Coastal Pay Overview
First Data and Elavon Reseller
Founded in 2013, Coastal Pay is a merchant account provider that serves standard and high-risk business types throughout the U.S. The company resells the services of 8 different payment processors, including First Data and Elavon.
Headquartered in California
Coastal Pay is a registered ISO/MSP of Elavon, Inc. and of Wells Fargo Bank, NA, Concord, California, and is headquartered at 2445 Impala Dr, Carlsbad, Californi. Travis Chrisman is the president and co-founder is the CEO of Coastal Pay.
Coastal Pay Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Coastal Pay appears to offers its merchant services on a month-to-month basis with no early termination fees, PCI compliance fee, or monthly minimum fee.
- Complaints & Service: Coastal Pay has received more than 60 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Coastal Pay has an “A+” rating and has received 16 complaints and 10 reviews in the past three years. The company has been accredited by the BBB since April of 2019.
- Sales & Marketing: Coastal Pay appears to hire independent sales representatives and has received a moderate-to-high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Coastal Pay
Types of Businesses Served
- High risk
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Coastal Pay Rates, Fees, and Costs
|Swipe Rate||2.69% + $0.19|
|Keyed-in Rate||3.69% + $0.19|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Monthly Minimum Fee||None|
|Early Termination Fee||None|
|PCI Compliance Fee||None|
|Equipment Lease Terms||None|
Coastal Pay Contract Terms
The Coastal Pay website conveys that Coastal Pay does not lock merchants into any long term contract. According to the company’s president and co-founder, Coastal Pay does not charge a standard early termination fee, PCI compliance fee, inactivity fee, or monthly minimum. The company also longer charges for equipment leases, instead, it only offers payment terminals for direct purchase. However, pricing for the company’s transaction rates is not disclosed.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Coastal Pay also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
The abundance of complaints from merchants who claim to have been unwittingly locked into long-term contracts with liquidated damages-style termination fees has caused us to lower Coastal Pay’s grade in this section to a “D.” Coastal Pay’s contract pricing and terms prevent it from competing with the cheapest merchant accounts. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Coastal Pay contract (including any PCI compliance fees or monthly minimum fees), please share that information in the comment section below this review.Are you happy with your Coastal Pay fees? Tell us about them before your go!
Coastal Pay Complaints & Customer Reviews
|Total Online Complaints||60+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Sales Tactics|
High Complaint Volume
We are currently able to locate over 60 negative Coastal Pay reviews, some of which openly accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common complaints from merchants include persistent telemarketing, aggressive in-person sales conduct, nondisclosure of contract terms, misrepresentation of fees, exorbitant termination fees, difficulty cancelling service, and hard-to-reach customer service. For a company that was founded in 2013, this is a remarkably high volume of complaints. The content of the complaints is equally appalling, as merchants regularly state that they were lied to by sales agents and subsequently trapped in expensive contracts, only to be held to the terms of the contract by Coastal Pay.
Coastal Pay Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Coastal Pay. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Legal Firm Responses
One uncommon aspect of Coastal Pay’s customer service has contributed to its low score in both this section and the BBB section of this review. Unlike most merchant account providers, Coastal Pay has appointed an independent legal firm to respond to the merchant complaints that the company receives through the BBB. This approach to complaint resolution is not standard for the industry and could be interpreted as an effort to deter and shut down merchant complaints rather than respond to them in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, the actual responses from this law firm to merchants are atypical for the industry, as explored further in the section below.
Coastal Pay Customer Support Options
Coastal Pay’s website boasts a 24-hour technical customer service phone number and a promise to respond to all written inquiries within 24 hours, but several merchant complaints (including some found at the bottom of this review) cite a completely unresponsive support team. At this time, Coastal Pay ranks terribly for customer support and has a great deal of work ahead if it hopes to qualify as a top-rated payment processor for customer service.
Coastal Pay BBB Rating Summary
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||10|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||4|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Nearly 20 Complaints
Coastal Pay currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and became accredited in April of 2019. The company has received 14 complaints in the last 36 months. 10 complaints were related to product or service issues and 4 were classified as billing or collection issues. Coastal Pay resolved 1 complaint to the satisfaction of the merchant while the remaining 13 were answered but have yet to receive a final response from the complainant.
What Merchants Say
In addition to those 14 complaints, Coastal Pay has also received 8 informal reviews on its BBB profile. All 8 reviews were negative, receiving the lowest possible rating. The most recent complaint details fees being charged despite assurances from Coastal Pay that they were not enforced under their merchant agreement:
Does not keep promises. (Charged for equipment when they stated no equipment charges.) Had a customer that was double charged on credit card , but had with no response even when I showed them proof. Canceled service but they still charge monthly.
Merchants in this situations where they are being charged for fees which they were told were not included in their merchant account should review how to cancel their merchant account without paying a fee.
A “D” Performance
In light of Coastal Pay’s complaint total the low rating and issues detailed in its reviews, and the time that its profile has been active, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “D” at this time.
Truth In Marketing & Advertising
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Several Sales Complaints
Coastal Pay appears to utilize a combination of independent sales agents and telephone appointment setters to market its services. This strategy is commonly linked to elevated complaint rates in the credit card processing industry, and Coastal Pay is no exception. We have located over 30 Coastal Pay complaints that mention the company’s sales team. Merchants specifically report persistent, irritating telephone calls, nondisclosure of contract terms (specifically the details of equipment leases), and false verbal promises from sales agents. A few merchants also describe conduct that sounds very similar to “slamming,” in which the company’s telesales representatives claim to be from “merchant services” and avoid stating the name of the company they represent. A company representative has stated that Coastal Pay’s marketing team makes approximately 150,000 sales calls per month.
As noted above, Coastal Pay’s most common response to these complaints is to hold each merchant accountable for the terms of his or her contract, even when the merchant claims that an agent made egregious verbal misrepresentations. For instance, we found some complaints stating that Coastal Pay agents promised merchants that Coastal Pay would pay the cost of the merchants’ early termination fees with their previous processors. However, language on the company’s website states the following: “Merchant and the guarantor who signed page one of the MUA (“Merchant”) understand that it is solely the Merchant’s responsibility to cancel all prior services and equipment contracts and accepts responsibility for any termination or cancellation fees and agrees to hold harmless CP of any obligation related to prior processing and equipment lease contracts, unless otherwise agreed to in writing.” In other words, merchants should disregard any promise made by a Coastal Pay agent that contradicts the exact language of the company’s full contract. The front page of the Coastal Pay merchant agreement (seen here) includes a line requesting the amount of the merchant’s ETF from their current processor, but it does not include any language that guarantees that this fee will be paid. A company representative has stated that Coastal Pay does pay merchants’ ETFs.
Employees Weigh In
1 positive review of Coastal Pay from a former sales employee mentions that the company’s sales agents “mainly go off of the Straight Line Persuasion System by Jordan Belfort.” It’s worth noting that Jordan Belfort is the subject of Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. Another employee review states the following: “No leads or appointments with clients that really need your service. They are always already committed to a contract. Most times the client doesn’t want to see you and they are pissed off that your there, because the rep that called and set up the appointment on your behalf. badgered them into taking the appointment. I had one client threaten to shoot me when I walked in the door because the appointment setter browbeat him into the appointment.” A company representative has disputed the accuracy of both reports.
No Misleading Quotes
As a small point in the company’s favor, we are unable to find any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees on the Coastal Pay website. However, the sheer volume and consistency of complaints regarding the company’s sales force have lowered Coastal Pay’s score in this section to a “D.” If you suspect that Coastal Pay is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.
About Phillip Parker
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 and Merchant Account Services
I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.
From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.