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Eliot Management Group 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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Eliot Management Group is a mid-size merchant account provider based in Fort Worth, Texas, that appears to have opened its doors in 1999. Eliot Management Group and may be under the same ownership as (or have ties to) Appstar Financial, Apex Merchant Group, Trans Tech Merchant Group, Summit Merchant Solutions, First American Payment Systems, and Certified Payment Processing, as suggested in several merchant reports. Although no public information exists to verify these claims, most of the mentioned companies share very similar complaints and contract details. Several Eliot Management Group reviews from customers and employees also suggest connections to these other business names.
First American Payment Systems Lawsuit
EMG parent company was ordered by the FTC to pay $4.9 million to small businesses over “deceptive practices”. It’s unclear what part of this is EMG’s fault, but it is worth noting regardless.
Eliot Management Group Credit Card Processing
Eliot Management Group acts as a merchant services provider and processes all major debit and credit cards for most business industries. The company also offers ACH transactions, gift card solutions, Firstview data processing, check reading, cash advances, Paypal integration, next-day funding, and Optblue from American Express.
EMG offers a variety of point-of-sale (POS) systems, including countertop, wireless, and mobile options. Their POS systems are designed to be user-friendly and efficient, with features such as inventory management, employee management, and sales reporting. A wide variety of credit card processing equipment is offered through their website, including card readers, terminals, and POS systems from Sound, EPOS, Tetra, SwipeSimple, Pax, Dejavoo, Moby, Ingenico, and Paytrace. They additionally offer the Firstpay.net payment gateway for online payments.
EMG offers mobile payment solutions that allow businesses to accept payments on-the-go using their smartphone or tablet. The company uses SwipeSimple mobile payments.
EMG offers virtual terminal solutions that allow businesses to process payments online or over the phone. Their virtual terminals are designed to be secure and user-friendly, with features such as recurring billing, fraud prevention, and customizable payment pages.
Gift and Loyalty Programs
EMG offers gift and loyalty program services that allow businesses to create custom gift cards and loyalty programs for their customers. These programs can be a great way to increase customer retention and encourage repeat business.
Location & Ownership
Eliot Management Group is an ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, OH, and now lists its headquarters at 101 Summit Ave #914, Fort Worth, TX 76102 along with 8 other listed offices. Ron Dictheris listed as CEO of EMG while the BBB lists Rossalie Nichols as the principal for the company. A John Howe is also listed in multiple places online as CEO of EMG, though we have been unable to confirm this.
Though public information is sparse, Eliot Management Group is reported to be one of many subsidiaries of First American Payment Systems. Both companies share similar complaints and heavy ties to Fort Worth, Texas, and Murray, Utah. The BBB lists 1100 E 6600 S Ste 425 Murray, UT as a Utah address for the company.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Appears to offer a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $495. The company also partners with…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 225 public complaints regarding…
- BBB Rating: Currently has an “A-” rating and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but has received 9 complaints and 33 reviews stating…
- Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales representatives, and it has received a high number of complaints about its…
Eliot Management Group Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||225+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
High Complaint Total
We are currently able to locate more than 225 negative Eliot Management Group reviews on this and other consumer protection websites. Many of these Eliot Management Group reviews outright allege that the company operates a predatory business. The company has a high number of negative reviews in comparison to similar-sized providers. The overwhelming themes of these EMG reviews are reports of hidden and undisclosed fees, unauthorized debits from checking accounts, inability to resolve problems, difficulty canceling service, and poor customer support. Many of these problems seem to be traceable to deceptive sales tactics used by agents and failure to verbally disclose important fees and conditions prior to setting up accounts, instead relying on business owners to read the fine print. With the exception of complaints to the Better Business Bureau, it appears that Eliot Management Group chooses to enforce contracts rather than satisfy client grievances. If you have your own Eliot Management Group review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Eliot Management Group Lawsuits
Though not related directly to its merchant account services, the company is in the midst of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2018 by former sales employees. The disgruntled ex-employees allege that the company did not pay them commissions that they were due in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This lawsuit follows a 2012 class-action lawsuit from former employees filed in 2012, which alleged that the company violated the Minimum Wage Laws of many states.
In 2020, EMG was sued by a client who alleged that the company intentionally leased broken equipment with no resolution for fixing it or offering refunds. This suit ended in a settlement for the plaintiff, the amount of which was not disclosed.
2022 saw EMG parent First American Payment Systems ordered to pay $4.9 million to small businesses by the FTC due to apparent “deceptive practices”.
Eliot Management Group Customer Support Options
Eliot Management Group claims to offer 24/7/365 phone support on its website.
Eliot Management Group Customer Service Numbers
- (844) 898-0337 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
- (817) 317-9150 – Local Office
Other Support Options
- Dedicated email support address at [email protected]
- Customer support form on its website
Given the company’s high complaint total, clients should not expect this phone line to compete with the service offered by top-rated payment processors for great customer service.
Eliot Management Group Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
BBB Rating Analysis
Eliot Management Group has an average customer review rating of 4.28/5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, based on 39 customer reviews. The company has 7 complaints closed in the last 3 years, with none closed in the last 12 months. Common themes in the reviews include appreciation for efficient customer service and issues related to charges and service problems.
I opened an account for my company to process credit cards through Eliot Management Group. They sent me a USB credit card reader and said they would install the software on my computer. This was August 11, 2015. They never sent their tech support person to install the credit card processing software. They have charged my company more than 1900.00 in monthly fees and more than 6000.00 in PCI compliance fees. On March 3rd 2021, I sent them a signed letter asking them to close my account and today I got more PCI Compliance charges, and when I called them they tell me they did not receive an email that I have confirmation they did receive. I resend the email and they say they have no way of checking if the email was received.
– Complaint from March 15, 2021
We made some bank changes recently and have had a couple of issues where charges have been rejected, each time I have reached out to ****** in customer service and the problem has been resolved within a couple of hours. Very Simple to use and great customer service!!
– Review from October 3, 2023
Source: Better Business Bureau
PissedConsumer Rating Analysis
Eliot Management Group has a 1.5-star rating based on 10 customer reviews on PissedConsumer, ranking 67 of 199 in the Cards category. The majority of consumers express dissatisfaction, with common complaints about poor customer service, misleading information, and unexpected fees.
Stole money, charged me over $1000. The rep lies to you to get you signed up thinking you’re paying the cheapest rates, then you’re in contract for years that you have to pay huge amounts to get out of. Rates may be cheap, but they double and triple charge it, and on top of everything, have huge monthly fees. Please never use this company; they shouldn’t be in business. They will cause you a massive headache.
– Review from February 8, 2022
Horrible. Basically, they trap you forever and never let you leave unless you pay a $500 fee. Lots of liars and misleading information when you sign up.
– Review from September 4, 2019
Happy client, great service. We have used their service for over a year, still very happy. Great rates and I like that I have a local person to help me.
– Review from November 21, 2018
Eliot Management Group Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthy & Annual Fees||Yes|
|Processing Rates||1.00% - 4.99%|
Factors That Affect Pricing
Costs and fees of an Eliot Management Group merchant account will likely vary based on the agent setting up the account as well as a business owner’s ability to negotiate low fees. Numerous customers report that actual fees are much higher than what they were originally quoted and that they experienced several fees which were not disclosed prior to account setup.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Eliot Management Group also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and its payment gateway, which is powered by FirstPay.Net. However, pricing is not disclosed on either of those services. Additional rates and fees including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Eliot Management Group’s standard merchant account agreement includes an annual PCI Compliance fee reported to be $125 per year, three-year service agreement that automatically renews for one-year terms, and a $495 Early Termination Fee (ETF) in addition to credit card processing fees and other recurring fees. All fees are automatically debited from a client’s attached checking account, and there is only a small window of opportunity to cancel service before the service agreement renews. Eliot Management Group also appears to partner with Northern Leasing to sell equipment leases, which automatically prevents it from competing with the industry’s cheapest merchant accounts due to Northern Leasing’s terrible reputation. We would also encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.
Eliot Management Group Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Independent Sales Team
Eliot Management Group seems to rely primarily on an “agent hiring mill” marketing strategy, wherein the company actively recruits and hires both independently contracted sales agents and internally employed sales representatives. Additionally, the company engages heavily in telemarketing and appointment setting by telephone. This marketing practice does not compare favorably to the provider in our list of best credit card processors.
Many Sales Complaints
Based on customer complaints, it appears that agents are either poorly trained in the terms and conditions of Eliot Management Group’s merchant account agreement or are encouraged to omit important details during the account setup process. This is evidenced by numerous customer reviews claiming surprise over fees and service commitments, and complaints of misleading sales tactics. At a minimum, customer complaints suggest a lack of oversight that allows many agents to engage in deceptive sales practices. It also appears that Eliot Management Group often enforces the contracts even when businesses claim that an agent misled them. If you are stuck in an expensive Eliot Management Group contract, you can lower your costs without switching by seeking a third-party statement audit.
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