ClearChoice Merchant Services Review

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ClearChoice Merchant Services Logo

ClearChoice

"A-" Credit Card Processor Rating
Last Updated: February 5, 2014
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ClearChoice Merchant Services Overview

ClearChoice Merchant Services Logo

ClearChoice Merchant Services Logo

ClearChoice Merchant Services (myclearchoice.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Reno, Nevada. The company appears to also operate under the name ClearGate (cleargate.com), but the website for ClearChoice is still active and does not mention a rebranding. There is some evidence that ClearChoice is a reseller of First Data contracts. The company provides in-store, wireless, mobile, and online solutions for processing credit and debit card payments. ClearChoice also offers point-of-sale terminals, check readers, PIN pads, IP terminals and credit card software. ClearChoice Merchant Services, LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in Walnut Creek, California, and is located at 639 Isbell Rd., Ste 330, Reno, Nevada 89509.

ClearChoice Sales & Marketing Tactics | A-

ClearChoice appears to hire independently contracted sales agents to market its services. This is a common hiring practice within the credit card processing industry that often results in a sales team comprised of poorly trained or unregulated agents. We are currently able to locate two ClearChoice reviews that describe nondisclosure of fees by the company’s sales agents. These complaints specifically cite a failure to explain the company’s early termination fee amount, three-year service term, and cancellation procedures. To its credit, ClearChoice does not appear to list deceptive rate quotes in its official materials.

ClearChoice Costs & Contract Terms | C

The ClearChoice merchant program guide (available below) appears to be the standard First Data program guide, which includes a three-year agreement with automatic renewal for two-year terms, an early termination fee ranging from $250-$350, a variable PCI Compliance fee, a monthly minimum fee, and tiered pricing. These terms are about average for the industry, and they are typical of the standard First Data agreement. There are currently at least two complaints filed online by merchants who were not expecting to pay $350 upon cancellation, indicating that this fee may not be appropriately disclosed by some of the company’s agents. Merchants are encouraged to read all terms carefully and to check their merchant agreement against their program guide to verify all fees.
ClearChoice First Data Program Guide

ClearChoice Complaints & Service | A

We are currently able to locate two ClearChoice complaints, neither of which outright accuses the company of being a scam. Both complainants report nondisclosure of contract terms, specifically the company’s contract length, early termination fee amount, and cancellation policy. Since ClearChoice appears to be an ISO or reseller of First Data, it is possible that some ClearChoice reviews are redirected to the online profiles of the larger payment processor. The ClearChoice website lists a dedicated email address for customer support.

ClearChoice BBB Report | A (CPO Adjusted)

ClearChoice Merchant Services is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had three complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. All of the complaints were filed in regards to product or service issues, and all were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainants. In light of these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A.”

Bottom Line

ClearChoice Merchant Services rates as a better-than-average credit card processor according to our standards. The company has a very low complaint rate on the BBB and other consumer protection websites, but its sales practices and contract terms lower its overall grade. Merchants are advised to consult both their program guide and their merchant agreement when calculating their potential expenses through ClearChoice.

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