Several Merchant Complaints
We have found a moderate-to-high number of negative North American Bancard reviews, many of which are filed on Ripoff Report and in the comment section of this review. The company appears to make some effort to respond to and resolve public complaints; however, North American Bancard would fare much better in this review if it did a better job of preventing the problems that are causing the complaints in the first place.
Common Complaint Themes
Many of the complainants report difficulty resolving problems and minimal cooperation from North American Bancard prior to filing a public report. The most commonly reported problems are agents using deceptive sales tactics, hidden and surprise fees, sudden rises in fees shortly after service begins, non-disclosure of the service length agreement, and the cost of the early termination fee. Nearly all of these problems can be traced back to agents who fail to verbally disclose important terms of the contract. These agents are either unaware of the terms or rely on merchants to read the fine print prior to account setup; however, we hold providers responsible for their agents’ actions since the provider enforces the terms and conditions of the contract and sets the policies by which agents can sell their services.
North American Bancard Lawsuits
In September 2002, the State of Arizona filed a complaint against a merchant that processed through North American Bancard, a Nevada corporation called CP Direct, Inc., alleging violations of the Arizona Racketeering Act. CP Direct ultimately admitted to defrauding tens of thousands of customers by falsely advertising penis enlargement supplements. As a result, the company was ordered to pay restitution of more than $4 million and to forfeit assets totaling over $45 million. In May 2004, the receiver for CP Direct, Lawrence J. Warfield, filed suit against Marc Gardner of North American Bancard alleging violations under the RICO Act, conversion, and unjust enrichment.
Specifically, Warfield’s complaint alleged that Global Payments, the backend processor for North American Bancard, placed CP Direct on its watch list in under a year of processing due to an excessive rate of chargebacks. The complaint further alleges that as a result of this, North American Bancard advised CP Direct to create a new company and reapply for processing under the untarnished name. According to Warfield, CP Direct continued to accept its customers’ credit card payments under the fictitious and fraudulently maintained name of “Nutritional Supplements, Inc.” at the direction of North American Bancard. Warfield further claimed that CP Direct was ordered to pay a monthly consulting fee of $250,000 (plus bonuses of $50,000 for each million dollars over $8 million in monthly sales) directly to Marc Gardner as a condition of North American Bancard processing payments for the company. According to Warfield’s complaint, these payments totaled over $700,000. In July 2006, Marc Gardner was scheduled to be deposed in the case, but Marc Gardner’s counsel terminated his deposition immediately after he was sworn in.
Unfortunately, we are unable to locate any third-party sources or legal documents that explain how this suit was ultimately resolved. However, the parties were known to have reached a settlement amount in April 2006. It is therefore likely that the suit was settled. If you have any knowledge of how this case was resolved, please share that information in the comment section below this review. North American Bancard is also involved in an ongoing class action lawsuit, as discussed below.
In 2016, a number of suits were brought against North American Bancard regarding alleged illegal contacting of numerous parties by phone and fax. Allegedly, North American Bancard violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 by autodialing phone numbers and sending out advertising faxes without consent of the receiver. Many of these suits have reached settlement, including a recent $2.2 million settlement over faxes to a Chicago chiropractor and others.
In April 2020, former employee Teresa Harwood filed suit against Marc Gardner of North American Bancard, alleging that Gardner had created an environment of sexism at the company that was hostile to women. The suit seems to be ongoing at the moment of this writing.
North American Bancard Customer Support Options
North American Bancard offers phone and email customer support to all of its merchants and may also provide support for its subsidiaries’ merchant accounts. These channels are evidently significantly lacking when compared to top merchant account providers for great customer service.