|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
Gravity Payments (gravitypayments.com) is a small merchant account provider based in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded in 2004. According to a representative of Gravity Payments, the company primarily uses First Data and Cynergy Data as its processors but services the accounts directly. Gravity Payments markets its services nationally, but most of its customers are in the state of Washington. Gravity Payments is a registered ISO/MSP for BMO Harris, N.A., Chicago, Illinois, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, and is located at 1455 NW Leary Way, Suite 200, Seattle, Washington 98107. Dan Price is the CEO of Gravity Payments.
|Gravity Payments Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
Gravity Payments appears to hire W2-employed inside and outside sales agents to market its services, although it is possible that the company also employs independent sales reps in some cases. We are currently unable to locate any Gravity Payments merchant complaints that accuse the company’s agents of unethical conduct, but we have found one complaint from a former employee who felt that she did not receive adequate support from her employers. However, this complaint appears to be an isolated instance. It also appears that the company actively markets Interchange Pass-through rate pricing to all of its merchants, which is the most transparent pricing model available. As an additional point in its favor, the company does not appear to engage in deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials.
Gravity Payments Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$85/year|
According to a company representative, Gravity Payments sets contract length and cancellation fees on a case-by-case basis. We have located one sample contract provided by the company (available here and below) that outlines a three-year agreement through First Data with an early termination fee of $495. This agreement also includes a minimum monthly fee of $35 and flat rate pricing of 4%, and the Gravity Payments website mentions a PCI Compliance program that costs $85 annually. Overall, these contract terms are more expensive than industry averages, but it may be that the merchant in question could not qualify for more competitive terms. At this time, we will take the company’s representative at his word and assume that Gravity Payments offers contract terms that can range from very competitive to very costly depending on a merchant’s business type, size, and time in business. The few available complaints about the company’s contract terms express frustration with its early termination fee.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support:||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
We are currently able to locate three Gravity Payments negative reviews, none of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. All three complainants report different issues, including difficulty cancelling service, frustration with the early termination fee, misleading advertising, and poor employee support. Two of these complaints received identical responses from a company representative within minutes of each other, and it is unknown whether the merchants’ complaints were resolved. The low complaint volume and lack of a consistent theme lead us to believe that most Gravity Payments clients are satisfied with the service they receive. According to a company representative, Gravity services customer accounts directly rather than outsourcing support to its processors. In keeping with this approach, the company offers a dedicated phone number and email address on its website.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this review, the Better Business Bureau is reporting accreditation since 2005 and an “A+” rating for Gravity Payments with three complaints filed in the last 36 months. All three of the complaints are related to billing and collection disputes. Two have been successfully resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction, while one resolution left the merchant dissatisfied despite what the BBB determined to be a good faith effort by Gravity. Given the company’s low complaint volume and solid resolution ratio, we have slightly adjusted the BBB’s rating to an “A.”
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
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This review was originally published on 6/28/11 and was last updated on 4/14/15.
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