Merchant Cooperative Reviews & Complaints

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3.5
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How did they treat you? ▼

Pros & Cons
Pros: Cons:
Profit-sharing possibilities. Fees for non-members.
Lower fees. Membership requirements.
Collective bargaining power. Limited flexibility.
Tailored solutions. Possible slower decision-making.
Member support network. Varied service quality.

Overview

In this article, we offer a concise yet thorough review of Merchant Cooperative, a versatile merchant account provider catering to retail, restaurant, e-commerce, and mobile businesses. Our focus encompasses their rates and fees, contract terms, customer complaints, and industry ratings. We also delve into their merchant services and credit card processing capabilities, including POS systems for retail and restaurant sectors, as well as internet and web services.

We assess the company's additional services, alternative financing, and web solutions. We'll also cover the pros and cons based on customer feedback and examine the company's legal standing, fees, and rates. Finally, we touch on employee perspectives and the company's sales tactics, providing a comprehensive overview of Merchant Cooperative.

About Merchant Cooperative

Founded in 2005, Merchant Cooperative is a merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk business types. It specifically focuses on retail merchant accounts, restaurant merchant accounts, e-commerce merchant accounts, and mobile merchant accounts. The company shares executive leadership with another company called SaveOnCreditCardProcessing.com and is a reseller of EVO Payments International products and services. The company also operates as a reseller of SignaPay.

Merchant Services & Credit Card Processing

Merchant Cooperative processes most major debit and credit card payments and focuses its marketing efforts on businesses located in South Carolina. The company's services include EBT processing, check conversion and guarantee, electronic gift certificate processing, and leasing of equipment. They support in-store traditional POS systems as well as online virtual terminals and mobile payment. Other equipment available through the company includes thermal printers, pin pads, card swipers, and check scanners.

POS Systems for Retail and Restaurants

The company offers Point-of-Sale (POS) systems specifically designed for retail and restaurant businesses. They claim to have no sign-up fees and offer VIP low rates for these services.

Internet and Web Services

Merchant Cooperative provides a free virtual terminal for internet and web-based transactions. Again, they mention that there are no sign-up fees for this service.

Additional Services

The company also offers services like EBT processing, check conversion and guarantee, electronic gift certificate processing, and leasing of equipment. They focus their marketing efforts mainly on businesses located in South Carolina.

Alternative Financing and Web Solutions

Merchant Cooperative offers a suite of services that include alternative financing options and web solutions, although specific details are not provided.

Location & Ownership

Merchant Cooperative is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank Trust Company, New York, New York, and is headquartered at 115 Etiwan Drive, Goose Creek, South Carolina 29445. Christian Maurer is the president of Merchant Cooperative.

Merchant Cooperative payment processing
Merchant Cooperative offers standard payment processing services to businesses in South Carolina

Merchant Cooperative Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 30+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Equipment Lease
Recent Lawsuits No

Assessing Complaint Levels

We have identified more than 30 negative reviews about Merchant Cooperative online. Some reviewers label the company as a scam. Notably, the frequency of complaints significantly decreased after 2012. Prior to this decrease, complaints highlighted issues such as non-disclosure by sales representatives, undisclosed fees, subpar customer service, and unethical behavior by sales and management personnel. Few of these complaints have been countered by Merchant Cooperative’s representatives, who occasionally claim these allegations are unfounded. We encourage you to share your experiences with Merchant Cooperative in the comments section below.

Legal and Regulatory Concerns Involving Merchant Cooperative

Our search did not uncover any unresolved class-action lawsuits or Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaints against Merchant Cooperative. Customers seeking alternatives to legal action for resolving disputes may find it useful to report their issues to relevant regulatory authorities.

Customer Support Evaluation

Considering the existence of both genuine and disputed reviews, Merchant Cooperative’s volume of complaints and their nature negatively impact its customer service rating, leading to a “C” score in this category. Merchant Cooperative provides contact information on its website, but it remains unclear if these lines are dedicated solely to customer support.

Contact Information for Merchant Cooperative Customer Service

  • (888) 287-6033 – Toll-Free Customer Service Number
  • (843) 884-6884 – Main Office Line

Alternative Support Channels

  • Online Support Form

This level of customer support does not meet our criteria for a highly recommended provider known for exceptional customer service.

This updated content aims to offer a more balanced perspective on Merchant Cooperative, focusing on customer reviews, complaints, and customer service options while maintaining the article’s original tone. By including and optimizing key phrases such as “reviews,” “complaints,” “customer reviews,” and “customer service numbers,” this revision enhances SEO effectiveness and encourages reader engagement.

Merchant Cooperative Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Reports 1

Under 5 Complaints

Merchant Cooperative currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since September 2016. The company’s profile is currently showing 1 complaint in the last 36 months. The 1 complaint was resolved to the dissatisfaction of the client or did not receive a final communication.

An “A” Performance

Considering Merchant Cooperative’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB‘s rating.

Merchant Cooperative Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Likely
Equipment Leasing Yes
Processing Rates 1.00% - 4.99%

Three-Year Contract

Based on complaints received by Merchant Cooperative, the standard contract with the company spans three years and is facilitated through EVO Payments International. It includes an early termination fee ranging from $250 to $395 and entails a long-term, non-cancellable equipment lease typically through MBF Leasing or First Data Global Leasing. Considering the affiliation with EVO Payments International, Merchant Cooperative likely imposes additional charges such as PCI compliance fees, annual fees, statement fees, and monthly minimum fees. However, specific details regarding these fees have not been mentioned in available reviews. If any Merchant Cooperative fees are discovered, we encourage you to share them in the comments below.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its in-store payment processing services, Merchant Cooperative also offers virtual terminal and payment gateway services. Unfortunately, pricing information for these services is not disclosed on the website. Typically, additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates, are applicable to these e-commerce services.

Long-Term Lease Concerns

While EVO’s standard contract terms are considered average to below average, Merchant Cooperative’s practice of adding costly equipment leases through MBF and First Data Global Leasing has resulted in a lower rating of “C” in this category. Business owners are generally advised against equipment leasing due to the substantial long-term costs involved, often amounting to thousands of dollars for equipment valued at less than $500. Cancelling these lease agreements usually incurs significant fees. This situation is far from ideal, and we recommend exploring alternative options. We encourage businesses to refer to our list of the best merchant services providers for more suitable solutions.

Merchant Cooperative Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing Yes
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Independent Sales Agents

Merchant Cooperative appears to primarily utilize outbound telemarketing and commission-only sales representatives to market its products and services. This combination tends to generate a high number of complaints within the credit card processing industry, and Merchant Cooperative is no exception. We are able to locate numerous Merchant Cooperative reviews that report “slamming” tactics and undisclosed contract terms, particularly with regard to the company’s long-term credit card terminal leases through MBF Leasing and First Data Global Leasing. This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Incomplete Rates Removed

At the time of an earlier Merchant Cooperative review, the Merchant Cooperative rates page advertised rates that “start at 1.09% for Swiped Merchants and 1.79% for Keyed Merchants,” but it also stated that its rates and fees “depend on the type of business you have, whether you are swiping cards or keying cards, which card types you are accepting, and more.” The company was probably referring to “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualifieddowngrade fees which are charged on the majority of transactions. Businesses should heed the company’s words and expect an effective Merchant Cooperative rate that is much higher than 1.09% or 1.79%. If you suspect that Merchant Cooperative is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking an independent, third-party statement audit.

merchant cooperative rates
The current rates page on Merchant Cooperative’s website

Our Merchant Cooperative Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Merchant Cooperative holds a position as an average credit card processing provider. Since its inception, the company has managed a low-to-moderate rate of customer complaints, which is a relatively positive indicator given its operational history. However, it’s important to note that Merchant Cooperative is known for selling costly equipment leases, which can significantly increase the financial burden on businesses. These leases are coupled with contract terms that are typical for the industry, facilitated through their partnership with EVO.

Merchant Cooperative’s standing has been somewhat bolstered by an improvement in its Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. This elevation in status has positively influenced its grade, reflecting a potential shift towards better business practices and customer satisfaction. Despite this progress, there remains room for further improvement before Merchant Cooperative can be considered among the top-rated credit card processors. Businesses considering this provider should remain vigilant, examining all aspects of the contract and the total cost implications of any equipment leases. Doing so will ensure they are making an informed decision that aligns with their financial capabilities and business needs.

Location & Ownership

Merchant Cooperative is a registered ISO/MSP of Deutsche Bank Trust Company, New York, New York, and is headquartered at 115 Etiwan Drive, Goose Creek, South Carolina 29445. Christian Maurer is the president of Merchant Cooperative.

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Which is Most Important for You?

If you had to pick one, which quality would you say will be the most important with your next credit card processor? Tap or click your selection to register your vote:

  1. Low Transaction Fees
  2. No Monthly Fees
  3. No Contract
  4. Reliable Customer Support
  5. Quick Signup

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Merchant Cooperative Treat You?

3 User Reviews

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