Everest Merchant Services (ems-merchants.com) is a nationwide merchant account provider providing credit card processing services to merchants for Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, signature cards, customized gift and loyalty cards, and debit cards. The company initially began operations on September 8, 2010, with business offices located at 261 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, New York. Several reviews indicate that EMS relies on Cynergy Data (now Priority Payment Systems) for its actual credit card processing services. The company also does not publicly list an acquiring bank. Arnold Olshanesky is listed as the CEO of Everest Merchant Services.
- Sales & Marketing: It’s unknown whether Everest Merchant Services hires independent sales representatives, but the company has received a moderate number of merchant complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Everest Merchant Services appears to offer a multi-year contract with a $495 early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Everest Merchant Services has received more than 15 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Everest Merchant Services currently has a “D-” rating with the Better Business Bureau based on 15 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Everest Merchant Services
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
As of this writing, it is unclear whether Everest Merchant Services primarily utilizes in-house or independent sales agents to market its services. There are numerous complaints about nondisclosure or misrepresentation of contract terms at the point of signing, and there are also a large number of negative reviews filed by former employees of the company. These employees consistently cite an unprofessional work environment, inadequate training, and delayed or incomplete compensation. The company’s $500 Best Rate Guarantee appears to be the source of some confusion amongst merchants, but the Better Business Bureau has investigated this guarantee and determined that it is a valid advertisement.
The BBB page for EMS formerly noted an issue with EMS incorrectly implying on its superpages.com profile that it has obtained BBB accreditation. This issue appears to have been resolved and is no longer listed on the company’s BBB page. It will therefore not count against the company at this time.
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||$495|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$185 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Because EMS appears to resell the services of Priority Payment Systems, the standard EMS contract is likely to be very similar to the standard Priority Payment Systems contract, which includes a $495 early cancellation fee and PCI compliance fees of up to $185. One complaint does mention that EMS offers interchange-plus pricing, although this particular merchant did not end up receiving the appropriate rates.
Because EMS advertises a number of different guarantees and promotions, it is reasonable to assume that the terms of an EMS contract will include provisions addressing these promotions. Even so, merchants are encouraged to carefully review any contract they are given, regardless of a sales agent’s guarantees.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||15+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Poor Service|
We’ve located over 15 Everest Merchant Services negative reviews on non-BBB consumer protection websites (including the comment section of this review), most of which cite an inability to reach any customer service representatives from EMS to resolve the stated problem. Other complaints mention unexpected fees and nondisclosure of contract terms, as well as internal issues at the company. The company’s website provides an email form and a telephone number that may or may not be related to customer support; it’s also possible that the company relies on Priority Payment Systems for its customer support in addition to its payment processing. Regardless, EMS does not appear to have a very responsive or readily available customer service team.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||5|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||7|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||3|
|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.
As of this update, Everest Merchant Services (EMS) has been assigned a “D-” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. This remains unchanged from its BBB at the time of our last review. Of the 15 complaints filed against EMS, five were related to the product or service, three were related to advertising or sales issues, and seven had to do with billing and collection. Three complaints were resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction, while the rest were either completely unresolved, resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant, or never rated by the merchant. Seven went completely unaddressed. In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip and I’m disgusted by the state of credit card processing in the U.S. and abroad. I believe that the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal money from hard working business owners. I’ve made it my mission to expose the companies and individuals who engage in predatory marketing, pricing, and contracts, or just provide terrible service. Along with uncovering the bad guys, I’ve also discovered the good guys who do stand out from the status quo. CPO is a website where you will find ratings and reviews of these companies along with advice on how to save money and which service providers consider. Together we can move the industry in a positive direction. If you would like to help support my work, please checkout “Fee Sweep” my eGuide to getting the lowest possible fees when accepting card payments. If you haven’t heard of “interchange” this advice will save you hundreds, even thousands, in processing fees.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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