Instabill (instabill.com) is a merchant account provider based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that specializes in online payments. Launched in 2003, Instabill appears to operate outside of the U.S. as ECS World LTD. The company is headquartered in the U.S. at 875 Greenland Road, Suite B9, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801 and in Mauritius at Suite 501, St. James Court, St. Dennis Street, Port Louis, Mauritius. Given its ability to offer offshore merchant accounts, Instabill is likely partnered with numerous acquiring banks. Jason Field is listed as the founder and CEO of Instabill.
- Sales & Marketing: Instabill does not appear to hire independent sales agents and has received a low number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: Instabill offers variable contract terms depending on each merchant’s business type and processing history.
- Complaints & Service: Instabill has received more than 20 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Instabill has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received zero complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Instabill
- High risk
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Instabill appears to utilize a combination of its in-house sales team, its website, and independent referrers to market its services. There is no indication at this time that the company partners with outbound independent resellers, and we are currently able to locate only a few negative Instabill reviews that accuse the company’s sales team of misrepresentation or nondisclosure. At the time of our last review, a sidebar on the Instabill website promoted rates “as low as 2.2%,” which is a slightly misleading quote that likely only applies to “Qualified” rates. This quote is no longer listed, though, and the company’s website now urges merchants to get in touch for a custom rate quote based on their processing history, risk factors, and business type. In addition, most merchant complaints state that Instabill acknowledges up front that its rates will be higher for high-risk businesses.
Instabill Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Because Instabill specializes in high-risk and offshore merchant accounts, the company’s rates and fees are not likely to compare favorably to those of traditional merchant account providers. However, this is a product of Instabill’s willingness to provide processing for riskier business types, rather than the result of an inappropriate markup. Generally speaking, Instabill’s contract terms appear to vary greatly depending on a merchant’s business type, size, time in business, and risk for fraudulent activity. Its terms will likely feature tiered pricing and may incorporate early termination fees or PCI Compliance fees.
Most Instabill complaints seem to stem from the company’s fraud prevention policies. Many merchants report cancellation of their merchant accounts or withholding of funds, both of which are common fraud prevention tactics among high-risk processors. In most of these cases, Instabill has responded by detailing its fraud prevention policies, which generally consist of randomly contacting customers and obtaining information about whether a merchant has supplied a particular service and done so in an appropriate amount of time. If merchants do not appear to be rendering their services within a reasonable amount of time (or at all), Instabill reserves the right to terminate their merchant accounts. This is understandably frustrating for merchants who have already processed payments through Instabill at the time of cancellation, but it’s also a justifiable fraud prevention policy on Instabill’s part. Given the company’s track record and relatively low complaint total, we have awarded it an “A” in this category.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||20+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fund Holds|
We are currently able to locate approximately 20 Instabill complaints, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. In many of these cases, merchants report losses of multiple thousands of dollars. While this would usually cause the company’s rating to be severely lowered, it is important to note that most of these complaints appear to have been posted by high-risk merchants who Instabill representatives claim were not actually delivering services to their customers. Although it is difficult to know which party is being honest in each case, Instabill’s willingness to deal with high-risk industries predisposes it to receiving some complaints like these.
In general, Instabill’s rebuttals appear to be professional in tone and well-supported, so we aren’t inclined to fault the company for protecting itself from fraud. Merchants are advised to inquire about Instabill’s fraud protection measures and to be forthright about their business types to ensure that their service isn’t terminated after payments have already been processed. The only slightly alarming thing we have found is that multiple complaints mention difficulty contacting an Instabill representative to resolve issues in a timely fashion.
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Instabill is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had zero complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Instabill also has not received any informal reviews on its BBB profile, although it should be noted that these reviews are not subject to verification by the BBB. Given the company’s clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB’s rating.
About Phillip Parker
Hi, I’m Phillip Parker and I believe that the merchant account industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. I created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support my work, check out my cost analysis service. I can evaluate your statement and tell you exactly how much you're overpaying for your merchant account. Get more information here.Schedule a Consultation with Phillip
Related: Phillip’s Top All-Purpose Merchant Account Picks
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