Harbortouch POS Review


Harbortouch (harbortouch.com) is a merchant account provider based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Launched in 1999, the company provides card processing services, point-of-sale systems, electronic cash registers, and card processing terminals to U.S. merchants. Harbortouch previously operated under the name “United Bank Card.” At this time, Harbortouch primarily promotes its custom POS systems. Harbortouch claims to operate merchant accounts for over 120,000 business locations and to process in excess of $10 billion annually. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of First National Bank of Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. Jared Isaacman is the founder and CEO of Harbortouch.

Harbortouch Products and Services

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • POS system
  • Online reporting
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • Check conversion and guarantee
  • Merchant cash advance
  • ATM placement


  • Retail
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience store

Response from Harbortouch

With over 16 years in business, Harbortouch has received numerous awards and accolades for its growth, customer service and innovative products. This includes six appearances on Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500/5000” list of fastest growing private companies in the nation, a Deloitte “Technology Fast 50” award, awards from the Best in Biz Awards, Golden Bridge Awards, and American Business Awards, and a top Customer Service award from industry publication Green Sheet, among many other accolades. Serving over 120,000 merchants across the country and processing in excess of $10 billion annually, Harbortouch is also ranked as one of the largest payment processors in the country by Nilson Report. Harbortouch values each merchant it serves, realizing that exceptional customer service is just as important as competitive pricing and innovative products. Our award-winning customer support is handled entirely in-house and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This focus on customer service is illustrated in our Mission Statement: “Harbortouch’s primary goal is to provide exceptional service and value to our customers. Our merchant customers are the lifeblood of the company and our success is completely dependent on their satisfaction. Every decision we make must reflect the importance of preserving these relationships. As a company, we must always strive to provide our customers with the best possible experience with both innovative technology and sincere personal attention.”


Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

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

Harbortouch hires independently contracted sales agents (ISAs) to resell its merchant account 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, reports are common of a Harbortouch sales representative promising to waive fees or provide month-to-month contracts only to fail to follow through, leaving the merchant on the hook for some unfavorable contract terms.

Online complaints seem to indicate 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 merchant to sign an automatically renewing, three-year service commitment so that Harbortouch can recover its upfront costs. In this way, the merchant still has to pay for at least three years of access to the equipment, which to some merchants may seem indistinguishable from having a long-term equipment lease.

Some merchants also report that they agreed to receive free equipment or software but cancelled 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. Merchants 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 merchants 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.

A smaller number of merchants claim that they were not made aware of the fact that they are responsible for the full cost of the service agreement regardless of whether or not their business closes permanently. It appears to be Harbortouch’s policy to enforce the terms of its agreement even in the event that a merchant goes out of business.

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 in its paperwork and requires follow-up communication with merchants after they open an account. However, Harbortouch still routinely receives complaints that describe misrepresentation or nondisclosure by its independent sales agents. This indicates that despite the company’s admirable efforts, a significant number of merchants are still having a negative experience with Harbortouch’s sales team. We therefore assign Harbortouch an average grade of “C” in this category.

Response from Harbortouch

As is standard practice in the industry, Harbortouch does use independent sales agents to sell our products and services. However, we pride ourselves on the extensive training we provide our sales agents to help minimize any negative experiences for our customers. This training program, which includes an entire training department and a 9,000 square foot training facility, goes well above and beyond what is standard in the industry. Any time we find out that a sales agent has been misleading customers or making false promises, we act swiftly to address these situations. It is also important to note that all of the key terms of our program are clearly outlined in the contract that each of our customers sign. As with any contract, we always encourage our customers to read the contract fully to make sure they understand the terms of the contract before they sign. Harbortouch also offers a 30 day trial on our point-of-sale equipment to provide an opportunity for customers to cancel the contract without penalty if they change their mind within 30 days, providing further protection to our customers from any misunderstandings during the sales process.

Harbortouch Marketing Example


Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $250+
PCI Compliance Fee $99 per year
Equipment Lease Terms Variable (up to 5 years)

The Harbortouch terms and conditions (available below) outline a three-year agreement with automatic renewal for two-year terms unless cancelled thirty days prior to the expiration of the initial term; an early termination fee equal to the number of remaining months in the Merchant Agreement multiplied by $35 plus the number of remaining months in the POS Service Agreement multiplied by the merchant’s monthly service fee; a quarterly $60 support fee for Elite POS users; an annual fee of $79 for Echo POS users; a $99 PCI Compliance Fee; and transaction fees according to a tiered or interchange-plus pricing schedule. Harbortouch will also charge merchants $75 per month if they stop using their Harbortouch system during the contract term. Harbortouch’s “Elite” POS system costs $69 per month, while its “Echo” POS system costs $39 per month.

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 merchants are advised to trust the documentation above an agent’s word. Multiple merchants 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. Alternatively, there are multiple claims that agents failed to disclose the contract length and early termination fee associated with the company’s POS agreement.

Harbortouch’s contract structure is unusual for the industry in the sense that the company does not specifically charge for the equipment that each merchant receives at the start of the contract. The company defends this practice as a long-term investment in the well-being of each merchant, but it also has the effect of locking merchants into a costly multi-year agreement, even if they decide to cancel service while under contract. Merchants will need to consider this lack of flexibility before they sign up for service through Harbortouch, as the initial savings may or may not be worth a long-term commitment.

The company’s peculiar POS service model has received both positive and negative reviews from merchants, but the negative reviews predictably cite very severe early termination fees. As a general rule, CPO advises merchants against long-term contracts with high early termination fees because these types of contracts limit a merchant’s choices. There are plenty of merchant account providers that offer month-to-month contracts, one-time equipment purchases, payment plans, or rental programs. Considering that Harbortouch’s approach to POS sales has received mixed reviews, coupled with the fact that it requires a long-term financial commitment from merchants, we have assigned it a “C” at this time. See the Harbortouch Elite Service Agreement.

Response from Harbortouch

As stated above, any time we find out that a sales agent has been misleading customers or making false promises, we act swiftly to address these situations. We also provide extensive training to our sales agents to try to avoid these types of misrepresentation entirely. It is also important to note that all of the key terms of our program are clearly outlined in the contract that each of our customers sign. As with any contract, we always encourage our customers to read the contract fully to make sure they understand the terms of the contract before they sign. Harbortouch also offers a 30 day trial on our point-of-sale equipment to provide an opportunity for customers to cancel the contract without penalty if they change their mind within 30 days.

One of Harbortouch’s primary product offerings is a full-featured touch-screen point-of-sale system without any up-front costs. Our customers receive the hardware, software, training, installation and support without any up-front expense, a value of over $3,000 per system. The only cost to the merchant is a low monthly fee starting at $39 per month, which covers 24/7 support, software updates and free hardware replacements. In order for us to earn a return on this significant investment that we make in each of our customers, we need to ensure a minimum length of time for the relationship, which is why we require a 36 month contract for any new customers. We make this requirement very clear during the sales and paperwork process, and the 30 day trial period adds another level of protection for our customers.


Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints 100+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Long-Term Contracts

Harbortouch is showing a moderate-to-high number of online complaints for a company of its size, most of which cite deceptive sales tactics, equipment issues, exorbitant cancellation fees, or poor customer support. 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 merchant complaints. Researchers should note that the actual content of these Ripoff Report reviews can be found below each of Harbortouch’s testimonials.

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 Harbortouch. This post speculates that a significant number of negative Harbortouch merchant 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 merchants. It does not reflect positively on the company that its official stance appears to be dismissive of negative reviews in general.

It should also be noted that two representatives of Harbortouch (including the company’s CEO) have directly addressed merchant complaints in the comment section of this review. Both representatives disputed merchants’ 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 POS equipment to merchants. Harbortouch offers email and phone support on its website in addition to equipment and software manuals.

Harbortouch is currently an active participant in CPO’s complaint resolution program. This program enables merchant account providers to directly contact merchants who post negative comments beneath their review in an attempt to resolve their complaints. The company’s participation in this program is a positive indication that Harbortouch is interested in providing a satisfactory outcome for dissatisfied merchants.

Although Harbortouch is taking steps to improve its reputation among business owners, its complaint rate has been consistent since its last review. In addition, the content of these complaints has remained more or less unchanged. We have given the company a “C” grade as a result.

Response from Harbortouch

Harbortouch’s top priority is our customer, and we do everything in our power to provide exceptional customer service. This includes 24/7 customer service and technical support by phone and email, completely in-house. Regarding Harbortouch’s participation in Ripoff Report’s Corporate Advocacy Program, this program allows us to reach out directly to customers who post complaints in order to more quickly resolve their situations. Participation in this program is not an attempt to cover up complaints, but on the contrary, allows us to better address these issues in real-time. Regarding concerns related to our contract terms, all of these terms are clearly stated in the contract that each of our customers sign. As with any contract, we always encourage our customers to read the contract fully to make sure they understand the terms of the contract before they sign. Additionally, as mentioned above, our cancellation policy is clearly explained at multiple points during the sales and onboarding process. Harbortouch also offers a 30 day trial on our point-of-sale equipment to provide an opportunity for customers to cancel the contract without penalty if they change their mind within 30 days.



Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 89
Billing & Collection Complaints 85
Advertising & Sales Complaints 20
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 2
Delivery Complaints 1

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.

Harbortouch 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 197 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Eighty-nine of these complaints were related to product or service issues, 85 had to do with billing and collection, 20 were classified as advertising issues, two were due to guarantee or warranty disputes, and one was a delivery problem. Of the total complaints, 37 were successfully resolved. The remaining 160 complaints either were resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Taking into account the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”

Response from Harbortouch

Harbortouch is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and consistently maintains an A+ rating with this organization. It is important to note that BBB accreditation standards include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. Additionally, the A+ rating given to Harbortouch by the BBB is based on 13 different factors, including number of complaints filed with BBB for a business of this size, response to the complaints filed against business, and resolution of complaints filed against business. This accreditation and rating illustrates Harbortouch’s commitment to our customers.

Harbortouch Logo

Harbortouch Bottom Line

Harbortouch rates as average in almost every section of this review because its practices are roughly standard for the industry. Harbortouch’s use of independent sales agents appears to be generating a decent portion of the complaints about the company, and the company’s long-term contract appears to be responsible for most other complaints. Harbortouch is clearly making efforts to improve its reputation among merchants, but its core policies and business practices remain more or less unchanged since our last review.

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

30 Reviews Leave Your Review Below

  1. Harbortouch attempted to resolve this complaint through our complaint resolution program but the comment author declined to participate.

    Anyone looking at this system for ease of entry financially think again. The sacrifice you make is lack of accurate timely information and lots of frustration fixing problems.

  2. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the complaint below but the merchant has indicated that the issue remains unresolved.

    This business is pure garbage!! Their sales rep sexually harassed me verbally and through email! He then tried to sell me on his side business crap, and then disappeared after I signed the contract! I’ve called numerous 1800 numbers for them and they will not help me! They said they can’t transfer me to another rep, they don’t know his manager, and all they can do is email him to call me. Wtf? I sat on hold for 32 minutes and told them to cancel everything and they said “ok”! NIGHTMARE!! Wasted a month of my time. Please please please learn from me. It sound too good to be true? It is. Trust me.

  3. I have been using the Harbortouch Elite for my restaurant and am extremely happy with its robust features. I’ve compared it to Aloha, Micros, and several other systems only to find that my system has just as many features without an upfront cost of $5,000. I only pay a monthly service agreement of $69 which covers all my hardware and software support.

    1. Hi Aaron,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  4. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the complaint below via our complaint resolution progam; however, the merchant has indicated that the matter remains unresolved.

    Horrible horrible horrible!!! Would NEVER EVER EVER recommend this to any business especially for a new business. Such a headache reps at customer service are rude (most) ive had problems since day 1. First issue was printing multiple reciepts till this day 6 months later this issue has not been fixed. #2 system powered off couldnt fix till 2 days later lost 2 business days worth of sales! That means loss of sales and customers for a new business. You dont have local support all through phone and holds its a headache. Theres a few more situations that im not going to list all but please read the reviews, something i wish i had done before hand, most seem to be bad complaints. Im just trying to save a new business from these situations. I wouldnt even give then a 1% satisfactory just a plain 0 or below 0%…

  5. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the complaint below but the merchant has indicated that the complaint remains unresolved. Learn more about our complaint resolution programs.

    We were recently approached by a Harbor touch independent sales rep who told us he could save us $250.00 a month on our merchant fees. We were also told there was no contract and they supplied the terminal. We did not think this was odd since the company we were already using also had no contract and supplied the terminal. We agreed to switch since we are a family run small business and $250.00 a month is a lot to us. After waiting 6 months we were not seeing any savings, actually our fees have increased so we proceeded to switch back to our original company. Called Harbor touch to cancel and we were told we had signed a 3 year contract and had to pay the remaining portion of the contract. The rep had tricked us into signing without reading all the fine print. We were straight up lied to. There was no box to check that made you aware of any kind of contract. This is no way of doing business.

  6. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the complaint below via our complaint resolution program; however, the complainant has indicated that the matter remains unresolved.

    I have had so much trouble with this system and I called my provider and he got angry and then tried to call in a fictitious order of 20 sandwiches and stiff us with it I then called the main office and they said basically to bad not our problem they have never been able to provide a scanner system for our grocery line and expected us to look up each item (upwards of 500 ) individually its stressful as hell and they only wanted your biz then once your hooked up they are unavailable after another bar and restaurant cancelled on them here in Duluth mn I too decided to as well and went with clover and instantly I’ve had customers thrilled we can scan grocerys

  7. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the complaint below via our complaint resolution program; however, the complainant has indicated that the matter remains unresolved.

    My Sales Rep, who was suppose to be a “friend” and “loyal customer” (Name: Richard Dorsey of Santa Rosa, CA) told me when I signed up that if I ever closed a location or went out of business that I would have financial obligation and could return the equipment. BULLSHIT!! I closed my business May 31, 2015 and JUST finished my 5 year lease by having to make the remaining payments. I was also being charged for Gift Card services…. that obviously I was using any longer. I repeatedly called Customer Support and they said their hands were tied and that I’d have to contact my Sales Rep…. which I did. He apologized for the “misunderstanding” and said that he’ll try to find someone to take over my equipment lease, so that I could close the account. THAT’S HOW THEY SCREW YOU. YOU CAN NOT CLOSE YOUR MERCHANT, IF YOU ARE STILL MAKING LEASE PAYMENTS. I FINALLY got close to the end of my lease and made the final payment and closed that account.

    The second is for a Coffee Cart location that I sold months ago….. I’ve been trying for months to put in a “CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP” to the new owner… It’s a fucking joke.. Every time I call, I’m referred back to my Sales Rep (Richard Dorsey) who never answers his phone or calls me back. I always ask to speak to a manager or someone else that will actually help me with this and EVERY TIME the rep seems very nice, helpful and offers to, “escalate this to a manager” they verify my cell# and apparently get off the phone and laugh and NOBODY ever calls me back. This morning I got hit with a $81.30 fee a $81.60 fee and a $31.23 fee…… THAT A LEASE PAYMENT, PROCESSING FEE, GIFT CARD FEE (WHICH I CANCELLED) AND MONTHLY SERVICE FEE….. THIS HAPPENS EVERY MONTH… I’VE BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS SINCE JULY 2015.. WTF???



  8. We have used Harbortouch since we opened last June. We initially went with a different POS system but at the last minute had to change because of it’s lack of capabilities. Harbortouch was recommend by the sales rep that handled the return of the first POS system, we ended up with Harbortouch because there was no time to shop for anything else based on the strict timeline to get open. We are so glad Harbortouch fell in our lap. All of our menu was installed before arrival and a brief tutorial was given by the guy who installed the system. I had to add a 4th POS and 4th remote printer 3 weeks before arrival with not problem. It’s very easy to use and have never had any major issues (*knock on wood). If we have ever had any questions there is always a tech to help. I would like to see more reports on the Lighthouse side and maybe some more loss prevention guards, or a scheduling function to better manage labor, but overall its a great system. I have read some negative reviews and glad I have none of these issues. I have not been charged anything that was not in the contract, never spoken to a rude tech, no problem with install.
    All of you merchants are business owners and know what damage these negative reviews can have on a business. If you have a legitimate concern you should contact them directly, not drag their name through the mud like a child throwing a temper tantrum. And some sound reviews sound like competitors (just my opinion). I would recommend harbortouch to anyone that asks my option.

    1. Hi Vincent,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

    2. Harbortouch attempted to resolve this grievance via our complaint resolution program, but the merchant indicated that the complaint remains unresolved.

      Hah! This company even though I cancelled in December after meeting my 3 year contract wants to charge an early termination fee. They say if you go beyond the contract it automatically renews and you still get charged an early termination fee. Thing is I would not have had to go elsewhere if they could provide a compliant machine that took the chip card. I have been waiting 6 months so had to go elsewhere. They are an awful company to deal with and they will blatantly steal from you after they receive their signed termination of services contract.

  9. Nov. 2015 had an issue with POS system, one of our units mysteriously could not see or communicate with the brain unit. Called Harbor Touch and to my surprise was answered in 3 rings. Spoke to a tech named Jamal and he was able to go online and fix the unit remotely. It took 5 minutes…..This is a great improvement to previous experience. Thank you Jamal. Meeting House Pub Bethel CT

  10. I personally am thrilled with Harbortouch. I have used several credit card companies in the past but Harbortouch has been by far the best to work with. Most companies have a ton of hidden fees or even introduce new fees mid contract but this company truly understands the importance of honesty and never charged any unexpected fees. Their services are fast and professional. Even their customer service is a delight to work with. I definitely recommend Harbortouch as a Credit Card Processor.

  11. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the following complaint utilizing our Complaint Resolution Program. However, this merchant declined to participate in the resolution process.


    Omg Harbor touch is the absolute worst pos company I ever worked with. The software itself is okay. The problem is the people they hire. They’re morons and liars. The WORST customer service I ever had the displeasure of working with. You just want to curse them out and hang up on them. For starters the system arrived 3 months late. After installation the guy left without explaining how it works. Our menu was supposed pre installed. What a joke. They left 90% of it out. When you have the slightest problem you wait on hold for a ridiculous amount of time only to have your call answered by someone who barely knows their own name much less anything about the system . The rep who sold it to us was the biggest offender. Nothing he said was true. if he were in front of me now I’d choke him until he passed out. If it weren’t for my wife’s friend who knows the system back & forth I would’ve thrown the whole thing in the garbage long ago. Unless you have a friend who can reprogram the entire system for free your insane for even considering Harbor Touch. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst, Harbor touch scores a negative -50!

  12. Harbortouch attempted to resolve the following complaint utilizing our Complaint Resolution Program. However, this merchant declined to participate in the resolution process.


    You are being generous with the C-

    Expect fees to appear and multiplying everywhere they can. Try and dispute the charges and the robots repeat, “it’s in your contract”. You ask where in the contract, you will never get a straight answer. You are better off handwriting your tickets, or purchase orders and having a single cc processing company. Trust me. They bank (literally) on small business owners who are already distraught trying to make their business work. There must be many others involved and using this young kid as the front man. You don’t know here the contract ends, or where it began. A team of people pretend to be the CEO answering you. If your contract states 25. a transaction, you will pay 35. If your rate is 1.49 you pay 1.89. If your service fee is $7.50 you pay $61.

  13. I own and operate a bar in Hawaii, we are coming up on our 2 yr mark of being in business. When we signed up with Harbourtouch, it was stressed to us several times that the term of contract was 5 yrs. we knew the risk going into this agreement, but we also didn’t have the money to shell out for these expensive systems. We have had a few situations where the system acted up in the past few years but when it did, we contacted their tec support and they remote log in and fixed it. Coming from a previous employer that has Micros, getting results like that is wonderful because with Micros and others like it, if they go down on a Friday night, your out of luck till Monday morning and that’s if the technician can fit you in. I understand that people get upset because their businesses fail, but there aren’t many successful businesses complaining. For us the system works great, the monthly fees aren’t bad, on a business that grosses about $40,000 a month our monthly fees are about $700 with 3 terminals and 1 kitchen printer(merchant service fees included) I knock on wood that my views with Harbourtouch stay the same and that our business continues to do well but some of you have to understand, the name of their company is not “St. Harbourtouch” or “Harbourtouch Assembly of God”(another words they are NOT a non-profit organization), they are in business to make money just like you are and I’m sure they do the best they can to develop a good name for themselves but they are trying to keep their business alive just like everyone else. blaming these guys for holding you to a contract that you signed is probably why most of your businesses failed, do your research, I did mine, I got equipment with no money down, by the time I’m done with my contract I will have paid them $42,000 but have you ever bought a car with no money or bad credit, the interest rate is crazy, but you do what you gotta do.

    1. Leroy,

      Just to add to your comment, your 3 POS systems will only cost you $16,020 over the course of 5 yrs. ($89 x 60 x 3). The rest is mostly processing fees, which most of that is Interchange and goes to the banks. So it is much better than $42,000.


  14. I am the founder and CEO of Harbortouch. I started the company more than 16 years ago. It was a start-up then and I was a teenager in my parent’s basement. Since that time, the company has grown to become a significant player in the payment industry. We have over 400 employees now and process in excess of 11 billion a year in credit card volume. I am responding personally, because I am the founder and I do take any negative reviews quite seriously. I imagine many of you, as small business owners, would react similarly.

    My thoughts:

    1. If you are a past or present merchant and you have a complaint, feel free to e-mail me directly and I will gladly look in to it. My e-mail address is [email protected]

    2. Just about any complaint I have seen for our service revolves around the fact that there is a big cancellation penalty if you close your account early. That is a fact! We give away a lot of free equipment in exchange for a contract term. It is no different than Verizon or AT&T giving you a free iPhone in exchange for a 3-year wireless contract. That is exactly what we do. We provide free touch-screen POS equipment. This is the same type of equipment that can cost tens of thousands of dollars from the big brands like Micros, Aloha, Radiant Systems, etc. The only real difference is you would have had to shell out a bunch of up-front money to get it. With Harbortouch we make that investment on your behalf. We provide that touch-screen POS equipment, the software, the custom programming, the onsite installation and the training in exchange for a 3-year agreement. When the 3-year agreement is done, you own the equipment and it still cost less than just about every other POS system available in the market. In the past our agreement was 5 years, but it was recently reduced to 3 years with our latest POS System model. If you cancel before the 3 years, there is a cancellation penalty. Most merchants when they start a business have grand expectations. They don’t think about the downside of having to close early and then a cancellation fee. When the business does close, they are usually not in the best financial position and get pretty upset about the penalty. It is human nature and I do understand it. I just think it is completely out of line to demonize my company over it.

    3. For those that say the contract term and penalty were not properly disclosed, I believe that is largely just an excuse to justifying not paying for the obligation. There are five signature places on the agreements: Three on the merchant agreement, one on the POS System service contract, and one on the confirmation sheet that is signed during installation. The purpose of the confirmation sheet is to reiterate the terms of the POS agreement one final time. In every advertisement on our website, brochures, sales collateral, we put disclose that the POS equipment is being provided as part of a service agreement. Then there is also common sense approach if all the agreements signed were not apparent. A big box of touch-screen POS equipment, cash drawers, receipt printers, etc is delivered to your business. You didn’t pay for it. Then an installer arrives. Someone else you did not pay for. They run wires, install the equipment and show you how to use it. The software, loaded on that equipment, is customized for your business. I would imagine, at that point, there would be some realization that all this consideration provided probably came with some form of an obligation. An obligation, that I might add, is less expensive than just about every tablet POS or legacy POS system available on the market.

    4. As for some of the ratings and reviews that this websites, and those like it, come up with and how “all these people can’t be wrong”. Philip Parker, Sir, that is just ridiculous!. First in business-to-business transactions, people don’t go out of their way to write great reviews! If they did, they are fake. Maybe consumers on Amazon and Ebay write favorable reviews, but in real business to business transactions people just don’t to it. When was the last time a business owner went online to write a great review about their office copy machine? Or how well their new industrial phone system works? How often do you call customer service on your American Express card just to let them know how happy you are with the service? People, especially in a B2B environment, only seek out websites like this to complain. So throughout my 16 years in business, having served now over 300,000 merchants, you believe you can appropriately rate us a 1.9 stars out of 5, because you found ~275 negative reviews? With those numbers, my math says I have a 99.99% satisfaction rate. Find any service business that interacts with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers and has no negative reviews? It is just unrealistic –unless of course, you compare us to the start-up tablet POS companies with 300 customers. I am sure in that environment customer satisfaction can be ultra micromanaged. Or perhaps how about Square? They have no contract term, no cancellation fee, no monthly fees, no penalties, just a simple rate and a free card reader. Have you seen how many negative reviews they have received? Not to use a tired cliché, but it is a service business and you can’t satisfy everyone. And the ones we sometimes are unable to satisfy, like the reviews seen on this website, are usually unhappy because they got stuck with a cancellation penalty after going out of business.

    5. To Terri S. I have no idea who you are, but you have my company wrong. “Rot in Hades”. “Lie, cheat, steal?”. What is wrong with you? Do some homework on my company. Hell, do some homework on boilerplate contracts that exist in any industry. Have you ever read the terms and conditions before you boarded a commercial airplane? Take a look at some of their limitation and liability sections. I imagine no one would fly commercial if they ever read those T&C’s. Most boilerplate contracts, in any service industry, are written to be favorable to the supplier not the end user. That is because we are trying to account for millions of variables for tens of thousands of customers, not just one. It is not because of any intent to deceive or take advantage of the situation. For that matter, our T&C’s are largely written by our sponsor bank, First National Bank of Omaha, and approved by Visa, MasterCard and the other card brands. We get very little input in to them anyway. We have been around 16 years. We have grown every year. We have added more customers every year. We have received numerous accolades from a lot of industry and business publications. Our company is a poster example of the American dream. A small business with little prospect of success in a basement, that grew to become a national company. I think that is the dream that every small business has. We were apparently the “good guy” when we were small and struggling back then, but in success we become the “bad guy” big company. Why? Because customers don’t like being obligated to their contracts? It is a no win situation really. The only thing I can really say, is that your perception of my company is just incorrect. You are welcome to reach out to me, like any unhappy customer, and address your concerns directly. My e-mail address is [email protected] and I respond to every single one of them.

    1. Thank you, Jarad. Our HarborTouch system was installed in our restaurant today as promised. Our sales rep Kevin was excellent. As a restaurant specialist it was clear he had the knowledge, experience and professionalism that closed the deal. Not only did he go over every section of the agreement but specifically made sure I understood the terms and conditions regarding early termination. At one point he put some one from the legal department on the phone to explain a section I was not comfortable with. My staff has experience with Micros, Aloha and most recently the Clover system that just isn’t ready for full service restaurants. Based on the training courses and webinars, and now some hands on experience they are all very excited. Customer Service so far has been very helpful and efficient. I have over 40 years of marketing and customer service experience. I have seen hundreds of complaints like those on this blog. Most of the time they are the result of businesses and business owners that are failing for lots of reasons, not their POS system or processor. I am confident that our good start will continue but if there are speed bumps I will contact you rather then whine and write snarky comments on blogs that allow people to hide behind screen names and provide little if any balance.

      1. Hello Eric,

        In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location. Thanks!

  15. Every business owner will tell you, there are two sides to a story. There are no verification process of the comments on this site, so there is no way for anyone to know if it truly is a real client or a competitor that is simply trying to tarnish another company’s reputation [*Internal note added to this comment* – Curtis’ preceding statement here is false. Each and every comment submitted on CardPaymentOptions.com undergoes moderation prior to becoming published on the site.] I’m sure some of them are valid and legit, but I do not believe all of them are. I have a lot of happy clients. You would be surprised how difficult it is to get someone to post positive comments, even when they are happy. We are all busy business owners and naturally are self-centered. It takes a lot of effort to go out of our way to post positive comments about a company. We must truly be motivated to want to do it. But when someone wants to complain, we all are very quick to do that.

    How do you know what Harbortouch’s costs are? I’ve signed up a lot of merchants and have seen a lot of them close shop in 6 months, 12 months, etc. After seeing what little profit there is on the processing for those accounts, I can see how Harbortouch is losing a lot of money. Simply look at the millions of dollars they have received from outside sources to fund their program. It takes a LOT of money and you lose a lot of money as well. You have hardware cost, software licensing fees, on-site install cost, training cost that requires hours of employees time, 24/7 tech support to fund, any and all hardware replacement cost, etc.

    POS systems are not the same as personal computers. They are more expensive to build. Their latest model has a SSD hard drive with a 4 quad processor. From my estimation, I would not be surprised if Harbortouch’s breakeven point on the POS is at least 2-3 years, assuming no further investment has to be made with swaps.

    Why is it when you look at all the big major POS brands like Aloha and Micros, they cost $3-10K per station? Plus they are in the business for service contracts, ongoing support fees, ongoing software update fees, etc.

    I have yet to see any other company do what Harbortouch is doing and it’s been 4 yrs since they launched it. They are making that huge investment themselves and charging nothing upfront to the merchant. Would you invest thousands of dollars in my business and do what they are doing? If I go out of business in 6 months, good luck on collecting or even getting your system back. Chances are I’m bankrupt and have nothing to go after. Let’s say your total hard cost is $3,000 per station. With a $69/mo fee, your breakeven point is 43 months! If anything breaks during that time, it will only extend that time. What if the POS needs to be replaced in a few years, now you are talking a few thousand more reinvested. So would you give me $3,000 knowing you won’t get that back for at least 3 years and that’s without interest? This is all before you take into account all the operating expenses they have to just operate their facilities, hundreds of employees, etc.

    The whole program is banked on the processing. Processors have always made money on the processing side, in exchange for that same business they would receive anyways, Harbortouch is willing to make that huge investment in the merchant’s business in exchange for that. Other processors are not making that huge investment, why not? So yeah, there must be stiff cancellation fees to help them from losing thousands of dollars and going out of business. You want them to be there to support you and your business and not close shop because other merchant’s took them down because they couldn’t recoup the investment on their system.

    No company is perfect, everyone has their faults, just like you won’t find any restaurant with a perfect 5 star review on help. Harbortouch has a lot of happy customers and a lot of agents that sell for them that go the extra mile to make sure their merchants are happy.


  16. Please note that the term for the Harbortouch POS agreement has been reduced to 36 months for all new merchants. The $69/monthly hardware support fee & $60/quarterly software support fee remain the same. If you are dis-satisfied with your credit card processing rate simply call Harbortouch customer service and request a ‘rate review’. Your total cost of ownership for a Harbortouch POS is significantly cheaper that purchasing or leasing a similar POS such as Micros or Aloha.

    1. I have had a completely different experience. Over the past two weeks i have done due diligence on several POS systems and card processing to replace a Clover system that I would not recommend to any business that has a large menu or inventory numbers. The HarborTouch account executive, Kevin, that i worked with has been nothing short of professional and helpful. I have spend many years managing sales and marketing as well as customer service teams. Kevin could have been on any one of those. As an experienced business person I am capable;e of reading and understanding contract terms and conditions. My account rep not only went over them but insisted that I speak with someone in the legal department that would verify my understandings. This is not the MO of a company that is trying to hide anything.

      If you are in the restaurant business you certainly understand the points about people not commenting on great food or terrific service unless they are prompted to do so. Yelp and sites such as this one are the bane of all well run businesses. People with an axe to grind, competitors and just plain lunatics populate these blogs. I am only here because one of Harbortouch’s competitors gave me the link in an attempt to change my mind about his product. Not only did it not change my mind but after reading Jarad’s comments I am confident that I am about to do business with the right company.

  17. Harbortouch attempted to resolve this grievance through our complaint resolution program. However, this complainant declined to participate in the resolution process.


    Harbortouch intentionally lies and cheats merchants out of hard-earned money by INTENTIONALLY NOT DISCLOSING THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS to those merchants.

    How convenient, Curtis Stevens, that you blame the misunderstandings on INDEPENDENT SALES REPS and refuse to do the ethical thing and be an honorable company. You are CROOKS and THIEVES!!!! You allow your sales reps to say whatever they want to say in order to get a signed contract.

    MERCHANTS: Who in their right freaking mind would sign ANY CONTRACT that has the following disclaimer as the last paragraph on the last page of their Terms and Conditions???:


    What the hell does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means!!! That no matter what a representative told you or wrote down or emailed you or faxed you or promised you regarding this agreement with Harbortouch, it doesn’t mean SQUAT. They can say anything they want, even outright lie to you, and their a$$ is covered by this paragraph alone.

    Never in all my years of dealing with credit card processing companies and POS companies have I ever seen such a blatant display of INTENTION TO DEFRAUD and flagrant DISREGARD FOR ETHICS.

    HARBORTOUCH, YOUR COMPANY IS SLIME. YOU LIE. YOU CHEAT. YOU STEAL. And you intentionally defraud your customers.

    Rot in HADES…….. with all your ill-gotten gains……..

    Terri S – Minnesota

    1. Terri,

      Based on what you are saying, it doesn’t sound like you are a current or previous client of Harbortouch, but a competitor, which removes any validity to your comments. Plus, it isn’t good business to bash other companies, makes you look bad.

      Harbortouch doesn’t have employees selling their products. They use outside, independent agents/contractors to sell their system. We as a contractor, are responsible for selling the system, they have no control or knowledge over what we say or do since we are not even at their place of business. With that said, Harbortouch must have that clause in the agreement or an agent (a good or rogue agent) could promise the merchant the moon. Sign here and we will pay you one million dollars. Without that clause, it could open Harbortouch up to a lot of liability by simply want some sales person says. Harbortouch can only honor the agreement. HOWEVER, the application and paperwork spells everything out. It lists all the pricing, what is included, etc. So it doesn’t matter what the rep says as it is all covered in the documents the merchant sign. So if an agent doesn’t disclose everything orally, the merchant can still read all the details on the documents they must sign to get approved. This also allows them to verify if everything they’ve been told is true as well.

      In short, before the merchant signs up, they can legally verify everything to avoid and prevent any possibility of the concerns you are bringing up. All terms and conditions are disclosed to the merchant. They must sign them before even getting approved. If Harbortouch was such a bad company, I wouldn’t be in business selling their product, have hundreds of merchants all over the country and be able to make a living.


      1. Why is it so bad that Harbortouch has a clause that says only written documents are valid and nothing verbal? Any business owner would be stupid not to protect their company in that way when you have independent contractors selling your product. If you were Harbortouch and you weren’t doing that, I would question your longevity. The merchant signs an application that SPELLS everything out. Everything is in writing. They don’t need anything verbally as it is all in writing and must be signed by the merchant. The clause you reference and the ENTIRE contract and agreement must be signed by the merchant before approval. So how is that deceitful?!?

        You say business owners are savvy enough regarding credit card processing to speak knowledgeable about it, but then later say lets be honest, merchants are clueless when it comes to processing. I’ve been selling processing for over a decade and will say 99% of merchants do not know much about processing. The amount of stuff I’ve seen, the number of ways or things processors do with processing statements, etc. Most merchants think one thing and many times their statements says another because they don’t have the knowledge I do. There is no other industry as complicated as processing.

        Your comment simply has your name and nothing more and based on the details of your comments, it didn’t appear that would be coming from a merchant. Merchant’s don’t know that kind of stuff. Since you said why would anyone sign with Harbortouch when they have that clause tells me you are not a former customer of Harbortouch since why would you sign up with that clause. So you are bashing a company you have never done business with.

        There are good and bad apples in every business, processing is no exception. Just because there are some bad apples, doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Harbortouch cares more about their merchants than probably any other processor as they are investing thousands into their business. If they close shop too early, Harbortouch loses. If Harbortouch helps their business grow because of the POS, everyone wins. Interest are aligned.

  18. Hi Thomas, can you elaborate on how you believe they were dishonest with you? It may help other merchants who are researching these providers.

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