First American Payment Systems Review

Overview

First American Payment Systems (first-american.net) is a merchant account provider based in Fort Worth, Texas, that claims to have been in business since 1990. First American Payment Systems also operates under several other business names and trademarks including FirstAdvantage, FirstFund ACH, Merimac Capital, Secur-Chex, FirstView, and FirstPay.net. It is suggested in numerous merchant reports that the company is under the same ownership as, or operates, the following merchant services companies: Appstar Financial, Eliot Management Group, Trans Tech Merchant Group, Summit Merchant Solutions, Apex Merchant Group, Trinity Merchant Group, Heritage Payment Solutions, GoEmerchant, Certified Payment Processing, iATS Payments, Govolution, and Velocity Payment System. A company representative has stated that First American Payment Systems does not operate Appstar Financial, Trinity Merchant Group, or Heritage Payment Solutions.

First American Payment Systems is a registered ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A, and MetaBank. First American Payment Systems was acquired in July 2014 by an investment group led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. In January 2016, First American Payment Systems acquired the entire independent sales office portfolio of Chase Commerce Solutions. The founder and CEO of First American Payment Systems is Neil Randel. It is unclear whether Neil Randel is related to Nathan Randel, the principal for Trinity Merchant Group, but it seems likely given the two companies’ geographic proximity.

First American Payment Systems Products and Services

Industries

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • MOTO
d

Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

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

First American Payment Systems has earned a “D” rating in this section because of its preferred marketing strategy. The company is associated with numerous other poorly rated companies and operates under multiple business names. Not only does this cause confusion for merchants, but most companies use such a strategy to spread public complaints across different business names.

Like many processors, First American Payment Systems’ strategy is to partner with ISOs and independently contracted outside sales people. This strategy would normally earn a processor a “C” rating in this section because it is a common strategy that ultimately results in a higher-than-average number of complaints from merchants. The rating for First American Payment Systems drops to a “D” in this section because it appears to supply processing services to some of the poorest-rated providers reviewed on CardPaymentOptions.com and may actually be under the same ownership as some of these companies.

First American Payment Systems Marketing Example

d

Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $300-$495
PCI Compliance Fee $120 Per Year
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Months, Non-Cancellable

The fees and contract terms for a First American Payment Systems merchant account may vary by agent, sub-ISO, and merchant. With that said, it appears that the standard contract for First American Payment Systems (available below) includes a three-year service agreement, an early termination fee between $300 and $495, and $120+ annual PCI Compliance fee among other monthly fees and processing fees. Additionally, the contract renews for successive one-year terms if not cancelled within a specific time frame before the end of the term. Merchants also report long-term, non-cancellable equipment leases through the company’s leasing affiliate, Merimac Capital. With very few exceptions, the company’s contract terms appear to be substandard in comparison to the overall industry. See the First American Payment Systems Merchant Agreement and the First American Payment Systems Terms & Conditions.

c

Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints 150+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics

First American Payment Systems has a fairly high number of complaints filed on various websites and forums online, and most of these complaints accuse the company of being a scam or ripoff. Many of the complaints tie First American Payment Systems to the poorly rated resellers mentioned earlier in this review. Although an exact number of complaints is difficult to establish, there are at least 150 separate complaints naming First American Payment Systems and there could be many more.

The majority of the complaints stem from hidden and surprise fees, deceptive sales practices on the part of independent agents and resellers, unauthorized debits from accounts, and nondisclosure of the service agreement length and cancellation fee. There are also numerous complaints filed by former employees and agents describing deceptive and misleading hiring practices.

Additionally, multiple merchants complain of predatory equipment lease agreements through Merimac Capital. In these complaints, merchants report being misled into expensive, non-cancellable 48-month leases for cheap equipment.

First American Payment Systems offers 24/7 phone support to all of its customers.

c

BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 37
Billing & Collection Complaints 28
Advertising & Sales Complaints 12
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.

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is awarding First American Payment Systems an “A+” rating despite 77 complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total, 37 are regarding product and service problems, 28 are under billing and collection disputes, and 12 are under advertising and sales issues. The report states that First American Payment Systems has resolved 17 of the complaints but that the remaining 60 either were not resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction or did not receive a final assessment from the merchant. There are also nine negative reviews and one positive review posted on the BBB profile for the company. In light of these figures, we have adjusted the company’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

First American Payment Systems Logo

First American Payment Systems Bottom Line

First American Payment Systems is a processor that mainly utilizes independent sales agents, other sales organizations, and alternate business names to market its processing services. The company could improve its rating by eliminating its cancellation fee, PCI compliance fee, auto-renewing contract, non-cancellable lease terms, and future merchant complaints regarding its services. As always, merchants are advised to carefully read and understand their merchant account agreements before signing with First American Payment Systems or any other provider.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry. Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

Schedule a Consultation with Phillip

64 Reviews Leave Your Review Below

  1. These guys are true CROOKS
    They took $1800 out of my bank account and this was well over two years after we left them.
    If you are using them or have you will need a good lawyer.

  2. Blue Dog is one of the credit card processors who utilize FIRST PAYMENT PAYMENT SYSTEMS. I received a phone call from BLUE DOG. They told me the fees would be only 1.5%. No mention of all the other fees totaling $51.45 per month whether or not you use the service. I called to caancel the services and they quickly transferred the phone to First American and the gentleman (term use loose) revealed to me I signed a THREE YEAR CONTRACT and that early termination fee would be $480.00. I responded, I never signed a contract neither was I informed that there was a THREE YEAR CONTRACT. I requested a copy of this contract and he sent it via fax. When I examined this contract (which I’d never seen) There was NO signature signed by me. They conveniently typed in my name. The area just beneath the typed signature was to be signed by hand was BLANK. I placed a stop payment with my bank. I also received a copy of the stop payment via US mail. First American still slipped in and pulled out the fee of $51.45. They have a system that the bank can not stop because they have my bank account’s routing and account number which I initially faxed a bank draft check. So after speaking with a my bank,the representative instructed to drive to the local branch, closed the account and open another account with a NEW routing & account number. This is time consuming and stain against FIRST AMERICAN PAYMENT SYSTEM. I will also report this to the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION for FRAUD. They are messing with the wrong business owner. I hope this information will convince you to stay away from BLUE DOG credit card processors who are connected to FIRST AMERICAN PAYMENT SYSTEMS. THEY NEED TO HAVE THEIR BUSINESS LICENSE REVOKED. WARN YOUR FRIENDS OKAY!!!!

  3. I would echo the concerns of the other complaints. Do not use this company. They charge you hidden fees including extremely high cancellation fees to get out from underneath them.

  4. I had a contract with another company then one of their sales from USB payment processing came to our office to give us better rates. He made cancel my earlier contract and I had to pay fees for it. This sale guy promised me he will take care of the contract issue which he didn’t. When my contract was over I called the USB because my contract was over and wrote a letter to then stating that. To my surprise the FAPS send me a letter saying I have to pay 800 dollars because of terminating the contract yet I had spoken to USB and their clearing said my contract was over.
    Their sales guys are bogus and its a total rip off.

  5. I was told they were going to charge me 12.00 dollars of month. This is totally a misinformation ripoff . I”m planning to cancel this services. Every month I get my monthly bill high and higher. I will post my outcome after I request a cancelation. I was told no contract ; month to month deal. More likely this is not true.

  6. Beware Rapid City SD small business owners that have been contacted by this company wanting to provide services for your business. specifically Sheena Meyers, local representative. Once this company gets your bank information they take money from your account for services not rendered, for equipment they say you still have (which the rep. Ms. Meyers has but has not returned to the company). They signed one local business owner and after the whole month of February, this business still did not have a working credit card machine to use, but yet this company has taken money from their bank account, to the tune of several thousand dollars!! Beware, this company is very shady.

  7. This is the worst company ever! Totally lied about the charges they would be charging me. I called several times and verified that there would not be any interchange fees and there my bill was $148 the first month and $121 was interchange fees. The second month the bill was $248, the net income only $500 more but the interchange fees were $190 this month. They also flag random charges and request more info on them and then they call the customer for verification. This whole process holds up your payment several days. Total scammers!


    Are you with First American Payment Systems? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  8. Company is charging me $1920.00 for equipment I don’t have.
    I should have never switched from my old processing company. Now I have to pay $450.00 to cancel the contract and keep the scum bags from stealing anymore of my money……
    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!

  9. Worst company I have ever had the displeasure of working with. First I was duped into signing a 3 year contract, only agreed to one year trial. My fault, I didn’t take the time to read all the paper work given from a smooth talking sales rep. After honoring my required 3 years, was automatically resigned for 1 year without my knowledge. Called the company in January to cancel and was told there would be a $495.00 fee for canceling, or I could continue with service until August 2015 at which time I could cancel for no fee. I figured I’m not using the service how much could a monthly fee be. That’s right folks 63.00/mo and I never swiped a single card. I just called to cancel again and was told there will be another $495.00 cancel fee because I didn’t give more than a 30 day cancellation notice. I believe it is approximately 26 days.
    Obviously this company is desperate to make money any way they can including cheating honest people out of their hard earned money. This also explains the D rating given from the BBB. I believe the BBB is being very generous with that rating. I hope this will help one hard working person trying to run an HONEST business. Stay away from First American Payment Systems L.P (Summit Merchant Solutions) The most Dishonest, Deceptive, Despicable company ever.

    1. I have the same problem like you. This company is cheat. They sent the sale representative to my store for processing credit card. The sale person was not honest. I was told there were no cancellation fee and free 30 day’s trial. It was not. This company link with Northern Leasing which is the credit card leasing equipment. They are cheating. They sent me the credit card terminal for free to use. But when I cancel Northern Leasing ask me to pay $5000 for the equipment lease and American Payment System want $2000 for cancel merchant. Beware of them they are work together to scam. I am waiting for hearing from court. They sent this to Collection Company, but you can remove them because the court has not yet order for collection. Dispute and go to court. You must answer to court. If you win ask them to pay back what you lost.

      Don’t take small company for your credit card merchant. Go to your local bank for merchant.

      Now I have Bank of America for my merchant. There are no contract and no fee for cancellation. My credit card fee is between 2.5% to 3%. Buy your own credit card terminal online. Have local bank processing your merchant.

      Amazon.com is selling many kind of credit card terminal. Ask your bank merchant which terminal they can process. Local bank merchant also have terminal for sale or rental. It is cheaper to buy your own online.

      Other merchant I have also use is the Square. I use from my phone for processing merchant. Square fee is 2.75%. I have use Square for 2 year now. Square does not have contact phone for support. They use email to get support. I have no problem with it.

      Since I’ve learned the lesson I have many merchant companies call me and asking me to change the merchant for lower discount rate. I decline them because many of them are scam merchant, especially a small company, merchant agent or broker.

      Trust me your local bank merchants are more dependable.

  10. I have been with First American 1 yr in august, 2014. I have been unhappy with them after the first month.This company has very dishonest in their practice. They will lock you into a 3 year contract and continue to raise your rates and fees, on top of adding annual “compliance” fees of hundreds of dollars. They lied about the turn around time and the terminal is ALWAYS going down. I finally got fet up with dealing with them and began to look for a different company. They will not let me out out of the contract with out paying $495 in early cancellation fee. They were unable to fix the term anal. telling me they would have to send out a new on or better yet, spend yet more money by putting in a new phone line and they will send out a different type of system. I never will recommend this company to any one. Stay very far away from them!

  11. I called First American Payment Systems to find when my “renewal date” was coming up and they informed me it was May 31st, 2015 which was about 6 months away at the time. I already knew the date per my contract. I told them I did not want to renew so they advised me that I had to fax a written letter as soon as 90 days before my renewal date but no less than 30 days before the renewal date. The lady was very short with her words and seemed very annoyed by the few questions I had. The whole conversation left me feeling a bit concerned so I decided to investigate online a little bit about this company. After reading many negative reviews about cancellation fees and sneaky tactics, I decided to call back and confirm what the first person had said. They said the exact same thing… And I recorded it with a portable recorder ;)

    I faxed my cancellation letter 80 days prior to the renewal date and received a phone call about 30 minutes later. They were calling to say my renewal date is May 31st, 2017 and I would be charged a $495.00 cancellation fee if I wished to end service May 31st, 2015.

    When confronted with the recorded evidence, they agreed to end my service with no cancellation fees which I also recorded.

    How shady is this company? Please record every conversation you have with them! And ask for names and phone extensions!

  12. Stay away from these guys. Just like everyone else here, we got screwed by FAPS with only 4 months remaining on the contract and got charged for early termination fee of $495.00. We had no intention to cancel but the account was closed by them saying our bank account was no good anymore. We moved to another State last year and notified them of the changes but the transition did not get coordinated well by their staff. We notified our new bank account and our new corporate information but it was probably not handled correctly by them and our account got cancelled. Ended up running about $160K through Paypal terminal. We were very happy with Paypal services so we decided to stick with them and dump FAPS by paying the divorce settlement. No contract with Paypal and their customer service is just great. Happy with their fees too!

  13. I will never use First American Payment Systems every again. I had used them for 2 years and 11 months when I found another merchant processor for much less. The contract was set to expire on 9/16/14, so I called them on 8/27/14 to close my account. But, since I called 20 days before the expiration date instead of 30 days, my account automatically renewed for 12 months, and there would be a $400 early termination if I wanted to close the account. I told them to bill me the early termination fee and close the account.

    Now, it is 2/11/15, and I just noticed that they have been billing me $60 per month. So I called them again and told them that I cancelled on 8/27/14. They said since I did not send in a cancellation letter (which they never told me about), I still have to pay the $400 early termination fee + I would NOT receive a refund for the $360 in monthly fees ($60 per month x 6 months).

  14. After doing business with FAPS for several years, I found that trier discount and fee schedule was about 40% higher than competing processors. I switched to a new processor and called to cancel my account with FAPS, I was told that my contract with them automatically renewed every year and that I had to pay them $450.00 to cancel. I told them that I was never informed about this renewal, in fact the salesman assured me that all the terms of the contract were standard terms for industry, and I need not bother to read the contract. He assured me that he could take care of the paperwork for me. Since he was married to the daughter of close friends of mine I trusted him. FAPS has a stratified fee schedule supposedly base on the extent of verifiability of transactions. But even when cards are swiped and verified the same way, the high dollar transactions are subject to subject to higher discount fees. I found over the years fees kept increasing and discount rate were always rising on top of a new $150.00 non compliance charge. I refused to pay the cancellation fee, and now FAPS is attempting to ruin my credit rating. FAPS should be avoided by all merchants.

  15. I wish I could rate them 0 stars. I am currently in the process of sending their contract over to a class action lawyer to try to get them shut down.
    I had a representative knock on my house door randomly and tell me we had an appointment, even though we didn’t. I wasn’t even working at the time, I was on maternity leave. They convinced me they could save more money than my current cc processor, Bank of America. I was hesitant, but their sales rep was very pushy and proceeded to fill out the “application” for me, and I thought, ok, I can always cancel the app after I read the fine print etc. if I am not happy. I signed what actually turned out to be a 16 or more page fine print contract with them that is bulletproof. I called immediately and cancelled, as I realized they were sheisty and did not want to deal with them. They informed me that the order was cancelled, yet when I came home 3 days later, there was a cc machine on my porch. I called them and demanded they take back their equipment, as I didn’t want to use their services. They then proceeded to send the sales rep to my house again, in a 5 minute window, and she convinced me to try their services. My son had a dr’s appt, I was trying to leave, and so I said fine, thinking I would simply deal with it when I got home from the doctor. She took my contract, wrote in 30 day trial instead of 15, signed her name, and left. I promptly called as soon as I returned home, asked what I needed to do, and was told to send a letter cancelling the service and send back the equipment, which I did that day. This was in December 2013.

    June 2014, I start getting calls from David with First American, and letters demanding I pay $688. and some odd change for cancelling my contract. On a machine I never even turned on, and cancelled the day I received it. I called, him, he was rude, demeaning, and refused to listen to reasoning. He kept saying I should learn how to read a contract. This went on for a couple of weeks, daily phone calls, me asking to speak to someone over him and him stating that he was the end all for my account. Their company is filled with DBA/s and affiliations and he informed me that I called the wrong company to cancel my service, and I should have sent the letter to them and if I had read the contract I would know that.
    He then proceeded to call me back and informed me he had pulled my credit, because the contract gives him permission to, which is rocky due to deaths and a divorce, and berate me for every single thing on it. He then informed me that when my Carmax car breaks down and I am homeless because my marriage will fall apart and I won’t be able to buy a house, I would wish I had taken better care of my credit. He then said to enjoy my deadbeat life living off of my husband and let him know how that works out for me and hung up.
    Needless to say, he crossed a line and I will do everything in my power to cost him his job and hopefully shut this company down.

    1. Hi there, we are going through the same thing and would like to know if you still have an attorney, would really like to shut them down as well.

  16. I got a call from 1st American claiming I have a contract with them.I told them that I don’t and When I told them to stop calling David started calling not stop for 30 min until I finally had to unplug my phone.

  17. Almost every element of my experience with First American / Elloitt Management is reflected in many of the accounts above. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but they had an elderly lady with whom my company had done business years ago get to me on the phone, then work her way into my office. She elegantly and sweetly told all of the lies they obviously teach their sales people. I told her I would look into possibly changing to her service. She finally left, but pestered me relentlessly for over a month. When she came by a second time to “seal the deal”, we were in the middle of a payroll audit and I asked her to come back another time. She insisted that she didn’t mind waiting, and that what we needed to do “would only take a few minutes”. I was unaware at the time that what she meant was, “so there won’t be time enough for you to read all of the TINY print in our contract”! I got called away, so my office manager actually signed the contract. A LOT of things transpired in the interim of a few months, but just today, a man calling himself “Kenneth” called from Commercial Services Group and threatened to put the $525.00 cancellation fee they have been alleging we owe and have been trying to steal from our bank account ever since we cancelled, on my office manager’s personal credit. I asked Kenneth if he really realized what he was doing, who he’s working for, and how he sleeps at night. He just calmly replied that he usually goes over the contract with people thoroughly so they understand why they owe the money. Then he said that the problem is usually that people don’t actually read the contract before signing it. There has GOT to be a way these crooks can be stopped. They need to be put out of business. Any suggestions?

  18. Is there anything that can be done about this company? They have been charging me 29.00 per month on a lease for a terminal that I already had bought and owned from another processing company.

  19. I had problems from the start with this company. The only people who would talk to me were from their loss prevention department or collections department. I got absolutely not return calls from their customer service department. I had funds which were charged to my customers credit card. These funds exceeded the “high ticket” amount of $2500 First-American had set. However, when I had originally reported my highest ticket amount, I reported $10,000. I believe that by lowering the high ticket amount, regardless of what was reported, that this gives them use of your funds without releasing them to the business. This is what happened to me, and the charge was $7185.00. First-American froze and held those funds and told me that they would be held for 1 year unless I released my bank records to them! This is extortion! I refused to release the records, and they told me I had no other recourse. I contacted my lawyer and he recommended that I process a return on the charge and have the customer write me a check instead. I asked my customer and he was agreeable. I contacted First-American to let them know what I was doing, and only then were they forthcoming and said that was another option. I also found out later that they cannot hold my funds for 1 year. They can only hold them for 180 days legally. Another lie!!!! Do not do business with these people. They are crooks!

  20. First American payment systems is the most crooked bunch of people I have ever come across and the thing is that they get away with theft. They have it all figure out and will screw you to the wall no matter what you do, unless you are a big time lawyer in Fort worth Texas, there is nothing you can do. If you do anything to even hint that you are going to cancel your account, they will raid your bank account and take money out and can use different names and ID numbers t get into your account. Beware, Beware, Beware, do not give your bank information these dishonest people.

  21. I would stay away from this company as they are not business friendly at all. I ran into problems with switching merchants and First America Payment sales pitch promises to take care of the previous merchant but yet 2 years later the previous merchant was still charging my account. When I finally sent letters to close the account they said they never received them.
    As far as contracts go, they charge a whopping $495 ETF, which is substantially higher than any other merchant. Their contract has references to a Merchant Credit Card Processing Terms and Conditions which is not signed or initialized but yet they expect the merchant to adhere to what it says.
    Not to mention the area where you sign is so small that can barely be read.
    I will never utilize this company or any company associated with them.

  22. A tale of caution concerning their sales practices because not everything the sales people say can they be held to in the future. This isn’t insurance where regulators hold the companies to their agents’ claims. Wait to sign an application until they underwrite and can match your current provides per transaction limit (the catch is they won’t offer to process your business without the application). Nasty! I had a difficult experience with FAPS through a sub-ISO Trinity Merchant Group in Fort Worth, TX, sales rep Darcy. They were unable to underwrite me compared to my current Merchant provider at the time. However, I was not notified of this in a proactive way and they claim to mail out the notice of acceptance. I had to call to get the information and their was no mention that my application and expectations would not be met. They accepted my service, and when I went to process my typical transaction size, they held it up on account that my allowable per transaction amount had been exceeded. I called to resolve the matter explaining that the sales rep and I had a lengthy conversation, and that I provided a history of the size of transactions that were generally processed, and of the need to match what my current merchant provider allowed. Needless to say, they were unwilling to underwrite me to the level I needed to transition away from my current merchant. In response, I requested my account with FAPS be closed. They proceeded to notify me that I would need to pay a $475 cancellation fee. Ouch! For them not to be competitive with another firm, I have to pay. This isn’t a matter of read the fine print. It is a matter of regulation. That are not required to present an competitive offer prior to signing a contract, and even when they fail to compete, you have to pay to get out of the contract. Not utmost good faith! I am not sure why they practice business in such a fashion, or why so many Banks and other affiliates support FAPS. Near the end of last year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) awarded First American Payment Systems an “A+” rating despite 149 complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total, 80 are regarding product and service problems, 56 under billing and collection disputes, 10 under advertising and sales issues, two regarding guarantee and warranty issues, and one under a delivery issue. At the time the report stated that First American Payment Systems had resolved 127 of the complaints but that 22 merchants were not satisfied with the company’s response. Sounds like FAPS spends a great deal of money making sure their online reputation stays unmired by such practices. I guess my $475 will go to that cause. Unfair trade practices and deceptive sales practices, beware or be a victim.

  23. a couple mo ago, a sales rep from “trinity” came by and gave some competitive rates. we went to our current merchant acct holder, who said that the rates were good, too good and too make sure there were no hidden fees. we the sales rep came back we made sure of that, he repeated no fees, no contract, terminal is included….i told him i “own” a terminal that we were using and he asked what type/kind and said that will work, but also in the same breath says- we can give you a new one… NOT lease, not rent, not to BUY.. give you one- i asked specifically if there was a charge- since why would i want to lease one when i had one that would work?!?

    over the next 2 mo, my statement showed a $179 charge “merimac lease payment”… and later bankcard annual fee $95– no phone #, no details… it took me awhile to figure out what these charges were about and called the merchant. the trinity sales rep did talk to me then and again, said no fees, no lease….and he would look into something and call back. Never heard from him and he will not return our calls….. PLUS we got ahold of merimac and they say YES you are leasing our terminal. there is a lease, you signed the contract. we never got a contract so we ask for copy and they send one with my printed name and signature, but i am POSITIVE it was “blank” in the spots for lease, fee, etc…. the sales guy said again, no fees, lease….

    the contract says noncancellable lease for…. (handwritten in) “60” …months, at the rate of (handwritten)….$149 plus tax… we dont even have our office space lease for that long and that rate would have DEF caught my eye (esp since i already own a CC terminal which i pd $199 total!). the initials next to each line were NOT how i write my initials- the rep filled in the lease amt and term after me signing the bottom and then forged my initials on the side…

    DO I HAVE ANY RECOURSE FOR LEGAL ACTION? it is clearly a forgery. after reading on here, im not sure what to do first– should i close my bank acct first before yelling at them? it seems like there a lot of similar stories on here– has anyone had any justice???

    please help– philip i would love your advice as well and some guidance on how to proceed. I am a health care worker and really just want to help people- sad to see that there are these kind of liars in the world.

  24. This company is a complete scam.I signed up merchant processing with a completely different company and then they forged my signature on a lease with Merimac Capital. I brought this t their attention and they have been very difficult about this. This company is legalized theft.

  25. BUYER BEWARE……..when selling the service you are given a begin date and end date as with any legal contract. However, First American Payment Systems neglect to mention the fine print and I mean very fine printing on the contract which discusses an automatic renewal date and subsequent deadlines and fines. Apparently, my notification of cancellation was a few weeks later than the auto renewal date and thus will cost me close to $100 + to close the account. Reminds me of those notorious deceitful gym memberships that have been doing this for a decade or so. Typical scam artist tactics………hold them hostage so they will continue to pay. Sorry, not this girl. I’ll pay the hostage fee, but will move on to a more honest and reputable company with a much lower monthly fee.

  26. RUN AS FAR AS YOU CAN! This company is the worse thing ever. When you speak to them about signing a contract they say the best thing ever. All the good things you want to hear. Soon as you sign over, that is when the problems START! First your terminal will not work, than It would take forever to get it fixed. Than they would lie about all the fees and monthly fees. I Signed a contract with this company, they first said If I purchased the terminal I would not have monthly fees of 15 dollars and so on. Only transaction fees. When I got the terminal I had so many problems with it, It would not function what so ever. I had to call to have them trouble shoot me through the problem. After It was fixed I was told I will have one month free of charge for the transaction fees. YEAH RIGHT! I got charged double the amount of it. Than they started taking money out of my bank whenever they wanted too. I ended up switching bank accounts I needed a different bank account and they ended up canceling my services without asking me, sending me a letter and threatening me that I WILL BE SENT TO COLLECTION. I started getting NASTY LETTERS, Phone calls that never would stop. They hang up the line than call back and say “oh your on collection” hang up call back ” oh your credit score is this now” hang up call back ” oh see you at court”. Until I unplugged the phone lines. IDIOTS! When I tried calling to speak to someone OH MY GOD! THEY ARE SO RUDE AND AGGRESSIVE ON THE PHONE! I never met people like this in my life. They ended up wanting to charge me 700 dollars because THEY CANCELED MY CONTRACT! and when I told them I had 30 days to cancel they said NO! Not right. You must be on contract for 3 years. THEY RIP YOU OFF AND TAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY WANT FROM YOU! WORSE COMPANY EVER. DO NOT GET INVOLVED. I have friends with the same problem and they will never ever pay them their so called “amount due” AND neither will I.

  27. One of the WORST companies I have ever dealt with. They purposely make the “closing process” difficult so you can’t close your account. No one is available in the chargeback department, just the worst service! What business owner has time to wait on hold and deal with these people? I will NEVER do business with them again. First American Payment systems SUCKS!

  28. If you are thinking of going with this company DON’T….there independent agents mislead you in so many ways and the things they tell you sound good but the office not honor anything. I was told I had 30 days to cancel with no fees. After 2 weeks with unsatisfactory business dealings with the company I cancelled. I was charged a 700.00 early termination fee in which I have been fighting. They send nasty letters in the mail but to get someone on the phone to talk to is extremely difficult. STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!

  29. I contracted with apparently and independent sales rep. for this company. I contacted customer service to inquire about closing the account due to my business closing. I was told to fax on company letterhead the effective date to which I would like the merchant account closed. I complied and faxed document to them. I closed the business on 4/1/13 and placed my bank accounts on hold. This company attempted to automatically draft $700.00 in early termination fees. I contacted the service dept. to find out about the early termination fees. I was informed that the contact has an auto renewal clause (which I was not made aware of). I informed the rep. that due to the nature of my business, I NEVER sign a contract with an auto renewal or over the term of my lease – which expired on 12/31/12. I requested a copy of the contract emailed to me, to verify that my signature was on the same document the rep. was seeing. I also asked if there were any additional notes on the contract that specified what the terms would be if my contract with my product line was canceled or my business closed. The reps. informed me that they could not provide an email copy nor were there notes on term changes (which I require if signing any contract over 1 year – out clause required). I told the rep. that I was not going to approve the early term. fees to be paid because of the fact that she could not provide proof that the contract on file was the original and that due to my typical business practices that I would have never signed a long term, auto renewing contract without an out clause due to my line of business. Today I have received a written demand for payment of $770.04 which I will not pay. This company is not reputable, I believe that the contract that I signed was not the one submitted.

  30. Our experience with First American Payment Systems was the worst business relationship we have experience in 18 years in business.

    Their agents proved to be incompetent and did not inform us of details buried in the fine print, particularly the early termination limits or fees. We were so disgusted with their service, that we did terminate only to have heavy handed collection tactics imposed.

    Our dealing with First American Payment System proved to be the most odious, onerous business relationship we have ever had.

  31. I have one word for you if you are thinking of doing business with these people – DON”T. Had nothing but problems with them, and no solutions for weeks at a time. My rep had a “full mailbox” every time I called, so I would call the company to be put through a lengthy series of – put in these numbers and press this…and now try this…all during business hours. Once I lost customers for two weeks due to the machine not working and no one from the company helping solve the issue. They are now try to extort almost 600.00 from me (monthly fees for months that I didn’t use them & blocked them from charging my account& early termination – I had a year left apparently, although my rep told me there was no cancellation fee) with threats of ruining my credit. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!!!

  32. What ever you do don’t use this company. I signed up because they made it seem like I would save all this money. But they have hidden charges with their own hidden charges. And In the sign up sheet it stated I could cancel with them for $400. Which I found out is BS!!!! That is just to cancel there credit card services. They don’t tell you you are locked in to the dumb ass equipment they talk you into for these great savings. So I was fighting with them for a while. And they finally let me pay $865 to get out of the credit card machine and contract. In the mean time they sent me to collections trying to get the rest of the money. So they screwed my credit and I still had to pay a lot of money plus return the equipment. SO RUN!!!!!!!

  33. My contract was up, so I called in to cancel. They told me to call back, when I was ready, which I did.
    They also told me they had renewed my contract. I did what they had said and I had to pay 250.00 to get out of the renewal.
    I had called them up 6 months in advance and they had told me to call back, before it was up, which I had done. They told me then that they told me to call back 90 days before it was to renew. If they would have told me that, I think I would have done that.I called 30 days before it was to expire, like they told me when I had forst called them up and told them I was going with a relative, that is when they said they renewed my contract.
    They were not honest at all in dealing with me.
    I think I would not use anyone like that for your Business.

  34. I recently cancelled my merchant services with FAPS after missing my “window” for 2 years. I faxed in everything they requested. I called to verify they had received my cancellation (25 minute wat for the “specialist”) and it had been received. When the renewal date came up, they charged me a renewal fee and naturally the “specialists” wait time was upwards of a half hour. REDICULOUS! I wouldn’t recommend them to anybody.

  35. Everyone here is correct. Heed their warnings and stay away from this company and it’s affiliates. Just filed with the BBB here locally on Eliot Mgmt Group. They care charging me the 525.00 xcel fee when my contract states only $495. Not sure how they can do that. I was told no cancel fee and low fees. Only had their machine for SIX days and told them no thank you. Now it’s a battle. They have tried to dun me for 574.33, 525.00 and made offer of 335. I blocked their auto drafts from the checking account but they still try to run thru odd amounts. Crooks! The whole lot of them. How can they stay in business?

  36. The company is now threatening to sue my small business. Which is uncalled for. We were told there would be no PCI compliance fee and there was. That was the first question I asked if they charged for pci. The representative told us his company took care of that cost to help the small businesses with overhead cost. The monthly fees were not lower but higher than the previous processing company. Never used the credit card machine and was still higher than the other one with credit sales included. Broken promises all the way around.
    Now they are wanting to sue us for breach of contract.

    1. These guys are the true crooks of this country they are one of the reasons small businesess cant exist I just recently I got a call from their extemely rude collections department saying I owed them 299.00 I told them to send a bill they wanted the money at that second I hung up on them they called back several times laughing saying were gonna sue you its gonna be fun, I sent them a dispute letter certified they signed it and 2 days later they stole 299 out of my personal account they wont let up its all over a made up 39.90 fee for pci or something I never got that bill from Eliot management group I never used the service I charged .4 for a test Dont under any circumstance use this company the sales people seem really nice at first

  37. This company works with Apex Merchants Group, both of whom should not be in business. Customer Support is a joke. This company does not fully disclose all the collection fees required upfront. The call center customer support employees I dealt with and specifically the Collection Specialists are not very helpful with explaining or justifying my questions. On more than one occasion they were short tempered and extremely unhelpful. Small business has a hard enough time without hassles and undisclosed withdrawls from this electronic processing company and the time involved in trying to correct situations.
    It isalso very disappointing to see this long list of complainants ahead of me!
    Shop around before signing with this company.

  38. We have been with First American for six years and have seen our fees and rates continue to increase. We are able to get much better rates and fees from other companies. When we contacted First American, we discovered that only way you can prevent a closing fee is to cancel the contract 90-30 days before your renewal date, otherwise it auto-renews. They never give notice of of your renewal date – and after six years who knows where the contract is. We contacted them and it happened to be after the 30-day cutoff, but before the expiration date of the contract. We were advised that we would have to wait until next year or pay a substantial fee (or the monthly minimum for 12 months.) We’re probably going to pay the fee because we can save at least that amount. I must agree — STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.

  39. This company has a horrible cancellation policy. We had used this company for over 7 years and when we tried to cancel were informed that we had an “auto renewal” clause in our contract and could only cancel within a 60 day period prior to the renewal date. For us to cancel our contract 6 months early is a 725.66 cancellation fee. We could continue to pay the 35.00 monthly minimum fee for 6 months and then cancel without a penalty. Texas passed a law that auto renewal contracts are illegal but only for consumers. The contract is in my husband’s name only, not the business but according to this processor he is a ‘business’ not a consumer. They would not negotiate and we put a stop payment on them with our bank. The used a different name to withdraw the 725.66 from our account. We are still trying to get our money back from this fraudulent draft. DO NOT use this company for your processing. Our new processor is already 300-500 dollars per month cheaper for the same service. Shop around and don’t use this company.

  40. Sadly, using 1st American Payment Systems was the worst business decision I have made in my 7 years of business. There is no consistency within their own company departments in information provided. The customer service nine out of ten times is poor. In my line of business I have large dollar amounts that I process throughout the year and which out fail it results in them holding funds, me having to provide them with supporting documents, and then a call to that client (who is on their honeymoon) and typically does not take the call which results in funds being held for weeks at a time.

    I have been charge with undisclosed fees without notice at $124 a year “compliance” fees and a annual verifying fee… The sales representatives are very dishonest with offering no to low fees if you purchase processing equipment, low fixed fee’s that seem to rise without notice etc…the end result is that i can cancel services to the tune of $500 or I can continue to see my contract out and be fee’d to death and have to jump through hoops.

    The lesson has been a very difficult one to learn, but i strongly suggest that you keep looking for a different processor as First American Payment Systems as a consistent unsatisfactory rating for a reason.

  41. I see that everybody is saying the same thing. This company LIES about everything at the point of sign up. They are also good at not putting it in writing so when you go to contest it, there is nothing you can do. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!

  42. This company has the most unfair practice ever. Their rates are not competitve at all… and I knew this for a good one year. I was just waiting for our 3 year contract to be expired and get rid of them and move on. Well 16 days to the last day of our contract I called them to cancell our contract. I found out that it has been automatically renewed because I had to give them a 30day notice. Now we have to continue with them for another year and the early cancellation would cost us $495 which is absolutely unfair and rediculous. After being a loyal customer for 3 years this is how bad they treat their customers. DO NOT USE FIRST AMERICAN PAYMENT SYSTES. They have a fine print of every little thing that nobody explains to you about and they will hold you responsible for it because you have signed the paper.

  43. One of the most horrible situations to be in with this company. Stear way clear of this company!

    *****call the The Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) is is the only way to stop companies like this only take about 5 mins. very easy to deal with!!!!!!******

    1. Hi Tony,

      In order for your review to remain published, can you provide more detail about your experience?

      1. Last year I signed two contracts with two credit-card process companies(App-Star Financial and Summit Merchant), both promised to reimburse the cancellation fees from my former processors(Park Central and Wells Fargo)

        But Summit did not give me the reimbursement, so I closed my bank account(1) processing the money with Summit and canceled the contract with Summit. I refused to pay the cancellation fee to Summit because it did not give me the reimbursement as they promised me.

        Then some money was taken from my bank account (2) processing the money with App-Star to pay the fee for Summit. So I closed my bank account (2) and canceled the contract with App-Star. Again I refused to pay the cancellation fee to App-Star because it took money from my bank account (2) to pay the fee for Summit.

        Then the third company First American Payment System asked me to pay the cancellation fees $702.46 and 674.42.

        Now I know these three companies are one in different names (there are more other different names), they have really bad reputation for cheating small businesses, and they are the companies who owe our small businesses a lot of money. I decide to fight against them when we go to court.
        Last week I got letters from Commercial Services Group (www. collectcsg.com) asked me to pay First American Payment System $742.42 and $577.46.

        What should I do?

        1. …WARNING… do not use this company, ever if you do you will regret it. They will paint you the most wonderfull picture and later you will find out that they do not stand for their word. They will harass you in a very personal disrespectfull way. And by they I mean Kevin Boijincto and David Meyr. I’m even thinking of takeing this to court.

          1. Hi Christopher, can you provide more details about the circumstances of your experience? Otherwise, this comment may get removed for lack of useful information.

  44. This company, after I stopped using their services, advised them of this for good reason, they continued to take money from my account without my permission until I finally had to close my business account. Then they started daily harrassing on thephone. Then they started sending harrassing disturbing letters saying that they are going to take money from any of our bank accounts that they want and that it is LAWFUL for them to do it. This is unbelievable. They want $2500 after they took almost $1000 from our bank account illegally. Never never use this company as it is one of the worst we have ever encountered. Who gives them the right to go into any of our other personal bank accounts and seize money?

  45. A review of First American payment systems from our business would rate them at a “D”. The company sales rep never disclosed a $124 PCI compliance fee that was debited from our business checking account without warning approximately six months after we started this credit card processing. Our fees have more than quadrupled in the past year going from a simple $2 statement fee to $14 a month with various fees constantly being added and never explained! This company is definitely not worth using for processing credit card transactions. If there were some legal recourse, I would have them in court! They know how to commit daylight robbery and they do it well!

  46. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY!!! The salesperson straight up lied about everything! Their rates kept increasing until we finally had to terminate our account with them. They lock you into a 3 year contract and try and charge you an outragous $495 fee to cancel. They also claimed that we had leased equipment from them which was false. We had already owned our equipment. After we closed our account with them they kept trying to debit our account under several different names and various amounts. We had no choice but to change bank account numbers. The way these people go about business is unlawful in my opinion! I wish there could be something done to stop companies like this hide behind the fine print in there contracts!

  47. My company has used First American Payment systems for 6 months…..they just started holding and even not funding large transactions for my business. These folks are criminals, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM.

  48. This company is very dishonest and its a huge SCAM!!!!! First of all the sales person that was sent out to us totally lied about their services and the fees attached. They locked me into 3year contract when the sales person said it was a year!! When problems occurred with the equipment it was nearly impossible to contact any service! When I was fed up with the fees and hidden cost and I cancelled they wanted 550 dollars and when I finally settled to pay the one of their account managers GAYLE was extremely rude tried to threaten me with my credit and hung up on me in multiple conversations! This company is awful and I do not recommend it!

  49. I have found that the actual merchant services are as expected — no mysterious debits. However, a 3-year contract with a $495 early cancellation fee is outrageous. Furthermore, if at the end of the contract, you don’t submit a written cancellation letter within 90 days of the contract date, they will auto-renew and bind you into another year’s contract. I find their rates exceptionally high and their contractual tactics deceptive at best. I would not recommend them to anyone — I get the feeling that they are the type of company that rests on trapping merchants. Why on earth would a company want to do that, unless they are up to no good? They are dead to me.

  50. We signed on in July of 2010 for a 3 year contract knowing we would not process many or any credit card transactions but wanted to give our customers the option to do so. We didn’t want to have any monthly fees or charges so the salesman told us if we purchased the processing equipment there would be no minimum monthly fee or minimum transactions as well. So here it is 2 years later, we have never used the machine what used to be zero dollars per month has increased to $35.00 per month and we can’t cancel without paying $495.00 cancellation fee. WOW, What part of this is fair and moral. I should have checked this place out on the Net before signing on the dotted line. They are ruthless. Can we do anything at all. The terms and conditions actually say basically they can change pricing at any time and i still have to honor my 3 year deal..

  51. I had the same problem with them. I specifically did not want check services or debit services and in my contract it states that I checked no. The salesman turned in a different contract with everything checked off
    These people need a class action lawsuit because they are criminals. I just switched banks and changed processing services. They wanted to charge me over $1200 to cancel services that I never signed up for
    in the beginning?? CRIMINALS

  52. About 2 years ago a salesman came to the Salon Studios where I worked at in baton Rouge. He was selling Trans Tech Credit Card machines. He was persistent in selling me one, even after I insisted that I wasn’t interested. The other salons in the building purchased machines. I was out of work for 2 weeks and I receive a letter from First American Payment. I called them to let them know there was a mistake I did not have a machine. They told me FED EX delivered it to me on prior date. I called Fed Ex and they told me that a guy signed for the package and he also had called several times checking to see when it would arrive. I called the company and told them the situation. They told me to send them a statement along with a copy of ID. I did so thinking that they were on my side. I received a higher bill, demanding machine back and a Non cancellation Lease with a forged signature on it. I called FED EX and they gave me a statement stating that a young man called and received package and a printout of him forging my signature. One of the stylist in a studio told me that she was there that day and saw the guy with a machine activating it in another stylist studio but she did not think anything of it, she saw it was straight out of a box. The other Stylist denied it because they were friends and he was the one trying to get the guy some business, until he received a huge bill from First American then he stepped up! The people that worked there were rude, liars and very unprofessional. First American kept saying they were not affiliated with Trans Tech Merchant Group yet I see them on my credit report in collections with Fidelity. When I tried to warn Fidelity about the shady practices of First American Systems, they became rude and I found out later that they all are working together. I thought it was illegal to sign for and open and activate someone’s package without there consent or knowledge. I also thought it was illegal to forge someone’s signature on a contract. Maybe I am wrong, maybe we can terrorize who we want to in this country by lying, stealing and ripping them off!

  53. I just got of the phone with Kevin Hinkle collections specialist with First American. The company charged me $525 dollars for a malfunctioning Merchant Pro 4500. After returning the damaged/lost credit card machine to First American via FedEx I was told that the company cancelled both my accounts for early cancellation. That’s right they cancelled me – I did not close the account. Then I was told that I owed them $1200 dollars in ealry cancellation fees. They would settle with me by no negative credit reporting, keep the previously lost malfunctioning machine and they keep the $525 charges. I was not told why I was cancelled, and was willing to continue the three year contract! They are definitely NOT into customer satisfaction. They are clearly dishonest and deceptive and need to be avoided.

  54. One of the most horrible situations to be in with this company.. It was never ending. They raise the rates, held money for 2 weeks, and trying to cancell them is horrible. All I can say is never again.

  55. This company has very dishonest business practices. They will unknowingly lock you into a 3 year contract and continue to rasie your rates and fees, on top of adding annual “compliance” fees to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Stear way clear of this company unless you like being taken advantage of.

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