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Wholesale Merchant Processing Review
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UPDATE 3/01/2019: The Wholesale Merchant Processing website is now a landing page for Harbortouch, and all available evidence suggests that Wholesale Merchant Processing is no longer an independent brand. North American Processing Solutions and Smart Choice Payments both appear to be active, so it seems that Wholesale Merchant Processing is the only company in this group to have merged with Harbortouch. We will no longer update this review.
Founded in 2005, Wholesale Merchant Processing (wmphq.com) is a Beaverton, Oregon-based merchant account provider serving most standard-risk business types. Wholesale Merchant Processing also operates under the name of Smart Choice Payments, and the company has been tied to the following business entities by merchant complaints:
- First Choice Payments
- North American Processing Solutions
- American Payment Systems
- Payment Systems Corporation
Todd McCartney is listed as the president of Wholesale Merchant Processing, Smart Choice Payments, and American Payment Systems. All three companies are headquartered at 11000 SW Stratus St., Ste. 150, Beaverton, Oregon 97008. Wholesale Merchant Processing is a registered ISO/MSP of First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha Nebraska.
Wholesale Merchant Processing Customer Reviews
Here's What Their Clients Say
|Total Online Complaints||50+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Undisclosed Fees|
We have found over 50 negative Wholesale Merchant Processing reviews, many of which outright accuse the company of being a scam operation. Commonly cited issues include deceptive sales tactics, exorbitant fees, poor customer service, and unprofessional conduct by company representatives. The company’s affiliated entities and subsidiaries have also received a moderate number of complaints, and many of these complaints list Wholesale Merchant Processing as a secondary offending party. Wholesale Merchant Processing representatives have responded to these complaints and successfully resolved the merchants’ complaints on a few occasions (examples here and here).
In one of the more unusual complaints we have encountered, a weekly alternative magazine called the Willamette Week actually published a negative editorial in 2009 titled “Wholesale Merchant Processing: Not what small business needs in the recession.” The editorial criticized the company’s complaint rate with the Better Business Bureau and quoted a representative of the Oregon Attorney General’s office as saying of WMP, “Twenty-seven complaints is a lot. That’s why we referred it to the Federal Trade Commission.” We have been unable to find any evidence of FTC action against Wholesale Merchant Processing in the years following this editorial. In the editorial, WMP president Todd McCartney is quoted as saying, “I can’t watch each person all day. We have reps all over the country, and if some of them lie, we get rid of them…. [But] sometimes, merchants just get confused. And that’s not my fault.” The editorial is no longer visible on the Willamette Week website, but the comment section can be seen here.
The total number of complaints from merchants and employees coupled with the content of these complaints has resulted in a “C-” rating for the company in this category. Wholesale Merchant Processing offers phone and email support during regular business hours.
Wholesale Merchant Processing Online Ratings
Here's How They Rate Online
|Product & Service Complaints||29|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||19|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||8|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
Wholesale Merchant Processing currently has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and is not accredited. The company’s profile has received 56 complaints in the last three years, with 29 due to product or service issues, 19 related to billing and collection, and eight having to do with advertising or sales. The company has resolved five complaints to the satisfaction of the merchant, while two complaints did not receive a good faith effort from WMP, two complaints received no response whatsoever from WMP, and the remaining 47 complaints were either resolved to the merchant’s dissatisfaction or did not receive a final response from the merchant. The BBB cites the two unaddressed complaints as the major factor lowering the company’s rating. We are not inclined to adjust the BBB’s grade upward at this time.
Wholesale Merchant Processing Fees, Rates & Costs
A Closer Look at The Contract
|Early Termination Fee||$395+|
|PCI Compliance Fee||$99 Per Year|
|Equipment Lease Terms||48 Months, Non-Cancellable|
To Wholesale Merchant Processing’s credit, the company provides nearly all of its merchant documentation on its website for anyone to review. The standard Wholesale Merchant Processing contract (available below) is a three-year agreement with an early termination fee of $395, an annual fee of $69, an annual PCI compliance fee of $99, a monthly minimum fee of $25, and an accompanying non-cancellable, four-year equipment lease through Northern Leasing Systems. In addition, merchants consistently report (and company representatives acknowledge) a fee of $893.98 that is charged upon cancellation in addition to the $395 in the contract, bringing the effective cancellation penalty to $1288.98. It is unclear which portion of the company’s contract grants it the right to extract this additional amount.
The company’s merchant account contract terms are far more expensive than industry averages and would warrant a “C-” rating on their own. However, two other factors lower the company’s score in this section to an “F.” First, the company’s agents appear to commonly package their processing agreements with long-term equipment leases through companies like Northern Leasing Systems, Lease Finance Group, and Ladco Leasing. The leases offered by these companies are almost always ironclad agreements that will lock merchants into paying an amount far greater than the purchase price of the equipment over the life of the lease. Second, the regular complaints about nondisclosure of contract terms indicate that many merchants are signing up with the understanding that they will not face many of these fees. This makes a fee like the company’s mysterious $893.98 fee even more devastating for unsuspecting business owners. See the Wholesale Merchant Processing Merchant Agreement.
Wholesale Merchant Processing Employee Reviews & Sales Tacitcs
Should You Work For Them?
|Employs Independent Resellers||Yes|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
Wholesale Merchant Processing primarily sells its products and services through a combination of telemarketing and independently contracted sales agents across the country. We have found dozens of Wholesale Merchant Processing complaints that consistently cite nondisclosure of contract terms, misrepresentation of rates, and unprofessional sales conduct. These complaints have been filed by former employees as well as by disgruntled merchants, and similar complaints have been filed against the company’s various DBAs and affiliates. In short, we have located a steady stream of complaints filed against Wholesale Merchant Processing during the entire ten years that the company has been operating, and the majority of these complaints are related to sales and marketing tactics.
Merchants regularly report that Wholesale Merchant Processing reps do not provide full contract terms, egregiously misrepresent the savings they can provide for merchants, engage in “slamming” tactics, and alter contracts after they have been signed.
Wholesale Merchant Processing has paid Ripoff Report in order to participate in that website’s “Corporate Advocacy Program,” which enables the company to paste its own promotional copy above certain merchant complaints. It is our belief that this practice reflects poorly on any company, as it only makes it harder for merchants to see what other business owners have to say about the company rather than simply addressing the complainant’s issue. In addition, it appears that Wholesale Merchant Processing has established a number of DBAs and subsidiary entities that list different addresses around the country but are still closely tied to WMP. This strategy is commonly used by some providers to spread complaints across multiple brands or to escape the negative reputation of an existing brand.
The number of complaints and the severe content of many of these complaints have lowered Wholesale Merchant Processing’s rating to a “D” in this section.
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