Community Merchant Solutions Review

Community Merchant Solutions Overview

Community Merchant Solutions May Have Overcharged You

If you accepted credit cards through Community Merchant Solutions or any other credit card processing company between 2017 and 2019, recent changes to the law may entitle you to refunds of certain debit card and credit card processing errors and overcharges. See this post to find out if your were among the businesses affected and to learn how you can get your money back.

Founded in 2007

Community Merchant Solutions is a small merchant account provider that has been active since 2007. In addition to supplying traditional merchant services, CMS at one point marketed a now-discontinued point of sale system called GoPago.

Community Merchant Solutions Location and Ownership

The company is headquartered in Mission Viejo, California, at 27201 Puerta Real #120, and is sponsored by Citizens Bank, N.A., Providence, Rhode Island, as its acquiring bank. According to this 2014 press release, Wain Swapp is the CEO of Community Merchant Solutions.

Community Merchant Solutions Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Community Merchant Solutions appears to offer variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type.
  • Complaints & Service: Community Merchant Solutions has received more than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Community Merchant Solutions has an “A+” with the Better Business Bureau and has received 0 complaints and 1 review in the last 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Community Merchant Solutions appears to hire independent sales agents and has received some complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Community Merchant Solutions
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Electronic check conversion
  • ACH processing
  • Merchant cash advance
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • POS equipment

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO

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Community Merchant Solutions Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee Undisclosed
PCI Compliance Fee Undisclosed
Equipment Lease Terms 36 Month (locked)

Community Merchant Solutions Contract Terms

There is not a lot of publicly available information regarding CMS’s contract terms. Given the company’s size, it is likely that CMS relies on a larger company for its processing services. One complaint filed elsewhere indicates that CMS often signs merchants up for three-year leases for POS terminals, which are also likely to be provided by the same large processor. The complaint mentions an early termination fee associated with this lease. As this is the only publicly listed complaint that discloses specific CMS contract terms, we will not penalize the company too harshly in this category. If you have any knowledge of CMS’s standard contract terms, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

Industry-Average Terms

Overall, these terms are average to slightly below-average for the industry, but the specific rates and fees for each agreement may vary depending on the agent setting up the account. Merchants should compare CMS’s rates to those of low-cost merchant account providers before signing up for service with the company. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Community Merchant Solutions contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review.

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Response from Community Merchant Solutions

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Community Merchant Solutions Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints >10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Unauthorized Charges

Low Complaint Volume

We are currently able to locate 12 Community Merchant Solutions complaints on other consumer protection websites, but some of these complaints accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Most of these complaints are more than two years old, and a good portion of them have disappeared since our last update. Currently, the company’s Yelp page contains the most recent negative reviews of CMS. Consistent themes among complainants include unauthorized charges, undisclosed fees, unreachable customer service, and withheld funds. The most recent negative Yelp review dates back to 2016.

Community Merchant Solutions Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Community 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.

Community Merchant Solutions Customer Support Options

Due to the disappearance of some merchant feedback, it is hard to tell whether Community Merchant Solutions has corrected the issues it previously had. In general, however, the consistency of the complaints inclines us to lower the company’s score to a “B.” CMS offers a dedicated phone support number on its website and an email template, but these channels are not sufficient to qualify it as a reliable payment processor for customer service.

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Response from Community Merchant Solutions

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Community Merchant Solutions BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

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

No BBB Complaints

Community Merchant Solutions currently has an “A+” with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB-accredited at this time. The company has received 0 complaints to its profile in the past three years.

What Merchants Say

Though the company has no complaints on its BBB profile it has received 1 negative informal review. It should be noted that these reviews are not typically subject to verification by the BBB. The lone review details a merchant who advises against doing business with this provider:

Don’t do business with Community Merchant Solutions. Binoye J is a crook. He prey on you when you at your lowest time.

While this complaint has not been vetted for its accuracy, merchant account providers with great reputations rarely garner these sorts of negative reviews.

An “A” Performance

In light of the company’s clean complaint record, we are awarding the company an “A” in this section. Merchants should note, however, that there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.

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Response from Community 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

Telemarketing and Outside Agents

Community Merchant Solutions appears to market itself primarily through its website, through telemarketing, and through independent sales agents. The company appears to most heavily market its gift & loyalty cards program, the Community Connect Card, which consists of a plastic punch-out mailer that merchants can send directly to customers. We were previously able to locate roughly a dozen negative Community Merchant Solutions reviews (many of them filed here) that accuse the company’s sales staff of persistent telephone calls, nondisclosure of fees, and unauthorized charges for services that were never agreed to. However, these complaints have since disappeared. Most of the complaints were filed before 2014, but their tonal consistency was enough to lower CMS’s grade to a “B” in this section.

No Deceptive Quotes

To its credit, the company does not list any deceptive rate quotes on its website. If you suspect that Community Merchant Solutions is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.

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Response from Community Merchant Solutions

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Community Merchant Solutions Marketing Example

Community Merchant Solutions Logo

Our Opinion of Community Merchant Solutions

An Above-Average Option

Community Merchant Solutions rates as a decent merchant services provider according to our criteria. However, the disappearance of a number of older complaints has prevented us from understanding the company’s current level of service. We will continue to assess the company as we receive more merchant feedback. Merchants are encouraged to read their contracts carefully, to ask questions about any items they find confusing, and to compare Community Merchant Solutions’s rates to the top-rated credit card processors to get the best deal overall.

We rely on your feedback about Community 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 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.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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