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United Merchant Services 2023: Reviews & Complaints
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United Merchant Services has changed its name to “bluu” and its new website can be found at ebluu.com. This review will continue to be updated until we complete a new bluu review.
United Merchant Services, founded in 1994, is a privately held merchant account provider that serves businesses based in the United States. There are 2 reviews from 2008 and 2009 suggesting that United Merchant Services may have a connection to Electronic Payment Systems; however, no other online sources indicate that this connection exists. Furthermore, United Merchant Services has informed us that there is no relationship between United Merchant Services and Electronic Payment Systems. UMS was purchased by Celero in 2018.
In June 2022 United Merchant Services and United POS Solutions announced that they would merge and rebrand as Bluu. As of the writing of this review, this process has not yet occurred, though we expect it will shortly.
United Merchant Services Payment Processing
UMS’ processing utilizes their U PAY series of payment solutions, which includes a mobile swiper, a virtual terminal, a recurring billing solution, an online payment option for retailers, a proprietary middleware called U Charge that supports EMV, and a POS system.
Location & Ownership
United Merchant Services’ corporate address is located at 255 S. State Rt. 17 Ste. 201, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 and lists two other offices in Los Angeles and Duluth, GA. United Merchant Services, Inc. is a registered ISO/MSP of Merrick Bank, South Jordan, Utah; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, California. Jay Yoon is listed as the founder and president of United Merchant Services.
Table of Contents
United Merchant Services Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||15+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Hidden Fees|
Some Cause For Concern
We are able to locate more than 15 negative United Merchant Services reviews on this website and other consumer protection websites. The majority of these complaints describe undisclosed or misrepresented United Merchant Services contract terms, undesirable equipment lease terms, unauthorized billing, claims of scam policies, and unavailable company representatives.
United Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against United Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
United Merchant Services Customer Service Options
United Merchant Services offers phone support to merchants. This support could be offered through the company’s backend processor.
We have located multiple United Merchant Services customer service phone numbers:
(800) 260-3388 – Toll-Free Customer Support
(201) 568-7600 – Headquarters Office
(855) 399-3497 – Toll-Free California Office Support
(714) 522-6000 – California Office
(866) 255-4751 – Georgia Office
United Merchant Services also offers a customer support form on its website as well as a customer service email address at [email protected]
Ultimately, UMS’s support channels are not sufficient to qualify it as a top-rated payment processor for customer service at this time.
United Merchant Services Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
Under 5 Complaints
United Merchant Services is not an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau. At the time of this review, United Merchant Services maintains an “A+” rating, with 0 complaints filed in the last 36 months.
What Merchants Say
The company has received 1 informal review in the last 36 months. The sole review is negative in tone. The review details unexpected fees and poor customer service:
This company has the WORST customer service and A LOT of bogus fees that they will not explain to their customers! CONSUMERS BEWARE !!!
Issues may arise during the contract term of a merchant agreement. This makes excellent customer service an invaluable aspect of any merchant account provider.
Worthy of an “A” Rating
Given the company’s complaint volume and resolution ratio, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. However, merchants should be aware that there are valid reasons to be skeptical of the BBB’s reviews.
United Merchant Services Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Swiped Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Keyed-in Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Virtual Terminal Rate||1.00% - 4.99%|
|Payment Gateway Fee||Undisclosed|
|Monthly Minimum Fee||$25|
|Early Termination Fee||$395+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Undisclosed|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Month (locked)|
United Merchant Services Contract Terms
The United Merchant Services program guide lists a 3-year agreement with an early termination fee of $395 or Liquidated Damages, whichever is greater. There also appears to be a monthly minimum fee of $25 associated with the company’s service, but a company representative has stated that this minimum only applies to certain programs. It is important to bear in mind that United’s apparent use of independent resellers may also result in significant variation in contract terms from agent to agent.
Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing
In addition to its storefront payment processing services, United Merchant Services also dedicates a portion of its website to advertising its virtual terminal and payment gateway. However, pricing is not disclosed for those services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates typically apply to these e-commerce services.
Beware Equipment Leases
There are also a few merchants who claim that United signed them up for equipment leases with MBF Leasing, a DBA of “F”-rated provider Northern Leasing. These complainants express frustration with the equipment lease terms more so than the credit card processing services, citing 48-month contracts, expensive payments, unavailable customer service reps, and costly penalties for canceling the lease early. A company representative has stated that United Merchant Services does not actively promote Northern Leasing contracts and that fewer than 1% of the company’s merchants currently have lease agreements with Northern Leasing. Merchants are advised to ask about the terms of their equipment leases and to purchase equipment whenever possible.
We encourage merchants to check out our list of the providers of the best merchant services.
United Merchant Services Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Some Negative Reports
United Merchant Services appears to allow sub-ISOs and independent agents to market its services, which is a standard industry practice that generally results in higher complaint rates against a company. At this time, we are able to locate multiple negative United Merchant Services reviews that cite nondisclosure of contract terms and misrepresentation of fees by United Merchant Services agents. Some of these complaints were possibly filed against agents or branches that may no longer be affiliated with the company, but the overall themes of the complaints are consistent.
This does not compare favorably to our list of best credit card processors.
One particularly alarming complaint from October 2016 describes an in-person sales encounter that strongly resembles “slamming.” To its credit, the company does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising strategies in its official materials. However, the common emphasis on poor sales practices across the company’s complaints has lowered its score to a “C.” If you suspect that UMS is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to find and eliminate hidden charges.
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