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 operate under its own brand name. This processor also offers point-of-sale hardware and software under the brand name “Groovv.”
Point of Sale Solutions by Total Merchant Services
The company offers state-of-the-art point-of-sale (POS) systems to help businesses effectively manage their operations. These systems are designed to handle diverse payment types, track sales, and manage inventory, thereby enhancing business efficiency and improving customer experience.
Mobile Payment Services Offered by Total Merchant Services
In response to the increasing demand for mobile payment options, Total Merchant Services offers a mobile payment solution. This allows businesses to accept card payments via mobile devices, an ideal choice for businesses operating in a dynamic or mobile environment.
E-commerce Payment Gateway from Total Merchant Services
For businesses operating online, Total Merchant Services provides a reliable e-commerce payment gateway. This service is designed to easily integrate with existing online platforms, supporting a range of payment options, and ensuring secure and smooth online transactions.
Transaction Security Measures at Total Merchant Services
Total Merchant Services places a high priority on the security of transactions. The company uses cutting-edge encryption technologies to safeguard sensitive financial information. It adheres strictly to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) to maintain the security of every transaction.
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. TMS’ website also lists 408 Burd Street, Middletown, PA 17057 as the “Office of Agent Chris Judy”. Joe Kaplan is the CEO of Total Merchant Services.
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 16 complaints and 2 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…
|Competitive processing rates.
|Potential for lease scams.
|Integrates with various systems.
|Early termination fees.
|No setup fees.
|Variable customer service quality.
|Free equipment options.
|Some hidden fees.
|24/7 customer support.
|Limited international services.
|Flexible contract terms.
|Complex fee structure.
Total Merchant Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints
|Live Customer Support
|Most Common Complaint
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
Other Support Options
- Customer support form
- Customer support email address at [email protected]
Total Merchant Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
BBB Rating Analysis
Total Merchant Services has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company has been accredited since July 23, 2013, and has been in business for 27 years. However, there are no customer reviews on the BBB website for this business. There are 13 customer complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 2 complaints closed in the last 12 months.
A customer expressed dissatisfaction with the cancellation process of their contract. They mentioned being billed twice after attempting to cancel in June, including an inactivity fee. The customer felt cheated and lied to, stating that the sales representative misrepresented the contract terms. They also reported difficulty in returning the card machine and terminating services, facing exacerbated fees and unempathetic customer service. – Complaint from August 2, 2022
This began in November 2021 when we changed bank accounts. Merchant Services was our credit card machine company. We have a business called ************** and used their services. Once the bank account was changed we got no payments from them. Many emails and phone calls later and still we are owed ******** from payments made by credit card purchases on their machine. All equipment was sent back to them Today on the phone we were promised a check in the mail in 2-4 weeks. This is not the first time. We received an email from them on Feb. 4, 2022 saying we would get a check for the full amount in 4-6 weeks. That was 20 weeks ago. The ********************, case********** They continue to promise payment but do not send the check. We would just like to get the money we are owed by them. – Complaint from June 16, 2022
There are no positive reviews published about Total Merchant Services on the BBB website.
ConsumerAffairs Rating Analysis
Total Merchant Services has various customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs. The reviews highlight issues such as billing disputes, dissatisfaction with service, and challenges in resolving problems with the company. Common themes include complaints about unexpected charges, difficulties in canceling services, and poor customer support.
I have returned the equipment a year and a half ago, and I should not be a bill or collection. I closed the account on May 15 of 2018 and ship the equipment back to them on May 16 of 2018. After a year and a half later I got a collection for the equipment. I call the collection company (Southwest Recovery Services) and North American Bancard to get this resolved. I can provide them the receipt, but they told me to provide a confirmation of delivery date since I have to return the equipment with 10 business days. I call UPS, but they only keep the record for up to a year. How can I keep track of this if they send out the collection a year later? It is not my fault for them not able to process the returned equipment correctly in a timely matter. – Review from Jan. 4, 2020
So was using Elavon Merchant Service Charlie with Total Merchant Service came in and compared merchant statements and said he could bet them by 150.00 per Month. Well he did not tell the truth it was more. So after 2 months I stopped using Total Merchant Services and went back to Elavon (Costco) closed the account on 4//9/19 and never heard from anyone an till 4 months later when thy charged my bank account $1084.00. So I called and they said because it’s 10 days beyond the date the account was closed that I am just stuck with the equipment. I have no need for their equipment so i’m just out $1084.00 Just an FYI don’t trust their reps or the company (Total Merchant Services). – Review from July 29, 2019
There are no positive reviews published about Total Merchant Services on the ConsumerAffairs website.
PissedConsumer Rating Analysis
Total Merchant Services has a variety of reviews on PissedConsumer. The reviews range from negative experiences regarding customer service and billing issues to some positive experiences highlighting efficient service.
I have been trying to close my account with Total Merchant Services for over a year. They continue to charge me monthly fees even though I have not processed any transactions. Their customer service is unresponsive, and I feel trapped in this situation. – Review from January 15, 2023
Total Merchant Services promised low rates and efficient service, but my experience has been the opposite. Hidden fees and surcharges were added to my bill without proper explanation. When I tried to contact them for clarification, it was a frustrating loop of unhelpful responses. – Review from February 20, 2023
I switched to Total Merchant Services a few months ago and have been pleasantly surprised. The setup was quick, and the rates are competitive. So far, I haven’t encountered any issues, and their customer support has been helpful. – Review from March 10, 2023
As a small business owner, I appreciate the straightforward approach of Total Merchant Services. Their processing system is easy to use, and I’ve noticed a decrease in processing fees compared to my previous provider. – Review from April 5, 2023
Total Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Monthly & Annual Fees
|1.00% - 4.99%
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.
Clients 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 client 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 Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Uses Independent Resellers
|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.
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