YapStone Inc. (yapstone.com) is a global merchant account provider offering cloud-based web and mobile payment processing. There is some evidence that the company is an ISO of Chase Paymentech. Formerly known as Paymerica, YapStone was founded in 1999 and primarily serves the housing rental and non-profit industries. Most notably, the company is a payment processing partner of growing vacation rental platforms like Homeaway and VRBO. YapStone offers multiple variations on its RentPayment processing platform, including VacationRentPayment, HolidayRentPayment, StorageRentPayment, InnPayment, DuesPayment, and ParishPay. YapStone is located at 2033 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, California 94596 and is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank NA in Walnut Creek, California. Tom Villante is listed as the chairman and CEO of YapStone.
- Sales & Marketing: YapStone does not appear to hire independent sales representatives and has not received many complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: YapStone appears to offer variable contract terms and pricing with strict cash reserve and chargeback policies.
- Complaints & Service: YapStone has received more than 70 public complaints.
- BBB Rating: YapStone has a “B” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 56 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With YapStone
- Property management
Sales & Marketing
Key Points - Sales & Marketing
|Employs Independent Resellers||No|
|Advertises Deceptive Rates||No|
|Discloses All Important Terms||No|
YapStone appears to market RentPayment through a combination of strategic partnerships, telemarketing, and inside sales agents. At this time, YapStone does not appear to employ independent sales agents. We are also unable to locate any negative YapStone reviews that mention the company’s sales team at this time, although we did find one complaint alleging deceptive rate representation by the company when it went by the name Paymerica.
RentPayment’s website does not appear to engage in any deceptive advertising tactics, but we have located some complaints from RentPayment customers expressing confusion about fee structure and how to schedule payments through the service, which occasionally led to overcharges. Some of these complainants do not appear to have been using the service as business owners, so it is unlikely that merchants are experiencing similar difficulties understanding their agreements.
In general, most users seem to encounter YapStone for the first time as the backend processor for their VRBO or HomeAway accounts. This means that YapStone didn’t directly market to these users, so there’s little to evaluate in terms of its sales approach. The available descriptions of YapStone’s direct sales process are mixed in tone, but the sales department’s overall impact on the merchant experience appears to be limited.
YapStone Marketing Example
Costs & Contract
Key Points - Costs & Contract
|Early Termination Fee||Variable|
|PCI Compliance Fee||Variable|
|Equipment Lease Terms||Variable|
As of this update, the standard YapStone contract terms are unclear. We have located one sample YapStone contract (from the company’s homeowner’s association-oriented subsidiary, DuesPayment) and included a link to it below. This contract is a one-year term that automatically renews for one-year terms and may be cancelled at any time with 30 days’ notice. The company also appears to collect its processing fees from homeowners, renters, and travellers—in other words, the people making the payments—rather than business owners. This is an uncommon pricing model for the industry, and it’s possible that a separate agreement outlines the service’s costs to merchants.
Most of the available complaints about YapStone focus on its fraud prevention policies and its customer service rather than its pricing. One old complaint filed against Paymerica mentions an undisclosed two-year service length with an early termination fee of $250, but these terms have likely changed since then. The complaints related to the company’s risk assessment team are split into two categories: complaints about withheld funds, and complaints about fraudulent payments making their way through YapStone’s systems. In the case of fund holds, it isn’t uncommon for rental companies (YapStone’s primary merchant demographic) to experience delayed payouts or rolling reserves due to the card-not-present nature of their transactions. However, there are an alarming number of complaints about fraudulent payments being made through YapStone’s rent payment services. While YapStone itself cannot prevent card theft, there are certain steps that any payment processor can take to minimize the likelihood of chargebacks.
Some YapStone merchants have alleged that the company does not retain any advanced information about transactions after they have gone through, which makes it difficult for the merchant to contest a chargeback weeks afterward. Without access to YapStone’s internal risk assessment tools, it’s hard to know what the company could be doing to help merchants on this front, but it’s worth reporting that complainants consistently cite this as a major issue.
If you have any knowledge of the standard YapStone merchant agreement (including any possible termination fees or PCI Compliance fees), please leave that information in the comment section of this review. See the YapStone Merchant Agreement
Complaints & Service
Key Points - Complaints & Service
|Total Online Complaints||70+|
|Live Customer Support||Yes|
|Most Common Complaint||Fund Holds|
As of this update, we are able to locate more than 70 negative YapStone reviews, some of which describe the company as a ripoff. This number has skyrocketed over the past year. Merchants primarily report slow payouts, failed payments, withheld funds, and poor support from YapStone with regard to renter disputes. When this review was first posted, most of the available complaints were from renters regarding YapStone’s RentPayment service. These complainants express confusion over the company’s policies, as well as irritation with having to pay fees in order to use a credit card to pay their rent.
Additionally, we located multiple complaints by current and former YapStone employees who describe a taxing work schedule and low workplace morale. However, since then, the majority of recent complaints have come from renters on VRBO and HomeAway who have had very negative experiences with YapStone’s risk team and customer support. This recent uptick in merchant complaints has lowered YapStone’s score to a “D.”
Key Points - BBB
|Product & Service Complaints||18|
|Billing & Collection Complaints||25|
|Advertising & Sales Complaints||9|
|Guarantee & Warranty Complaints||0|
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.
YapStone Inc. is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. As of this review, the company’s profile appears to have been combined with that of RentPayment and shows a “B” rating. The company has had 56 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months. Of the complaints, nine were filed regarding an advertising and sales issue, 18 were in relation to problems with products or services, 25 stemmed from billing and collection disputes, and four had to do with delivery problems. YapStone successfully resolved 14 complaints, while 41 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the complainant or did not receive a final response from the complainant. One complaint received no response whatsoever from YapStone. Given the information available, we have adjusted the BBB‘s rating to a “C.”
About Phillip Parker
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