Eschelon Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints

Eschelon Merchant Services Logo
2/5
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How did they treat you? ▼

Company Overview

Eschelon Merchant Services is a merchant account provider headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. According to public complaints, Eschelon appears to be either affiliated with or a major independent reseller of Northern Leasing Systems. There is also some evidence that Eschelon operates a DBA or subsidiary called Smart Card Merchant Services.

Article Summary

Before we dive in, here's a short summary of what we'll cover:

  • Eschelon Merchant Services' various payment processing services.
  • EMS has received a number of complaints about a period in which it was apparently out of business. It seems the business is now back and no more such complaints have been filed.
  • Other complaints about the company appear to describe “slamming”, a very manipulative sales technique.
  • There is little information about the company's contract.

Eschelon Merchant Services Payment Processing

The company provides customized solutions for merchants, including transparent interchange-plus pricing. Merchants can access their accounts online.

Business Cash Advances

Eschelon offers business cash advances up to $1,500,000. The company does not charge application fees and has easy credit restrictions. Approval is typically within 24-48 hours, and funding is completed in 7 days.

Equipment and Software

Eschelon provides the necessary equipment and software for payment processing. This includes traditional Point of Sale (POS) terminals and gateways. They also offer unique software solutions for business management, including inventory and coupon management through their MX POS system.

Working Capital

The company's financial services department provides working capital for business owners to expand and fund their businesses through their merchant cash advance program.

MX POS System

Eschelon offers a Merchant Services MX POS system that allows businesses to manage various aspects like customer spending, financial statistics, and inventory.

E-commerce Solutions

For businesses involved in e-commerce, Eschelon offers services to track and monitor sales. They provide secure payment processing and allow for recurring billing, online invoicing, and integration into popular e-commerce processing gateways and shopping carts.

Agent/ISO Program

Eschelon has an Agent/ISO program that includes aggressive revenue sharing, a state-of-the-art portfolio management tool, and dedicated agent support staff.

Nonprofit Support

The company has a program called “Project Give Back” that provides a recurring stream of donations for nonprofit organizations.

Location & Ownership

Eschelon is headquartered at 8125 N 23rd Ave Ste 200, Phoenix, Arizona 85021, and is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California. Rishank Baweja is listed as the president of Eschelon Merchant Services, while Daniel Drake is listed as the company's vice president of business development. Daniel Drake is also listed as a managing member of EMV Payment Systems, which suggests a connection between the two Phoenix-based organizations. As of this update, Eschelon Merchant Services appears to now also operate under the name of Eschelon Financial Group, LLC, which lists the same Arizona business address.

Table of Contents

Pros & Cons
Pros: Cons:
No setup fee. Monthly fee undisclosed.
In-person setup available. Terms not fully disclosed.
Domestic phone support. Employs independent agents.
Provides business loans. Low risk tolerance.
Supports various industries. Limited customer reviews.

Eschelon Merchant Services Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 30+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Equipment Lease
Recent Lawsuits No

Moderate Complaint Total

We have located more than 30 Eschelon Merchant Services reviews on this and other consumer protection websites, some of which express concern that the company is a ripoff or a scam. The two issues most consistently cited in these complaints are deceptive sales and telemarketing tactics and undesirable equipment lease terms through Northern Leasing. We have not found an instance in which Eschelon publicly responded to any of these complaints, indicating that the company may not consider it a priority. The company’s score has been lowered in this section primarily as a result of the content of these complaints rather than the volume. If you have your own Eschelon Merchant Services review to make, please do so in the comments below.

Eschelon Merchant Services Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Eschelon Merchant Services. Dissatisfied clients who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Eschelon Merchant Services Customer Support Options

Eschelon offers phone and email support on its website, but the most recent comment posted below this review claims that the “[p]hone numbers are out of service and emails are never returned.” It’s unclear if this is still the case, but if so, it should go without saying that this falls well short of our expectations for top-rated merchant accounts for great customer service.

Eschelon Merchant Services Customer Service Numbers

  • (877) 449-4285 – Toll-Free Support
  • (866) 511-1675 – Fax

Other Support Options

Eschelon Merchant Services Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Rating N/A
Average Rating N/A

BBB Rating Analysis for Eschelon Merchant Services

Eschelon Merchant Services is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. However, there are no customer reviews or complaints listed on the BBB website for this business.

Negative Feedback

There are no negative reviews available to provide as the business has no customer reviews on the BBB website.

Positive Feedback

There are no positive reviews published about Eschelon Merchant Services on the Better Business Bureau website.

Source: Better Business Bureau

Eschelon Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Unclear
Monthly & Annual Fees Unclear
Processing Rates Interchange +
Equipment Leasing Yes

Variable Contract Terms

There is very little information available regarding the actual terms of Eschelon’s contracts, as clients have not filed complaints that specifically mention transaction fees, early termination fees, PCI Compliance fees, monthly minimums, or other fees. It seems that the rates and fees charged by Eschelon for its credit card processing services are not the biggest issues facing the company. In fact, the company even advertises its use of interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent in the industry. We would encourage readers to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant accounts.

Long-Term Equipment Leases

Eschelon’s tendency to package its merchant accounts with equipment leases through Northern Leasing Systems, on the other hand, is a major problem for clients. Northern Leasing is notorious for providing long-term, non-cancellable, expensive equipment leases, and most complaints filed against Eschelon refer to Northern Leasing as the primary problem. This association has lowered Eschelon’s score in this section more than the terms of its merchant agreement. Any association with Northern Leasing automatically precludes a company from competing with the cheapest merchant accounts.

Eschelon Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

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

Outside Sales Team

Eschelon advertises a “Merchant Services ISOs & Agent Program” on its website which indicates that it employs independent resellers. This hiring strategy often results in a team of unsupervised or untrained sales agents and is commonly linked to merchant complaints. In this case, most negative Eschelon Merchant Services reviews describe aggressive telemarketing and deception with regard to the company’s equipment leases through Northern Leasing. Complainants allege that Eschelon sales agents intentionally misrepresent rates and fees and fail to disclose the 36- to 48-month non-cancellable lease that accompanies the service. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Eschelon Slamming Tactics Revealed

Some older complaints also describe tactics that closely resemble “slamming” scams, in which an Eschelon agent will call and claim to be with “Merchant Services” in order to persuade a business to purchase new equipment. This is corroborated by an account in the comment section below this review:

I worked for one day and never went back due to the harassing telephone calls we were required to make to each potential customer. It was stressed during training that each potential customer MUST BE CALLED THREE TIMES before entering the potential customer’s name as “not interested”. Many people I called that one day were furious at being bothered repeated times. We employees were also required to follow a script that clearly and intentionally failed to describe the service being provided properly. We were also ordered to inform each person called that their current merchant services account had changed and that we were simply calling to advise them of that change. We were then supposed to attempt to set up a “free meeting” with a rep in order to provide them with “up to 40 to 60% savings” each year.

As if on cue, an unverified positive testimonial posted in the comment section a few months after this report mentions “monthly savings within the 40%-60% range every month.”

No Deceptive Quotes

The Eschelon website actively promotes interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent pricing model available. Although there is no indication that this pricing structure is misleadingly promoted, the company’s reputation with regard to its equipment lease sales inclines us to warn readers against taking the company’s word on this. Business owners should be sure to confirm that the rate structure they will receive is true interchange-plus rather than a tiered model that has been misrepresented.

Our Eschelon Merchant Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Eschelon Merchant services rates poorly as a credit card processing provider. The company has some very severe complaints for its size, and its combination of questionable sales tactics, poor BBB score, and expensive equipment leases through Northern Leasing has lowered its overall rating. It should be noted that the company’s name is an intentional misspelling of the word “echelon,” which may lead to difficulty for people who are searching for “Echelon Merchant Services.” At this time, readers are likely to find a better deal by working with a top-rated merchant account provider.

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Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Eschelon Merchant Services Treat You?

8 User Reviews

  • Colin Doffing

    I sold my business and we are trying to switch ownership over to the new owners and no one is getting back to us. MXMerchant has also tried leaving messages and yet still no response. Can anyone tell us if this company is still in business? We paid them 2400 dollars in fees last month and yet we can’t even contact them.

  • Richard C.

    These salespeople are good, and they do call back 3 times as they are required. Although we get one of these type calls a week, I actually listened to the person because she sounded so authentic. Ask them to give you a physical address of the company (if you take their call at all). In this case the company named was Smart Card Merchant Services. I looked up the phone number from their website while she was on the phone, and it is a UPS Store in Phoenix. When confronted, the sales caller reluctantly gave me 3320 W. Shero Drive, which is the address for Eschelon Financial Group. I have not done business with them, and will not, but it seems to me… buyer beware of a company that uses a UPS store for one of their headquarters. She gave all of the sales script that others have noted here. My credit score was upgraded recently, they are a wholesaler, schedule a visit, etc. It’s tough to find complaints or reviews for Smart Card MS so just know that it’s Eschelon Financial Group.

  • Debbie Martinelli

    I have been processing with Eschelon Merchant Services for the last three years in all five of my pet supply locations and there is NOTHING bad that I can say about my Wholesale Conversion. My local Rep Michael Lee ALWAYS services me, always answers my calls, and the Customer Service Department is ALWAYS helpful! I see monthly savings within the 40%-60% range every month which I put back into the bottom line of my business, and now I have earned more than enough money to open up a 6th location! This is one of the best business decisions that I have ever made!

  • Kathleen Downes

    I had all of the above happen to me. I was called and agreed to a meeting as I’m was unhappy with the current processor. Sean V., the sales rep did an excellent job on selling me the advantages and that I was going ‘direct’ with first data – no intermediary. What a liar! He would take care of all the details of cancelling my account with my processor and get me all set up…not ONCE mentioning the 48 month non-cancellable lease. I’m embarrassed that I was scammed like this. He did nothing to cancel my account with my previous processor nor did he take care of any early cancellation fees. I no longer take uninvited calls from marketers for ANYTHING! If I did not seek you out, I don’t want to talk to you.

  • Heather Coover

    I made the mistake of accepting a call center position at this company. I worked for one day and never went back due to the harassing telephone calls we were required to make to each potential customer. It was stressed during training that each potential customer MUST BE CALLED THREE TIMES before entering the potential customer’s name as “not interested”. Many people I called that one day were furious at being bothered repeated times. We employees were also required to follow a script that clearly and intentionally failed to describe the service being provided properly. We were also ordered to inform each person called that their current merchant services account had changed and that we were simply calling to advise them of that change. We were then supposed to attempt to set up a “free meeting” with a rep in order to provide them with “up to 40 to 60% savings” each year. I am embarrassed that I worked here, even if it was only for one day. What a scam!

    • Johnny jones

      Me too. I believe the phone reps get sucked in this “sales” job. The company lies to the auto dialer, creating a ridiculous sense of “urgency” about a change to their account. They are told never to take no for an answer, keep calling the person who gets angry most of the time. Ridiculous! Also give a bogus 888 # to call. Owners are elusive snakes who should be shut down by the attorney general office of az.

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