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Performance Merchant Alliance Review
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UPDATE 1/16/2019: The Performance Merchant Alliance website has not been active since December 2018. The company appears to have fully transitioned to its new brand name of Freedom Card Solutions. See our Freedom Card Solutions review for up-to-date information about this company.
Performance Merchant Alliance (permerch.com) is a merchant account provider headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company has recently rebranded as Freedom Card Solutions (freedomcardsolutions.com), but the Performance Merchant Alliance brand is still active. There is a lot of conflicting information about the company’s location, management, and corporate affiliations. One anonymous comment (now deleted) in the Topix forum for Dallas, Texas, made a number of allegations regarding Performance Merchant Alliance, including the following:
- Performance Merchant Alliance is a DBA of BECKLAW LLC and of BECKSNY LLC.
- Jonathan Beckman is the owner of BECKLAW LLC and of BECKSNY LLC.
- Jonathan Beckman and Brad Law are the owners of Prestige Payments Oregon, a DBA of National Payment Systems, LLC.
- National Payment Systems, LLC, is somehow affiliated with a company in Florida called Payventure One.
- All of these companies are somehow tied to Matthew Wiltsey, the former CEO of Payment Systems Corporation.
- Performance Merchant Alliance is a rebranding of Payment Systems Corporation.
To summarize, the commenter alleges that Performance Merchant Alliance is a rebranding of Payment Systems Corporation, and that it is operated by the owners of Prestige Payment Systems Oregon. We have carefully investigated this information because Payment Systems Corporation and Prestige Payment Systems Oregon are two of the poorest-rated companies that we have reviewed. Our own research has turned up the following information:
- The Florida Business Registry lists BECKSNY LLC’s address as 20 N. Orange Ave, Suite 1300, Orlando, Florida 32801. The Better Business Bureau provides the exact same address for Performance Merchant Alliance, and this source lists “Payment Systems Corporation Orlando” at this location.
- Matt Wiltsey is listed as the CEO of Payment Systems Corporation, which is no longer an active brand.
- Payment Systems Corporation was acquired by i3 Verticals.
- The Performance Merchant Alliance website provides documentation from i3 Verticals.
- Jonathan Beckman and Brad Law are listed as members at National Payment Systems LLC.
- National Payment Systems LLC is listed as a registering agent for Payventure One in Florida.
- Merchant Processing Solutions, a DBA of Payment Systems Corporation, is also listed as a registering agent for Payventure One.
- Jonathan Beckman and Brad Law are listed as members at BECKLAW LLC, a Carrollton, Texas-based company.
- Performance Merchant Alliance maintains an office in Dallas, Texas.
Overall, the available evidence supports most of the claims made by the anonymous commenter on Topix. We believe it is probable that Performance Merchant Alliance is a DBA or subsidiary of the company formerly known as Payment Systems Corporation, and a DBA of BECKSNY LLC and BECKLAW LLC. There is also a significant amount of evidence suggesting that Performance Merchant Alliance is affiliated with (or a DBA of) United Card Solutions, National Card Solutions, Direct Processors, and a company called Merchant Consulting Group. In particular, the Better Business Bureau lists Jeff Easter as the principal at Performance Merchant Alliance, just as it does with a few of these other companies. We cannot find any third-party sources that link Jonathan Beckman or Brad Law directly to Performance Merchant Alliance, but the existing evidence overwhelmingly indicates a connection of some kind. Performance Merchant Alliance is a reseller of First Data products and services and does not disclose its address, acquiring bank, or executive leadership on its website. The Performance Merchant Alliance Facebook page states that the company was launched in June 2015.
- Sales & Marketing: Performance Merchant Alliance appears to hire independently contracted agents and has received a high number of complaints about its sales team.
- Costs & Contract: Performance Merchant Alliance offers a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $495 or more.
- Complaints & Service: Performance Merchant Alliance has received more than 60 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Performance Merchant Alliance has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 38 complaints in the last three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Performance Merchant Alliance
Performance Merchant Alliance Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||60+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
We have found more than 60 negative Performance Merchant Alliance reviews, some of which accuse the company of being a scam. Common complaints include nondisclosure of equipment lease terms, misrepresentation of rates, irritating sales calls, poor customer service, and an unprofessional work environment. This complaint total is high for a brand that has only been active since June 2015, and the damage appears to be especially severe for merchants who are stuck in undisclosed leasing agreements. Performance Merchant Alliance’s apparent affiliation with several other poorly rated companies is also a major reason for its high complaint total. These factors have lowered the company’s grade in this section to a “D.” Performance Merchant Alliance claims to offer 24/7 phone support on its website.
Performance Merchant Alliance Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||22|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||1|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||15|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Performance Merchant Alliance currently has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not BBB accredited. The company’s profile was established in September 2015, and it has received 38 complaints since then. Twenty-two complaints were related to product or service problems, 15 complaints were related to advertising or sales issues, and one complaint had to do with billing. Performance Merchant Alliance successfully resolved seven complaints, while 23 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant. Seven other complaints received a response but not a good faith effort toward resolution, and one more complaint received no response whatsoever. The BBB has cited these unresolved complaints as one major factor lowering the company’s grade.
Given the very brief time that the BBB’s Performance Merchant Alliance profile has been active, the company’s high complaint total, and its poor resolution ratio, we see no reason to adjust the BBB’s rating at this time.
Performance Merchant Alliance Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee||495+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$150 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Months, Non-Cancellable|
The standard Performance Merchant Alliance contract (available below) is a three-year agreement through i3 Verticals with a variable early termination fee. We have found a moderate number of complaints claiming that Performance Merchant Alliance reps lied about rates or did not disclose monthly and annual fees, including a $495 cancellation fee. Complainants also consistently report that the company provides long-term, non-cancellable equipment leases through First Data Global Leasing. We do not recommend these leases because they ultimately charge thousands of dollars for equipment that can be purchased for under $500.
We have obtained a copy of the standard Freedom Card Solutions contract, and Freedom Card Solutions is a new DBA of Performance Merchant Alliance. This contract is a three-year term that includes an activation fee of $199 and an early termination fee of “an amount equal to all monthly fees due for the remainder of the existing term of the MPA, including all monthly minimum fee commitments, which in no case shall be less than four hundred and ninety-five dollars ($495.00).” The contract also comes with a four-year, non-cancellable equipment lease through Ascentium Capital LLC, a $150 annual PCI compliance fee, a $25 monthly minimum fee, a $13 monthly statement fee, and other assorted fees. These contract terms are just about as expensive as they come in the industry, and we do not recommend them for any merchant. It seems highly likely that Freedom Card Solutions and Performance Merchant Alliance offer similar if not identical contract terms.
In general, the consensus among merchants appears to be that Performance Merchant Alliance’s pricing is higher than industry averages and is improperly disclosed at the time of signing. If you have any specific knowledge of the company’s rates and fees, please share that information in the comment section below this review. See the Performance Merchant Alliance/i3 Verticals Program Guide and the Freedom Card Solutions Merchant Agreement.
Performance Merchant Alliance Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Performance Merchant Alliance appears to primarily market its services through a combination of telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents. This marketing strategy tends to generate a high volume of merchant complaints, and Performance Merchant Alliance appears to be no exception. We are currently able to locate many recent Performance Merchant Alliance complaints that describe persistent, aggressive sales calls, deceptive sales presentations, and unethical standards within the organization. These complaints have been filed by merchants who processed through the company as well as by former employees of the company. The content of the available complaints is consistent with older negative reviews of Payment Systems Corporation.
Performance Merchant Alliance appears to be just one brand within a larger family of brands managed by Payment Systems Corporation (now i3 Verticals). In fact, the company appears to have recently launched a new DBA called Freedom Card Solutions. This organizational structure is common among providers that wish to spread a large number of complaints across multiple brands. We believe that this tactic makes it harder for merchants to research the companies contacting them and creates the mistaken impression that these companies operate independently of one another.
To its credit, Performance Merchant Alliance does not list any misleading rate quotes or unrealistic guarantees on its website. However, the frequency and content of the complaints that have been filed against it have lowered its grade to a “D” in this section.
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