Merchant Advocate Overview

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A Merchant Account Rate Negotiation Service

Merchant Advocate (merchantadvocate.com, creditcardservicesnj.com) is a merchant account contract negotiation service headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. Founded in 2007, the company negotiates on behalf of U.S. merchants to guarantee lower rates and higher quality service without having to switch payment processors. Merchant Advocate does not appear to be affiliated with any specific merchant services provider or acquiring bank, as the company generates revenue by taking a percentage of the savings it produces for each merchant.

Merchant Advocate Location and Ownership

Merchant Advocate is located at 281 NJ-34 #101, Colts Neck, New Jersey 07722. Eric Cohen is the CEO and founder of Merchant Advocate.

Merchant Advocate Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Merchant Advocate claims to be able to negotiate directly with a merchant’s current credit card processor.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchant Advocate has received only one public complaint.
  • BBB Rating: Merchant Advocate has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints in the last three years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2008.
  • Sales & Marketing: Merchant Advocate does not engage in misleading sales tactics and has not received complaints about its sales team.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant Advocate

Merchant Advocate Statement Analyzer

Find hidden fees, pricing errors, and overcharges in your Merchant Advocate merchant account statement. Not with Merchant Advocate? That's ok, we can find excessive fees in any credit card processing statement. We've already found $1,156,834 in hidden fees this year! Submit a recent statement to try it out for free!

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Products & Services Offered

  • Rate negotiation

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • Healthcare

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Merchant Advocate Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% -4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% -4.99%
Early Termination Fee N/A
PCI Compliance Fee N/A
Equipment Lease Terms N/A

Pay a Percentage of What You Save

Merchant Advocate pledges to only make money as a percentage of the monthly amount it saves each merchant. The company states that it is willing to negotiate lower terms with a merchant’s current provider rather than require a merchant to switch to a new company, which indicates that it isn’t simply trying to sign merchants up for an undisclosed parent company. Merchant Advocate also claims to monitor a merchant’s rates for the duration of the contract in order to ensure that the merchant’s credit card processor does not raise the merchant’s expenses. There are no reliable complaints suggesting that the company doesn’t adhere to these claims.

Handling the Negotiation For You

Merchant Advocate’s services may be appealing to merchants who do not feel capable of handling negotiations themselves. Merchants should understand, however, that a portion of the amount saved by partnering with Merchant Advocate will be paid out to Merchant Advocate. Merchants who feel comfortable negotiating their own terms may be better served by readingFee Sweep” and retaining 100% of the savings they negotiate.

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Response from Merchant Advocate

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Merchant Advocate Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

There is only one negative Merchant Advocate review available online at this time, and this complaint directly accuses the company of being a scam. It is unclear whether the complainant in this case is actually referring to Merchant Advocate, as the complaint mentions a company called “Merchants Advocates Group” based in Dallas, Texas. The merchant does state that their representative came from New Jersey and signed the merchant up for a contract through EVO Merchant Services, but we are unable to find any other evidence online that Merchant Advocate is partnered with EVO in any way. We are discounting this isolated incident at this time.

Merchant Advocate Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Merchant Advocate. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Merchant Advocate Customer Support Options

The Merchant Advocate website lists phone and email contact information that appears to be directly serviced by the company. This is in line with our expectations of the top-rated merchant accounts for great customer service, which is a positive sign for Merchant Advocate.

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Response from Merchant Advocate

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Merchant Advocate BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Clean Complaint Record

Merchant Advocate has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2008. As of this review, the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had zero complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. The company has also 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.

Since it is our philosophy that “A” ratings should be reserved for companies with zero complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating in this case. However, merchants should note that there are good reasons to be skeptical of BBB ratings.

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Response from Merchant Advocate

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

No Sales Complaints

Merchant Advocate appears to primarily market its services through its website, through partnerships with various professional associations, and through traditional advertising. It is possible that Merchant Advocate engages in outbound telemarketing or hires independent agents, but the nature of its “no-switch” business model rules out any possibility of sneaky “slamming” tactics. The company does not list specific details of its assessment or negotiation practices in its official materials. However, there are no merchant complaints that describe underhanded tactics from Merchant Advocate.

No Deceptive Rate Quotes

There is no indication at this time that Merchant Advocate uses high-pressure or deceptive sales tactics to market its services. We will therefore award the company an “A” rating in this section for the time being.

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Response from Merchant Advocate

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Merchant Advocate Marketing Example

Merchant Advocate Logo

Our Opinion of Merchant Advocate

A Good Rate Renegotiation Option

Merchant Advocate rates as a reliable merchant account negotiating service according to all available information. As payment for its services, the company appears to collect a portion of the savings it negotiates, leaving the merchant with some net savings. Merchants who feel comfortable negotiating terms themselves may benefit from simply contacting a low-cost merchant account provider on their own.

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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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