UPDATE 2/19/2019: TechStorm’s website has been significantly scaled back to a client portal that sells merchant cash advances under the i3 Verticals domain. The company does not appear to be structured as a full-service merchant account provider. We therefore will not update this review for the foreseeable future. See our i3 Verticals review for up-to-date information about this organization.
TechStorm (gotechstorm.com) is a merchant account provider that offers a tablet-based point-of-sale system for the retail and quick-service industries. The company appears to have been founded sometime in 2014 and is headquartered at 15725 North Dallas Parkway Suite 125 Addison, Texas 75001. TechStorm is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank Corporation, South Jordan, Utah, and its advisory board consists of Jon Frankel, Rony Batagower, Alan S. King, and Phil Taken.
Jon Frankel is the former director of a company called Certified Merchant Services, which reached a $23.5 settlement with the FTC in 2004. Following the FTC litigation and the subsequent sale of Certified Merchant Services, Jon’s brother Craig Frankel (who also was an executive at Certified Merchant Services) released a book and served as the executive producer of a film titled Chasing the Green, which tells the story of “two young brothers who become millionaires during the early 1990s. Their ambition and drive lead them into conflict with FTC officials, where an over-zealous bureaucrat attempts to destroy their company.” The Amazon book description also states that the brothers in the story (the “Franklins”) “were confident and bold, and thus ignored warnings by the government to ‘respond’ to numerous complaints regarding their practices. Ultimately, they were nearly destroyed by the FTC, who sought to demolish their company at the behest of their competitors in the industry.” This version of events—in which two reckless, money-hungry brothers fall victim to unreasonable federal regulators acting at the urging of jealous rivals—suggests a great deal about how Craig Frankel interprets his actions, his brother’s actions, and the FTC’s actions. It’s unclear whether and to what degree Jon Frankel contributed to Chasing the Green, although he is the basis for one of the main characters.
Jon Frankel is also a co-founder of Crescent Processing Company, which has a “D” rating on CPO. He is also the brother of Andrew Frankel, the former CEO of a Plano, Texas-based company called Apex Merchant Group, which reached a $550,000 settlement with the Minnesota Attorney General in March 2015. According to multiple sources, Andrew Frankel is now in charge of a Carrolton, Texas-based company called Certified Payment Processing. We are sharing these facts due to the close proximity of these businesses to one another and the personal history linking their owners. It is unclear as of this review’s publication whether TechStorm is formally affiliated with any of these other businesses.
Chasing the Green Trailer
- Sales & Marketing: TechStorm appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a few complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: TechStorm appears to offer a three-year contract with a liquidated damages-style early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: TechStorm has received more than 10 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: TechStorm has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received seven complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With TechStorm