Choice Merchant Solutions Review

Choice Merchant Solutions Overview

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Serving Standard and High Risk Merchants

Founded in 2009, Choice Merchant Solutions (CMS – choicemerchantsolutions.com) is a merchant account provider that offers a variety of credit card processing solutions for both standard and high risk merchants. The company appears to be partnered with Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS), a merchant account company headquartered in Independence, Ohio.

Choice Merchant Solutions Location and Ownership

Located at 10 Columbus Blvd in Hartford, Connecticut, Choice Merchant Solutions is sponsored by Esquire Bank, Garden City, New York and Merrick Bank of South Jordan, Utah, as its acquiring bank. JohnPaul Golino is listed as the president and CEO of Choice Merchant Solutions.

Choice Merchant Solutions Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Choice Merchant Solutions appears to offer a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $595.
  • Complaints & Service: Choice Merchant Solutions has received more than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Choice Merchant Solutions has an “A+” rating and has received 3 complaints and 1 review in the last three years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2017.
  • Sales & Marketing: Choice Merchant Solutions appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received some merchant complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Choice Merchant Solutions

Choice Merchant Solutions Statement Analyzer

Find hidden fees, pricing errors, and overcharges in your Choice Merchant Solutions merchant account statement. Not with Choice Merchant Solutions? That's ok, we can find excessive fees in any credit card processing statement. We've already found $1,156,834 in hidden fees this year! Submit a recent statement to try it out for free!

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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO
  • Restaurant
  • High risk

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Choice Merchant Solutions Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee $595
PCI Compliance Fee Undisclosed
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Months (locked)

Three-Year Agreement

The standard Choice Merchant Solutions contract appears to be a three-year agreement with automatic renewal and a $595 early termination fee. A company representative has stated that this fee can be waived if the merchant either supplies proof of a sold or closed business or if Choice Merchant Solutions is unable to meet or beat a competitor’s quote. Although not competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts available, these terms are pretty close to industry averages, and it seems as if the company’s transaction rates and monthly fees are similarly standard.

Contract Complaints

We were able to locate two complaints that cited some confusion over how exactly to terminate a Choice Merchant Solutions contract in a timely fashion so as to avoid the cancellation fee, so merchants are advised to read their contract carefully for language regarding cancellation.

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Response from Choice Merchant Solutions

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Choice Merchant Solutions Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Hidden Fees

Low-to-Moderate Complaint Total

We are able to locate more than a dozen Choice Merchant Solutions complaints on this site and elsewhere, most of which cite issues with cancellation fees and nondisclosure of terms by sales representatives. Choice Merchant Solutions has a low complaint rate for its size and time in business, but the available complaints are generally consistent with the issues they report.

Choice Merchant Solutions Lawsuits

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

Choice Merchant Solutions Customer Support Channels

The company’s website offers a dedicated phone support line and claims that support is available 24/7. In light of the company’s complaint total and the content of those complaints, we are awarding it a “B” in this category but do not consider it to be a top payment processor for customer service.

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Response from Choice Merchant Solutions

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Choice Merchant Solutions BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 2
Billing & Collection Complaints 1
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Under 5 Complaints

Choice Merchant Solutions has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since July 2017 and has had 3 complaints filed in the last 36 months. At this time, the BBB is assigning the company an “A+” rating. 2 complaints were based on product and service issues and one had to do with billing or collection. 1 complaint was closed to the merchants’ satisfaction, while the remaining 2 either were resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final assessment from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

In addition to the 3 complaints filed on the company’s BBB profile, Choice Merchant Services has also received 1 informal review which was positive in tone. However, it should be noted that reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB unlike complaints. The single review lauds the company’s specialization of high risk merchant accounts:

Amazing credit card processing rates. They also specialize in higher risk merchants which is a plus. I have always had amazing customer service with each staff member I have spoken to. They have walked me through line by line the rates and fees. Sarah was my account representative and she was amazing. If you are looking for a great merchant processor I would highly recommend Choice Merchant Solutions.

High risk merchants require providers who are equipped to serve their unique needs. This review reflects the degree of customer service that they often require.

An “A” Rating

Given the company’s complaint volume and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB’s rating.

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Response from Choice Merchant Solutions

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Outside Sales Agents

Choice Merchant Solutions hires independent sales agents to sell its services. Several negative Choice Merchant Solutions reviews on this website and elsewhere cite aggressive telemarketing and in-person sales efforts, some of which involve the caller posing as the merchant’s current provider in order to get them to sign an equipment lease with the company. This is a method known as “slamming.” In August of 2014, a company representative informed us that Choice Merchant Solutions no longer utilizes telemarketing as a sales strategy.

Previous Deceptive Rate Quotes

The company’s website used to advertise a “Qualified” rate of 1.59% + $0.05 (2.29% + $0.05 for card-not-present transactions), a monthly maintenance fee of $10, and monthly minimums of $25. This kind of rate quoting is deceptive, since it fails to mention the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” rates that merchants would pay on the vast majority of their transactions, as well as some other fees we’ve seen mentioned in complaints. However, since our last update, the company has changed its site so that there are no visible rates or fees. We will therefore not penalize it for its previous rate quoting practices. If you suspect that Choice Merchant Solutions is charging you undisclosed fees, however, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.

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Response from Choice Merchant Solutions

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Choice Merchant Solutions Logo

Our Opinion of Choice Merchant Solutions

A Decent Credit Card Processor

Choice Merchant Solutions rates as a decent merchant services provider according to our criteria. The company can improve its rating by reducing its contract costs and addressing the issues consistently cited in complaints. Although CMS services both standard and high risk business types, high risk merchants are advised to compare the company’s offerings to top-rated high risk merchant accounts to ensure their needs are met. As always, merchants are advised to carefully read all provisions of a contract they are given by Choice Merchant Solutions.

We rely on your feedback about Choice Merchant Solutions to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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21 Reviews Leave Your Review for Choice Merchant Solutions Below

  1. paula says:

    I have been processing with Choice for years. I had a rocky start the first few months because I was a startup, anytime I have an issue or question the pickup or return my call. they get my answers for me within hours when they are closed. there customer service is great. I was with BOA for 2 years and wow I was being over charged so much I stopped taking CC for over a year. When I finally needed to start taking them because it was effecting my business. I am glad I found them they have always been transparent with me. Which was my biggest fear. I want to know everything I know that cc are expensive but I am glad they tell me flat out what I am paying then hiding it from me.. great people, great customer service great company..

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Paula,

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

  2. Megan Mazzotta says:

    I own Megs Legs Tanning Salon in Springfield MA. One of their reps came to me about 6 months back to offer a ‘rate review’ after showing me the potential savings, It was easy to make the decision to switch. The process was painless and I’m glad I did it. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an honest, long term cc processing solution for their business. Thanks Again!

    1. Megan, we are unable to find any record of your business name in Springfield, MA. Can you please provide a street address?

  3. Cory Golden says:

    I own a local hardware store and wasn’t looking for a new processor however a rep came into my store and we talked a little about how to increase my ROI by switching to Choice. I was certainly open to this conversation. The proff was in the pudding. They were able to seamlessly get me out of my current contract and in the next quarter I was able to save my business an average of 250 a month. Great people to work with, highly recommend!

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Cory,

      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location. Thanks!

  4. Sylvester Benson says:

    I’ve used several merchant processors and by far Choice has been the most transparent, and fair. Before I using Choice, had a separate company handling fraudulent charges and because of that, it took longer to fight, many times I would lose the case. They have their own department that handles charge-back mitigation which is a huge weight off my shoulders. They are very responsive if I reach out for anything. I love having peace of mind and feel confident knowing Choice is their for me when I need them. 5 stars!!!

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Sylvester,

      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location. Thanks!

  5. cindy chupko says:

    I own a small business called Nana’s Closet. One of your sales reps came into my shop and told me about your company. I told him I was in a contract with another company. He told me that he would pay the pay off if I would go with him. So I agreed, that was in may. I can not get ahold of him I call every day. I have called the company they said to send a copy of the bank statement that the other company took out the money almost 300.00.
    I sent it to them 3 times. when I do call (mike ) told me he couldn’t help me.
    What is going on with this company. I have talked to my lawyer. I am going to the consumer protection agency and I am going to let them handle this. I am not happy, and would like to get this taken care of .
    looking forward to hearing from you

    1. julie says:

      Cindy,

      I think this is just a misunderstanding. According to our records, there was no contract ever signed with your company. I would be happy to straighten this out for you. Certainly wouldn’t want you to spend money for a legal advice regarding an un-returned phone call. Please contact me my name is Julie and I will be reaching out to you via phone today as well.

  6. John Warrener says:

    A salesperson from Choice Merchant Services came to me and reviewed my existing credit card company and came back with a report saying they would save me $64 in savings per month by using them. In addition they would waive a bunch of fees including start up fee and annual servcie fee. The first bill came and based upon the same amount of sales it actually cost me $20 more. In addition they charged me a $95 set up fee. I called and was told that the set up fee would be refunded in the next statement–IT WAS NOT!

    I called the actual company processing the fees (EMS) and they told me all of the annual fees etc were NOT being waived. This month I got my statement and it was $20 more than the usual charges on charges that were $600 less than my original company thus making it about $30 over that company instaed of $64 less.

    They verbally told me that there would be no cancellation fee but now EMS states there would be a $595 cancellation fee or that I would need to fulfill my 36 month contract. RUN DON’T WALK AWAY IF YOU EVER SEE EMS or Choice Merchant Services try to solicit your credit card processing.

    1. julie says:

      All Choice Merchant Solutions Merchant Processing Agreements contain a clause providing for automatic
      renewal. Given the nature of our industry such a practice is standard and very much necessary. It would be extremely inconvenient if processing companies were to simply “shut off” our customers’ processing accounts the day their contract expired.

      Because our contract has this clause we understand how unreasonable it would be to simply lock a customer into an agreement eternally. The contract which this customer signed contains a clause by which 90 days prior to the renewal date; they may contact us to terminate their merchant account free of penalty. When such requests are made, a cancellation form is sent out to the customer and once signed and returned the auto renewal is deactivated and the account is scheduled for termination on the anniversary date.

      If a merchant wishes to process credit card transactions after their 36 month anniversary date, the only feasible way to make this happen is to auto renew their agreement. All of these things are set forth in the agreement which the customer signed.

  7. janet says:

    Been with other companies before and a Representative came out and did a review was able to save me $150 a month. I ended up changing with them. I have been with them for almost 4 years now. Anytime I have a compliant They handle it for me. They have replaced my machine when it broke. I loved that when the rates lowered down without me asking. I am so glad they called me and I decided to meet with them. They have saved my alot of money over the years. Also I love there new line of credit program. Have been able to fix up by business. I would deff recommend this credit card company to anyone and everyone

    1. Phillip Parker says:

      Hi Janet,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location to verify your testimonial.

  8. Todd says:

    Very much agree with the consensus. They posed as my existing company on the phone. Converted me over and it left my old account open with my good provider. Luckily they retuned our equipment to them. Now I’m getting the run around just to get the cancelation person Elise on the phone. So far they have just left for the day, been on the other line and been out to lunch. All within a few minuets. Stay very far away!!!!

  9. SARH says:

    I have been with Choice for 3 years I love that anytime I have a problem they fix it. Any time I want a rate review they give it right to me. I have 6 business and I switched them all to choice because they were so good to me. Never will I go with a bank when double charge me

  10. Luis says:

    Ok, so I signed up with this company two years ago in September 2010 and the sales rep that came to my office said to me that this was a no-contract agreement and if I decided to cancel all I had to do was just return the equipment. After about a year they started charging me more fees and increased the monthly service fee from $5 to $50 per month, this is in adition to the fee they charge per swipe. I came upon square, the payment processor you can use on your smart phone which has no monthly fee, so I decided to call Choice Merchant Solutions to cancel my account with them. The sales Rep tells me that I am locked into a 3 years contract. I read the agreement and it says that the contract automatically renews every year, which means I should be able to cancel in September 2012, before it renews again. The Rep tells me that I have to call 3 months before the contract ends, so they are trying to stick me with either another year of useless billing because I do not use their services anymore or a $500 cancellation fee. Also, if I do not call to cancel 3 months before September 2013, the contract automatically renews for another 3 years and the same story repeats all over again (Even thought it does not mention this in the contract). My advise to whoever is considering using this company is DON’T.

    I never write comments in forums, this is my first time doing it and the reason behind it is that maybe I can save someone a lot of headaches and troubles with this company if they get to read this post before they sign up with thses white-collar criminals.

  11. Dave says:

    Stay clear of this unethical, unprofessional company. I had a sales representative visit my store to give
    me a quote of credit card processing fees. The sales representative took one of my monthly statements,
    promising to return the next business day, with a quote, and of course, to return my statement. It has been one-week and the sales representative has not returned, has not called, and cannot be reached.
    I think the creep skipped town. I have placed numerous calls to their corporate office, in Hartford, Ct.,
    to no avail. No one in the company can locate their own sales representative. Thank goodness I smelled a rat and did not sign-up with this company. Stay clear–Choice Merchant Solutions is a SCAM!

    1. Ryan says:

      JUST A HEADS UP. LOOK OUT FOR THEM CALLING YOU BACK FROM A DIFFERENT NAME AND NUMBER AND USING THE INFO ON YOUR STATEMENT LIKE MID #, sales volume, and transactions, to ACT like they are your current provider and it kind of makes you think they are when they call with all your personal info. BUYER BEWARE. This company needs to be outed from the merchant service industry. how do they get away with sheer fraud?????

  12. Head To Toe Tanning says:

    While I cannot speak for their services, they are persistent with their robo calling from 860-541-5830 and their assurances of removing your phone number from their database(s) are just so much hot air.

  13. Sara says:

    Choice merchant solutioins is a rip off company. They are liers minpulative people, they are taking money from me from past three years and charging fees for no reason. My contract with them came to an end in February and I returned their equipment but they were like no your contract will be over in July now comes July they say no we renewed your contract in May. So they have been charging me from February til now. I don’t think anyone can renew a contract without anyones authorization. Now they tell me we will charge you $500 if you want to end the contract. Their sale people are so disrespectful. I am so sick and tired of their games everytime I call them their customer people tell me different thing it’s rediculous. They should not be doing business at all because they don’t even know how to serve their customer. I am surprised no one has taken any action against them!!

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