Community Merchant Solutions 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Note: As of 2023, it appears that the Community Merchant Solutions website is down. It is currently unclear whether the business is still operating or not. If you have any information about the status of CMS, please let us know in the comments below.

Company Overview

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

Community Merchant Solutions Payment Processing

Community Merchant Solutions processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types. Their services include EMV card readers and swipers, POS solutions, check processing, loyalty programs, email marketing campaigns, and cash advances.

Location & Ownership

The company is headquartered in Mission Viejo, California, at 27201 Puerta Real #120 Mission Viejo, CA, 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 Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints >10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Unauthorized Charges
Recent Lawsuits No

Low Complaint Volume

We are currently able to locate 12 negative Community Merchant Solutions reviews 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. If you have your own Community Merchant Solutions review to make, please do so in the comments below.

Community Merchant Solutions Lawsuits and Fines

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

Community Merchant Solutions Customer Service Number

  • (877) 956-9258 – Toll-Free Customer Support

Other Support Options

  • Customer support form

Community Merchant Solutions Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Reports 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 3 years.

What Merchants Say

The company has received 0 informal customer reviews on its BBB profile in the last 3 years. A former review cited lawsuits against the owner:

For anyone looking to do business with Community Merchant Solutions or their new business ****** please do your research and be aware that the owner Wain S**** has been involved in lawsuits that allege he has stolen from his merchants and taken fees that grotesquely exceed the industry standard. Current merchants processing with ****** may want to check their statements for fee, rate, and deposit accuracy. Mr. S**** is also involved in lawsuits where he “laundered” his own merchant account and presumably kept money that was not his. These lawsuits involving Mr. S**** and his previous payment processing business Community Merchant Solutions (CMS) can be found with a simple ****** search. You may also want to ask yourself why he is constantly opening and closing payment processing businesses… Does it have something to do with him stealing money or improper / illegal business practices?

While consistent legal issues are a bit concerning, we’ve seen no evidence that these issues relate to CMS, so we will not include them in our rating for now.

An “A” Performance

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

Community Merchant Solutions Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Unclear
Monthly & Annual Fees Unclear
Processing Rates 1.00% - 4.99%
Equipment Leasing Yes

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 clients 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. Business owners 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.

We also encourage readers to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.

Community Merchant Solutions Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Yes
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Telemarketing and Outside Agents

Community Merchant Solutions appears to market itself primarily through its website, telemarketing, and 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 businesses 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. Though okay, this still does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

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.

Our Community Merchant Solutions Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Community Merchant Solutions rates as a decent credit card processing 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 client feedback. Readers are encouraged to read their contracts carefully, ask questions about any items they find confusing, and compare Community Merchant Solutions’ rates to the top-rated credit card processors to get the best deal overall.

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Which is Most Important for You?

If you had to pick one, which quality would you say will be the most important with your next credit card processor? Tap or click your selection to register your vote:

  1. Low Transaction Fees
  2. No Monthly Fees
  3. No Contract
  4. Reliable Customer Support
  5. Quick Signup

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Community Merchant Solutions Treat You?

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