Total Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints

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Total Merchant Services
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Total Merchant Services

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PhonePhone(888) 848-6825 View Pricing

Company Overview

Total Merchant Services is a mid-size credit card processor and merchant account provider that appears to have entered the credit card processing industry in 1996. Although Total Merchant Services handles the support of its business customers directly, the company uses Global Payments for its back-end card processing. In May 2017, Total Merchant Services was fully acquired by North American Bancard but continues to operated under its own brand name. This processor also offers point-of-sale hardware and software under the brand name “Groovv.”

Credit Card Processing

Total Merchant Services provides credit card processing services that enable businesses to accept credit and debit card payments from customers.

Point of Sale Systems (POS)

Total Merchant Services offers point-of-sale (POS) systems that allow businesses to manage inventory, process payments, and track sales data.

Mobile Payments

Total Merchant Services provides mobile payment solutions that enable businesses to accept payments on-the-go using a smartphone or tablet.

E-commerce Payments

Total Merchant Services offers e-commerce payment solutions that allow businesses to accept online payments on their website or through a virtual terminal.

Gift and Loyalty Programs

Total Merchant Services offers gift and loyalty program services that allow businesses to create and manage custom programs to reward customers and increase sales.

Check Processing

Total Merchant Services offers check processing services that allow businesses to accept paper checks as payment.

Merchant Cash Advance

Total Merchant Services provides merchant cash advance services that offer businesses quick access to capital without the need for collateral.

Location & Ownership

The company is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, California, with corporate headquarters located at 21650 Oxnard St Ste 1200, Woodland Hills, California 91367-7814. Joe Kaplan is the CEO of Total Merchant Services.

Video Summary

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Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Appears to offer a three-year contract through Global Payments that may or may not include an early termination fee of…
  • Complaints & Service: Has received more than 100 public complaints in regards to…
  • BBB Rating: Has been accredited since 2013 and has an “A+” rating but has received 19 complaints and 3 reviews in the last three years regarding…
  • Sales & Marketing: Hires independent sales agents and has received a moderate-to-high number of complaints about its…
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Total Merchant Services Reviews and Complaints

Here's What Their Clients Say

Complaint Summary

Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Hidden Fees

Moderate Complaint Total

There are over 100 Total Merchant Services reviews on this and other consumer protection websites, many of which accuse the company of being a scam or a ripoff. Consistent themes include deceptive sales tactics, difficulty canceling accounts, poor customer service, and withholding of funds. Most of these complaints appear to be the result of conduct on the part of sales agents at the point of signing rather than rude or unhelpful customer service. Still, it is our belief that an effective customer service team resolves complaints before they are taken to public forums.

Total Merchant Services Lawsuits

In November of 2018, a U.S. District Court Judge approved a $7.5 million settlement resolving Naiman v. Total Merchant Services Inc., Case No. 4:17-cv-03806, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a class-action lawsuit against the company. The suit alleged that Total Merchant Services partnered with Quality Merchant Services, Inc. to create a telemarketing scheme. Telephone numbers included in the automatic dialer database were purchased from an unknown source, violating the privacy of the individuals whose data was part of that transaction in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Total Merchant Services Customer Support Options

It is unclear at this time whether Total Merchant Services employs an in-house support staff or outsources its customer support to North American Bancard/Global Payments, but its website lists dedicated phone numbers and email addresses for merchant support. Despite these channels, the company does not currently rank among our top-rated payment processors for great customer service.

Total Merchant Services Customer Service Number

  • 800-518-6825 – Sales Team
  • 866-485-8999 – Support Team
  • 717-944-2182 – Local
  • 800-521-6495 – Fax

Total Merchant Services also offers a customer support form on its website and a customer support email address at [email protected]

Total Merchant Services BBB Rating and Report

Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment

BBB Summary

Total BBB Complaints
Response Rate
Complaints Resolved

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.

Nearly 20 Complaints

The Better Business Bureau currently awards Total Merchant Services accreditation and an “A+” rating. The company has received 19 complaints in the past 36 months. Only 8 of these 19 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 11 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response

What Merchants Say

Total Merchant Services has also received 3 negative informal reviews on its BBB profile. The most recent review is from a former employee describing deceptive sales practices and poor customer service:

I use to work for this company when it was in Colorado. They had independent sales agents that would go out and get merchants signed up and lie to them stating that there was not a yearly contract and there was! Then the agent would make $500 for signing a business up and leave them high and dry! I worked in their call center and the staff in the call center were rude and even hung up on clients! When I went to report this to my manager and no results I went to their manager and no results! So I went into the HR person who hired me and she seemed to know nothing about any of this! I really couldn’t believe that she could be so in the dark. I have great customer service skills and would NEVER stay with a company that treated their customers like that! I was always taught that your customers where like GOLD! SO left. It’s been years now, I just happened to wander onto the company reviews and though I would share my experience! DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY! Maybe they sold, or got new management? However, looking at the reviews it doesn’t look like it!

Business owners should consider credit card processors with excellent customer service.

A “C” Performance

Given the number of complaints on Total’s BBB profile and the company’s resolution ratio, we have adjusted the BBB’s grade to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

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Total Merchant Services Fees and Rates

A Closer Look at the Contract

Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.

Cost Summary

Processing Rates
1.00% - 4.99%
Early Termination Fee
Monthly Fees

Three-Year Contract

According to available documentation and numerous Total Merchant Services reviews, the standard Total Merchant Services contract is an automatically renewing three-year agreement through Global Payments that may or may not include a $295 early termination fee at the agent’s discretion.

Merchants also report varying PCI compliance fees and other undisclosed fees, and many complaints mention costly equipment leases with high termination fees. Although the company’s merchant account terms are basically unchanged Global Payments contracts, the added cost of leasing terminals and other equipment through the company appears to be the more distressing factor for businesses.

Early Termination Fee Disputes

There is some confusion among the payment processor’s own agents about whether it enforces a termination fee. On this and other consumer protection websites, sources have issued rebuttals to merchant complaints either insisting that there is no early termination fee in the Total Merchant Services contract or claiming that they were told during training that no such fee existed. The current consensus appears to be that the $295 termination fee is no longer standard, but that agents can either include it or not include it as they like. Business owners are advised to carefully scan the trickiest parts of their contracts for any mention of a cancellation penalty of any amount. We have recently seen complaints that cite an early termination fee of $399, so it seems that such a fee still applies in some cases. The number of complaints related to the company’s pricing has lowered the company’s score in this section to a “C.”

Total Merchant Services Jobs and Employment

Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment

Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees

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Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms

Outside Sales Team

Total Merchant Services appears to hire independent sales agents and sub-ISOs to market its credit card processing services, which is a common practice within the industry. However, this practice can be a major source of frustration for businesses. In this case, we have found over 100 negative Total Merchant Services reviews that describe deceptive sales strategies by sales agents across the country. The overwhelming majority of these complaints describe non-disclosure of terms, particularly with regard to early termination fees and equipment leases, and misrepresentation of rates or sudden changes in rates after signing up for the service.

Total Merchant Services Agent Bonuses

In the past, Total Merchant Services advertised a $100,000 progressive signing bonus for new sales partners, which offered $100 per new account on top of the company’s existing bonus structure. Total Merchant Services stated that partners could “Earn up to an Extra $100,000 in Your First 90 Days,” but it wasn’t clear how many new accounts the sales partner would have to open to reach that amount. Under any circumstances, this seems to be an unrealistically lucrative promotion. If it pays marginally more than $100 per new account, then it’s possible that sales agents would need to open nearly 1,000 new accounts in 90 days to take full advantage of the bonus. But if the program is frequently paying out $100,000 to new partners on top of existing bonus structures, then it’s likely that the added revenue is coming in the form of lopsided contracts with clients. If you suspect that you have been tricked into an unfavorable contract by a Total Merchant Services sales agent, you can double-check your pricing with a third-party statement audit.

Total Merchant Services Review Summary

Our Final Thoughts and Opinions

Total Merchant Services reviews indicate a below-average credit card processor. We have found many complaints describing deceptive tactics by the company’s sales agents, and the company’s contract terms appear to be average at best. Total Merchant Services also does not appear to have taken advantage of the fact that its BBB profile was essentially wiped clean in March 2013. For now, merchants will likely be able to obtain more competitive pricing through a top-rated credit card processor.

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Customer & Employee Reviews

What Others Are Saying About Total Merchant Services

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60 Responses

  • Don

    Really poor service at Total Merchant Services. Really poorly trained operators on the phone, non of which seem to have a grasp on how contracts and fees work.

    Nate – was the supervisor at Total Merchant Services who should be removed. He is a dummie with alot of attitude, just pathetic. AND HES THE SUPERVISOR.

    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Great Customer Service


  • Marnie

    This company is very very misleading. Don’t take my word for it, give them a try!
    Between the rep and the company someone is not telling the entire truth. Make a long story short, there’s a lot of hidden fees that are quickly overlooked in the beginning and not mentioned until you get your statement and have a heart attack. If you try and cancel the service it’s very hard to get a hold someone. Like a live service rep.

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

  • Jen

    Very disappointed in Total Merchant Services and their handling of the fraud that we have encountered. At one point we had been charged $9800. in fees for one month of transactions that we did not see any deposit for. (Normal monthly fees are in the $300 range) They claimed they had a special dept to help us handle this but in the end stated we were responsible to still pay this. We are still dumbfounded at how they pulled a 180 on us. Other times we have spent hours on the phone trying to resolve simple matters, as if they place you on hold and just hope you get tired of waiting and hang up. Currently looking for another merchant services provider. Would never recommend this company.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Best All-Purpose Merchant Account Providers

  • Raven

    Frauddd Alert !

    PLEASE DO NOT WORK WITH THIS COMPANY , they never batched our my money, they charged my account three times & then closed it . Worst processor ever !

  • Jen

    These people are crooks. They did not give detailed information up front about what you are getting contracted into. They hide information very well. No wonder they are one of the richest companies. They steel from their clients.
    We recently switched to a new merchange processor. I noticed charges still on my account from Total Merchant Servcies. I called them up and found out in 2017 that they have been charging us a monthy fee of just over $100, since 2014, that was not suposed to be charged. I spent about an hour getting transfered from person to person trying to figure out the mess. The last lady I got to basically told me it was my fault, I should have caught it and too bad for me. They will not do anything about the money they have gotten from me over the past few years. I am sure they are collecting all kinds of money from unsuspection people.
    This is the worst customer experience I have ever had. They could care less about small business.

  • Alan Cancelino

    I’ve had several accounts over the course of 5 years and recently used Groovv- which I highly do NOT recommend. Firstly, there is zero customer support. Even the reps are not familiar with how the system works- but this isn’t the reason I’m writing. I writing because I was informed, while on vacation, that all of my accounts were terminated. Now I not only process with this company, but they provided all of my POS systems as well- I was in Europe, and it was extremely difficult to get any answers as to why my accounts were terminated. Finally, after days of calling, with a totally impaired business- no sales terminals- I was told that the decision was made because of a T shirt on my webstore- a t shirt featuring the statue of David- I was told that nudity was against the banks policy- Now- I turned extremely puzzled- Not only was this a masterpiece of art- but this bank was not the processor for my webstore! Unbelievable- I was told there was nothing I could do. The next few months were hell. I was automatically debited thousands of dollars for equipment I had already returned, an even more money for fraudulent chargebacks. I can’t believe the level of incompetence at this company and question how they haven’t been sued. The worse part about this is that because I used their POS systems, when they terminated my accounts, they also deleted all of my sales and inventory data for the past 5 years. All because of a t shirt with the image of perhaps the worlds most famous statue which happens to be a nude male. Ridiculous.

  • Charles

    This company is not customer service friendly and does not accept responsibility for their company representative’s actions. You must read the fine print and verify that your company information, the fees verbally agreed upon, and the contract are accurate. I would NOT recommend this company to anyone. Sometimes it’s worth paying higher fees to get good service.

  • J Lytle

    They have sent a false bill to a collection agency with no supporting documentation.
    Now there is a collections on my credit report.
    I have no information on what they say the bill is for.

    I have received no information about this except what is on the credit report.

    It is impossible to address this.

  • Jesse Salman

    Fraud alert!!!

    We terminated services and they kept charging us. We then reached out to bank and got charges reversed. Total merchant then changed their name on the ACH and charged our bank account again. The bank deemed the charge fraud and we decided to close the account as we believed total merchant was going to continue charging.

    Total merchant not only forged the ACH and changed names but also referred this to collection for $80. Really low.

  • Ken

    Before you are thinking to do any Business with Total Merchant Services, Please, please go on BBB in CA (Where the head quarter of Total Merchant Services) check out the review from there first.
    I have copy some of the complaints below.
    Total Merchant Services is not the one you should trust. Best offers, not keeping up with it anyway. ripped me off big time. I’m in the process of hiring Attorney to fight against Total Merchant Services.

    On January 30th 2016 Luxury Nails, Inc has received the Advertised from Tuan Le, The Primary Sales Partner Name and Number: Tuan Ie 21127 from Total Merchant Services in regarded to switch the credit card processing Company to save on monthly fees.

    Tuan Le has stated: There is no contract to be sign, no cancellation/ termination fee. The total monthly charge 1.7% on the gross income. Tuan Le only needed the letter signed by Luxury Nails, Inc’s owner along with the Bank information to make deposits, Socail Security Number, Driver License Number of the owner and Address to keep on file before Total Merchant Services can release the credit card terminal.

    Luxury Nails, Inc has agreed to the term Tuan Le provided and started the process of switchiing to Total Merchant Services to process all credit card payments for Luxury Nail, Inc.

    When Luxury Nails, Inc got the first statement from Total Merchant Services was higher, Luxury Nails, Inc has cotacted Tuan Le requested to adjust the fees to match with what Tuan Le has promised before the service started. Tuan Le has tryed to avoid the request by delayed his response.
    On June 11th Luxury Nails, Inc decided to contact Total Merchant Services to complained about Tuan Le and got connected to Kevin (the manager of Total Merchant Services). Kevin refused to process Luxury Nails, Inc’s request. Kevin sent the copy of signed contract to Luxury Nails, Inc whitch Luxury Nails, Inc has never signed any contract with Total Merchant Services before. Luxury Nails, Inc believe Tuan Le has copied the signature from the letter that he has requested from Luxury Nails, Inc when started the Account.
    On June 27th 2016 at 1:15 PM Luxury Nails, Inc has contacted Total Merchant Services and got connected with Brench, Luxury Nails, Inc has requested Brench to discontinue the service with Total Merchant Services. Brench has closed the Account for Luxury Nails, Inc and told Luxury Nails, Inc that he was going to send the box out to collect the credit card terminal, the box should arrived by Luxury Nails, Inc by ten days.
    Luxury Nails, Inc never received the box.
    Total Merchant Services continue to bill Luxury Nails, Inc monthly minimum after cancellation effected on June 27th 2016.
    Luxury Nails, Inc has requested the Bank to cancel the future withdrawn from Total Merchant Services on August 22nd 2016.
    Total Merchant Services continue to send bills to Luxury Nails, Inc for July, August, September, October and more coming.
    Because this related to frautulent agreement provided from Total Merchant Services.
    Tuan Le, who represented for Total Merchant Services ( who sold the service to Luxury Nails, Inc) was dishornous, he frauded my signatures and he signed the agreement by himself used my signature and all my personal information in the letter that Tuan Le has requred me to sent him. (Tuan Le told me make sure I must signed the letter that stated all my personal information along with the Luxury Nails, Inc’s information so he can submit to Total Merchant Services so they can sent out the credit card terminal, made deposits to Luxury Nails, Inc’s Bank Account and send out the 1099 form the end of the year.)
    Luxury Nails, Inc has contacted Tuan Le many times and got no respons from him.
    On July 11th 2016 I have contacted Kevin Flores (The manager of Total Merchant Services) and made a complaint about Tuan Le didn’t response to my phone calls about the overcharged to my Account. Kevin Flores has sent me the copy of the contract. The contract has never signed by me before. I told Kevin Flores that Tuan Le said there was no contract required to signed. Tuan Le just needed the signed letter with all my personal information along with the Salon’s information.
    Please reopen my case and try to solve this matter for Luxury Nails, Inc.
    Total Merchant Services has offered to refunded Luxury Nails, Inc the charged from July to November of 2016 wasn’t fairly at all. Since Tuan Le (the representer for Total Merchant Services) has frauded my signature to signed the agreement by himself and charged Luxury Nails, Inc with the high fees than he promised to me when we entered the agreement.
    It was totally illegal for Tuan Le to do what he did to Luxury Nails, Inc.
    Luxury Nails, Inc request Total Merchant Services refund the total requested of: $282.96 and cancel all the monthly minimum charged from July 2016 through November 2016 to Luxury Nails, Inc.
    Because Luxury Nails, Inc has contact the Bank to put the stop on Total Merchant Services from withdrawn the monthly charged (after closed the service) on August 22nd 2016. The cancellation service cost $25.00 to Luxury Nails, Inc to stop the continueous charging to Luxury Nails, Inc Bank Account. Luxury Nails, Inc request Total Merchant Services to reimburse that fee also.
    Luxury Nails, Inc request Total Merchant Services sending the refunded Check with the amount of $307.96 and mail to Luxury Nails, Inc 410 Miracle Mile Plaza #7 Lebanon, NH 03766.
    11/28/2016 Received Business’ Rebuttal Response
    It is unfortunate the merchant had a less than favorable experience. Once again, per the signed contract, all the fees billed are agreed to at signing. Additionally the merchant actively processed throughout the months of February through June 2016. The use of our services further ratifies the Merchant Agreement’s Terms and Conditions. For this reason no refunds will be considered for that active period of processing. However, as a courtesy, we have processed a refund of the merchant’s billing charged from July through October for a total of $140.71. If the merchant believes the Sales Partner fraudulently enrolled and activated the credit card processing account, he must file a police report and affidavit of fraud and forgery and provide a copy via US Mail to:
    Total Merchant Services
    Attn: Risk Dept
    21650 Oxnard Street, Suite 1200
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Please let us know if you require any additional information.

    Customer Support
    Total Merchant Services
    12/10/2016 Consumer rejects business’ final offer
    (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
    I have contacted the local police department and they didn’t take action on the out of State’s case. The local police department have adviced me to contact the authoroty in the state where the fraudulent has occurred.
    I have the busy schedule and can’t spend the time to take on this legal process from out of state.
    As of my busy scheduled. I accept the offers from Total Merchant Services. But I’m not happy with the Sales Partner fraudulently enrolled and activated the credit card processing account for Luxury Nails, Inc throught Total Merchant Services and ripped Luxury Nails, Inc off big time over five months.
    We are the Incorporation, All the income’s statements should be made to Luxury Nails, Inc and Luxury Nails, Inc will pay tax for itself. Because Tuan Le (The sale partners from the Total Merchant Services) has frauted my signatures and filled out the application by himself, he also has insered the wrong information into the application used my personal name as DBA. I need Total Merchant Services correct it and send Luxury Nails, Inc the 1099, Not under Ken Thai’s name. Ken Thai is the Presiden of Luxury Nails, Inc.
    As I have stated in the last correspondent that Luxury Nails, Inc has put a stop on the automatic withdrawn through Luxury Nails, Inc’s Bank Account from Total Merchant Services in August. Luxury Nails, Inc is requesting Total Merchant Services issues a refund and mail the Check to Luxury Nails, Inc 410 Miracle Mile Plaza #7 Lebanon, NH 03766.
    12/26/2016 Consumer rejects business’ final offer
    (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
    I have just checked with my Bank statements and found Total Merchant Services, Inc has withdrawn in Luxury Nails, Inc Bank’s Account with unauthorized amount of $790.00 on February 24th 2016.
    01/14/2017 Consumer rejects business’ final offer
    (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
    Once again.
    There was nothing about the bookeeping. Total Merchant Services has made unauthorized to Luxury Nails, Inc’s Bank Account $790,00 on February 24th 2016. No excuse to be made.
    Total Merchant Services has charged Luxury Nails, Inc monthly fees event after terminated the service.
    Total Merchant Services has changed the name to TMS to continue to charged Luxury Nails, Inc’s Bank Account event Luxury Nails, Inc has put a stop payment on Total Merchant Services (used Global Payments to processed al the transaction) in July 2016.
    Total Merchant Services Sale Partner has frauded my signature and signed the contract himself and submitted without Luxury Nails, Inc’s permission.
    Total Merchant Services has over charge for all the monthly fees (Lots more than the Sale Partner has promised before the service started.
    Hope Better Business Beureau can resolved all this matter, If not Luxury Nail, Inc will hire the Attorney to continue to fight until the matter is resolved.
    01/18/2017 Consumer rejects business’ final offer
    (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
    Other than all the charges (including unauthorized charges) to Luxury Nails, Inc Bank account from Total Merchant Services, Total Merchant Services has continue to charge monthly fee to Luxury Nails, Inc Bank Account for December 09th 2016 of $34.25. Total Merchant Services has promised to Luxury Nails, Inc in November 2016 and has refunded the monthly charges after the Account has terminated and not continue to charge again to Luxury Nails, Inc Bank Account again. Luxury Nail, Inc has put a stop payment on Total Merchant Services in July 2016 (used Global Payments) with the cost of $25.00, Luxury Nails, Inc has requested Total Merchant Services to reimbursed the cancellation fee from the Bank charged to Luxury Nails, Inc to cancelled the ongoing charges from Total Merchant Services, and got no responsed. Total Merchant Services has changed the name to TMS and continue charging Luxury Nails, Inc Bank Account. If Luxury Nail, Inc put the second stop payment on Total Merchant Services (using TMS), I’m affray Total Merchant Services is going to change to different name and continue to charge Luxury Nail, Inc Bank Account anyway without reimbure the cancellation fees to Luxury Nails, Inc.
    Luxury Nails, Inc is requesting BBB to put a stop on Total Merchant Services from trying to scaming Luxury Nails, Inc fund out of the Account and refund all the unauthorize charges including December 09th 2016 monthly fee from Total Merchant Services.

  • Arnette Reed

    This company does not disclose any information in writing just post debits to your account for fees. You are required to obtain information from their website. I closed account on 12/30/16 and was charged $133.20 in addition to 34.20 monthly on 1/4/2017 BEWARE other companies are out there without fees

  • Farrah rangel

    they are horrible and steal your money

  • Cynda pollard

    Total scam! I have had nothing but problems with this company since I started with it I canceled it after three months! Between not receiving the bill between them double charging me and then telling me a late fees because they didn’t take the money out. The terrible time of canceling my services with them. And now 14 months later I receive a collection notice that apparently after I closed my account with them at a $0 balance they still charged me and of course NEVER SENT ME A BILL! And their answer is I could’ve went to the website to see that I owed money. But I’m sorry if I close my account with you what makes you think I would want to go back on that website! Especially after calling in every single month a number of times because there is constantly problems with my account and my money. Not to mention that they held money that was supposed to come to me from using their services. Worst company ever!

  • Leslie Boles

    Along side of AT&T I would rate this as one of the worst companies to deal with EVER. If you try to close your account with them I would suggest you change your bank account asap because they will find ways to prevent you from closing your account and keep taking money from your account. My story is too long, frustrating and outrageous, all I can say is beware, they are thieves.

  • Leonard Hendricks

    This is an absolute SCAM co.
    My wife and I have separate businesses just a couple doors apart and we both canceled at the same time last Nov 2015.
    Since then they claim they never received the equipment nor a cancellation notification, all of which was completed through their account agent at the same time of cancelation. To this day they continue to debit our business accounts associated to this processor and after dozens of phone calls, meetings and promises from all levels of management they continue their policies of corruption after admitting that they partially found some of our equipment… go figure!
    In addition certain institutions do not allow cancelation of processing without copies of formal notification on file which must be provided by thy processing co.
    This company is worse than just incompetent, they are knowingly and fraudulently misleading and claim that somehow, someway it’s your fault.
    I believe they is a criminally fraudulent company engaging in bank and wire transfer fraud, false and misleading account representatives and non-compliance with their own contracts. They need to be stopped.

  • Pamela Wangsness

    I was solicited by Total Merchant Services, HD, 21650 Oxnard St, suite 1200, Woodland Hills, Ca 91367 – 1-888-848-6825, They told me they would provide a merchant processing machine for no charge, they have no contract, and claim no hidden fees as stated all over the Internet. After reviewing other reviews I decided to refuse delivery of the processing machine, refused and returned immediately it as return to sender. Once I refused delivery I believed the purported contract would be null and void. I do not have the processing equipment and this company is Aware I never took delivery and returned it “return to sender-refused” as confirmed and stated by Kevin and Anthony. While preparing banking for my CPA I noticed I’ve been charged monthly since July 2015 for services never received or provided for a total of $576.30 to date. These charges appear under another company name “Global Payments Bankcard Processing.” I called this morning 3-2-2016 and began with Sarah who transferred me to Kevin, whom continued to be condescending, and informed me I would have to pay $399+ for closing fees to close the account for equipment and services I’ve never took possession of nor received. I don’t have the equipment, never took delivery of the equipment and this company won’t do the right thing and simply close an account that was never activated by me in the first place. I would like the fees refunded and the account closed. I even offered to allow them to keep the already charged fees for nothing and apply to the closing fees and simply close the account and no more charges. Anthony kept telling me he would only close account if I paid the $399+ fees and unless I authorized the fees the account would remain open and each month I would be charged a processing fee for “services” that I don’t receive nor am able to receive nor wish to receive from such a unscrupulous company.

    Are you with Total Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  • TK fell

    Beware of this company. Offer free devices that aren’t free. Nothing on contract stating return up cancellation then almost a year later you will be charged a hefty $750 fee for a terminal you never even activated. Use them at your own risk they train sales rep to lie and do not honor anything the have told you over the phone.
    Explore other options or be prepared to pay outrageously unexpected fees that could greatly harm your small business.

    Are you with Total Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  • J Vogt

    Our business established two credit card processing accounts through an agent of TMS. The agent started charging our accounts along with Global STL (aka Total Merchant Services, TMS). The two names became synonymous to us and we had considered them one in the same. We’ve recently found that although these two entities act as one, they are independent of one another without any accountability to their customers.

    Total Merchant Services (aka Global STL, TMS) is the credit card processor who outsources sales to agents. Those agents do not disclose the relationship between the two entities, say whatever it takes to sell you, but when asked to be accountable they simply point to one another. Neither is willing to accept responsibility for their own wrong doing or the wrong doing of the other company. As a customer, I should not be held responsible for understanding a termination policy I never possessed due to an agent’s unethical practices. It should be illegal to sell services and omit such important information.

    It’s also unrealistic to expect any business owner to put forth the time and effort necessary to research the convoluted relationship of these two entities when they present themselves as a unified business. Total Merchant Services should not be allowed to solicit agents nor should an agent be allowed to sell their services. Their business practices are deceptive and are devised to leave the customer at a costly disadvantage.

    We are still waiting for shipping labels to return their equipment which we’ve decided to pay for ourselves after reading the comments above. Thank you for providing this informative site!

    Are you with Total Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  • Lindsey

    These guys suck! Hidden fees and higher charges! Will never use or recommend this company to anyone! Shame on you! They have deceptive business practices and pass on basic business expenses on tot wh consumer. Use Square Up or PayPal and keep your money where it belongs, in your pocket! HORRIBLE COMPANY!!

    Are you with Total Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  • Jonathan

    [Potential Merchants]

    They will rip you off and not give you refunds for amounts that they “notify” you of. You also will not be allowed to speak with a supervisor after being put on hold for over 30 minutes.

    Yes you may save some money when they sign you up. But in the long run they will take more from you than even the bigger guys.

    My suggestion is to use anyone else except this processing company, which is now apparently owned by Wells Fargo, according to their footer on their site.

    If I could give them a star rating, it would be zero stars or a negative amount.

    Oh lets also not forget that if you want paper billing it is $2 a month. But if you want to login to look at your electronic bill you will have to reset your password if it has been more than 30 days. Which never worked for me, so I would have to email my area sales rep to get him to call someone, who would call someone, who would email someone that would send a password reset.

    Are you with Total Merchant Services? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  • Trey

    When I originally got signed up with this company, I asked specific questions to make sure there were no hidden agreements, contracts or fees. I was busy as this was out startup week and we were already way behind. I was told there was only a few charges and that was a lie. I was being charged other fees and then excessive amounts from the “Credit Card” companies that I was not made aware of. Before I even swiped the first card, Total Merchant or “Global Payments” had already charged my account for $3.47. How is this possible when there were no transactions? There is also another fee already charged and yet again… NO SALE WAS MADE. They also told me there were no agreements or contracts. I asked about termination fees, and they told me there were none as long as they get the equipment back via shipment with return label. I called to cancel today and they told me I had to pay a termination fee of $399… When other clients stated that it was $200. LAWSUIT!

  • Nick Ly

    I try to apply merchant service with Total but they decline because our business name US Investment & Marketing LLC but we’re web designer. It so simple decline about the name. Phillip do you see any like that one ?
    Also I meet another business owner on same day I receive word decline from Total. She said her business is massage therapy and reflexology , she got license and still got decline because her business is Massage Spa Salon. Also boarding department said decline because business type and maybe they have ” happy ending ” . It’s look like discrimination. Please all business owner see that before to sign up with Total merchant services. We on way contact with lawyer about this response from Total Merchant Services .

    Nick Ly

  • Michael B.

    Salesman pitched a total lie on the “Marketing Tool”. The same Monday I got set up with TMS, and learned what the “marketing tool” really was, I attempted to cancel… on the same Set-up phone call… Oh, you have to wait 24 to 48 hours for someone to call you back to cancel…. 2 days pass, I call again… Oh, you have to wait 24 – 48 hours… Friday, I call again… Same BS… No one can cancel… There are no managers… There are no supervisors… They WILL NOT let me cancel. TMS is total BS… Their elusive “cancellation Department” is unreachable.

    BE WARNED from a current prisoner of TMS.

  • Dave Murrow


    Thanks for your response to my suggestions.

    It makes perfect sense that you would be critical of an early termination fee and would want to let your readers know that Total Merchant Services allows agents to charge an early termination fee..That is both sensible and accurate. .

    However, it is clearly not accurate to say that “the standard Total Merchant Services contract” includes a $295 early termination fee and that a termination fee of any kind is not disclosed. The word “standard” implies the most recent contract. For at least one year, the contract (fine print) refers to whatever ETF is on the application. The first page of the application shows clearly what the agent has put as an ETF. For an agent to put $295 is definitely not the “standard”

    My only request is that you advise your readers to look at the agreement, on the bottom of the first page, and see what the agent has put next to the phrase “termination fee”. It most likely will be $0.00. Please do not say that the “standard Total Merchant Services contract” contains an early termination fee of $295. That may have been correct at one time, but at the present time and for the last year it is simply not correct.

    I hope this is a small and do-able request.

    Once again, thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts and thanks for your considerate responses.

    Dave Murrow

  • Dave Murrow

    To Phillip Parker

    Hello Phillip,

    I’ve been a sales agent with Total Merchant Services (TMS) for at least 10 years. Out of 15 different companies I’ve worked for, TMS has been, without doubt, at the highest level of honesty, fairness, and flexibility.

    I am, for the most part, impressed by your reviews. Some of the companies you criticize do exactly what you say and they deserve it. However, I feel as though your criticism of TMS, especially your criticism of the termination fee, is appropriate ONLY for some sales reps and is therefore only partially correct. This partial correctness could have a detrimental effect on the merchant. It could easily mislead a merchant away from TMS, causing him/her to miss out on a high quality business experience with TMS if indeed the sales agent is honest, upfront, and reasonable. I know there are many such TMS agents. I’m one of them.

    I’ve been a sales agent for Total Merchant Services for at least 10 years. Out of 15 different companies I’ve worked for, TMS has been, without doubt, at the highest level of honesty, fairness, and flexibility.

    For the last year, TMS has clearly placed the option for a termination fee on the bottom of the first page of the application. The agent can put some specified fee or he can put $0.00 or “NA”. If the contract clearly says the termination fee is zero, then TMS is legally bound to a termination fee of zero.

    In addition to the application let’s look at the so-called “fine print” on the contract that TMS has been using for at least a year.

    “If Merchant has applied for Card processing and is approved by Servicers, and if Merchant exercises its option to terminate this Agreement within three (3) years after such approval, then Merchant will pay to Servicers a termination fee in the amount set forth in the Merchant Application.”

    THEREFORE, if the agent has written $0.00 (which I always do) then the merchant can cancel whenever he/she wants and pay $0.00. No Termination Fee.

    Your job is not an easy, and I know you seek to be as accurate and as fair as possible. In light of the fact that you do seek accuracy and fairness, and in light of the fact that the TMS application CLEARLY states at the bottom of the first page the non-existence of a termination fee or an amount of a termination fee, I would STRONGLY suggest that you include the following (or something similar) in your review:

    “In previous years, like most credit card companies, TMS had a termination fee hard-coded and buried in the small print of the contract. However, for the last year, TMS has clearly placed the option for a termination fee on the bottom of the first page of the application. The agent can put some specified fee or he can put $0.00 or “NA”. If you are thinking about processing with TMS, be sure to look for the termination fee entry. If it clearly shows a termination fee of zero, then TMS is legally bound to charge no termination fee.”

    If you can add this statement (or something similar) to your TMS review, I think you will be doing your readers and yourself a real favor.

    Thank you for your kind consideration.
    Dave Murrow

    • Phillip CPO


      It is important to understand that we hold the provider directly responsible for Early Termination Fees even if they are optional additions to the merchant account agreement by an agent. The reason behind this decision is due to the fact that the provider is the one that makes it possible for an ETF to be included at all. Due to the high churn of agents in this industry, it is impossible to score individual sales representatives according to their ethical behavior. Therefore, we hold the provider accountable if it maintains policies that allow agents to do things that we consider as un-favorable to the business owner.

      If you read the section in question closely, I believe that we have given a fair assessment of Total Merchant Services policy regarding ETFs and will likely add more detail in our next update to the review.

  • Carrie W

    I have used Total merchant services for over 5 years, my contract was up with them after 3years. I called to cancel my services with them today & thought it would be very easy. Once they found out that I went with another company, I was told they would be transferring me to someone to shut my service down…. Instead I got a very hostile representative names Brenda, who seemed to be angry that I was canceling my service. She told me I should have gone with their square. When I said that you should have contacted me, if you had new prices & systems & you valued my business as a client. Brenda told me they didn’t have time for all of that! She then told me I would have to pay Sam Freedman $195 cancellation fee, who I originally signed my contract with….. WHAT!? She said if I cancelled any year between Nov 28th- Jan 28th after my 3year agreement, I would not be charged. I said, ok hold up on canceling then……. She said oops sorry, I just cancelled it! It’s too bad there are hardly any companies that truly care about their clients…. So sad!

  • Robert Sears

    As to the comments here, I have been an independent agent with Total Merchant Services for the last 10 years. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, I have found them to be one of the best companies I have worked for and I have many happy merchants with some processing millions per year under my watch with them. It is usually a very small merchant with the most compliants I find because they are small they do not realize the real costs of a merchant account. Some of them are lucky to even get an account. Not all are qualified to have one. You have to be approved to get one.
    All of this about termination fees and such is agent options, agents can charge a cancellation fee or not in the contract in the last 2 plus years. Contracts signed before that did have cancellation fees. No matter what is in the “fine print” it is what is on the contract form that was signed that matters. There is No Increased amount of upfront ( or no upfront )money if there is a cancellation fee or not, I know , I have hundreds of clients. If a merchants does not return the placement equipment they can be charged for it, this is fair practice, it is a placement for the merchant to use as long as there are with TMS. If not then return it, I have had merchants that have been to lazy to return it and they are charged appropriately. Try cancelling your contract with your mobile phone service provider. (remember free phones with 2 year agreement) you will find older contracts with termination fees. Things change in every industry Phillip so keep up with the times. Mobile phone companies no longer charge termination fees either, ON new Contracts !
    Every Industry will have unhappy customers, No matter what. It is the nature of business and it’s owners and customers. Try pleasing everyone, No one can do it.

    • Russ

      @ Robert Sears.

      I was contacted this morning by TMS and was considering using them as we are a new business who currently uses square but need an actual card services provider. Like I would with any company offering a service or good to me I looked at the reviews. As you can see from the many complaints here there are several upset or mislead and misrepresented customers and clients. As I read through them I thought I wonder how many of these were from simple misunderstandings. Then I happened upon your rebuttal to these complaints. I find it very eye opening to say the least. For you, as a representative to come here and basically deny any chance that you or your company has any responsibility in these complaints and that it is all customer based issue is absolutely unprofessional and irresponsible! To completely disregard any and all of these complaints as merely customer issue and not a chance of misrepresentation or outright sales tactics is complete and udder horseshit. You literally say it comes down to laziness or mental defect! What an asshole you are! Your comments here alone are why we will not do business with TMS or any of its other entities. In your own words no one can make everyone happy….but the real business leaders and industry leaders strive to make that happen with absolutely every customer and client. If you’re not doing the same then you should consider a career change. I hear McDonalds is hiring….

  • Chris Judy

    Hi Phillip,

    I have been an agent for Total Merchant Services since 1998. Some of the points you have written here are valid. For example since the vast majority of the representatives are independent there is some chance that they my not be the best. This however is a common practice in this industry as most companies that offer merchant services have independent agents. I personally find it hard to compete being a full disclosure agent against the less reputable agents.

    I do contest with the fact you have mentioned about the cancellation fee. Total Merchant Services has since done away with this and now offers a month to month agreement. I see in you chat thread that this has been pointed out to you many times, however you still have yet to update your review. You are correct that agents have the ability to add a cancellation and if they do the merchant agreement MUST reflect this under “Termination Fee”. If the agent has $0.00 populated in this field there is NO cancellation fee.

    Also, many agents at Total Merchant Services like myself offer themselves as the merchants primary support contact for all account related needs. This is not mentioned in your support section.

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Chris,

      I believe the the review is accurate according to the available evidence and merchant reviews. If you believe something to be inaccurate you should direct an executive from TMS to our Rebuttal Policy.

  • Ed

    The problem with TMS seems to be with the numerous reps scattered all over the country. There seems to be no control over what they can and cannot do to place a machine. I dealt with J316 Card Services Inc. in Los Angeles. I was informed of my monthly fee and what the per transaction fee would be for debit and credit. The machine was free and there would be no early termination fees. The very first month I did slightly over $500.00 in debit sales. Then suddenly $200.00 was taken from my account for a laundry list of fees and surcharges. Per the instructions given to me by J316 Card Services, I sent the machine back to them when they failed to return my calls questioning the amount. J316 by the way is a Korean run operation that uses the “Jesus fish” in their logo and gave me an additional flyer showing how a percentage of their money is being used for Christian ministries abroad. My Korean wife instantly fell for the sales pitch. Now I’m getting repeated requests from TMS in Portland, OR to return my machine which J316 already has. I have the signed FedEx receipts to show this. Let’s set this aside and look at what happened today.

    A woman came into my shop with a sales pitch for credit card services. I looked at the flyer and saw it was Total Merchant Services. I did not have my papers from the previous fiasco available but told her the story mentioned in the first paragraph. When I mentioned the company involved was TMS Portland, OR she appeared shocked and told me TMS is located in and operated from California. Only tonight as I looked over all the paperwork did I discover something. I went to the website this TMS rep told me about and looked at her company’s blog. In the upper right corner was a phone number for current customers. 888-848-6825. I looked at the papers from TMS Portland, OR and they too have a phone number for me to call to confirm they received the equipment. 888-848-6825. My question is if TMS California knows nothing of TMS Oregon, how come they share a phone number?

    • RJFreedom

      TMS is in California. There equipment return office is in Portland, Oregon.

  • Michael

    The upfront bonus is not determinant by the cancellation fee or no ETF fee. The upfront bonus is determined if the merchant wants a “free terminal” or if the merchant’s terminal can be reprogrammed. The upfront bonus is much higher if an agent can perform a reprogram. It is up to the agent to determine the ETF fee or cancellation fee, with the cap at $295 the first year and $195 thereafter. As far as the PCI fees, TMS waives that fee for the first 12 months of that agreement, AND the agreements are now on a month-to-month service.

    TMS has improved in many areas and I have many merchants who love the services they receive from TMS. Personally, I conduct a three-month rate review for my merchants and whenever the rates drop, so do theirs.

    I was an educator for over 25 years and I taught in the public sector. I approach my position as an agent for TMS with an educators approach and provide my merchants with ALL fees, including the card association fees that the government has decided to stick their hands into the cookie jar of processing.

    I do not have my merchants sign anything until they read and understand the merchant agreement/contract.

  • north country veterinary clinic

    I was with TMS for 1 year before we had to close our business due to moving. The last 3 months we did $700 on our card and were charged $89 per month for the service! So we closed the account and were told to expect a call tag within 10 days. We got it a week later, but we have no fedex location due to the extreme rural state we live in, so we did not get the machine back to them for 20 days.they charged us $750 for the machine! We are still disputing this but my gut tells me we will get nothing back. :(
    Not only that but our agent was ridiculously condescending and did a “You can’t keep the machine you know.”
    I took videos and photos of our machine to prove it is in working order as I’m assuming they will also lie and claim it is broken so they can keep the $750. Believe me, if I do not get my refund we will be going to BBB!

  • Monica Sampat

    Hi Philip,

    Ever considered rating independent sales agents.. it seems the poor work ethics of some 1099 agents reflect poorly on an ISO.

    • Phillip CPO

      In my experience, the vast majority of commission-only agents last just a few weeks in this industry. It would be impossible to keep up.

  • Monica Sampat

    Hi Philip,

    it is really disheartening to read all the negative comments about TMS. Having worked in this industry for quite a few years I am aware of the unscrupulous tactics used by some independent agents to get a merchant to sign. The TMS application form has a line item-“cancellation fee”. Here an independent agent can write $0.00 or leave it blank. if left blank the cancellation fee is $295. This is clearly stated on the application which had a link to the terms and conditions of the agreement.- Also, during training these are clearly told to the independent agents. it is therefore up to the agent to decide whether to put $0.00 or to leave the cancellation fee filed blank.

    TMS has been around for many many years and have more than 100,000 customers. They were in fact awarded the ETA award in 2012. I am very happy with their customer service department and my merchants are very happy with their rates. I am all about earning a living honestly and would not consider causing financial harm to a merchants. Its all about relationship building. So the fault lies with both the unscrupulous sales agents and the merchants. It is in the best interest of the merchant to read the fine prints. I always recommend that my clients get quotes from at least three different processors before making a decision.

    So, before you give TMS a negative rating, please take the time to evaluate their contract and then decide whether it is the company or the agent who is at fault for the bad experiences the above merchants have endured.

    Sorry for this verbose email, but I needed to give you my two cents worth.

    BTW , i love your site and have directed many potential customers to your site and so it is in my best interest to encourage you to dig deeper to verify whether the above are genuine complaints from business owners or people who have other motives.

    Have a great one!

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Monica,

      Thank you for the comment. Although I agree that agents carry some responsibility for complaints against a company, we are more concerned with a company’s policies and how they make such complaints possible. In our opinion, TMS, and any company for that matter, is responsible for its agents’ actions because it forms the policies by which the agents can sell its services. Even though an agent has the option of including a Early Termination Fee (ETF), TMS is the entity responsible for allowing it. Additionally, most providers that give agents an option to include an ETF pay bigger commissions if they do so. In many cases, agents have incentives from the company to include fees and terms that are not favorable for the merchant. Therefore, we hold companies responsible for their agents and employees.

      You may also find this article interesting: Why We Verify Testimonials

  • Kristen

    Total Merchant Services is a horrible company!!! Stay very far away unless you have plenty of money to throw away. They randomly charge for unauthorized charges. I have had nothing but problems with this company. BEWARE!!!

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Kristen, can you elaborate on your experience? What kind of unauthorized charges and problems, etc?

  • charles s nagy

    I had a saleman come in and pitch this company to me. I do my research….. yes they can charge you a fee it is in their merchant agreement statement witch you can find on their website or you can check it from my link witch is from their website these few comments above mine are most likly salemen trying to trick you. just go to their agreement page and look under their Termination. section. if they did not charge this fee it would not be in thier agreement. Nice try Crooks.

  • Derek

    Just got hit with a fee without warning. Now they tell me about compliance FEES. Never got the notice they claimed to have sent. Very cold response from customer service. I cancelled immediately. Very disappointed.
    Poor communication, we could have worked it out with a reasonable solution. Not their style. $106.95!!!
    Unauthorized, not informed. Sorry guys.

  • Janet Hong

    OMG!! If you choose to use this company, you are in a world of trouble!!!! EVERY time I go to batch out, it is a nightmare. This time, it is charging old transactions and they are telling us that it can’t be erased. This is going to mean that my past customers are going to be charged again!! I always dread trying to batch out due to the stress of dealing with them. Also, I only use the service approximately 3-5 times a year. The contract started out at $5.00 per month, then it went to $7.00 per month and currently they are taking out almost $17.00 per month. My contract is up in May of 2013 and I am sending a letter today, and again the 1st of April and again which will be dated specifically 30 days prior to the end of the contract.

  • Erika Harrison

    I used them for nearly 6 years. They were not the cheapest and refused to send me a new credit card machine when the one that I was using didn’t seem to work anymore at tradeshows. So I was using them less and less and couldn’t justify the monthly fees. I failed to notice for a long time the huge rate discrepancy between “qualified” and “non-qualified” card processing. I deal mostly with people using business cards and cards with rewards, meaning most of the time, I was being charged around 4% for non-qualified cards instead of the 2.2% that they had quoted me. That was my bad for not paying attention. But I do find it tricky in the contract how it looks as though you are charged one rate or the other, and instead, you are actually charged both the regular rate PLUS the surcharge for non-qualified cards. They are willing to negotiate rates, and other companies do this too, just be very careful to find out what you are really going to be charged for all types of cards.

    When I cancelled the account, they mentioned waiving the early termination fee….which I thought was ridiculous since I had been with them for 6 years. I didn’t think I had signed any kind of 10 year contract. But apparently, each year your contract renews for a whole year and you have like a 30 day window within the year to cancel without the early termination fee. Like an earlier review stated, apparently there are different contracts out there, some with cancellation fees and others without. Read your contract.

    Then one day after cancelling, I found a $200 charge and a $750 charge on my bank account. They had charged the $200 cancellation fee anyways and a non-return of equipment fee. There is no way in hell that a 6 year old machine, that was used when I received it, was worth $750 to anyone, but I had sent it back to them so the argument was pointless anyways. I called and they said they would refund the charges. Fortunately they had it in their “call log” that they had promised to waive the cancellation feel. Honestly I hadn’t even noticed the $200 cancellation fee until I saw the $750 fee and then called my bank to see what it was. They took a week to refund all of my money. That could have been disastrous for a smaller business to have nearly $1000 tied up for a week or more.

    Although their practices are common amongst merchant account companies, and they weren’t exactly dishonest, I just felt that they were less-than-forthcoming with the whole story and attempted to hide negative aspects of having an account with them. I couldn’t recommend them for this reason. I’d rather pay a few cents more and go with a company who has one single rate and announces it loud and proud without needing to read a doctoral dissertation’s worth of fine print to get to the truth.

  • Darren Green

    Total Merchant Services said they were the cheapest around…. That is a lie, Amazon Merchant Services only charge a percentage, and when I was told this by Robert Edelmann that it was the cheapest. I believed the lie, stay away from Total Merchant Services, They are not the cheapest, also my $25 minimum charge was actually $60+. Liars, Start tell the truth, and do not say things that are false.

  • Wes

    Tried to contact their terminal support dept and customer support dept. All I get is voice mail – really? If was having terminal issues and a sale was involved, I would be is a lot of trouble right now. Very disapointed.

  • Mike

    Your review seems to be fabricated, first of all there is no early Termination fees. Even if the sales rep is misleading the merchant can quit and not be charged. Might want to check your facts before doing your review. The BBB tells the true story not this website.

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Mike,

      There are several reports from merchants stating that they were charged cancellation fees. Also, as of the publishing of this comment, 29 of the 87 complaints filed with the BBB are due billing and collection disputes. If you take time to read the complaint details like I did, you will see reports of a $295 early termination fee in the BBB report.

    • Sara

      I am another one of their cancellation fee victims but the amount they took out was $500 (unauthorized use of my account). Furthermore, I only had a 2 year contract with them and I caledl them ahead of time to make it a month to month AFTER our 2 year contract ended and they still charged our account by transferring $500 from our account to theirs. I would advise anyone who wants or has a business DO NOT go with Total Merchant Services for your credit card or payment solutions. This company’s only interest is to make their money by charging their customers with crazy hidden fees and the representatives are very misleading and untruthful and this company should be held accountable for the misleading, untruthful, and uninformed representatives THEY hire. I will turn this into the BBB as a negative report on Total Merchant Services and if need be I will sue!!!

  • Jack

    You may want to fact check prior to doing a review – Total Merchant Services does not, repeat does not have any cancellation fees, period end of story.

    Please correct your review.

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Jack,

      There are several reports online of merchants complaining of ETFs imposed by Total Merchant services, which is why it is mentioned in this article. If you would like to supply us with a standard and unaltered merchant account agreement, we’ll be happy to add it to the article so that merchants can review it.

      • Jack

        Good day Phillip,,

        I will supply a standard merchant agreement for you along with other information which supports the fact TMS has no cancellation fees.

        After you have read the contract would expect you to update your information to reflect the fact that TMS has no cancellation fees.

        How can I get the contract to you?


        • Phillip CPO

          Hi Jack,

          Use the contact form and I’ll respond to let you know where you can send it. Keep in mind that merchants are, in fact, reporting that they have experienced cancellation fees and this information will not be removed from the review. However, I will add the information that you send if everything seems legitimate. Also, can you explain the relationship between Green Payment Systems, which is your email address, and Total Merchant Services?

          • Jack


            Up until 3 years ago TMS did have Cancellation Fees on some contracts, however, as of 2 years ago there are no longer cancellation fees. In the interest of impartial and fair/balanced reporting you could mention this in your review.

            Anotherwords, if a merchant gets a cancel fee it is because they had an older contract. A contract in which these terms were fully disclosed.

            Documentation will follow per your instructions.


            • Phillip CPO

              What is your role with the company? I find it odd that a company would eliminate its cancellation fee and then still enforce it on older contracts. I see complaints filed as recently as November of 2012.

          • B C

            They have several contract with and without cancellation fees. It depends on whoever is signing you up and how they want to set you up. They get a bigger upfront bonus if you sign with a $295 cancellation fee… cancellation fee = no bonus upfront.

          • john

            Terms n Conditions state that they have an ETF fee of $295 and a 3 year contract

    • Eric

      This company told me the exact same lies. After I was deceived into my agreement, I objected to some of the terms of the agreement. The rep assured me that I could simply try the service and cancel anytime for free. And there is a cancellation fee of $295 in my contract (which I did not agree to!):

      From my contract dated Feb 2014:

      “if Merchant exercises its option to terminate this Agreement within three (3) years after such
      approval, then Merchant will pay to Servicers a termination fee in the amount set forth in the Merchant Application. If the Merchant Application references a “standard
      termination fee,” a fee of $295.00 will apply upon Merchant’s termination of services.”

      Period, end of story.

      • Maggie

        They took money from my account $750! I closed account two months ago. I Called the agent and he told me because I didn’t send the credit card machine. They send me package three days Ago and it was holiday weekend. I have a lot of problems with them, I have to count my transactions because some of the money doesn’t come on my account. I have to make copy of receipt and wait weeks for money. Equipment is so slow no matter how new. But $750 for Crefid card machine?! I switch for square and I pay only $10! Yes it is $10! I have money on my account right the way. I’m so happy I switched for square, huge difference. Total Merchant Services is so miserable! I still have to resolve the problems with them. All the time they try to steal your money. Please be aware and never go with them if you want to sleep good.


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About The Author

Phillip Parker is the creator and author behind this website. He has over 15 years of experience in the credit card processing industry as a journalist, consultant, and former merchant account sales professional. He started this project as a blog to expose merchant services providers that engage in predatory business practices, such as deceptive marketing, misleading pricing, and high-pressure sales tactics. His goal is to help business owners find merchant account providers who serve their industry well while offering fair rates with no junk fees and no long-term commitments.

Phillip has researched over 1,000 payment processors and been quoted in numerous high-profile publications, including the Los Angeles Time, INC Magazine, The Atlantic, and the Miami Herald among others.

Need advice on card acceptance? Schedule a consultation with Phillip.

Phillip’s Top Processor Picks:
Retail, restaurant, e-commerce, mobile, professional services, and invoicing, Phillip recommends Helcim and CDG Commerce.

High-risk businesses, Phillip recommends PaymentCloud and Host Merchant Services.

How Our Ratings Work

Please note that our rating system was overhauled on April 26th, 2023. Reviews dated before this date may not score in accordance with the following.

Star Rating Criteria:

At the start of our research, all processors are awarded five stars. We deduct stars if the processor engages in any of the following:

– One star deduction if the processor has any junk fees.

– One star deduction if the processor does not post its pricing clearly on its website.

– One Star deduction if the processor is suffering from moderate client complaints.

– Multiple Star deductions if a processor is suffering from severe complaints, imposes unjust cancellation fees, markets non-cancellable equipment leases, engages in predatory rate pricing, or may be engaged in illegal activities.

Get all of the details regarding out rating criteria here.

Educational Resources

Before You Switch Processors, Find Out How Other Businesses Got Fee Refunds From Their Current Processor.

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