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Update 3/4/2019: The PaymentMax website is currently unavailable, and we are unable to determine how long it has been down. We cannot find any evidence that the company has gone out of business or changed its name, so we will assume for the time being that this is a temporary outage. If you have any information about the current status of PaymentMax, please share it in the comment section below this review.
A First Data Reseller
Founded in 2004, PaymentMax (paymentmax.com) is a small to mid-size merchant services provider. The company’s website states that PaymentMax is “powered” by First Data, which means that PaymentMax either is a reseller of First Data merchant accounts or relies on First Data for its e-commerce merchant services.
Multiple California Locations
PaymentMax is headquartered in Thousand Oaks at P.O box 3847, California 91359, with an additional listed address found at 600 Hampshire Road #120, Westlake Village, California 91361. PaymentMax states that it is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, California. Tony Shap is the founder and CEO of PaymentMax.
PaymentMax Review Table of Contents
- Sales & Marketing: PaymentMax does not appear to rely on independent sales agents but has received some complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: PaymentMax appears to offer a multi-year contract that may include a variable early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: PaymentMax has received more than 15 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: PaymentMax has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received zero complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With PaymentMax
PaymentMax Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||15+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Poor Service|
PaymentMax Customer Support Options
PaymentMax appears to offer support only via e-mail. Perhaps as a result of this policy, the predominant theme among complainants is an inability to reach a sales or customer service representative in a timely fashion, which often results in additional problems for the merchant. Some merchants report never actually establishing an account with or using the services of PaymentMax, yet still being charged as if they had.
Low Complaint Total
Strangely, there are very few PaymentMax reviews on other consumer protection websites, but the comment section of this review has been fairly active with complaints. One complaint compares PaymentMax’s customer support unfavorably to that of Square, which provides virtually no customer support. This supports our decision not to include PaymentMax in our list of the best-rated merchant accounts for customer support. Overall, it appears that PaymentMax does not make itself readily available to many of its clients.
PaymentMax 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
As of this review, PaymentMax has an “A+” with the Better Business Bureau is not an accredited business of the BBB. The company has not received any complaints in the past three years. It also has not received any informal reviews.
An “A” Performance Overall
We will not adjust the BBB’s rating at this time. Merchants should be aware, however, that there are reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s ratings in general.
PaymentMax Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$149|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
Variable Contract Terms
Because PaymentMax is “powered” by First Data, it is likely that the standard PaymentMax contract is similar to the standard First Data contract. Complainants have reported a discrepancy between the rates and fees they agree to pay and those they are actually charged, and the minimal live customer support at PaymentMax seems to be ineffective at resolving these complaints in a timely fashion. As a result, there is a lot of mixed and outdated information available about possible contract terms offered by PaymentMax.
Possible PCI Compliance Fee
One complaint mentions a $149 PCI compliance service that PaymentMax describes as “optional”; the merchant in this case opted out and was charged for the service anyway. Because of this and other incidents, we award PaymentMax an average score of “C” in this section. We do not expect the company’s standard pricing to compete with the cheapest merchant accounts. If you have any knowledge about PaymentMax’s contract terms, please leave that information in the comment section below.
PaymentMax Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||Yes|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Primary Contact Via Email
PaymentMax appears to market itself primarily through its website. Three complaints in the comment section of this review report that the company’s sales agents prefer to communicate with merchants exclusively through email, which is uncommon for the industry. Merchants usually cite misrepresentation or nondisclosure of contract terms in these complaints, although the use of email might provide both merchants and agents with concrete evidence of which terms were disclosed and which were not. The company’s unorthodox communication preferences seem to cause some irritation among merchants who would prefer to speak to live agents.
Incomplete Rate Quotes
As of this update, the PaymentMax homepage quotes a qualified swipe rate of “1.59% + 20¢” and a qualified keyed-in rate of “1.99% + 20¢.” These rates are contrasted with competitors’ rates of “2.9% + 30¢.” However, PaymentMax is only listing its qualified rates for comparison and is not including its mid-qualified and non-qualified rates. We consider this rate-quoting tactic to be deceptive because it could give merchants an unrealistic expectation of the rates they will pay.
History of Fake Testimonials
There is some evidence that PaymentMax was at one point (and may still be) paying people on Fiverr.com to leave positive reviews of the company on consumer protection websites. We have lowered PaymentMax’s rating in this section based on this evidence, and we advise merchants to take this information into account when researching PaymentMax online.
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