Datalink Bankcard Services Review

Overview

Datalink Bankcard Services (datalinkonline.net, lowdiscountrates.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Richardson, Texas. Founded in 1989, the company now acts as a reseller of Merrick Bank merchant services. There is also some evidence that Datalink Bankcard does business under the names “Main Street Processing” and “Tier 1 Processing.” Datalink Bankcard Services should not be confused with another company by the name of “Datalink,” which appears to deal with data transfer and storage and is unrelated to the company described in this review.

Steve Odom is listed as the president of Datalink Bankcard Services, which is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, Utah and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: Datalink Bankcard Services appears to hire independently contracted sales agents and has received some serious complaints about its sales team.
  • Costs & Contract: Datalink Bankcard Services offers a three-year contract through Merrick Bank with an early termination fee of $250 or more.
  • Complaints & Service: Datalink Bankcard Services has received more than 15 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Datalink Bankcard Services has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 19 complaints in the past three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Datalink Bankcard Services

Datalink Bankcard Services Products and Services

Industries

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

Response from Datalink Bankcard Services

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d

Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

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

Datalink Bankcard appears to utilize telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents to market its services. This “hiring mill” practice is described in two different online complaints from former employees, who outline an unethical sales policy that intentionally misleads customers over the phone. According to these complaints, it seems that Datalink representatives (sometimes using the name “Main Street Processing”) are trained to inform merchants that they can save money on their credit card processing because of “the Durbin Amendment,” which is a ploy to get merchants to fax over their current statements for review. There is also a report stating that Datalink representatives are encouraged to pose as a merchant’s current processor, a practice known as “slamming.” Merchants should be aware that the Durbin Amendment does not require them to switch their providers or change their service, and all business owners should be wary of calls claiming only to be “with Visa” or “your processor.”

Although there are only a handful of these specific claims from former employees, they are corroborated by a moderate number of publicly available Datalink merchant reviews that accuse the company’s sales agents of misrepresenting contract terms or failing to disclose the complete costs associated with its service. To its credit, Datalink does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials, but the detailed complaints about misleading sales practices raise enough concerns at this time to lower the company’s rating to a “D.”

Response from Datalink Bankcard Services

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d

Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $250+
PCI Compliance Fee Variable
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

According to a copy of the Datalink merchant agreement (available below), the company offers a three-year agreement through Merrick Bank with automatic renewal for two years, an early termination fee of $250 or Liquidated Damages (whichever is greater), an undisclosed annual membership fee, and a $25 chargeback fee. The company may also charge PCI Compliance fees or monthly minimum fees that are not listed in this agreement.

Datalink receives a low score in this section because of its long-term contract with automatic renewal and its potentially very costly early termination fee. This fee is calculated by multiplying the merchant’s monthly cost by the number of months remaining in the contract, and it can easily exceed the $250 minimum that will be charged upon termination. A number of merchant complaints about Datalink mention its termination fees and claim that sales agents verbally promised that there would be no such fees. For this reason, merchants should be sure to check the actual language of the contract despite what a sales agent claims. See the Datalink Bankcard Services Terms & Conditions.

Response from Datalink Bankcard Services

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c

Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints 15+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics

There are currently over 15 Datalink Bankcard negative reviews online, some of which describe the company as a scam or a ripoff. Common themes among complainants include deceptive sales tactics, unprofessional hiring policies, account holds, nondisclosure of termination fees, misleading rate quotes, and unhelpful customer support. A handful of complaints online against the company appear to be the result of a personal agenda and are therefore without merit, but these have been discounted for the purposes of this review. A company representative has responded to the apparently false allegations made against the company, but there are no instances outside of the BBB in which legitimately frustrated merchants received a public response from Datalink.

Although the content of some of these complaints is troubling, the overall complaint volume does not justify a grade lower than “C” at this time. Datalink offers extensive customer service contact information on its website, including phone number, email addresses, and a contact form.

Response from Datalink Bankcard Services

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c

BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 7
Billing & Collection Complaints 6
Advertising & Sales Complaints 6
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

Datalink Bankcard Services has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2006 and currently has an “A+” rating despite 19 complaints filed within the last three years. Of these complaints, seven were related to problems with the product or service, six had to do with billing or collection disputes, and six were due to advertising or sales issues. Nine of these complaints were resolved with BBB assistance, while the remaining 10 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from Datalink Bankcard.

Datalink’s alternate business name of “Main Street Processing” also has a BBB page and is currently showing accreditation since 2008 and no rating. Fifteen of the company’s 19 complaints were due to advertising or sales issues, while the remaining four were due to billing or collection and problems with the product or service. Seven were successfully resolved. Overall, by combining the two BBB reports, we have come to an adjusted BBB grade of “C” for the purposes of this review.

Response from Datalink Bankcard Services

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Datalink Bankcard Services Logo

Datalink Bankcard Services Bottom Line

Datalink rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company has received a moderate complaint volume related to its sales practices and contract terms, and the details of its contract suggest that its service can be more expensive than industry averages. Datalink can improve its overall rating by removing the liquidated damages clause from its contract terms and by altering its apparent sales tactics.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

3 Reviews Leave Your Review for Datalink Bankcard Services Below

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  1. Barbara says:

    Still being billed for services, have not used in over 2 years. Non compliance fee, and $3.00 fee for whatever. MC located fee.

  2. Eva Cooper says:

    I had dealt with company over 15 years! Recently had some issues with service. Decided to cancel the service mid MARCH this year. After 2weeks of phone calls I was told it had been canceled and no further fees would be charged. This was end if March. I was charged the monthly fee early April. Figured that one would happen. Got bank statement today, May 16, discover I was charged the monthly fee for April AaND THE QUARTERLY “PORTAL FEE”! Call and get multiple excuses, againwent to my bank and file dispute charges! It’s not a large amount, ITS THE PRINCIPAL!!!

  3. Eliminate hidden fees and mistakes without switching merchant accounts. Get a free statement audit today to see how much you are overpaying.

  4. Eric McNamee says:

    There is a company called Tier 1 Processing that is affiliated with Datalink. I came across them before and now some of my merchants are being contacted using the sales pitch that they are affiliated with my company, which obviously they are not. The phone number they are using is 855-455-6851 and their fax is 855-792-7161. They’ve called a couple of clients of mine multiple times and each time it’s a different representative. From your reviews I think contacting Tier 1 and posting a review about them would be advantageous to merchants who are unaware of these weak ploys to scam merchants into a new contract with expensive leases.

    Also Tier 1’s website is conveniently down all the time. http://tier1processing.com/

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