|Sales & Marketing|
|Costs & Contract|
|Complaints & Service|
PayScape Advisors (payscapeadvisors.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company is a reseller of First American Payment Systems contracts. According to a company representative, PayScape was founded in 2004. PayScape is a registered ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio, and is headquartered at 729 Lambert Dr., Atlanta, Georgia 30324. Adam Bloomston and Jeremy Wing serve as the company’s co-CEOs.
|PayScape Advisors Products and Services||Industries Served|
|Key Points – Sales & Marketing|
|Uses independent resellers?||No|
|Promotes deceptive rate quotes?||No|
|Discloses all important terms?||No|
PayScape appears to primarily utilize telemarketing, email campaigns, and outside account managers to market its services. As of this update, it is unclear whether PayScape employs independent sales agents, but the company does appear to have outside sales teams at numerous offices across the country. Generally speaking, W2-employed sales teams receive higher compensation and more training than independently contracted agents, resulting in fewer merchant complaints. In the case of PayScape, the company’s sales team appears to receive more complaints than is typical of an in-house staff. Multiple complainants cite nondisclosure of contract terms, misrepresentation of rates, and agent unavailability (sometimes due to the agent no longer being employed with PayScape without the merchant’s knowledge).
As of this update, the PayScape Advisors website advertises that the company has an “A+” rating with the BBB. In fact, PayScape currently has a BBB rating of “B” and only had an “A” at the time of our last review. For the purposes of this review, we will favorably assume that the website is simply outdated rather than intentionally deceptive. Even so, merchants should be sure to double-check the company’s BBB rating.
PayScape Advisors Marketing Example
|Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms|
|PCI compliance fee:||$124.75/year|
According to a company representative, the standard PayScape contract is a three-year agreement that, if not cancelled after the final 90 days but before the final 30 days of the initial term, will renew for a one-year term. The contract also includes a cancellation fee of $495 ($595 total if the merchant signs up for Secur-Chex check conversion) and an annual PCI compliance fee of $124.75. Both of these fees are higher than the industry average, and many merchants report receiving less competitive transaction rates than they were initially promised. Many complainants also report surprise upon being notified of the high cancellation fee, which indicates that it isn’t typically mentioned at the point of signing. A company representative also stated that merchants may choose between an annual fee or monthly minimum fees depending on a merchant’s size. Merchants are advised to read their contracts carefully and to keep in mind that many contract terms are often negotiable.
|Key Points – Complaints & Service|
|Live customer support?||Yes|
|Most common complaint:||N/A|
We were able to locate roughly 28 negative PayScape reviews on this website and other consumer protection websites. Some of these complaints seem to have been posted by competitors; these have been disregarded for the purposes of our review. Common themes among legitimate complainants include nondisclosure of contract terms, difficulty reaching a representative, hidden fees, and difficulty cancelling service. Approximately one-third of these reviews received a response or rebuttal from a company representative, and in a handful of these cases, merchants returned to explain that they were satisfied with the company’s reaction. Although this is an encouraging sign, it is our belief that a proactive and available customer service team will address these complaints effectively before they are taken public. In addition, it appears as though many of these complaints were filed in the last 12-24 months. The consistency of these complaints inclines us to award PayScape a “B-” in this category.
|Key Points – BBB Report|
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is giving PayScape a “B” rating based on eighteen complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total complaints, ten are regarding problems with products or services, five with billing and collection disputes, and three with advertising or sales issues. Sixteen of these complaints have been resolved with the assistance of the BBB, but two were not resolved to the merchant’s satisfaction despite what the BBB deems a good-faith effort by PayScape. Given these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B-.” For more on why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score
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This review was originally published on 6/28/11 and was last updated on 2/11/15.
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