also claim that their signatures were forged on pages of the contracts that they were never supplied.

Negative Reviews Under One Name

Central Payment does not use any sub-ISOs or other business names, and the company claims to manage over 140,000 merchant accounts directly, which concentrates the complaints on one business name. It is common practice in this industry for providers to use other DBAs in order to spread complaints across different names, resulting in the false appearance of a low complaint count among several providers. CPAY does not appear to take part in this unethical strategy, which is a positive sign for the company.

Company Responsiveness

CPAY has historically done a good job of reaching out to complainants in the comment section of this review, but it is unclear how many of these attempts at complaint resolution are ultimately successful. A number of CPAY merchants appear to be satisfied with the company’s service, but each merchant’s satisfaction seems to be greatly determined by the agent setting up the account. Central Payment can improve its rating in this section by reducing the amount of future complaints and by removing policies and agents that cause complaints about the company.

CPAY Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against CPAY. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

CPAY Customer Support Options

When you sign up for a merchant account with Central Payment there are a few things you should understand. One, Central Payment is acting as a reseller for TSYS, and two, while your payments are actually being processed by TSYS, you will be dealing with Central Payment Corporation exclusively for customer service. The company offers several support-specific phone numbers and email addresses serving four different languages, which is consistent with our expectations for great payment processing customer service.

 

Is the BBB Rating for Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Accurate?

Better Business Bureau Profile

See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.

BBB Summary

Product & Service Complaints
115
Billing & Collection Complaints
11
Advertising & Sales Complaints
5
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
0
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.

Over 100 Complaints

The BBB currently assigns the CPAY (as TSYS) an “A+” rating and is reporting 131 complaints in the last 36 months. This is a huge increase from the 69 complaints the company had at the time of our last review in May 2019. Additionally, the company has had 42 complaints closed in the last 12 months.

115 of the 131 complaints relate to problems with a product or service, 11 regard billing or collection issues, and 5 are concerning advertising and sales complaints. Only 44 have been fully resolved to the merchants’ satisfaction. The remaining 87 complaints either were not successfully resolved or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

In addition to those 132 complaints, the company has also received 9 informal reviews on its BBB profile, all of which are negative in tone. One merchant cites frustration with a convoluted and misleading rate and fee structure:

Rates are ridiculous. Charged their rate plus tons of fees and other non-qualified rates that end up doubling the bill. They talk you in circles when you call and ask about the hidden fees. 1 transaction gets hit with 3 different fees.

This merchant will benefit from taking the steps to understand which contract terms should be avoided to prevent against charges like those incurred by this merchant.

A “B” Performance Overall

In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio relative to its size, we have adjusted the rating of this section to a “B” for the purposes of this review.

How Expensive is Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Service?

Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms

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Cost Summary

Swiped Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate
1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee
$0
Statement Fee
$9.50 Per Month
Account Set Up Fee
$195
PCI Compliance Fee
$45
Equipment Lease Terms
48 Month (locked)

Variable Pricing

CPAY agents appear to be able to set rates and pricing within certain guidelines as set by the company, so rates and fees may vary. With that said, it appears that CPAY encourages agents to set high pricing and rates in exchange for large commissions. It is therefore highly unlikely that CPAY’s terms will compete with pricing offered by the cheapest merchant accounts.

Month-To-Month Agreement

As of January 2016, CPAY’s standard agreement (available below) has been amended to offer month-to-month terms with no early termination fee.

Prior to this change, CPAY’s standard merchant account contract was a three-year service agreement with automatic renewal unless cancelled within a specified time frame. Merchants who cancelled within the first year of service were subject to a $550 cancellation fee; this fee decreased to $375 and then $300 after each subsequent year of the contract. The contract linked below also includes a setup fee of $195 (which can be waived at the agent’s discretion), an annual PCI compliance fee of $99.50, a PCI non-compliance fee of $15.95, a monthly minimum fee of $25, a statement fee of $9.50, and a tiered pricing schedule. The company’s new month-to-month contract terms are a step in the right direction, and we will be monitoring merchant feedback to see how this new pricing system works for new merchants. See the Central Payment Corporation Merchant Agreement.

Does Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Use Deceptive Marketing?

Advertising & Sales Strategy

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Key Points

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

Outside Sales Agents

CPAY does not appear to use any deceptive advertising or rate quoting in its official materials. However, the company relies heavily on independent outside sales agents which has resulted in damage to its reputation in the form of numerous negative Central Payment Corporation reviews.

Misleading Sales Tactics

Based upon merchant complaints, CPAY either encourages agents to use deceptive quotes and omit contract details during the sales process, or management turns a blind eye to the practice. The complaints below this review and elsewhere also indicate that CPAY needs to improve its training program to better educate agents about the details of the contract. CPAY could improve its rating in this section by reducing its complaint count regarding deceptive sales tactics and by removing the ability for agents to set expensive pricing plans. If you suspect that a CPAY sales agent has added undisclosed fees to your account, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.

Does Central Payment Corporation (CPAY) Deserve Your Business?

Review Summary & Our Thoughts

An Average-Rated Provider

CPAY’s sales strategy, fee structure, and contract terms seem to be causing most of the complaints about the company. CPAY can improve its rating in this review by setting tighter pricing controls, removing commission incentives that encourage agents to deceive merchants, improving agent training about its contract terms and fees, and maintaining its month-to-month agreement with no early termination fee. Sources suggest that the CPAY brand will soon be retired as it becomes even more integrated into TSYS, but until that point we will continue to monitor feedback about CPAY to determine whether it will become one of the worst-rated merchant services providers or a worthy competitor to the top-rated processors.

Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Central Payment Corporation (CPAY)

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153 Responses

  • Scott

    I’ve been trying to cancel my service for 4 months now. Sent a letter called 3 times jump threw all there hoops and still getting billed fees for nothing no longer using them as credit card prosser.

  • Kristi ferrell

    I need to cancel whatever I am using. I’m not using this and I’m being charged for it.

  • JUSTIN R THEIS

    They are theifs They tack on fees all the time you have to watch your statement and fight to get them back . Recently I found they signed me up for some Csi program without my consent and have been takeing $54.95 each month for last 5 months from checking account . Then when confronted they refuse to return the money. I finally got back one months wirth but not satisfied with that . there should be class action lawsuit towards them for taking customers money without consent . They fail to notify you of pci compliance due date then . they also do it with pci compliance fees and other random ones. I would strongly discourage doing business with them !!

  • Brek Long

    www.flowerandhewes.com

    This has been the most horrific experience professionally with a merchant service Company> i finally fired them in September after realizing they were charging me non compliance fee’s from almost day one of setting service up. they were taking alost $1000 in a year out and even though I cancelled in September just took another $100 unauthorized out of my account. Trying to get through to them is crazy and no one ever calls you back. It took me a ear to even get a minimal amount returned and still fighting them Do Not Use This Company They Are Criminal in “Stealing” your money whenever they decide to do so even several months after I sent equipment back and cancelled there services!

    • Rusty Hatfield

      Me 2, they $330 last month,now today $300

  • Lori Bucciero

    I am currently a central payment customer
    I’ve been using this company for approximately 17 years… for the past year I’ve been having issues with my POS system and complaining to my rep and he’s been troubleshooting and fixing them on and off… we received a new POS system in July unannounced it was just delivered. We called our rep and he was busy and asked if we could set it up obviously wwe declined we aren’t tech people and we planned on closing our business in October so we we not going to bother with a new set up… we are opening a new business without a bar freedom from a liquor license… going old school pizzeria no need for POS system anyway so we don’t want it and didn’t ask for it! We asked him to come get it and send it back… he referred us to his supervisor Ken Hoyer. Ken contacts
    [email protected] & [email protected]
    And we have practically begged them to send us return shipping labels so we can send this unwanted equipment back to the correct place and these requests have fell on deaf ears… they would never have know I had this equipment in the first place if I had not contacted Ken… I was honest…
    I don’t want this equipment it doesn’t belong to be and I never asked for it!!!!
    Now they are holding my funds…. stealing my money…. which is causing a domino effect basically…. checks bouncing…. insufficient funds fees etc etc…. this is a problem…. I’m losing business now because I can’t use my credit card machine because merchant services won’t release my money into my account because I have this POS system I don’t want and they won’t let me return…. I’ve called every day since October 2nd I’ve been made promises I’ve been told I’d be sent emails I’ve never seen I’ve been told my fund would get released I have emails from Samantha n the other name above with ken at least over a dozen it’s ridiculous all begging for help and nothing…
    I just want my money and return shipping labels to send them their equipment and I also after all this I deserve my funds released ASAP on my word and promise that I will ship their equipment and a promise that I will give them tracking numbers because I am an honest person with honor unlike them I don’t hide behind a wall of gatekeepers…. they don’t deserve their jobs… please listen to my recorded conversations and read my dozens of emails to them and decide for yourself if they deserve to keep their jobs….
    They should be fired
    Call a person and fix a problem
    A 10 minute phone call could have fixed a problem and saved me a week and a half of aggravation & stress and dozens of hours of my time…. I am a good person
    Honestly I am a good person and do not deserve this at all

  • Deb

    The contracted agent of CPay told me my application was denied. My credit score was close to 700 and CPay clearly accessed my credit because the agent quoted details of my report. I initially saw the inquiry when I checked Credit Wise. A few months later it was clear my identity was stolen as someone was applying for credit and creating checks in my (misspelled) name at numerous stores. I started getting letters from collection agencies for the bad checks. The only place I had shared my personal history was CPay and their agent Darrin Kelley Henderson. This gentleman was also a business partner of mine and a 3rd partner until we were forced to hire a lawyer to “fire” him from the LLC. The Identity theft became evident around this time. I also received a vile and badly written letter threatening my well-being and that of my family. This handwritten letter matched the handwriting of the CPay outside agent/my former partner.

    Suspecting this person I called CPay and they showed no evidence in their system that I ever applied. I no longer saw the inquiry on Credit Wise. I was assured that there would be a record even if I had been refused but they had no record. It all had disappeared. No one at CPay seemed to believe me.

    CPay claims they would never hire a convicted criminal, yet they did. Darrin Henderson was in prison for almost 8 years in Oregon but not the state he lived in at that time, California. I informed them of this and he was allowed to continue working there. The felonies alone should have been enough to end his contract. His crimes include kidnapping, attempted murder, fraud, possession of methamphetimine, harassment, bad checks etc. I sent proof of this and how they could access the info for themselves. No one reacted.

    I have no doubt that Darrin Kelley Henderson never intended for me (or at that time (OUR business) to become clients of CPay. He saw me as a mark and either shared my personal information with someone he knew or sold it to the highest bidder.

    I am trying to find out if there are others that have had a similar issue with this company. This incident has taken far too many hours of my life away from what I should be doing. My credit has been impacted negatively which is hurting my business. I found that Darrin K. Henderson died in a motorcycle accident in the Hemet CA area on 4-26-19. I am trying to make CPay/Tsys take responsibility for all the aggravation and damages that I, my current business associate and our business have suffered because of their failure to thoroughly investigate their agents that handle VERY personal and delicate information. They hired a criminal that has wreaked havoc on many levels for us and our business.

    Just today while applying for a business loan I realized just how much this fraud has effected me and my business. I also ran across the original inquiry on only 1 of the 3 reporting agencies. Once again I called CPay and they seemed unconcerned and defended their company. EVEN AFTER presenting all the facts! I want to know who else has had a similar experience. I am quite sure mine is not the only instance of this nor is Darrin Henderson the only con artist contracted by CPay.


    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors

    -Phillip

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