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Note: As of 2023, Harbortouch is now SkyTab. We will soon be updating this review to reflect the change.
Harbortouch is a merchant account provider based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Launched in 1999, the company provides, merchant accounts, credit card processing services, point-of-sale systems, electronic cash registers, and mobile credit card processing to U.S. businesses. The company previously operated under the name “United Bank Card” and now operates as a subsidiary of Shift4 Payments. They claim to provide merchant services for over 120,000 businesses and to process in excess of $10 billion annually in credit card transactions.
Harbortouch offers payment processing services that allow businesses to accept all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. With Harbortouch, businesses can accept payments in-store, online, and on-the-go using their mobile devices. Harbortouch also provides Authorize.Net as a payment gateway powering virtual terminals for e-commerce credit card processing.
At this time, the Harbortouch POS features an Onyx point-of-sale software, portable credit card readers, and SkyTab, a pay-at-the-table system. All are designed to provide credit card acceptance services for food trucks, cafes, restaurants, retail businesses, spas, and bars. The Onyx point-of-sale system comes with a screen, receipt printer, cash drawer, and card reader. Each system integrates with their POS software and related services. Their POS systems come with a range of features that make managing transactions simple and efficient, including inventory management, employee management, and reporting tools.
Harbortouch offers mobile payment solutions that allow businesses to accept payments using their mobile devices. The mobile payment solutions are easy to use and come with all the security features that businesses need to protect their customers’ data. Harbortouch’s mobile payment solutions are ideal for businesses that are always on-the-go.
Gift Card Programs
Gift card programs are an excellent way for businesses to increase sales and customer loyalty. Harbortouch offers gift card programs that are fully customizable, allowing businesses to design their own gift cards and track sales data in real-time. Harbortouch’s gift card programs are easy to set up and use, and they come with all the features that businesses need to manage their gift card programs effectively.
Merchant Cash Advance
Harbortouch offers merchant cash advances to businesses that need quick access to capital. Merchant cash advances are an excellent alternative to traditional loans because they are easy to qualify for and provide businesses with the funds they need to grow. Harbortouch’s merchant cash advances are easy to apply for and come with flexible repayment terms.
A New Lease on Business
Business owners previously reported issues with predatory contract terms in various online forums as well as in the comment section of this review. By and large, the company’s early termination fee was at the core of those complaints. However, Harbortouch has reformed its contract terms in response to these complaints. The company no longer charges an early termination fee and has lessened the length of its contracts from three years to a one-year term.
Location & Ownership
The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, Utah, and Citizens Bank, N.A., Providence, RI. Jared Isaacman is the founder and CEO of Harbortouch. Shift4 Payments is headquartered at 2202 N Irving St Allentown, PA 18109.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers a one-year contract with no early termination fee and the option between interchange-plus or…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 100 public complaints regarding…
- BBB Rating: Has been accredited since 2013 and has an “A+” rating but has received 171 complaints and 28 reviews in regards to…
- Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate number of complaints about its…
Harbortouch Customer Complaints & Reviews
Here's What Users Think
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
High Complaint Total
There is a moderate-to-high number of negative Harbortouch reviews for a company of its size. Most of the complaints cite deceptive sales tactics, equipment issues, exorbitant cancellation fees, and poor customer service. Prospective customers reviewing these complaints should be aware that Harbortouch no longer charges an early termination fee. It appears that Harbortouch has paid Ripoff Report to be a part of that site’s corporate advocacy program, which allows Harbortouch to reach out to dissatisfied complainants. This program also allows Harbortouch to flood Ripoff Report with dozens of identical testimonials that obscure the details of business complaints. Researchers should note that the actual content of these Ripoff Report reviews can be found below each of Harbortouch’s testimonials. If you have your own Harbortouch review to make, please do so in the comments below.
Harbortouch Weighs In
A blog post on the Harbortouch website authored by the company’s CEO addresses the growing number of negative reviews that have been posted about the company. This post speculates that a significant number of negative Harbortouch client reviews are actually “from competitors that are unhappy with our free POS business model,” adding that “[i]t is not surprising that many of them would go online to write these anonymous and frankly false representations of our service. It is important to note that most of the complaints do not have any real contact information associated with them.” By our own independent assessment, the majority of public complaints filed against Harbortouch do indeed seem to come from actual business owners and former customers. It does not reflect positively on the company that its official stance appears to be dismissive of negative reviews in general.
Replies to Harbortouch Complaints
It should also be noted that two representatives of Harbortouch (including the company’s CEO) have directly addressed customer complaints in the comment section of this review. Both representatives disputed business owners’ claims regarding nondisclosure of contract terms, stating that the company’s cancellation policy is clearly disclosed by Harbortouch sales reps and documentation at multiple points during the signup process. These representatives also stated that the company’s large early termination fee is justified by the upfront expense associated with providing sale system equipment to clients. Harbortouch offers email and phone support on its website in addition to equipment and software manuals.
Was Making an Effort
Harbortouch was an active participant in CPO’s complaint resolution program but ceased resolving customer complaints filed on this website in 2018. This program enables merchant account providers to directly contact business owners who post negative comments beneath their review in an attempt to resolve their complaints. The company’s participation in this program was a positive indication that Harbortouch was interested in providing a satisfactory outcome for dissatisfied customers.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Harbortouch, but we have uncovered a number of now-settled cases, including one in which a California man accused the company of calling him despite the complainant being on the do-not-call list. The case was dismissed in November 2017.
In 2018 Shift4 Payments, Harbortouch’s parent company, became the target of an antitrust lawsuit that accuses the company of monopolizing the payment interface and merchant account services market for mid-sized table service restaurants by cutting out other independent payment processors. It appears this case was terminated in 2019 but was shortly after reopened with few details going forward.
Dissatisfied customers who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Harbortouch Customer Support Options
Harbortouch offers extensive customer service options to businesses. The company’s website advertises live chat, tech support, telephone, and email support channels. Additionally, the Harbortouch website provides merchants with a knowledge base of popular troubleshooting topics.
Harbortouch Customer Service Number
- (800) 201-0461 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
Other Support Options
- Customer support form
- Live chat on its website
Little to No Improvement
Although Harbortouch was taking steps to improve its reputation among business owners, its complaint rate has remained consistent since its last review. In addition, the content of these complaints has remained more or less unchanged. This complaint record is a far cry from what we expect from a top-rated provider. We have given the company a “C” grade as a result.
Harbortouch BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
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.
Over 170 Better Business Bureau Complaints
Harbortouch (as Shift4 Payments, LLC) has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2013. As of this review, the company currently holds an “A+“ rating with the BBB and has had 171 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Only 61 of these 171 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 110 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Business Owners Say
Harbortouch has also received 22 informal customer reviews to its BBB profile, all but 1 of which are negative and receiving the lowest possible rating. One recent review describes unexpected fees and poor customer service:
Worst company ever, they over charge on credit card processing fees, then when you try to cancel the service they would take very long time to reply and to cancel the service, I DO NOT RECOMEND IT STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!
Equipment leases can be one of the most costly contract terms in any contract.
A “C” Performance Overall
Taking into account the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”
Harbortouch Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Interchange-Plus or 1.79% + $0.10
Monthly & Annual Fees
New Contract Terms in Response to Harbortouch Reviews
At the time of our previous Habortouch review, the company’s terms and conditions imposed a three-year contract term with a costly early termination fee. This was the basis of most of the complaints left in customer reviews on this and many other consumer review websites. However, Harbortouch has revised its terms and conditions in response to this outcry from clients.
Harbortouch’s current terms and conditions convey a one-year contract with a tiered pricing structure. Business owners are charged either an interchange-plus model or tiered rates of 1.39% plus $0.10 for swiped transactions while keyed-in transactions are charged 1.79% plus $0.10. Harbortouch does not charge an early termination fee any longer; however, the company does require former customers to return equipment within 15 days of the end of a contract, or else it imposes costly equipment fees. Businesses that do not return standard credit card terminals within that period are charged $200, contactless terminals are charged a $300 fee, and POS systems are charged a $500 fee. The lack of an early termination fee provides business owners much more flexible contract terms while its transaction rates are much more affordable than in the past.
Harbortouch POS Pricing
Harbortouch offers the new Onyx POS system along with its mobile and tableside options. We do not have reports on the current prices of these machines; if you do, please contact us in the comments below. Previously, Harbortouch offered clients the option between 2 different POS systems: Echo POS and Elite POS. It may still offer these stations in addition to the newer ones. Each client agreement conveys fairly basic pricing along with upfront costs: Echo POS charges a monthly fee of $29 per system, while Elite POS has a $39 monthly fee for each. Echo POS charges an installation fee of $150 for the first system and $100 for any additional. While the Elite POS business agreement does not include an installation fee, per se, there is an upfront cost of $250 for additional wiring needed to install a POS system. Though neither agreement includes an early termination fee, business owners who cancel their contracts must return any POS equipment within the prescribed period in their merchant agreement or be charged an equipment return fee of $500.
In addition to those fees, each POS agreement details a range of products and services and their additional monthly costs. These products and services are categorized as optional add-ons and come with additional monthly fees, though they can be purchased outright at a one-time cost as well. Other less expensive items, from employee authorization cards to printers and scanners, are billed as one-time purchases.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Harbortouch’s terms and conditions also disclose the cost of its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. Harbortouch charges 1.79% plus $0.10 per transaction and a batch fee of $0.35.
Your Agent’s Word Is Not The Final Word
Although these are the company’s official terms, the company’s use of independent sales agents means that transaction rates and fees may vary from agent to agent. A representative of the company confirmed in the comment section of this review that any verbal guarantees made by sales agents will not overrule the language in the company’s contract, so business owners are advised to trust the documentation above an agent’s word. Multiple customers have described a situation in which a sales agent verbally agreed to waive or alter certain fees and then failed to follow through on those changes. There are also multiple claims that agents failed to disclose the contract length and early termination fee associated with the company’s merchant transaction processing agreement. If you suspect that you may be paying too much in hidden fees, we recommend obtaining a cost analysis from an independent fee reduction service.
A New Grade for New Contract Terms
The company’s approach to POS sales has received mixed Harbortouch customer reviews. Yet, the basis of most complaints concern issues with the company’s previous terms and conditions; primarily the costly early termination fees. Since Harbortouch has revised its terms and conditions for its merchant agreements and POS systems, we award the company a “B” in this category. Though there are many monthly charges and some one-time fees that come with the Echo and Elite POS systems, the flexibility merchants have with no early termination fees and shorter one-year contracts mitigates the expense of those costs, which is a drastic change from the company’s previous policies. We encourage business owners to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.
Harbortouch Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Uses Independent Resellers
Discloses All Important Terms
A National Team of Agents
Harbortouch hires independently contracted sales agents (ISAs) to resell its merchant services. This is a standard practice within the industry that often results in unregulated or unsupervised agents reselling a provider’s services without effectively disclosing contract terms. On this website and elsewhere, several Harbortouch reviews report a sales representative promising to waive fees or provide month-to-month contracts only to fail to follow through, leaving the client on the hook for some unfavorable contract terms. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
Watch Out for Harbortouch Free POS Claims
Numerous other Harbortouch customer reviews complain that a common point of miscommunication has to do with Harbortouch’s heavily promoted deals for free equipment or a free POS system. Harbortouch likes to phrase its promotion so that the equipment itself is technically free, but it requires the business owner to sign an automatically renewing, three-year service commitment so that Harbortouch can recover its upfront costs. In this way, the business owner still has to pay for at least three years of access to the equipment, which to some businesses may seem indistinguishable from having a long-term equipment lease.
If You Cancel, Do It Before Installation
Some business owners also report that they agreed to receive free equipment or software but canceled before receiving or implementing these services, only to be charged with a cancellation fee in the amount of the remaining cost of the multiyear contract. Business owners who cancel before the Install Date should only owe a $250 restocking fee. After the install date, Harbortouch offers a 30-day trial period. If merchants cancel after this 30-day period has concluded, then they will be responsible for the full cost of the service agreement, despite the claims of any sales agent. If customers cancel within the trial period, they are still responsible for fees incurred during the trial period as well as the costs of shipping equipment back to Harbortouch.
The Harbortouch Contract Outlasts Your Business
A smaller number of customers claim that they were not made aware of the fact that they are responsible for the full cost of the service agreement regarding whether or not their business closes permanently. It appears to be Harbortouch’s policy to enforce the fine print terms of its agreement even in the event that a merchant goes out of business.
Harbortouch Sees It Differently
A Harbortouch representative has stated on multiple occasions that the company offers rigorous agent training and has procedures in place to discipline ISOs that act unethically. The company also clearly discloses its service agreement terms and monthly fees in its paperwork and requires follow-up communication with clients after they open an account.
Not a Recommended Sales Approach
Despite its claims to have improved its sales approach, Harbortouch still routinely receives complaints that describe misrepresentation or nondisclosure from the independent customer service reps they hire. This indicates that despite the company’s efforts, a significant number of customers are still having a negative experience with Harbortouch’s sales team. We have accordingly left the company off of our list of best POS providers and assigned the company an average grade of “C” in this category.