Small Business Growth Alliance Review

Small Business Growth Alliance Overview

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A Possible DBA of Merchant Services, Inc.

The Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) is a merchant account provider that claims to be headquartered in Henderson, Nevada. However, there is a great deal of evidence indicating that the SBGA is simply a DBA or subsidiary of Merchant Services, Inc. In addition to providing merchant accounts, the company advertises Clover as a POS solution.

Small Growth Business Alliance Headquarters and Ownership

Merchant Services, Inc., is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, while the SBGA is located at 10624 S Eastern Ave #360, Henderson, Nevada 89052. It should be noted that this address appears to be a UPS Store, which means that the physical company is probably located elsewhere. The SBGA website states that its electronic payments are provided by Merchant Services, Inc., and 2 executive-level employees of Merchant Services, Inc.—Jason Moore and Robert Parisi—are the president and director, respectively, of SBGA.

Small Business Growth Alliance Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Small Business Growth Alliance appears to offer a three-year contract with an early termination fee of $495.
  • Complaints & Service: Small Business Growth Alliance has received more than 50 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Small Business Growth Alliance has an “A+” rating and has received 42 complaints and 31 reviews in the past 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2013.
  • Sales & Marketing: Small Business Growth Alliance appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a moderate-to-high number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Small Business Growth Alliance
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Products & Services Offered

  • Debit and credit card processing
  • Recurring billing
  • Payroll services
  • Online payment gateway
  • QuickBooks integration
  • POS equipment

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

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Small Business Growth Alliance Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Keyed-in Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Virtual Terminal Rate 1.00% - 4.99%
Payment Gateway Fee Undisclosed
Early Termination Fee $495
Data Protection Fee $134
Monthly Minimum Fee $75
PCI Non-Compliance Fee $19.95 Per Month
Statement Fee $7.50 Per Month
Equipment Lease Cost $186 Per Month
Equipment Lease Terms 48 Month (locked)

Three-Year Contract

According to the SBGA website, the company’s electronic payments are provided by Merchant Services, Inc. Merchant complaints indicate that the standard Merchant Services, Inc. contract is a three-year agreement with a $495 early termination fee, a $134 “data protection” fee, a monthly minimum fee that can rise as high as $75 per month, a monthly PCI non-compliance fee of $19.95, a monthly statement fee of $7.50, and other various fees. Merchants (and employees) also mention long-term equipment leases through Northern Leasing Systems that ultimately cost thousands of dollars over the life of the lease. Merchants are advised to purchase equipment rather than lease whenever possible.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, SBGA also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway. However, like Merchant Services, Inc., pricing on either of those services is not disclosed. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Higher-Than-Average Pricing

SBGA’s contract terms appear to lock merchants into long-term agreements that overcharge them for the products and services they receive. In general, the knowledge we have about SBGA’s contract terms prevents us from classifying the company as a low-cost merchant account provider.

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Response from Small Business Growth Alliance

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Small Business Growth Alliance Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 50+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Sales Tactics

Many Severe Complaints

There are currently over 50 negative Small Business Growth Alliance reviews online, many of which accuse the company of being a scam. Common complaints include deceptive telesales practices, nondisclosure of contract terms, expensive contract terms, and poor customer service. These complaints are more or less identical to the complaints that we have seen filed against Merchant Services, Inc.

SBGA Complaint Response

The SBGA has responded to two of its complaints on Ripoff Report by paying Ripoff Report for arbitration, which essentially expunges parts of the complaints deemed to be untruthful. It does not appear to have directly responded to the other complaints. Merchants who are unable to obtain relief through the company’s customer service team are encouraged to cancel their merchant accounts without paying a fee.

Small Business Growth Alliance Lawsuits

The Small Business Growth Alliance’s parent company, Merchant Services, Inc. was the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2010 that contained the following allegations:

Plaintiffs allege that Settling Defendants misrepresented and omitted the costs, term, early termination penalties, and other provisions of the processing agreements and leases and unlawfully collected commissions, cancellation fees and other amounts via automatic withdrawals from merchant bank accounts. Plaintiffs also allege that Settling Defendants forged signatures and modified contracts and authorization forms for electronic debits after those contracts and forms had been signed. Plaintiffs additionally contend that Settling Defendants’ sales practices violated rules of MasterCard. Plaintiffs further assert that if customers defaulted on payment, Settling Defendants engaged in improper collection efforts by making unlawful credit inquiries on the personal credit reports of the personal guarantors who signed the agreements.

The claims against Merchant Services, Inc. were settled in 2013 with each member of the settling class receiving up to $350. Merchant Services, Inc. remains an active business, but the company agreed per the terms of the settlement to make the following changes:

By December 20, 2013, the Settling Defendants have agreed to make a variety of changes to their marketing materials to ensure future customers have additional disclosures. They agreed to register any fictitious business names that they intend to use, such as “Merchant Services.” In addition, if they continue to use cost comparison forms, such as the rate estimation comparison sheet, they agreed that document shall contain preprinted information listing or designated areas in which the following information shall be written: the name of the registered independent sales organization involved in the transaction; the entity through which bankcard processing services would be provided; the entity through which leasing services (if any) would be provided; the fact that processing rates are estimated and that higher rates may apply depending on the type of card, including mileage and rewards cards; the fact that equipment leasing is optional; and the fact that a cancellation fee will apply for early termination. Finally, the Settling Defendants agreed to have sales representatives leave with the prospective customer a copy of the above document and a current business card containing his or her current business address, phone number, and email address.

Small Business Growth Alliance Customer Service Options

The company’s website does not specify whether it offers direct phone support on its website. One especially illuminating comment from an employee can be seen in this comment thread. The appointment setter’s comments include the following:

“Owners like you give us ‘telemarketers’ a bad rap, what aren’t you interested in? why are you hanging up on me when i introduce myself? I was taught proper telephone etiquette, did you miss that day in class? if this is the way you handle your business with a customer perhaps you should consider the estimated life of said business.”

Merchants reviewing their options for payment processing services would be better suited with a company offering great customer service.

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Response from Small Business Growth Alliance

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Small Business Growth Alliance BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 10
Billing & Collection Complaints 6
Advertising & Sales Complaints 26
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery 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.

Over 40 Complaints

Small Business Growth Alliance is listed as SBGA Inc with the Better Business Bureau and currently has an “A+” rating and has been accredited by the BBB since 2013. The company has received 42 complaints to its BBB profile in the past 36 months. 26 complaints are related to advertising or sales issues, 6 have to do with billing, and 10 stem from product or service problems. 17 complaints have been resolved to the satisfaction of the merchant, while the other 25 either were resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

The SBGA has also received 31 informal reviews, 16 of which were positive in tone and 15 of which were negative in tone. The most recent negative review describes deceptive sales tactics:

I will preface this that my business provides payment processing- They contacted one of my customers stating that Verifone terminals are not calculating fees correctly and to send them a statement so they can calculate the money they are owed- My client was confused, asked for their number and told them they would have their current processor “me” will contact them. I called Daniel and introduced myself as the processor for the X company he just called. He stated they are a consulting company and not looking to change my client to their processing. All they wanted to do was to provide a free consult- I asked point blank questions. it was amazing how he either did not tell the truth or avoided the questions- When I said Daniel I have been a merchant processor for 10 plus years and you are not telling the truth- I said maybe you were trained the information you provide is true but please understand it is not and you will not be helping anyone you call- The next day my client received a call from someone else at the company telling them MC and Visa has made calculation errors- WOW! If this was true… I would think it would make national news- Unethical companies makes my job a lot harder-

These kinds of sales tactics are emblematic of slamming a deceptive and unethical sales practice in which a merchant provider poses as another company. Merchants who encounter this behavior may want to consider reporting the sales agent to the relevant authorities.

A “C” Performance Overall

In light of the company’s complaint total and resolution ratio, and taking into account the BBB profile for Merchant Services, Inc., we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” for our purposes.

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Response from Small Business Growth Alliance

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers Yes
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Not What It Appears To Be

The Small Business Growth Alliance presents itself as a membership-based organization that “provide[s] our members with essential products, services and educational resources that allow you to successfully address your most essential business needs.” However, reports from both employees and merchants strongly suggest that the SBGA is primarily in the business of selling merchant services, and that it uses its name and branding to convince merchants that it serves in some kind of merchant advocacy role. Unlike a true fee reduction service, SBGA’s first priority is to switch merchants over to one of its merchant account contracts.

SBGA Telemarketing Complaints

This 800notes thread details an instance in which an SBGA representative “called and told my customer service rep that they were ‘confirming’ an appt for tomorrow at 10am with me (the owner) to review our credit card charges and determine the amount of a refund we were due for overcharges for our merchant services […] Only problem is, I didn’t call SBGA for any merchant services help or consultation and I am angry that they used a lie to gain access to me and my time through my company customer service rep who would not have known any better.” Another complaint states that “Jennifer called on my work line acting like it was urgent for me to return call. Said she was from ‘Merchant Services’ (what business????) and that we may have had some increases in our fees and she needed to speak to me immediately about that.” These types of sales calls, which verge on “slamming,” are cited repeatedly in complaints about the SBGA.

Insiders Speak Out

Complaints from employees only confirm the merchant reports. This complaint claims that “the recruiters lie like hell, they tell you it is a ‘business consulting’ job working with small businesses, but in truth you’re selling and pushing one thing, payment card processing and all the other things in your bag are just total BS products and services.” Another SBGA complaint from a recruiter at the company states that “we as recruiters tell [the agents] that they receive ‘lead generation support’ which comes in the form of a call center rep setting up bogus appointment s that most of the time the store owner didn’t agree upon […] It’s a bait n switch scenario, they get customers signed up for multiple services, lease them hardware and make the merchant pay ridiculous fee for getting out of s processing contract.” These reports seem to describe a standard hiring mill within the credit card industry.

Poor Hiring Practices

SBGA employs a large team of telephone appointment setters and independent sales agents (called “independent business consultants” within the organization), which may explain why agents would resort to less-than-straightforward tactics to land accounts. Considering the reports we have found and the history of Merchant Services, Inc., we have assigned the SBGA a “D” rating in this section.

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Response from Small Business Growth Alliance

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Small Business Growth Alliance Marketing Example

Small Business Growth Alliance Logo

Our Opinion of Small Business Growth Alliance

Not Recommended At This Time

Small Business Growth Alliance rates as a substandard merchant services provider according to our rating criteria. The company appears to have a lot in common with Merchant Services, Inc., and the merchant feedback that we have located raises some serious concerns about SGBA’s sales tactics and contract terms. Some merchants report being confused by the company’s name and mistaking it for the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBGA is not a government entity. If you feel that you’ve been deceived by SBGA, we encourage you to renegotiate your rates as soon as possible.

We rely on your feedback about Small Business Growth Alliance to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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56 Reviews Leave Your Review for Small Business Growth Alliance Below

  1. Chris Tutt says:

    SBGA by far has been the worst processing company I’ve had dealing with. High fees and also a bundle package that they charge each month in addition to my monthly fees. 44.95 was added and can’t be refused, and for God sake don’t let them talk you into Leasing equipment through Ascentium Capital these two together will rob you blind. for a clover mini I’ve paid in total of $2929.00 and don’t own the system. I will buy out this contract and say a hard lesson learned

  2. Ruben Ortiz says:

    please do your self a favor and don’t do business whit this company, I was promised a set price and little that I know, I was stuck whit a 4 year lease of a new clover equipment that I all ready own whit a price of over 8k for the life of the contract, I tried to get out off and I was told that I needed to pay the full amount of the lease plus the $495 cancelation fee, I never received a copy of my contract till a few months later after I bug them for it, please don’t be in the same situation I’m in right know, stay away from these people.

    1. Brian Clark says:


      This article may help: How to Cancel a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee.


      1. chris says:

        fell for the same scam they are terrible

  3. So upset with myself for letting SBGA s**** me like they did!
    Primary problem? Must sign an equipment lease that is Onerous. $354/month for 48 months for equipment that other merchant service providers GIVE you.
    If that isn’t enough, if you don’t mark your calendar and cancel or buy out the lease within a specific time frame, it AUTO-RENEWS! Insult to injury.
    Stay away; very unethical.

    1. Brian Clark says:


      This article may help: Canceling a merchant account without paying a fee.


  4. Ken Farris says:

    They keep calling us at work after being told to stop. They use caller ID that makes it look like they are our local bank. SCAM!

    1. Brian Clark says:


      This article may help: How to Shut Down Aggressive Sales Calls.


  5. Hector Becerra says:

    After 2 years, SBGA has shown it’s TRUE colors by demonstrating they are not the entity the claim to be. Starting with the Sales rep, who promise assistance “whenever” dissapeared after closing her Sale. Customer Support directs my issues to a third vendor i.e First Data, or other Apps. You sign a contract with SBGA and you’re trapped in a contract with different companies without your knowledge. Tech Support unable to resolve issues. Horrible, horrible sales practices, should be illegal. They are generally not able to give you direct answers to anything. If I knew what I know now about SBGA I would never sign up. Only thing I can do now is spread the word to save others from this shady company.

  6. MANY MANY overpriced fees that are complete BS. The reps really know nothing about business or how the equipment can and should be used. They know nothing about processing via internet scanner and associated compliance issues vs desktop terminal that is not only less expensive, but much less computer software involved. Their $24.95 monthly or up to $49.95 monthly “Security Plan” is utter Bull S***! Their $134 annual PCI compliance is another “bend-over” fee that most other processors no longer charge for. Overall, the rates for processing are very good, but the rest of the BS is just that. Looking forward to cutting the cord ASAP.

  7. Albert Garcia says:

    SCAM *** SBGA Employees lie to get your business. My Rep, Paul Batista, Visited my office over a year ago, and with a bunch of lies he got me to swap my Card Processing company. He said the equipment was free and there would be no contract, other than a month to month. He said he would be back the following week after the equipment would arrive, but It took him 4 months to show at my business again, once I had realized that There was a Equipment Leasing company charging me $40.00 per month for a total of 48 months., Also the Actual Card processor was charging me $79.00 per month besides the discount points, and Finally, there was a phantom company attached to SBGA with the Name of SURUBATA or something like it charging me about 180.00 per month for no reason. So As you can see this is a SCAM…*** I have proof off it, So they can’t deny it. I traced the surabaya company to Welsfargo bank and when I contacted the bank they stated that that account was closed. That Bank account was cancelled by WELSFARGO, and WELSFARGO RETURED MY MONEY. Guess why???

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee


  8. Julie Medlyn says:

    SBGA has the worst credit card processing I have ever experienced in 30 years in business. Support is very confusing and no one seems to know how to help. I felt I was always passed to one person and then another, with no real results. The fees are excess and the savings I was promised, never materialized.

    This post will help: Best Payment Processors for Great Customer Service


  9. Katy says:

    I just got a call at my work from Small Business Growth Alliance. The woman was exceptionally rude. I asked her to take us off her call list and she was even more rude! I would never do business with this place!!!

    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors


  10. Elizabeth Pina says:

    They lied. Did NOT mention the hefty termination fee. ASSURED me I would save at least $100 a month. Big time con. Have had service for only 30 days and can’t stand it any more. Going to terminate and eat the fee.

    This post will help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee


  11. Kari E Newman says:

    This company calls every month. 6 times on the same day from different sales people. I have asked for 3 months to be removed from call list.
    I even gave this company a chance by letting a representative come to our business.
    They represented themselves as being part of a local chamber of commerce and are clearly not.
    I’m ready to file a formal complaint on harassment.

    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors


  12. Kelly says:

    After reading other’s reviews now I have an understanding that this some sort of sales tactic / scam. They have been calling non stop for 3 + months and at one point our office received 6 calls in one day. The same girl that has been calling non stop has now said that actually it was her sister that was calling and she has taken over for her and they’ve changed systems so the previous information was no longer available. They continue to state that we will see a rise in credit card costs on our end and HAVE TO review our statement from our machine. But state that it is free to review and that they are required to do so by our current company. They will not stop contacting us and continue to change the numbers associated with their calls so they cannot be screened. The unsure responses and the rep being unable to answer questions is questionable alone. If you’re selling services make that known and be transparent rather than requesting our information to offer us lower rates which probably cannot be done considering most companies sign leasing contracts.

    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors


  13. Nat says:

    Such a horrible company that targets small companies and tell them they are with collections or with part or their bank or processor or would even say they are with the county’s business coop to trick people into trusting them. The supervisors there tell the employees to do whatever it takes to get those appointments!!! The only way to be successful in this company is lying threw your teeth. They use scare tactics on both employees and the business owners who they are trying to trick into signing the contract with them. They tell them they are part of their company and they are in charge of handling the rate increases and the new updates. So sad to hear all the stories of the companies who they made go bankrupt or simply tricked them into signing a 3 year contract. It’s sad business owners have to go threw that kind of harrassment. The company rarely adds people to the DNC list. They say not until they get them to change to their services. So many shady sh*t this company has going on its the same company that had the law suit in 2010 I believe just with a different name. Yet they are still doing the same thing they were doing before just made a new name for the company and a new website. They are located in Irvine on research drive but the building has no sign so you won’t know which one they are. Most the people there are white and they treat the others unfairly.

    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors


  14. Jessica from SBGA paid me a visit, she was not pushy but told me she could lower my processor fees to a flat fee of $240 instead of a percentage, which to be honest was very appealing since my fee range from $400 to $700 a month. But when i asked for the names and numbers of other business useing them she said she would het back to me. Its been a month with no response. I do like the clover machine i may buy it reguardless

    This post will help: Cheapest Merchant Account Providers


  15. Alicia says:

    Mya has been calling our office for over a week. Today it escalated close to harassment. I am an office manager and have the decision making ability on who to work with, but always discuss decisions with the docs first. Mya refuses to give me more information on her company for me to share with them. During the first call, she acted like she was contracted with our current card processing company, but as I looked into it, she is definitely not. Very shady, very pushy sales tactics with a ridiculous amount of urgency to attempt to get me to send them information. She was rude when I asked for more information about her company and stated that she “gave me everything I needed to know last week” and couldn’t send more info to me via email or fax. When I refused to send info to her, she demanded to speak to one of the docs and stated that I “clearly don’t have decision making abilities.” I told her that we are not interested and to take us off her call list. She has called back repeatedly and hangs up when I answer.

    This post will help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors


  16. Christina Gardner says:

    Weirdest phone call ever from I guess a sales person. I wouldn’t trust this company at all.

    This post will help: Warn Your Employees About This Scam
    – Phillip

  17. LOU ANN BACA says:

    I received numerous calls over a period of 3 months from Small Business Growth Alliance. Each time they simply told me to send our latest credit card processing statement as they were required to analyze processing fees to see if we were being charged fairly. Each time I explained that I had never heard of their company and was not sending our information to them. As the calls continued, I started searching the internet and found multiple posts of scams regarding their company. Still more calls and Kaci explained that their company was paid to provide this service to us. I told her we didn’t use Merchant Services. She was adamant that this service was required, that they performed this service for many other processors and she must have our information. She assured me that we would not be charged for the service nor was there any obligation to pay for anything in the future. On the next calls I told Kaci that there was a lot of information pointing to scam about her company on the internet. She told me to check on SBGA.reveiws. I did that and still more scam warnings. I called our CC processors and they had never heard of this company.
    And another call from Kaci. I was pretty sick and tired of her calls by now and didn’t know what harm it would do if I did not let the merchant # show. I sent the statement. Kaci said an analysis expert would call me at 3pm. Well, guess what, that call never came.
    I am not sure what they have used our information for, but it certainly was not for any benefit to our company. And I am worried that there are ways they can use the information in fraudulently.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors

  18. Judy Weissman says:

    located in Irvine Ca.onlyt here is no business in Nv.but they claim there corp offices are there,They were an honest and good Co,untill changing all Management 10 years ago,I worked for them for 15 years as they changed names several times,I dont believe in any of their business at this time they are not honest with their Merchants or employees, ,Dont trust them.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I wish I had been smart enough to check these guys out. The pretended to be my current provider and they were doing an audit of my current plan. They took advantage of my new hire status. I thought I was saving my new company money. since I am not the owner of this business they got my personal information. when I asked them why they need that, the reply was, “so we are sure you are who you say you are.” now I read the contracts and I am listed as the personal guarantee the payment of the fees. $186.00 month for 48 months. I just want to cry. we are a small struggling business and I just helped us loose more valuable cash.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Cancelling a Merchant Account Without Paying a Fee

  20. Billy Syms says:

    Here’s another den of thieves masquerading as the “Small Business Growth Alliance”, willing to look at your statement and get fees from PCI compliance and rate increases decreased from a push phone call and a couple of statements of your current merchant provider.
    Well a quick search of “SBCA” and a call to my current merchant provider showed / explained to me this is just another scam trying to get me into switching merchant providers and locking me into a 4 year lease for equipment – far surpassing what I currently am paying to process my credit card sales.
    I’m really surprised that businesses are really allowed to take advantage of the busy small business person and have them hastily sign into something they did not want or need.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors

  21. Tracy says:

    Stay away from this company. Cancellation fees are $495 ( you will find out about it only after you signed up this them) and customer service is unable to help when problem with transaction had occurred.

  22. Ann Yocum says:

    My experience with SBGA is just awful. They never sent me any emails regarding the PCI compliance surveys and charged me over $1000 for the last three years for not filling out a survey that I never received any notice through email . They wouldn’t refund me and basically tried to turn it around on me. Terrible experience

  23. Matt says:

    They are relentlessly harassing, and do not listen when told that we’re not interested. They will call and say “Hi, I spoke to (INSERT ANY NAME) from your company the other day…”. If you recognize the name as a co-workers, you’re roped in that way. If you don’t, they’ll say, “oh well while I have you…”.

    Them: Your credit card machine is outdated.
    Me: We just got this machine brand new 2 months ago.
    Them: Oh well we mean the fee structure is outdated…

    A load of BS. I do have some advice on how to end the conversation with them – just ask for the name of the company and make sure they can hear you typing away as you Google them. That’s the only way I got him to hang up.

    I spoke to a rep named Andrew.

  24. Kellye says:

    “Salesman” called on 2 different days, the first he asked for an employee but was not exactly sure of her name, after obtaining my name from the conversation, he called back 2 days later with a spill about how we are non-compliant with our Merchant Services machine and we need to have them come check it. He wanted to provide us with a updated version and protection plan. He could not tell me who he is governed by or what law states that I need their service. I told him in several different ways we were not interested and did not need services from them not to call back. He was hard to shake and very persistent, but I managed

  25. Trudy says:

    A salesperson called to speak to a manager and I said we were not interested. This employee became demanding and pushy and insisted on knowing my name which I did not give. Nothing short of verbal abuse in my opinion. THIS IS THE WORST COMPANY TO DO BUSINESS WITH. You don’t have people coming to you because of the way you do business. Get a life!!!

  26. Chuck Sales says:

    Just received a call from one of my merchants.
    Was told that they are affiliated with my company.
    Merchant called me and asked about red flags on their account and was told theat merchant services would rescue them and get everything fixed up.
    Merchant became suspicious and called me.
    All lies.
    This is why many companies do not trust any processors.
    I will be taking action to see what can me done to stop this behavior

  27. Rosemin Panjwani says:

    Great company to work with! They really centralized my entire workflow process and brought my costs down as well. Not only did I have to spend less time at the office doing backend work, but I was able to add more value to my business!

    1. CPO Admin says:

      Hi Rosemin,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

  28. Jaron says:

    These guys are experts at “slamming.” They called one of my clients and stated they were with “Merchant Services” and proceeded to tell them that because they don’t have a copy of their PCI compliance certificate on file, their rates were going to increase by close of business that day. But, they could avoid a rate increase and lot in their pricing by renewing their pricing agreement for 3 years. They then sent over a new merchant agreement.

    My client instinctively called me freaking out about her rates going up, and I explained to her that her account was with Elavon, not SBGA. I further explained to her what slamming was and how this was a sales technique. After reviewing what they sent her, they were going to lock her into a 3 year contract with a $495 cancellation fee and liquidated damages.

    What does it say about a company that has to acquire clients in this manner?

  29. Al says:

    Juan Navarro from, rubbed me approximately $1500 by lying to me that clover machine he sold me was re programmable, and I could take it any time to any other merchant services for better rate. He and his salesman are Thieves, dishonest and criminals.

  30. Mark Amway says:

    Issac Amifir was the guy that lied and then when confronted would not respond to my emails. This company is a big fraud and there are no laws to help protect or resolve disputes with predatory practices like SBGA. They pose behind what sounds like a reputable company, but truth be told they are the worst in the business.

  31. I just received a call from this so call affiliated with my processor “Corporate Merchant Services” (what I was told) and said that our equipment was out of date.. that MC is running out of CC #’s and they need to check our equipment to make sure we can process new MC numbers they are issuing.
    To bad for them the call was actually recorded!

  32. Stephanie Steelman says:

    Individual name Austin called my business first he said he was affiliated with my processing company and first Data told us they were going to suspend my account because of my equipment. Called again. Said he was part of SBGA. Number he gives is8886421154 ext 2277. Now he claims he wanted us to get lower rates. This company hires people willing to lie

    1. Ryan says:

      A person named Roman called one of my merchants telling them he works for our company and needed to issue a refund because they were being over charged. This is obviously not true and I will be reporting a fraud claim to the FTC. These marketers are flat out defrauding the merchants in order to get them to switch. The number he called from was 866-644-0028 ext 2239 Roman. Merchants Beware…

      Also, I see a very similar claim reported below by Rosie. Sounds like this is a normal business practice by this company.

  33. Marla Reynolds says:

    Same complaint as most, posing as our credit card processing company. And after having met with the consultant, I expressed my frustration that I was roped into a meeting which was more about joining the SBGA. I also addressed this with the assistant who claimed to be from the corporate office of our provider. She then went ahead and called the owner of the business for a second time with the exact same pitch, which is a lie. We will not be doing business with them.

  34. Rosie says:

    I was called by a phone rep, and he identified himself as Merchant Services.
    Posing to be Merchant Service for my company.

    He said my company was entitled to a refund, as they had a separate party preparing their bills and we had been overcharged for months.

    Said a person would come to my store tomorrow and look over my statements, or a secondary choice would be to send in statements.

    As this started sounding more and more fishy, I looked up my merchant services which is through Bank of America, and this company has nothing to do with that.

    I left a message to cancel any visit to my store and am now writing a review.

    Horrible business practices.

    Thanks to others for writing reviews as well, so I could quickly see this was a scam.

  35. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!! They will tell you there is no contract, early termination fee, and will sell you on specific “specials” they are having, but they will scam you. There are so many complaints on this and I wish I had listened to them. My representative, Jonathan Watts, the president of the SBGA in Myrtle Beach, SC lied to me about all this. When I asked him what was going on with all this he disappeared and won’t respond at all. TGhese people are not honest nor are they looking out for your best interest. Steer clear if you value your money and hard work.

  36. Patricia Garrett says:

    I just received a call from a “Maria” , on behalf of SBGA.
    EXTREMELY rude, shouting on the phone, asking me if she needs to repeat in Spanish ( I am not Hispanic)
    I have never received a marketing call using bullying tactics. VERY STRANGE, and VERY IRRITATING

  37. The SBGA is a horrible excuse for a business. Horrible customer service on all accounts – from payroll to credit card processing. We spent so much time trying to track down answers to simple questions, that it was worth paying whatever it cost to get out of our contracts with them. Even when I notified them (in writing) of our intent to cancel, they ignored it and continued to charge us monthly fees.

    They are horrible. RUN, RUN, RUN far away from this company.

  38. Brett Gribble says:

    A total scam. Calls my business on numerous occasions saying they represent our Merchant Processor. When I asked the Rep who that was; I could not get an answer. When asked to be placed on the do-not-call list the Agent became rude and stated that they did not have to take me off of the list. What a scam.

  39. Daphnee says:

    I was very misled on the while deal. They told me it would not cost me anything to switch. That was a lie. They said they could take care of my other credit card processor cancelation. That was a lie. They said my deposits were out in the back on the next day. That was a lie. They NEVER stated about subtracting 1.69% from all deposits. I was told I would receive a refund for some of the money I was charged. I never have. I can not get a reply from my CSR no matter how many times I try. I am canceling or just simply not using the service anymore.

    1. James says:

      Same story here. My sales person Zachary told me the contracts with my previous processor would be paid of. It has not happened. Zach will no longer return emails. I have SBGA several times and have been told they with have someone from Zachs office contact me which of course has never happened. Thinking about filing a small claims case since I have an email from Zach that say the amount I gave him to cancel with my previous processor would be taken care of.

  40. Jaime says:

    This company called our business saying they were our merchant processor which I knew to be false. I told them so and they said they are a larger company that runs our processing company which I also knew to be untrue. They then said that our account had been flagged for problems with our POS terminal. I told him he was lying because we do not have POS terminal and he said oh my mistake and quickly hung up.

  41. Rebecca says:

    They called saying they partner with FirstData and that our processing account had been flagged as being overcharged by our billing company (Pivotal). I did send them a couple of statements to see what they said about them, and they pointed out alleged overcharging on the percentages (around average from what I see) and said we’d be charged all kinds of fees at the end of the year for not being EMV-compliant (we are a small doctor’s office, it would be very hard for a patient who’s identity we verify to present us with a fraudulent card). Pivotal has not been charging us any fees for this non-compliance and the whole thing seemed really fishy. They were extremely pushy (always a red flag) and wanted all kinds of information. To even see the terms of their offer, they wanted a filled out application with a credit check. Perhaps that’s standard, but I don’t feel comfortable with a company working for another company wanting our most personal information in order to push us into a sketchy contract when both companies have terrible reviews. I’ll be looking for Pivotal to give us better terms or find somebody new, thank you.

    1. marian phillips says:

      Currently going through the same kind of thing with them. They misrepresent themselves. They called saying they partner with North American Bancard and that our processing account had been flagged as being overcharged by our billing company. Our current processor has average fees. We don’t do many credit card/debit card transactions each month. At this time I will not sign with them as they evade your questions, and pressure you to sign. They have been “wooing” me for a few months.

    2. Rebecca says:

      This company is fraudulent. They claimed to be with my present company First Data. Just as the prior complaint asked for previous statements. Very smooth and nice. Claim we are being over charged and their alliance will help us. Huge scam and rip off company. Unfortunately they caught me being trusting and now I am going through the process of getting them away from our company. BEWARE. I was suspicious but they were persistent how they were going to help and did not disclose any commitment and cancel charges.

  42. Cynthia Campbell says:

    A representative from Small Business Growth Alliance repeatedly called our business with threats of the EMV credit card compliance. The lady made it sound like they were asked by our credit card processor to call on us, but our processor has never heard of them. The woman kept calling back, relentlessly going over various points, even telling me this wasn’t a sales call. All she did was waste several of our employees time, including mine, which we don’t have to spare! Avoid this scam!!!

  43. Lynda says:

    Just received a call from SBGA offering to review our card processing fees. I asked Marilyn more than once if she represented a company that offered credit card processing. She faced around my question and upon research I see that, in fact, SBGA does offer credit card processing. I definitely will t be meeting with them or giving them any further info. Shady phone tactics.

  44. Cheri Astrahan says:

    They cold called our home business from a number that has over 20 pages of complaints on They left a message that made no sense to me. Our home business doesn’t use credit card processing. We have two contract customers only. They knew nothing about our specialized small business and violated the DNC regulations.

  45. Richard says:

    Hard core liar. They called saying there was an “error” on my account, and that I needed to send in my credit card processing statement in order for them to correct the error. I recorded the conversation and plan to post it publicly.

  46. SBGA is the very worse business to do business with. They hold a huge responsibility to businesses and SBGA cheats and lies in every way possible. It is nearly impossible to get them to return a call. SBGA, I wouldn’t doubt they have put small businesses out of business in the past and will in the future. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. I pray for the day when my contract is over.

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