Payscape (payscapeadvisors.com), formerly known as “PayScape Advisors,” 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.
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||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). These complaints have been filed less frequently in recent months, but the few that continue to trickle in still mention disclosure issues.
Payscape Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||$495|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$124.75 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
According to a company representative, the standard Payscape contract is a three-year agreement that will renew for a one-year term unless cancelled after the final 90 days but before the final 30 days of the initial 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.
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||25+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||N/A|
We were able to locate roughly 30 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 assign Payscape a “B-” in this category.
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Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||13|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||5|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||4|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is giving PayScape a “A+” rating based on 22 complaints filed within the last 36 months. Of the total complaints, 13 are regarding problems with products or services, five with billing and collection disputes, and four with advertising or sales issues. Ten of these complaints have been resolved with the assistance of the BBB, while the remaining complaints either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Given these figures, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B-.”
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About Phillip Parker
Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry. Schedule a Consultation with PhillipSchedule a Consultation with Phillip
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