SphereCommerce Reviews & Complaints

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2.8
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How did they treat you? ▼

Pros & Cons
Pros: Cons:
Flexible payment options Potentially expensive early termination fees
Supports various sales environments Complaints about undisclosed contract terms
Multiple payment methods offered Issues with customer service reported
Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Overview

In this review of SphereCommerce, we will take a closer look at this merchant account provider formed by Waud Capital Partners. We'll cover their services and partnerships, focusing on their payment processing capabilities across various sectors, including healthcare and nonprofits. Key points include an analysis of rates, fees, contract terms, customer and industry reviews, and the impact of recent legal challenges. We'll also assess SphereCommerce's internal practices, touching on employee experiences and marketing tactics. This review aims to provide a concise yet thorough overview of SphereCommerce, offering valuable insights for those considering their services.

About Sphere

A Waud Capital Partners private equity company, Sphere is a merchant account provider partnered with a multi-level marketing company called ACN. More commonly known as SphereCommerce, the company was created following Waud Capital Partners' 2017 acquisitions of Anovia Payments and TrustCommerce, a payment gateway provider, Anovia relied on TSYS Merchant Solutions for its processing networks in the U.S. and First Data (now Fiserv) for its processing network in Canada, and these relationships may remain unchanged under its new name. In fact, it appears that Sphere functions in a more-or-less similar fashion to Anovia Payments even after the acquisition.

SphereCommerce is partnered with a number of businesses, including Radix Health, Raintree Systems, Qgiv Inc., MDofficeManager, and Saina Health.

Sphere announced on October 12, 2023, that it has entered into an agreement to sell its commercial division to NMI, a full commerce enablement company.

SphereCommerce Products and Services

Payment Processing

Sphere Commerce processes all major credit and debit cards, offering specialized branches of service: Health iPASS focuses on mobile payments for hospitals and healthcare providers, Qgiv caters to non-profits and fundraisers, and TrustCommerce serves more traditional merchants. Through TrustCommerce, Sphere provides POS systems, virtual terminals, ACH processing, an open API, PCI compliance, e-commerce solutions, data reporting and analysis, recurring billing, and mobile payment solutions.

Integrated Payment Software for Healthcare and Nonprofits

Sphere Commerce specializes in integrated payment software solutions for the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, providing tools tailored to these industries' specific needs.

Patient Payment, Check-in, and Engagement Software

The company offers software that supports the entire patient journey, including payment processing, check-in, and engagement, enhancing the overall healthcare experience.

Online Giving Solutions for Nonprofits

Sphere Commerce provides a comprehensive online giving platform for nonprofits, facilitating easy and secure donations from supporters.

Integration Capabilities

Sphere Commerce boasts an ecosystem with over 150 integration partners, enabling seamless integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR), Practice Management Systems (PMS), and other specialized software solutions.

Sphere Commerce services
Some of Sphere Commerce's payment processing offerings
Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Sphere Customer Reviews

Here's What Their Clients Say

Customer Reviews Summary
Total Online Complaints 70+
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint Excessive Fees
Recent Lawsuits Yes

Review of SphereCommerce Complaints

Our investigation has uncovered a limited number of negative SphereCommerce reviews. However, we have identified more than 70 complaints about Anovia Payments, which are relevant to SphereCommerce due to their association. Accusations range from fraudulent practices to various operational concerns. Issues highlighted by complainants include disputes among employees, misleading pricing quotes, hidden contract terms, excessive fees, difficulties in reaching customer support, and unjustified fund holds. We welcome you to share your SphereCommerce experiences in the comments below.

Sphere Legal Encounters

In a noteworthy case, Bradley Sanger v. Trust Commerce Technology, the plaintiff sued the payment processor for failing to deliver promised services, fund withholding, and engaging in deceptive practices. This case was resolved through an out-of-court settlement, the details of which remain confidential.

For those preferring non-litigious resolution methods, reporting concerns to appropriate regulatory bodies is recommended.

Customer Support Provided by Sphere

Sphere’s official website offers several avenues for customer support, including a direct phone line and an email form for less urgent inquiries.

Available Customer Service Channels for Sphere

  • (855) 426-6842 – Toll-Free General Customer Support
  • (855) 330-7057 – Canadian Sales/Support
  • (800) 915-1680 – Payment Gateway Sales Support

Additional Support Resources

  • Online support form

Considering the number and nature of complaints against both Sphere and Anovia, a “C” rating is warranted for customer support at this juncture.

This revision aims to provide a balanced overview of SphereCommerce, highlighting customer and legal complaints, and detailing available support options. By incorporating SEO-optimized terms related to “reviews,” “complaints,” and “customer service,” the content is enhanced for visibility and utility for readers interested in SphereCommerce.

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Sphere Online Ratings

Here's How They Rate Online

Online Ratings Summary
BBB Reports 27

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.

Rising Complaint Total

Sphere Commerce currently has a “D+” rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company is showing 18 complaints over the last 36 months. Only 4 of the 18 complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.

What Merchants Say

Sphere has also received 9 informal reviews on their BBB profile. 8 of these reviews are negative in tone. The latest review that was negative in tone describes never receiving an invoice and being sent to collections:

Not once have I received an invoice that explains what my charges are. I have contacted them multiple times asking for a breakdown of charges so I can understand them before paying them. Instead, they have sent me to collections. There are a lot of better options out there. I would avoid sphere.

Clients in this situation can benefit from learning how to cancel their accounts without paying a fee.

A “C” Performance Overall

In light of the company’s moderate complaint volume and resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C.”

Sphere Fees, Rates & Costs

A Closer Look at The Contract

Cost & Fees Summary
Processing Rates Variable
Cancellation Penalties Yes
Monthly & Annual Fees Yes
Equipment Leasing Unclear

Contract and Pricing Variability

The terms of SphereCommerce contracts are expected to mirror those of Anovia, with limited public information available regarding their pricing structure. Although Anovia does not disclose its pricing and fees, insights from client complaints suggest that Sphere likely offers terms similar to partners like TSYS and First Data (Fiserv).

Standard First Data (Fiserv) Contracts

First Data (Fiserv) typically presents a range of contract options, including a multi-year agreement with a $495 early termination fee and a $19.95 monthly PCI compliance fee. Pricing is tiered, with businesses processing under $50,000 monthly encountering rates of 2.69% plus $0.19 for swiped transactions and 3.69% plus $0.19 for keyed transactions. Those surpassing $50,000 monthly transactions face rates of 2.29% plus $0.19 for swiped transactions and 3.29% plus $0.19 for keyed transactions, alongside potential equipment leases from First Data Global Leasing.

TSYS Pricing Structures

Previously, TSYS outlined three pricing plans on their website. The “Pursue” plan displayed rates of 2.5% plus $0.20 for swiped transactions and 3.5% plus $0.20 for keyed transactions. The “Grow” plan featured rates of 1.99% plus $0.20 for swiped transactions and 3.1% plus $0.20 for keyed transactions, while the “Accelerate” plan offered rates of 1.7% plus $0.20 for swiped transactions and 3% plus $0.20 for keyed transactions.

TSYS Contract Terms

TSYS Merchant Solutions typically requires a three-year service agreement, with automatic renewals unless canceled within a specific window. Exiting outside this period may incur a $295 Early Termination Fee (ETF) and quarterly PCI compliance fees of $18.80 ($75.20 annually), contributing to challenges in avoiding early termination charges.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

Alongside in-store payment processing, Sphere promotes its virtual terminal and payment gateway services without disclosing pricing. However, additional fees like gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and transaction rates often accompany these e-commerce services.

Additional Sphere Charges

Recent complaints highlight a minimum $495 early termination fee, with potential liquidated damages calculated based on remaining contract months and average monthly processing fees. Monthly service fees of $22 and a $30 charge for “Anovia Insights” have also been cited. Fund-hold issues, potentially linked to account setup errors, have been mentioned in reviews. For detailed merchant account options, we recommend consulting our list of the best merchant accounts.

Competitive Pricing Evaluation

Reviews of Sphere’s backend processors indicate standard contract terms, and client feedback on Anovia suggests it isn’t a cost-effective merchant account provider. Consequently, Sphere receives a “D” rating in this regard. Additional insights into Sphere’s fees or contracts are welcome in the comments section.
Sphere Commerce virtual terminal E-commerce solutions, including a virtual terminal, offered by Sphere Commerce

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Sphere Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs

Should You Work For Them?

Jobs & Marketing Summary
Uses Independent Resellers Yes
Telemarketing No
Misleading Marketing No
Discloses All Important Terms No

In-House Sales Team

Like Anovia Payments, Sphere primarily hires in-house, W2-employed sales representatives to market its services directly. While this is preferable to the industry standard of hiring independently contracted agents, it is worth noting that Anovia is partnered with a telecommunications company called ACN to refer clients. In general, this compares favorably to our list of best credit card processors.

Partnered With ACN

Although there are numerous negative ACN reviews online, a Sphere representative has stated that ACN sales reps do not have the ability to offer specific pricing or product recommendations to businesses. In addition, clients interact with Sphere for the entire sales process, and ACN representatives are not involved directly with the process. Sphere also has a referral program in place that allows business owners to make residuals by referring other merchants to Sphere.

Broken Sales Promises

This sales structure is designed to prevent businesses from experiencing deceptive practices when dealing with Sphere. However, we have located a low-to-moderate number of Anovia Payments complaints describing issues with the account setup process and rate guarantees from Anovia reps. It seems that some Anovia reps promise to beat or match clients’ current rates, but some dispute whether this guarantee is fulfilled. Other SphereCommerce reviews mention nondisclosure of the company’s contract length and expensive termination fees. It is likely that these issues may persist under the Sphere brand name. If you suspect that you are paying an undisclosed SphereCommerce fee, we recommend that you obtain a fee reduction audit from an independent third party. If you have any such SphereCommerce complaints to make, please do so in the comment section below.

Mixed Client Feedback

All told, the number of negative Sphere reviews we’ve received since our Anovia Payments review’s initial publication raises some concerns about Sphere’s sales approach. This has forced us to lower the company’s score in this section to a precautionary “C.”

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Our Sphere Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts

Sphere is currently ranked as an average credit card processing provider, based on trends observed in customer complaints. These complaints frequently point to problematic areas in Sphere’s operations, particularly regarding customer service and sales tactics. Additionally, the pricing structure of Sphere is noted to be above the industry average, which could be a significant deterrent for cost-conscious businesses.

Given these factors, companies considering Sphere for their credit card processing needs should proceed with caution. It is essential for businesses to conduct a thorough inquiry into all potential fees associated with Sphere’s service before committing to any agreements. Understanding the full cost framework is crucial to avoid any unexpected financial burdens down the line. Moreover, businesses are advised to also explore other credit card processing providers that may offer more competitive rates and hold stronger customer satisfaction records. Comparing Sphere’s services and pricing with these providers can help businesses make a more informed decision that aligns with both their budgetary constraints and service expectations.

Location & Ownership

Sphere was formerly headquartered at 1033 Demonbreun Street, Suite 300 Nashville, Tennessee 37203. However, it appears they have moved to 1 MacArthur Pl #400, Santa Ana, CA 92707, and its merchant services division is headquartered at Anovia Payments’ old headquarters of 600 Las Colinas Blvd., Suite 1200, Irving, Texas 75039. The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, Utah; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Canadian Branch, Toronto, ON, Canada; and  Elavon DAC. Steve Rizzuto is the president and CEO of Sphere, while Todd Baylis is CEO of Qgiv.

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Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

Testimonials & Complaints

How Did Sphere Treat You?

Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<

8 User Reviews

  • SUsan Hovdesven

    Southampton Day Care Center

    I am the Board President of a small non profit Day Care Center. We have been a customer of Anovia then Sphere since November 2018. The terms of our agreement state that we must provide 90 days written notice to terminate our agreement. Our anniversary is August 19, 2023 and beginning on March 17, 2023 we can sending termination notices. Alon with the termination notices we detailed the following list of charges and increases to our account.

    This will service as official notice that we will be terminating our account at the end of our agreement that began in November 2018. The Southampton Day Care Center is a small nonprofit that services low to moderate income families by providing nurturing, safe and reliable early education and day care. Sphere Commerce should be ashamed of their business practices and how they treat their customers. Details as follows:

    November 18, 2018 First month with Sphere. Sphere charges a PMI non compliance fee as well as an annual fee. Why would you sign a new account and not make sure they were PCI compliant?

    Money due to Day Care $25 per month for the first year $300

    Monthly fee is 5.00 and first month we are charged $ 10/month and these rates continue to increase over the years.

    April 2020 when business in NY State are shut down Sphere Commerce RAISES Sphere doubles monthly fee to $20/month

    October 2021 Sphere raise their monthly fee to $25/month

    April 2022 Sphere raises their monthly fee to $30/month

    April 2023 Sphere raises their monthly fee to $39.95/ month

    NEVER ON ANY STATEMENT is there notice of the SPHERE MONTHLY rates increases.

    Money due to Day Care: $849.95

    April 2019

    Sphere Commerce adds a $12.95 Company.com charge to the bill. This charge was never approved and JW at Sphere told me usually it is buried in the contract, but it does not exist on ours when I ask what the services are and how we would get access to such service he says he does not know and that would be a question for Company.com. Company.com does not have a phone number, but I was able to speak with a member of their executive team SL, CRO and President of Company.com and he tells me that Sphere should be able to tell me what service we are paying for. Sphere pays Company.com and then charges Sphere customers. What is a customer paying for when billed every month for Company.com

    April 2020 when NY businesses are shut down due to COVID Sphere raises another Sphere fee. Company.com is now $14.95

    April 2021 Sphere raises Company.com to $19.95

    April 2022 Sphere raises Company.com to $24.95

    NEVER ON ANY STATEMENT is there notice of the SPHERE MONTHLY rates increases.

    Money due the Day Care Center $694.24

    TOTAL DUE DAY CARE: $1844.90

    Sphere has now sent us to a Texas collections agency and we have provided the proof that we cancelled our account. Sphere has now sold off the commercial business and the person that we communicated with is gone, but we have all the emails and proof. I wonder how many other companies were abused by Sphere’s business practices? No one at Sphere has ever been able to answer the question what is Company.com and why are we being charged each month.

    We have contacted the BBB and no response from Sphere. Next is FTC and Attorney General.

  • Daniel Toth

    Toth Network Construction LLC

    I agree. I want currently challenging a change off from them that was sent to collections of $1120 just because I cancelled after one month of service. I can’t find any supporting documents that state that I agree to that. Wish me luck in getting it removed and DON’T get into business with them.

    Toth Network Construction LLC

  • Zach Blenkinsopp

    I am an 80% disabled veteran and own a small construction business. We signed through a friend with Anovia payments at a nominal charge of $15-$30 a month. After a year or so, we stopped doing residential jobs, therefore, we didn’t need the processing service anymore. Apparently, Sphere bought out Anovia and tried to charge us an absurd rate of $500 to cancel, but I believe we settled at $300 just to get rid of the service.

    The next thing I know, I get a $1,850 delinquent account on my PERSONAL Credit Report! As a small business owner, my credit score is vital to our success. I am disgusted there are businesses like this out there. If you work for a dishonest company like this, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Jyoti Sharma

    I have been in business for last 20 years this is worst credit card processing company I have ever used I have given them my 6 business account which are supposed to funded next day that never happened on top of that they put chargeback on my account without any customer dispute calling it a risk transaction with out any information .when I call them the representative put me to Rick department to the person Named Michal who called himself the decision maker with worst attitude not ready to listen and not to help .you end up begging for your own hard earned money and on top of that he holds all my accounts for no reason .so guys please be aware of this company and it’s not a small amount it’s $3400 dollars and the chargeback is for $3650 unbelievable when I ask them to put me the higher authority to speak ,the customer service Lady Armanda said there is no body is higher than him and she won’t let me speak to Manger.one more thing I came to know they are holding reserves on your accounts without your knowledge.so if you still want to do business with them Good luck.

  • Camille

    Although this company did offer me a lower transaction fee, there are ALOT of hidden fees associated with this company. They also will not tell you that once you sign up with you are locked into a 3 year contract. If you cancel you will pay a $500 cancellation fee. There are other fee as well such as insurance and account fees that are determined bases your monthly transaction.

    I understand that there are fees associated with every merchant service but none of the additional fees or contract was discussed prior to me signing up.

    ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!


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

    -Phillip

  • Alan Wu

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY AT ALL COST!!

    One of the worst mistake i ever made. I signed up with Anovia 5 years ago (later on got brought or became Sphere) because one of my friend talked me into it and i thought why not, i got a good merchant service and also help out my friend. Turned out it was the worst mistake i have ever made.
    2 years ago i stopped receiving electronic statements for no reason and due to the business growing so i overlooked this; later on i found out they have been charged me so called “anovia insight” hidde fee for $50/month for almot 2 years; i called them back and asked them what it was, the rep said it was a new way to help us analyze the data which i didn’t request or needed. I asked for the refund and they put me thru the loops of the phone calls and was never successful. The represntative, Alex Spink, so called the retention specaliest, was not very hepful as well. While I was talking to him, I asked him why all the hidden fees were charged and the exact words he toled me was “we all have to make money somehow” (no joke).
    When I was ready to switch out the service in the middle of May this year but they told me they have automatically renewal my contract for another year because it was expired in early May. In order for me to cancel the contract I will have to pay $595 cancellation fee.

    How can the company renewal my contract without any notice? I called Alex back and he told me it was in the contract I signed 4 years ago. I requested a copy of the contract for review and it’s has been almost 2 months still haven’t gotten it. In the meantime I decided to go with another company just waited it out until contract expires, but I just checked my bank statement and showed a charged $161 for the service I don’t even use! This is ridiculous. Absolute scam! I am currenlty looking into the banking regulation and laws and see how I can get out of this mess. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY AT ALL COST!!


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

    -Phillip

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Overcharges Reported

Getting the lowest costs with Sphere?
Probably not.
>>> See what we are finding <<<