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9-25-2020 update: With no changes made to the website in the last two years and no point of contact, it can be assumed Top Tier Payment Solutions is no longer in business. If you have had recent contact with the company please let us know in the comment section below. Tier 1 Processing, which shared a business address with Top Tier Payment Solutions and was accused of the same slamming tactics, has also gone out of business.
A Likely DBA of Tier 1 Processing
With no functioning website or public profiles to speak of, Top Tier Payment Solutions (toptierpaymentsolutions.com) is a challenging merchant account provider to review. The available evidence suggests, however, that the company is simply an alternate business name used by the poorly rated company Tier 1 Processing. For the purposes of this review, we will operate under this assumption.
We have located dozens of online complaints from the past three years alleging that Top Tier and Tier 1 engage in a process called “slamming.” Complainants claim to receive calls from Tier 1 Processing (which also goes by the name “Main Street Processing” and appears to go by the names “Challas Group” and “Wholesale Banc“) in which the caller states that the merchant’s account has been “flagged” or “red-flagged” for overpaying on processing fees. When pressed about the organization they represent, the caller states that they are with “Visa,” “Visa/MasterCard,” or, simply, “the processor.” The caller then requests information such as the merchant’s tax ID number, merchant ID number, and two months of credit card statements in order to “modify” the merchant’s rates. Merchants who question the caller’s identity or motives claim to experience high-pressure tactics, stalling, and outright deception from the caller. Merchants who consent to the caller’s requests eventually receive a contract from Tier 1 Processing/Main Street Processing/Datalink Bankcard Services and are then ushered into the signup process.
Verify Caller Identity
These online complainants allege a systemic effort by the company to attract new merchants by confusing and pressuring them into unwanted contracts. The practice of slamming is questionably legal and can result in the merchant paying thousands of dollars in excessive fees. Merchants should understand that Visa and MasterCard will never contact them for a rate review, and they should be sure to contact their processor directly if they suspect that they’ve been contacted by an impostor.
Tier 1 Processing Location and Ownership
According to the Better Business Bureau, Tier 1 Processing shares an address with Datalink Bankcard Processing at 3505 Token Dr, Richardson, Texas, 75082. The BBB also states that Steve Odom is the president of Datalink Bankcard Services.
Top Tier Payment Solutions Review Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Top Tier Payment Solutions appears to offer a three-year contract through First Data with a $250 early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: Top Tier Payment Solutions has received more than 30 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: Top Tier Payment Solutions does not have a rating with the Better Business Bureau and has not received any complaints in the past three years.
- Sales & Marketing: Top Tier Payment Solutions appears to hire independent sales agents and has received a relatively high number of complaints about its sales practices.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Top Tier Payment Solutions
Should You Trust Top Tier Payment Solutions?
Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints
Here's Who We Trust.
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
As noted above, we have located dozens of negative Top Tier Payment Solutions reviews, many of which refer to the company as a telemarketing scam. The vast majority of these complaints have to do with the company’s sales tactics, but merchants also call Top Tier Payment Solutions a ripoff with its expensive lease terms, longer-than-expected contracts, and poor customer service. Two complaints filed by former employees describe excessive employee turnover, inadequate training, delays in compensation, and completely unqualified leads.
Top Tier Payment Solutions Lawsuits
Despite numerous complaints of potentially illegal business practices, we have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Top Tier Payment Solutions. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Top Tier Payment Solutions Customer Support Options
As of this writing, Top Tier Payment Solutions does not appear to maintain a website or publicly list a customer support number. It is likely that the company’s customer support is actually serviced by Datalink Bankcard, which receives a “C” rating in this category from CPO at this time. Neither company appears to offer the service levels we expect of top-rated credit card processors for quality customer service.
Is the BBB Rating for Top Tier Payment Solutions Accurate?
Better Business Bureau Profile
See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.
No Rating Assigned
The Better Business Bureau currently does not assign a rating to Tier 1 Processing and has not received any complaints against the company in the past three years. The BBB states that the reason for withholding a rating is that it does not have sufficient information about the company. Given our own inability to uncover much concrete information about Top Tier Payment Solutions, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.
How Expensive is Top Tier Payment Solutions Service?
Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms
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1.00% - 4.99%
1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms
Most merchant complaints state that the contract provided by Top Tier Payment Solutions is actually through Datalink Bankcard, which is itself an ISO of First Data. Top Tier Payment Solutions’ standard terms and conditions (available below) outline a three-year agreement with automatic renewal for two-year terms, an early termination fee of $250 or Liquidated Damages (whichever is greater), a $0.35 batch fee, and an unspecified “membership” fee to be billed bi-annually. There may be additional fees that aren’t listed in the available documentation. Merchants also report being signed up for long-term, expensive equipment leases that they cannot cancel without paying thousands of dollars.
Top Tier Payment Solutions’ contract terms receive a “D” rating from us due to the multiyear term with a large cancellation fee. However, we have given Top Tier Payment Solutions an “F” in this section because of the alleged misrepresentation and nondisclosure that accompanies these contract terms. According to merchant complaints, it appears very unlikely that merchants will receive an opportunity to negotiate competitive rates with this company. Merchants should instead consider opting for a low-cost merchant provider to see the most savings. If you have any further details regarding the standard Top Tier Payment Solutions contract, please share that information in the comment section below this review. See the Datalink Bankcard Services Terms & Conditions.
Does Top Tier Payment Solutions Use Deceptive Marketing?
Advertising & Sales Strategy
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Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
Telemarketing and Outside Agents
According to all available information, Top Tier Payment Solutions utilizes telemarketers and independent sales agents to sell its services. As a general rule in the industry, the combination of telemarketers and independently contracted agents tends to result in a sales staff that receives little training or oversight. Top Tier Payment Solutions appears to be no exception, as there are numerous Top Tier Payment Solutions complaints that describe deception, high-pressure tactics, and aggressive behavior by Top Tier Payment Solutions sales agents. As noted above, there is evidence that the company engages in “slamming” on a fairly regular basis, and the company has no online presence that would allow merchants to double-check the information they’ve been given over the phone. This complaint from a former employee largely confirms what merchants have reported.
Serious Red Flags
Given the abundance of complaints related to Top Tier Payment Solutions’s sales practices, we have assigned the company an “F” rating in this section. This grade is mostly due to the content of the telemarketing complaints, but it may improve modestly if the company ever creates a functioning website. If you suspect that you have been misled Top Tier Payment Solutions’ sales team, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.