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Merchant Industry Review

Overview

Merchant Industry, LLC (merchantindustry.com), is a merchant account provider founded in 2007 that specializes in providing credit card processing and debit card processing services to small businesses within the United States. The company also appears to do business under the name “National E-Payment, Inc.” and possibly resells the merchant services of First Data. Merchant Industry LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of First National Bank of Omaha of Omaha, NE and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. of Walnut Creek, California, with corporate offices located at 36-36 33rd St., Suite 306, Long Island City, New York, 11106. Leo Vartanov is the founder and CEO of Merchant Industry.

Key Points

  • Sales & Marketing: Merchant Industry appears to hire independently contracted agents and has received more than a dozen complaints about its sales team.
  • Costs & Contract: Merchant Industry offers a three-year contract through First Data that includes a liquidated damages early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchant Industry has received more than 25 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Merchant Industry has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 23 complaints in the past three years.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant Industry

Merchant Industry Products and Services

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Merchant cash advance
  • Gift and loyalty programs
  • ATM placement
  • QuickBooks integration
  • POS equipment

Industries

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • High risk

Response from Merchant Industry

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Sales & Marketing

Key Points - Sales & Marketing

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

Merchant Industry appears to rely on numerous sub-ISOs and independent sales agents to market its services. There is evidence that the company operates under multiple business names and allows its resellers to use the Merchant Industry name at their various locations, which appears to cause some merchant confusion. We are currently able to locate numerous Merchant Industry negative reviews that describe nondisclosure and misrepresentation by the company’s sales agents, higher fees than were agreed to upon signup, and failure by the company’s sales team to deliver on promises made at the point of signing. One major issue appears to be multiple agents claiming to pay a merchant’s early termination fees and cancel their account with their existing processor if they switch over to Merchant Industry. In many cases, these agents do not follow through on either guarantee, leaving their clients subject to continuing monthly payments and the full early termination fee upon cancellation.

The Merchant Industry website includes multiple tables and charts advertising various rates and fees. In all cases, the company’s “Qualified” rate is prominently shown, while its “Non-Qualified” surcharge is accompanied by the claim that “most clients do not experience these fees.” This is not true, and we consider this type of rate quoting to be deceptive because it may lead merchants to have unrealistic expectations of the rates they will pay. In addition, Merchant Industry lists many types of fees common to the industry and claims that while it’s average for merchant services providers to charge all of these fees, Merchant Industry does not charge them (or charges them at a reduced price). The company does not mention several other large, common fees that it does charge, such as PCI compliance fees and early termination fees.

Overall, it is our opinion that the company’s rate and fee quotes are deceptively presented, and there are multiple merchant complaints supporting this interpretation.

Response from Merchant Industry

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Costs & Contract

Key Points - Costs & Contract

Swiped Rate Variable
Keyed-in Rate Variable
Early Termination Fee $395+
PCI Compliance Fee $79.99 Per Year
Equipment Lease Terms Variable

The standard Merchant Industry contract (available below) is a three-year agreement through First Data with an early termination fee of $395 or liquidated damages (whichever is greater), a PCI Compliance fee of $79.99 per year, PCI non-compliance fees of $19.95 per month, an annual fee of $99.95, a $9.95 statement fee, and a monthly minimum fee of $25. The company also provides equipment leases that may carry their own terms and fees. As of this update, there are numerous merchant complaints filed against Merchant Industry and its subsidiaries that express frustration with the company’s undisclosed costs, specifically its early termination fees and PCI Compliance fees. The company appears to enforce these charges even when they may have been deceptively presented by sales agents. Although these expenses are higher than industry averages, the company might not score so poorly in this section if these costs were more consistently disclosed to merchants upon signup. See the Merchant Industry Merchant Agreement.

Response from Merchant Industry

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Complaints & Service

Key Points - Complaints & Service

Total Online Complaints 25+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics

We are currently able to locate over 25 negative Merchant Industry reviews, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Common complaints include deceptive sales practices, excessive billing, no follow-through on verbal agreements, difficulty cancelling service, poor customer support, and expensive hidden fees. Merchant Industry has responded to some of these complaints with different solutions, sometimes offering a partial or full refund and other times insisting that the merchant is bound by his or her contract terms. Since the company appears to have a serious issue with misrepresentation by its sales agents, it does not seem helpful or especially fair to hold merchants to these contract terms.

Merchant Industry does appear to respond effectively to publicly posted complaints about excessive or repeat billing, which is probably only a small consolation to merchants who have had to go public with these issues in the first place. Additionally, we have located some positive testimonials about Merchant Industry’s service, but these posts are of unconfirmed legitimacy.

Response from Merchant Industry

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BBB

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 6
Billing & Collection Complaints 16
Advertising & Sales Complaints 1
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

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.

As of this review, Merchant Industry holds an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has had 22 complaints filed within the last 36 months. The company has been accredited since May 5, 2015. Merchant Industry’s alternate business name of National e-Payment also has a BBB page, which currently shows a “A+” rating as a result of just one complaint in the last three years. We will combine these reports for the sake of simplicity. Of the total complaints, six are due to problems with products and services, 16 have to do with billing and collection disputes, and one is due to an advertising or sales issue. Merchant Industry has successfully resolved six of the complaints, while the remaining 17 complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final response from the complainant. In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”

Response from Merchant Industry

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Merchant Industry Logo

Merchant Industry Bottom Line

Merchant Industry rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to all available information. Merchants are reporting a consistent pattern of deceptive practices from the company’s sales agents, and the company’s contract terms are more expensive than industry averages. These issues have resulted in the company receiving a moderate-to-high complaint rate for its size and time in business, and the company’s public responses to these complaints have not demonstrated any serious commitment to customer service.

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

14 Reviews Leave Your Review for Merchant Industry Below

  1. Run from this business! I’ve attempted to resolve issue’s for months for our e-commerce business without any success. Good luck trying to communicate with them as well. You can email them on every issue and beg for a response and you still get ZERO response. I was sent to them by a third party and and now I’m looking at switching because these guys simply don’t care! Sean Puri sent me a new contract back in March 2018 stating new rates and just sign. We signed and we are still being charged the old rates even as of this writing. When asked about our rates Paul informed me that Sean didn’t have us sign the correct documents so he did send them.They put our parent companies name on the credit card report so now I’ve been flooded with customers calling stating they didn’t purchase anything from that company. This has also led to three charge-backs at $35. per charge which is totally their fault however they seem unable to make this change which I’ve asked since March/April 2018 time frame.
    I’ve dealt with Nafisa Sanchez, Paul Kanevsky and Sean Puri and all three don’t seem to care about fixing it.
    SO IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A CREDIT CARD PROCESSOR RUN FROM THIS COMPANY! I’d say that one could accuse them of being a scam or ripoff as your under contract for one rate however they charge you another.
    I’ve given them sufficient time frame to fix their mistakes and even just yesterday I asked them for feedback on the over charges on our invoice which I sent to the three names above and as of this writing NONE of the three even cared to state they received my email.
    I’m even moving towards talking with my attorney on this issue about them as we’re now talking about a decent amount of cash in fee’s they really owe me for overbilling.
    If I could give zero star rating I would have. Just look at all the other people who have given them exceptionally bad reviews. You think they have a problem!

  2. I am so glad I found this page. I made a mistake and called this company thinking I was calling my bank BB&T. I was trying to return a machine that was sent to me by my bank. The sales Rep deceived me into thinking I was talking with BB&T. He asked for my merchant number and when he realized that it was not their service he switched my Merchant number to their companie’s service, Instead of telling me that I had called them by mistake. He then asked me to return the bb&t Merchant Service machine to them, now they are saying they do not have the machine. I have contacted the CEO of their company and a lawyer in NYC. I have put together a case along with recordings of the deception. They did not tell me that they have a 30-90 day cancellation policy. They also tried to get me to cancel with BB&T and promised to pay the cancellation fees. I am very disappointed and cannot believe that this is happening. I am going to fight to see how far I can go to stop this from happening to anyone else. Is there a class action suit out there on these people? I am being threatened by them to pay $750.00 cancellation Fees.The sales Representative is Spencer and the Manager is Paul.

    1. Its June 2018 , called to get credit card machine download to use their company in January 2018.
      All they have managed to do is lie about the services ai would get and the cost.
      They downlaided the machine finally in May , but did not include the EBT account which is why I really needed this anyway . Then said my machine wouldnt work ( its brand new) but they never tried to redownload . They then said I needed to by a machine and the cost added up to almost 2000.00 for a (200.00 machine).
      I was like I Am not buying a machine .
      I asked to just cancel and forget it , Then I was told it would cost 700.00 early termination fee , FOR WHAT YOU DID NOT PROVIDE ME WITH THE SERVICE . However they did deduct 34.98 x 6 months for inactivity fee , which the Account Manager said specifically that the only charges i would have was when i swiped a card, so he lied from day one. Inactivity fee , that is ridiculous when I could not use the machine . I lost that money , the money Inpaid fir the machine , as well as the business just from EBT alone , approximately 1200.00 more dollars .
      I have called called and called , no reply .
      The time someone answered warned me this conversation is being recorded, ok good then pull all the conversations I had with Craig , help desk and finially Morgan the retention specialist. She was going to help me get it all straight , That was going on 2 weeks ago , and she hasn’t returned any of my calls.
      I am done with these people .
      Horrible , the way they took advantage of me and my company.

  3. DO NOT do business with this company. They are literally white collar criminals: Sean Puri and Bill Grey are unethical and have zero customer service skills.

  4. stay away from this company it is the worst I’ve known. if you have a small business they do not help you grow. i canceled my account but they still charging even without activity, when I called they told me that since the day i canceled it takes a month to make the cancellation effective but in the meantime they still charge you.

    1. Maria is correct! This company is a total scam! The salesperson misrepresented the program and when I talked to the supervisor she just said “that is in the past”.
      They are criminals.

  5. I was promised a one year contract with this new service, Terence Gumbs was my account manager and did a very poor job at that. I would leave several messages for him and never would get a response. Would finally have to call someone else to get my issues taken care of. Because of his lack of duty with this company they lost our credit card processing services and then have decided that they will charge me the 300 early termination, even after he assured me multiple times that we only had a 1 year contract with them. Once i was digging around tryin to find out when my one year contract was up, the date they gave me was a month later than when I actually signed the paperwork. I was just fed up with them and ready to do business with someone I know i can trust and will take care of me. so very disguisted with this company really from day 1. They hit me with an early termination fee yet they still dont show that i have cancelled my acct. REALLY???

  6. Merchant Industry really came through for me when I needed them the most. I am a start up business owner and I needed to get all of my accounting in order as well as be able to process credit cards. I called and they provided a free credit card terminal and have the best service including cash advance if we need it. I was blown away; it just doesn’t get any better than this. It has been a great help.

    1. Jessie (or Justin Clark according to you email address),

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

  7. Merchant Industry as well as ” Statewide Merchant” “Bank card” is the one takes your money from your bank account. they get you confused there. They gave me a contract of $39.00 dollars a month plus .3 visa and other card charges. I did around $780.00 on a credit card transaction and got a $195.00 fee!!!!
    then They never paid the first company which charged me early termination fee and e maid me they can only pay $25.00 per a month . I canceled them and so far they took $250 and another $200.00 dollars out of my bank.
    I kept all the e-mails and looking to find the way give them back the stress and get my hard working money back.
    they are just a big scam even 100 dollars from one person think 20,000,000 people fall in to their trap. that is a lot of money which they earn with dishonesty. Some one will sue them big in future.

  8. I needed to accept credit cards for my business and I wasn’t sure which equipment would be best for me. I called Merchant Industry in New York and they couldn’t have been more helpful. We discussed my business and what would save me the most amount of money. After comparing rates and fees with other providers, it was a no brainer. These guys are hands down the best that I found and I still use them today. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  9. Absolute worst merchant card processing company I have had the unfortunate misfortune to deal with. Promised a lot of really great deals. Guaranteed a savings of $150 a month over my then current company. In actuality it cost me $150-$200 more per month. Promised free debit machine tape. Yes, after calling three different people I finally got the paper 4 weeks later and a whole 5 rolls of paper. I would have to call every 2 days in order to keep us in free paper. It was impossible to reach my rep. I left several messages regarding what I thought were overcharges. I never got a call back from my rep. I finally spoke with a different rep who did indeed acknowledge I had been overcharged. Promised to look at my account in more detail and call be back the next day. She never called me back and I have yet to see the credit. I was guaranteed next day batch deposits. However all deposits hit my account 2 to 3 days after I closed the batch. They then started charging extra fees. I had enough and began the process of severing the contract. I gave them their 10 day notice in writing. I closed my account in October and received an automatic deduction out of my account for $780 in early November as a one time cancellation fee. I again received another automatic deduction for $58.49 in December. I have since refused that ACH charge and am taking steps ensure they can not continue to take money from the account. I have read from others in my same position the only way to stop this from happening is to close my checking account. These guys are the worst and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND anyone looking to do business with these guys to think twice and say NO.

    1. how you find the solution at the end? will they refund you the termination fee since they did not honor what the promised you from the contract? I have the same issues with this company, they promised a lot of things and signed the contract, they keep overcharged me every month, they said I have saved more than $150 every month if I switched to them but ended up I paying even more than what I was paying. They are just scam

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