Merchant e-Solutions Review

Merchant e-Solutions Overview

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A Cielo Company

Merchant e-Solutions is a merchant account provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that provides credit card processing services for most business needs, including global payments and e-commerce. The company’s website states that it was founded in early 2000 by a team of mostly former executives of Bank of America Merchant Services and has since been acquired by a Brazil-based merchant services provider called Cielo S.A. Additionally, Merchant e-Solutions claims to process over $17 billion in transactions annually and support 150 global currencies.

Headquarters and Ownership

Merchant e-Solutions, Inc. is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California, and Synovus Bank, Columbus, Georgia, with headquarters located at 3475 Lenox Rd NE, Suite 500, Atlanta, Georgia 30326 and its operations center located at 12825 E. Mirabeau Parkway Suite 101, Spokane, Washington 99216. Mike Rouse is the CEO of Merchant e-Solutions.

Merchant e-Solutions Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Merchant e-Solutions offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $300 or more.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchant e-Solutions has received more than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Merchant e-Solutions has an “A+” rating and has received 3 complaints in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2013.
  • Sales & Marketing: Merchant e-Solutions hires independent sales representatives and has received some complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant e-Solutions
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Cloud-based POS equipment
  • EMV acceptance
  • API integration for online stores
  • Payment tokenization
  • Mobile phone processing

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

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Merchant e-Solutions Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Qualified Rate 2.69% + $0.30
Mid-Qualified Rate 3.24% + $0.40
Non-Qualified Rate 4.64% + $0.40
American Express Rate 3.50% + $0.30
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Monthly Service Fee $30
Monthly Minimum Fee $20
Early Termination Fee $300+
PCI Compliance Fee $34.95 Per Year

Three-Year Contract

According to the company’s standard contract, terms and conditions, and the company’s pricing table found on its website, Merchant e-Solutions offers a typical agreement of 3 years with automatic renewal for one year, an early termination fee of $300, an annual PCI Compliance fee of $34.95, a $20 monthly minimum fee, a chargeback fee of $25, a qualified rate of 2.69% plus $0.30 per transaction, and an additional 1.95% plus $0.10 for Non-Qualified transactions. This pricing table is co-branded with PayPal, which could indicate that some of the listed fees are charged by PayPal rather than Merchant e-Solutions.

Merchant e-Solutions Pricing Table

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Merchant e-Solutions also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. However, pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Beware of Liquidated Damages

A separate document detailing the company’s terms and conditions (also available below) describes a liquidated damages early termination fee, which is calculated by taking “the greater of $300 or the product of (i) the average monthly Processing Fees over the most recent 6 months, and (ii) the number of months, including any pro rata portion of a month, then remaining in the Initial Term or any Renewal Term, as applicable. If the Merchant Agreement has been in place less than 6 months, the average monthly Processing Fees shall equal the average monthly fees (net of interchange and assessments) that Processor would have received based upon Merchant’s representations on its Application.”

Contract Complaints

We are also able to locate complaints and company rebuttals online that confirm this liquidated damages fee and some that mention an annual PCI Compliance fee of up to $69.95 with a $15-25 monthly minimum fee. These terms are less competitive than those offered by the cheapest merchant accounts, although the PCI Compliance fee is slightly lower than usual. We therefore award the company a “D” grade in this category.

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Response from Merchant e-Solutions

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Merchant e-Solutions Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Auto-Renewing Contract

Moderate Complaint Volume

We were able to locate a few negative Merchant e-Solutions reviews on this and other consumer protection websites that accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. The available merchant complaints mention the contract’s automatic renewal, the company’s unexpectedly large liquidated damages early termination fee, strange Amex charges for consumers, poor customer service, and fund holds. We are also able to locate over 10 complaints posted by current and former employees who express dissatisfaction with the work environment both before and after the company was acquired by Cielo S.A., but these issues will likely have little to no impact on merchants.

Merchant e-Solutions Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Merchant e-Solutions. 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 e-Solutions Customer Support Options

Merchant e-Solutions has seen its grade drop to a “C” in this section due to the complaints describing very large termination fees and a concerning number of fraudulent charge complaints. The company provides a dedicated 27/7/365 phone support line and email address on its website, but its support channels are not sufficient to qualify it as a top-rated processor for customer service.

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Response from Merchant e-Solutions

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Merchant e-Solutions BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 3
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Under 5 Complaints

The Merchant e-Solutions website lists the company’s Atlanta, Georgia location as its headquarters, but only its Spokane, Washington address has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau.The Spokane office received accreditation in 2013. As of this review, Merchant e-Solutions holds an “A+” rating with the BBB and has had 3 complaints filed within the last 36 months. All 3 complaints concerned problems with a product or service. The company successfully resolved 2 of those complaints while 1 was settled to the dissatisfaction of the merchant.

An Improved Rating

At the time of a previous review, the company had six complaints posted to its Spokane BBB profile. It is possible that with Merchant e-Solutions’s recent relocation of headquarters, some complaints were lost among the restructuring of BBB profiles. However, given the company’s current clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. Merchants should note, however, that there are good reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s rating system.

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Response from Merchant e-Solutions

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Outside Agents and Resellers

Merchant e-Solutions appears to rely on referrals and partnerships with ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. This marketing practice can often result in an elevated complaint rate, as it is difficult for any company to regulate the conduct of a network of independent sales entities. In this case, we have located a handful of Merchant e-Solutions complaints that mention undisclosed fees and contract terms, specifically with respect to the company’s automatic renewal clause.

No Deceptive Quotes

The company does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. However, the nature of its available complaints inclines us to award its sales team a “B” for now. If you suspect that you have had undisclosed fees added to your Merchant e-Solutions contract, we advise seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden charges.

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Response from Merchant e-Solutions

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Merchant e-Solutions Marketing Example

Merchant E-Solutions Logo

Our Opinion of Merchant e-Solutions

An Average Processor

Merchant e-Solutions rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating system. The company is showing a slightly lower complaint rate than is typically expected of a company of its size and time in business, but its contract terms lower its overall rating in this review. As always, merchants are advised to carefully examine the terms of any contract they are given and to consider opting for a top-rated credit card processor for the most competitive terms and rates.

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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 and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, 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 on this website.

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13 Reviews Leave Your Review for Merchant e-Solutions Below

  1. Leanne Fuchs says:

    So I called to get some information concerning my account and update my online account. I am the OWNER of the BUSINESS!!!! The representative told me that he could not help me because I was not the authorized person on the account. Again, I AM THE OWNER!!!!!!! I told the representative this again and he said it didn’t matter. I what land does it not matter that you ARE THE OWNER. So I had to contact the previous employee and have her tell them she no longer worked there and that I WAS THE OWNER. Then I finished this phone call and was told that I would be sent an email within minutes with a password reset so I could get to my account and information I needed. The email NEVER came through, so I called them again and they proceeded to tell my office manager that since they had no proof I was the owner that I would need to send a copy of the corporation’s taxes with my name on them to prove I am the OWNER!!! It’s laughable since, my sister, the previous office manager and who was the prior authorized person NEVER had to do any of this and she was allowed access to my accounts. Yet, I AM THE OWNER and was made to do all of these extra steps. I find it completely ludicrous their policies and actually not consistent with what was required of others.

  2. J Benoit says:

    merchant e-solutions is a financial trap to small businesses. They lock you in a 3-year contract with automatic annual renewals. If you want to cancel your contract they force you to submit a 90 notice then pay a $500 cancellation fee. The way they handle their business is completely unfair to the small business person. I highly recommend you find another source to accept credit card payments. These thieves will take all they can from you.

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

    – Phillip

  3. Business Owner says:

    Listen to the other reviewers ~ they will not let you leave without reaming you for extra fees!!
    I was with Merchant e-solutions for 13 years. They are continuing to charge me $15 month “until the end of my contract” (13 years isn’t long enough???).
    Regarding service, God forbid your credit card machine goes down. You’ll be on hold forevvvverrrrr waiting for help, especially if you call on the weekend.

    ***Horrible all around company! Steer clear!!!

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

    – Phillip

  4. Anne Cornelius says:

    My rep had been pressuring me to sign a new contract for some reduced fees. Meanwhile, I got a proposal from another vendor that did not require a contract. And the fees were less. After being with merchant e-solutions for 8 years, I told them I wanted to cancel. The first person I spoke with said he would make it effective that day. No problem. Then my rep called and said there would be early termination fees, because I am in the middle of an automatic renewal contract! This after 8 years with them! I am waiting for a supervisor to address this now. Meanwhile, beware of this company. Very unprofessional and unscrupulous.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

  5. Sharie Thomas says:

    This is the type of company that would scam a small nonprofit organization. They conned us into believing that their credit card swipe device would be compatible with our current device. It is not. We are paying money each month for a product that we’re unable to use. Not to mention that we were never told about a 3 year contract that somehow we’re tied into. This company is disgusting.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Best Merchant Accounts for Non-Profits

  6. Cliffhanger says:

    These guys are crooks, they never say one word to you about the automatic renewal of the contract after you have honestly fulfilled your 3 year commitment with them . This is bad business and I wish every pissed off business owner could find this website and hammer them, that is the only way Merchant-e-solutions will ever stop doing this to people. I have a feeling now that they have been open for over 3 years we will see a lot more of these reviews, and then they will close doors and open under another name.

  7. Dave Maxfield says:

    This company is a compete total SCAM and Crooks.
    They charge you like 25 hidden fees per Month, on top of the 2.95% per sale that you pay them to process your payments. I am not KIDDING YOU, they charge you like 25 hidden fees per Month, which can easily add up to 10% of your Sales.

    AVOID them like Plague.
    They are bunch of Criminals :(

  8. Dave Powell says:

    Service is terrible. On hold for almost 5 minutes. A long time when customers are waiting. I have had approval numbers on slip and they would still delay batching money to our bank. One of their managers personally promised me a credit to my account which she admitted was their mistake. Still have not seen that credit. We are getting ready to change soon.

  9. Linda Krasinski says:

    Horrible customer service. Takes weeks and months for someone to get back to you.

  10. Justice says:

    This company is a crook. I just called them to cancel and they said it would cost of $4,000.00 because of liquidated damages, which they use last 6 months processing revenue against the remainder of the contract. :( What a rip off to force merchants to stay when they are not happy.

  11. JJ Winters says:

    Predators who take advantage of small businesses who are loyal to them. Auto renew their contracts and charge staggering fees to terminate. Find another payment processor!!

  12. stan hampton says:

    Charge my Amex card $3667.00 and I do no business with them at all. Total scam.

  13. Tobacco stop says:

    This is the most worst company out there to do your processing
    This company shut down my prosseseng with a 5 minute notice and are holding $183,000.00 dollars of mine.
    This company will put your business out of business. There team are liars they charge high rates and still don’t pay you
    I think the company should go under investigation and the CEO should be behind bars.

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