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Merchant Services USA Review
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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
|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
|Product & Service Complaints||0|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||0|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||0|
|Guarantee & Warranty 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
|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)|
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.
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?
|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.
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