- Sales Experience
Total Merchant Services was founded in 1996 and is headquartered out of Basalt, Colorado. They are a registered ISO/MSP for HSBC Bank, National Association, Buffalo, New York. They offer credit and debit card processing solutions as well as cash advances, check processing, and gift cards. Their credit and debit card processing solutions include retail, mobile processing equipment, and e-commerce. According to their website, they have over 100,000 merchants processing with them and add an additional 4,000 each month.
Total Merchant Services is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating with them. Over the past three years, they have had 99 complaints filed against them, with 20 closed within the past twelve months. Eight of the customers whom filed complaints felt that the response they received was unsatisfactory. The majority of the complaints filed cited advertising/sales issues as well as problems with product/service. Billing/collection issues was a close third with 38 complaints. Whenever a business has a high number of complaints filed under advertising/sales issues it raises concern if their sales representatives are using deceptive sales techniques to gain accounts. Eight complaints have been filed this year and Total Merchant Services does not allow anyone to read the complaint details filed against them. Given the large number of merchants who are processing with Total Merchant Services, 99 complaints is a relatively low number.
Total Merchant Services advertises “lowest rates and fees ever” which is a pretty dangerous claim to make. They cite the Durbin Amendment which lowered debit card transaction fees across the board, and most merchant service providers by now have lowered their debit card rate respectively. However, lowering the debit card transaction rate does not mean “lowest rates and fees ever” which is what Total Merchant Services is making it seem like. They also advertise “free equipment” on their website, which can also be misleading. A free credit card machine will almost always mean a monthly lease fee ranging from $10-$30 or more. Most credit card machines cost less than $300 so even if a merchant service provider gives you a machine for free upfront, a business would be overpaying for that machine within the year. Furthermore, if a business ever decides to cancel their contract, the machine would have to be returned.
Total Merchant Services does not advertise their rates and fees on their website so it is advised to call in to get their schedule of rates and fees. As always, it depends on the business and how you plan on accepting cards. There are reports however that they have a three year contract with an early termination fee ranging from $100-$300.