Merchant Services USA Review

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Merchant Services USA Rating
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Note: As of July 2021, the Merchant Services USA site is no longer functioning. With no activity on their Better Business Bureau profile and no web presence, it is possible that the company has gone out of business or been fully absorbed into Paysafe. We will monitor and update as we receive more information.

Headquartered in Phoenix

Founded in 1997, Merchant Services USA is a merchant account provider that serves most standard-risk business types in the United States. The company appears to be a reseller of Paysafe (formerly iPayment) products and services.

Since Merchants’ Choice has recently been absorbed into Paysafe, it is unclear at this time whether Merchant Services USA will resell Paysafe’s services or begin a new partnership with another payment processor. Previously, Larry Malinish was previously listed as a managing member of Merchant Services USA. According to the BBB, the company is located at 24 W Camelback Rd A625 Phoenix, AZ 85013. Larry Malinish is now listed on the BBB as the company’s owner, while the Better Business Bureau lists Cindy Flores as the company’s DOO.

Merchant Services USA Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Merchant Services USA appears to offer a three-year contract through Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions with an early termination fee of $495.
  • Complaints & Service: Merchant Services USA has received more than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Merchant Services USA has an “A+” rating and has received no complaints in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2017.
  • Sales & Marketing: Merchant Services USA appears to hire independently contracted agents and has received some complaints about its sales team.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Merchant Services USA

Merchant Services USA Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Item Result
Total Online Complaints 10+
Live Customer Support Unknown
Most Common Complaint Hidden Fees

Low Complaint Total

We are currently able to locate approximately ten negative Merchant Services USA reviews, some of which describe the company as a ripoff and a scam. Common complaints include misrepresentation of the company’s contract terms, nondisclosure of fees, and poor customer service. Multiple merchants claim that the company’s sales agents provide only part of the contract at the point of signing, while the remainder of the contract (which includes information about contract length and cancellation) is physically shipped to them at a later date. The company appears to offer refunds in some of these cases.

Merchant Services USA Lawsuits

Another company by the name of JST Merchant Services also operates out of the building at 5727 N. 7th Street in Phoenix, Arizona, but it utilizes suite #401 rather than #201. In 2013, JST Merchant Services was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Attorney General alleging that the company “targeted mainly elderly consumers in a ‘work from home’ business opportunity scam.” The suit specifically states that JST and its affiliated companies “worked together to defraud consumers of millions of dollars while selling them programs that the defendants claimed would result in consumers earning lucrative commissions, advertising the defendants’ credit card processing services and cash advances to businesses. Consumers spent thousands of dollars on the defendants’ ‘business opportunity’, including expensive marketing campaigns, after being promised substantial commissions that never materialized.”

Larry Malinish and Joseph Montella were not named as defendants in this lawsuit, nor is Merchant Services USA included in the list of involved businesses. However, we have found this complaint that explicitly names Larry Malinish as the owner of JST Merchant Services and lists Joe Montella as another person directly connected to the company. In addition, this page identifies Larry Malinish as the owner of JST Merchant Services and Joe Montella as the general manager of JST Merchant Services. The CorporationWiki profiles for Larry Malinish and Joe Montella also show that they work at JST Merchant Services. Considering the fact that the two companies operate out of the same building, these sources suggest that there may be some connection between Merchant Services USA and JST Merchant Services. Larry Malinish and Joe Montella also seem to be partners in a mailing list brokers venture called Strictly Business Data.

Merchant Services USA Customer Support Options

Merchant Services USA lists a phone number on its website, but it’s unclear whether this is a full-service support line or simply a sales line. It does not appear to meet our standard for the top-rated credit card processors for customer support.

Merchant Services USA Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
Item Result
Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Clean Complaint Record

Merchant Services USA has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since September 2017 and currently has an “A+” rating with the BBB. The company has received 0 complaints in the past 36 months.

An Improved Record

At the time of a previous review, Merchant Services USA had 1 complaint filed on its BBB profile. In accordance with BBB policy, the complaint was cleared after 36 months and no new complaints have been filed since. Given the company’s overall complaint total and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. Furthermore, it is our website’s policy to award companies with a clean complaint record an “A” rating.

Merchant Services USA Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Item Result
Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Annual Fee $79 Per Year
Monthly Service Fee $9 Per Month
Customer Service Fee $79 Per Year
Data Protection Fee $16.95 Per Month
Early Termination Fee $495
PCI Compliance Fee Undisclosed
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Three-Year Contract

According to merchant complaints, the standard Merchant Services USA contract is a three-year agreement through Paysafe with a one-year automatic renewal, an early termination fee of $495, a $79 annual fee, a $9 monthly service fee, and tiered pricing. Merchants also cite a number of other, lesser fees that may not apply to all accounts. It is unclear whether Merchant Services USA leases or sells credit card processing equipment to its merchants, but several credit card terminals are advertised on the company’s website. However, a typical contract with Paysafe includes a long term non-cancellable equipment lease.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

Though Paysafe certainly provides virtual terminal and payment gateway services to merchants, no mention of any e-commerce platforms is apparent on the Merchant Services USA website. It is unclear what the company offers with respect to a payment gateway.

Industry-Average Pricing

The complaints about Merchant Services USA’s pricing are consistent with those filed beneath our review of Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions, and they describe a standard pricing structure that is slightly more expensive than industry averages. We do not consider Merchant Services USA to be competitive with the cheapest merchant accounts, and we have accordingly assigned Merchant Services USA a “C” rating in this category. If you have any specific knowledge of the standard Merchant Services USA contract (including any PCI compliance fees or monthly minimum fees), please share that information in the comment section below this review.

Merchant Services USA Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Item Result
Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Some Sales Complaints

Merchant Services USA appears to primarily utilize telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents to market its products and services. The combination of telemarketing and independent agents is commonly linked to elevated complaint rates within the credit card processing industry, and Merchant Services USA appears to be no exception. We have located multiple Merchant Services USA complaints that accuse the company of excessive, persistent sales calls as well as allegations of incomplete disclosure by sales agents.

Other Named Companies

It should be noted that other companies such as “Merchant Care” and Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions are also named in these complaints, so it is possible that the complainants are confused about which company has wronged them. However, the common threads among complaints appear to be nondisclosure of contract length, hidden fees, and higher-than-quoted rates. These reports have lowered the company’s rating to an average score of “C” in this section. If you suspect that Merchant Services USA is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate those costs.

Our Merchant Services USA Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

An Average Processor for Most Merchants

Merchant Services USA rates as an average merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company is showing a low-to-moderate number of complaints for its size, and it appears to offer fairly standard contract terms. It does not qualify as a top-rated merchant account at this time. Our rating may be subject to change once we have a better understanding the exact links between Merchant Services USA and JST Merchant Services.

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Your Comments & Reviews

How Did Merchant Services USA Treat You?

2 Responses

  • Carol Sele

    All the same happened to me as Rachel Chastenut. When I “had” to renew last time, I told them I needed to be notified when the three years was up and they agreed to that. Well, they didn’t and two months ago they rolled over my renewal and now it’s 2.5 months later and I tried to cancel. they said they were not set up to contact customers regarding renewals. I said you lied during our last conversation.

    They kept going on and on about the contract as if i didn’t know what a contract was. Yes, I still have the contract and yes I know how to read one. But I am a very busy business owner and requested one email.

    They have canned answers and of course no manager available. They would rather screw people, single woman business owners, etc., and bully them into 3 more years. It IS unethical. I told her I was going to the better business bureau. And she asked me if i wanted to talk to their legal “team”. They are snake oil saleswomen and no exactly how to shut people down to have them comply.

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


  • Rachel Chastanet

    I signed what I was told was a three year contract 9/28/2011 and did my best to wade through 3 pages of tiny tiny print of the contract which was faxed to me, but it is terribly difficult to read tiny print on a fax and the ONLY part I actually needed to read was hidden near the bottom of the second page. I trusted the salesman when he said I could cancel after three years, but he left out the part about needing to cancel in writing 30 days prior to the AUTOMATIC renewal date to prevent another 3 year obligation or a fee of (months left on contract x average monthly charges) or $495 (whichever is greater). Automatically renewing me for 3 full years without notifying me prior the automatic renewal seems criminal to me! When I tried to cancel, it took 4 phone calls to finally get an explanation of how I was still under contract and what the fee was, and involved leaving several messages and a lot of time on hold. I pay an annual $79 customer service fee, but have always had terrible customer service. I wish I had done my research better and never used this company, but, nowhere on my original paperwork was Merchant Services USA listed, so it would have been difficult for me to research them. The contract lists the bank involved as Woodforest National Bank and the sales rep was Adam Flanagan with Merchant’s Choice and no other company. Merchant Services USA is also not listed on my monthly statement, although I pay “Merchant Foundry” 12.95 not listed on my original contract. The reason I was trying to cancel was a new “Data Protection Fee” of 16.95 a month. It seems that when the monthly fees are randomly added that I should be able to cancel without penalty, since these fees were not in the contract.

    Are you with Merchant Services USA? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

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