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.
A Partially Wiped Profile
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau has given Flagship a new profile that contains only some of its previous complaints and reviews. We are not sure why this is, but the new profile makes it even more clear that Flagship is merely a part of the larger Paysafe organization. Previously, the BBB reported that Flagship had received 98 BBB complaints filed in the last 36 months. On the current profile, the BBB gives Flagship an “A+” and states they have been accredited since 2015. Inexplicably, the complaint total is now showing only 31 complaints in the last 36 months. 13 of the complaints were due to a problem with a product or service, 17 were billing or collections issues, and 1 was an issue with delivery. Only 6 of these 31 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 25 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
At the time of one of our previous updates, the BBB had posted a notice containing the following information:
According to BBB files this business has a pattern of complaint concerning non disclosure of “required” charges. Specifically for PCI*. Consumers state that the business charges for PCI compliance or Noncompliance but that was not disclosed in the original agreement made.Consumers state that the business claims notification was sent however consumers claim this is an additional charge not disclosed to them. Consumers indicate that they want refund or cancellation of service. BBB sent a written notice on 7/28/14 and 9/8/14 to identifying the potential pattern of complaint with a request for a business response. As of 10/14/14 the business did not respond to BBB’s request.
*The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information for the major debit credit prepaid, e-purse ATM, and POS cards
This notice has been removed from the company’s BBB profile since that update. In that time, Flagship has also paid the BBB to join its accreditation program and seen its grade rise from a “C” to a “B+” and now an “A+” despite an increase in total complaints.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 31 complaints, the company’s BBB profile has received 16 informal reviews. This is, again, an inexplicable drop from the 37 on the old profile. Of those reviews, all are negative. The most recent review detail deceptive sales practices and bad customer service:
I was contacted by Alex regarding a request for information on the use of a credit card machine for our Church. My biggest concern was the fee’s associated with the use of a machine vs our current fee’s through PayPal. I made it very clear that our thrift store has about $1000 in credit card sales. He told me the per transaction fee’s were much lower then PayPal but there was a $4.95 monthly fee for use of the credit card machine which would be provided free of charge if we kept it for a year. If we kept it less then a year there would be an early termination fee of $250. We got our machine and began using it in December of 2020 but unfortunately our Thrift store had to shut down due to increasing Covid cases in our area. Expecting to only be charged the $4.95 monthly fee I was shocked to see there was a charge to our bank for $44 on Jan 2nd. I called my representative Alex and he said there was noting he could do because it was Martin Luther King Day but that he would call me back the next day. After a week and numerous messages I decided to call Pay Safe, the company that is billing us. After bouncing between people I finally got someone who said they would call Alex and have him give me a call back. Ales called me back immediately after getting off the phone from PaySafe. He apologized for what was going on and said he look into it and make things right. I was again very specific with him on what the fees would be and he assured me we would not be charged more then $4.95 and month plus the small per transaction fee. After 48hrs with no call back I gave him a call and he said I needed to and amended agreement. I am not an attorney but it looked straight forward that the extra fee’s they had charged would not be charged going forward and there was no mention of refunding the excess fee’s already taken. I figured I would give it a billing cycle to see if we got our credit. We balanced the Church checking account on the Feb 1st. When we balanced the account on Mar 5th we saw $44 dollars in fee’s against $10 in sales, they took $34 dollars out of out our checking account on Feb 2nd and charged us $45 in fee’s against $83 in sales on Mar 2nd. To date we have been charged over $100 in fee’s for $93 in credit card sales. As a non-profit we count on our Thrift store sales to support our Church and our ministries. We also provide 10% of all Thrift store proceeds to Ronald McDonald House Charities. I am not sure why Alex lied to us and refuses to return calls but personally I think it speaks volumes to his character and his employers integrity. I would not do business with Flagship Merchant Services or Paysafe.
Great customer service is a hallmark of a top-ranked merchant account. Merchants should review their options for companies who offer superior customer service to avoid issues like this review chronicles.
An Adjusted Rating
Given the company’s complaint total, resolution ratio, and former BBB notice, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”