Direct Processors Review
Note: As of December 2021 the Direct Processors website is down and the BBB has posted that they are out of business. We will no longer be updating this profile but will leave it up for research purposes. If you have information that the company is still in business, please let us know in the comments below.
An Organization With Many Names
Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, Direct Processors is a merchant account provider that serves standard-risk business types across the United States. Direct Processors appears to share ownership or to be otherwise affiliated with three other credit card processors called Freedom Card Solutions (formerly Performance Merchant Alliance), United Card Solutions (unitedcardsolutions.com), and National Card Solutions (nationalcardsolutions.com). All four companies have similar websites and promotional language, and all four appear to be represented by Jeff Easter, an online reputation management specialist.
Merchant account provider reviews reflect that Direct Processors is a DBA of Prestige Payment Systems. That affiliation would explain the company’s connection to Easter, and does not reflect well on Direct Processors, as Prestige Payment Systems is ripe with negative reviews and allegations of unethical business practices among merchants. National Card Solutions and United Card Solutions are also other confirmed DBAs of Prestige Payment Systems.
Our own independent research has revealed a number of potential links between Performance Merchant Alliance, Prestige Payment Systems, and a company called National Paymentech. Merchants are advised to inquire as to whether Direct Processors has any previous or current affiliation with Prestige Payment Systems, and specifically what Jeff Easter’s role is in all of the companies that have been identified in this review.
Direct Processors Payment Processing
Direct Processors appears to process most major debit and credit cards. Their website gives little info on what exact services they offer, but if the websites of their DBAs are any indication, we can assume that the company offers POS solutions including mobile readers and countertop terminals, e-commerce solutions, telephone payments through a virtual terminal, PCI compliance, EMV, and gift card options for merchants.
The Jeff Easter Connection
It is unclear at this time whether Jeff Easter is the owner of these companies, an employee of these companies, or a PR representative hired by these companies, but he is listed as the primary contact in 3 separate press releases about each organization. The Better Business Bureau also listed him as the principal of Performance Merchant Alliance and he is now listed as a consultant for Freedom Card Solutions. We have found some evidence that Direct Processors was at one point partnered with BlueSquare Resolutions.
Based in Vancouver, Washington
Direct Processors is a reseller of First Data (now Fiserv) products and services through i3 Verticals, LLC, and therefore utilizes Wells Fargo as its acquiring bank. Direct Processors appears to have been launched in July 2015 and is located at 4400 NE 77th Ave #275, Vancouver, Washington 98662. Ms. Marlene Harris is listed by the BBB as project manager.
Direct Processors Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Direct Processors offers a three-year agreement through First Dat (Fiserv) with a variable early termination fee and long-term equipment lease.
- Complaints & Service: Direct Processors has received more than 100 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Direct Processors has no rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 5 complaints and 4 reviews in the last 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Direct Processors does not appear to hire independently contracted agents but has received a very high number of complaints about its sales team.
Direct Processors Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||100+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Sales Tactics|
Over 100 Complaints
We are currently able to locate more than 100 negative Direct Processors reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common themes include persistent sales calls, misrepresentation of rates, nondisclosure of fees, exorbitant equipment costs, and poor customer service. Direct Processors has received complaints at a steady pace ever since we published this review, nearly keeping pace with United Card Solutions. This is a strongly negative trend that has lowered the company’s score to a “D.”
Don’t Trust Every Review
Merchants who are researching the company should also note that company representative Jeff Easter, an online reputation manager, has left many positive reviews about Direct Processors on consumer protection websites. The Direct Processors website states that the company offers 24/7 customer support by phone, but this support line has not performed anywhere near well enough to receive any consideration for our list of the top credit card processors for customer service.
Direct Processors Lawsuits
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Direct Processors. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Direct Processors Customer Service Options
We have assigned Direct Processors a “D” rating in this section due to the fact that there may be no substantive difference between the service provided by Direct Processors and the service provided by its related companies. Direct Processors website states that the company offers 24/7 customer support by phone, but this number does not appear to do a good job of resolving merchant issues in-house. We therefore do not consider Direct Processors to be a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service.
Direct Processors Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Online Ratings Summary
|Product & Service Complaints||2|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||2|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||1|
|Guarantee & Warranty 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.
Concerning Complaint Total
Direct Processors currently has no rating with the Better Business Bureau, and it is not BBB accredited. The company has received 5 complaints in the past 3 years, considerably less than the 28 complaints from our last review. 2 of the complaints were due to a problem with a product or service, 2 were billing or collections issues, and 1 was due to advertising or sales problems.0 of these 5 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. All 5 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 5 complaints filed against Direct Processors, the company has received 4 informal reviews. All 4 reviews were negative in tone, each giving the company a rating of 1 out of 5. A recent review filed against the company describes several issues, including poor customer service:
We too have had all of the same problems that you see below in the other reviews. We have spent hours and hours arguing with them over several different issues which usually resulted in nothing changing . Nothing but problems, lies, getting pushed off to another person ( who cared even less) that was supposed to help us and none of them ever did. They tell you they will get back to you and never do. If you are issued a refund, don’t expect to get it in the 7–10 days they tell you…it will take several weeks and several phone calls to remind them before you get it. I won’t use the word hate, but we really do not like these people. Nobody there ever cared about us and our problems! Until recently….. We have been working with a customer service rep there the last few days. Her name is Tessa. She has been great to talk to, to work with, and she seems to really care about the problems we are having and is willing to help us resolve them. Tessa is good at getting back with us and letting us know what is going on and what is being done to fix our problems. I don’t know if she is new or the company has re-vamped the customer service dept to be better at taking care of the customer. The customer rep’s and management that were there before ALL NEED TO BE FIRED. Which ever, it is good to finally be able to talk to someone who seems to be looking out for the customer rather than being treated like a piece of garbage all the time. Thank’s Tessa !!
Finding a merchant service provider with excellent customer service is essential to resolve any issues that may arise.
An “F” Performance Overall
Direct Processors has a pattern of complaint that is emblematic of the issues affecting the other companies it is associated with. Furthermore, it appears to have made zero effort to address the underlying issues. We have therefore adjusted the BBB’s grade to an “F.”
Direct Processors Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Annual Fee||Up to $197|
|Helpdesk Fee||$15 Per Month|
|Inactivity Fee||$99 Per Month|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$150 Per Year|
|Early Termination Fee||$250|
|Equipment Lease Costs||Up to $77 Per Month|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
Information on Direct Processors’ pricing structure is sparse. The company’s website offers little insight into the company’s rates and fees. Since Direct Processors is a DBA of Prestige Payments, this review will rely on information from its pricing structure. Prestige Payment Systems offers three-tiered pricing for qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified merchants with rates as high as 3.25% plus $0.09.
The agreement includes a PCI compliance fee of $150 which is billed annually. Merchant reviews reflect other fees from these contracts including a $50 annual fee, a $15 monthly “help desk” fee, and a $10 monthly statement fee. Some merchant complaints state that the company’s standard early termination fee is $250.
Beware Equipment Leases
As a general rule, we do not advise merchants to enter into contracts that include long-term, non-cancellable equipment leases. This is because most credit card processing equipment can be purchased in full for a one-time cost of under $500, while most equipment leases cost thousands of dollars over four years. Accordingly, we do not consider the company’s contract terms to be even remotely competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts available.
Many Merchant Complaints
The high number of complaints about Direct Processors’ exorbitant equipment lease costs are a testament to the low value these leases offer. We have accordingly lowered our grade for Direct Processors in this section to a “D.” See the Direct Processors/BlueSquare Resolutions Program Guide, the Direct Processors/First Data Program Guide, or the Direct Processors/i3 Verticals Program Guide.
We also encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Direct Processors Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Heavy on Telemarketing
Direct Processors appears to utilize telemarketing and an in-house sales team to market its services. The company does not appear to utilize independently contracted sales agents, but we have found dozens of Direct Processors complaints that mention persistent telemarketing calls, misrepresented fees, and undisclosed contract terms. Direct Processors also does not list any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees on its website. Some of these complaints specifically refer to long-term leasing agreements that are not mentioned by sales agents at the time of the sale, while others claim that they were lied to about their monthly costs. The number of these complaints has risen steadily since we first published this review and is very high for a company that is this new to this industry. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Similar to United Card Solutions
United Card Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based company that appears to be related to Direct Processors, has also received a high number of complaints regarding nondisclosure or misrepresentation by sales agents. It is unclear at this time whether United Card Solutions employs a different sales team or offers different contract terms than Direct Processors, but the content of these complaints is very similar. If you are concerned that Direct Processors is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit.
An Insider Account
According to an email we have received from a former employee, Direct Processors trains its agents to tell business owners that their equipment lease from First Data (Fiserv) is actually a program fee to cover the cost of processing and that their rates will be 0% for PIN debit transactions and 1% for standard credit card transactions with no interchange on top. These rates are unrealistically low and highly misleading. This informant states that the “program fee” can ultimately cost anywhere from $59 to $399 per month as part of a 48-month, non-cancellable equipment lease. This is an increasingly common tactic we have seen among some poorly rated providers, and it will lower the company’s score further if similar reports continue to come in.
Reputation Management Concerns
As one final note, there are two questionable positive reviews for Direct Processors on Google and on Yelp. Both reviews appear to have been posted by Jeff Easter, a representative of Direct Processors. Merchants who are researching the company should understand that the person who wrote these reviews is affiliated with Direct Processors, United Card Solutions, and National Card Solutions and that the company’s representatives may be similarly influencing its ratings on other platforms.
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