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Crescent Processing Company Review
Last Updated: April 17th, 2014.
Last time we paid Crescent Processing Company (CPC) a visit, things were not looking good. They had an enormous number of complaints and all the hallmarks of a rip off processor. We had hoped that they would straighten out, get with the times, fire all the scamming agents, and earn an extra star or two from us. Well – what’s the opposite of that?
Somehow Crescent has descended from bad to worse. They’ve accumulated even more complaints – an unforgivable amount at this point – and created such a convoluted series of company names that I’m not sure we should even call them Crescent any more. If you’ve done business with any of the following companies, you’ve actually done business with Crescent:
- Future Payment Technologies
- Park Central Company
- Atrium Processing
I’m going to keep my eye on this situation, but at the moment the Crescent website has been offline for a while and I’m beginning to think it’s gone for good, to be replaced by the Future Payment Technologies site. In the meantime, I’ll provide you with the most up to date Crescent Processing information I have, none of which is encouraging.
This company’s Achilles Heel (and keystone) is its use of independent sales agents. These agents are very often poorly trained, desperate, inexperienced salespeople just looking to close a deal and collect their commission. Some of the Crescent agents probably do a great job, but – based on everything I read – most do not. Instead they fail to disclose important contract terms, push expensive agreements, and use overall dishonest sales tactics to produce a service that can only be described as a rip off and a scam.
My advice: Avoid Crescent and all associated companies like the plague. I’m giving them 2.5 stars only because of the few positive reviews I’ve read here and there. If you do choose to do business with this company, be very careful and be sure to read your contract with a magnifying glass. Some of their sales agents feel very strongly that this is a good company to do business with (as evidenced in our comments section). But I think you could do better than Crescent.
- Dallas, Texas.
- www.crescentprocessing.com (not active as of this review)
- www.atriumprocessing.com (not active as of this review)
- www.parkcentralcompany.com (not active as of this review)
Products and Services:
Since I do not currently have access to Crescent's primary sales material (since the site is not active for the time being), I will keep this list brief.
- Merchant accounts: Last I head, Crescent uses TSYS for its processing. I more or less like TSYS, so this isn’t bad news.
- Terminal leasing: If you’ve read any of my reviews already, you know that terminal leasing has the potential to cost you thousand of dollars when the machine itself is only worth a couple hundred. Check out this article for more information.
Fees and Rates:
Crescent Processing discloses no specific fees or rates. They seem to use tiered pricing models almost exclusively, which usually means a bad deal for merchants because of decreased cost transparency. For the vast majority of businesses, cost-plus pricing plans will give you the most value and most control.
Watch out for expensive monthly minimums and PCI compliance fees when you use crescent.
Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:
The standard Crescent Processing contract is for four years with a $495 early termination fee. Many merchants have complained about non-disclosure of this fee, and non-disclosure of the auto-renewal clause located in this company’s standard contract. If you do choose to use Crescent, please negotiate this down. Many providers have no early termination fees!
Sales and Advertising Transparency:
While I cannot currently review the Crescent Processing public sales information since their site is inactive, I can tell you what I’ve heard from merchants who used this company’s services. Merchants complain (profusely) about their sales experience with Crescent agents. If you read our comments section, you'll see a fair number of examples from merchants who did and did not sign up with Crescent.
Since there appears to be a high turnover rate for Crescent Processing agents, you've got a good chance of a brand new and highly inexperienced agent who probably doesn't understand the Crescent products any better than you do. This leads to many important contract terms being left out of the discussion, and a dangerous mixture of lies and mistaken information that leads to very angry merchants down the road. They've got some great agents, I'm sure, but not enough to sway me here. If you know and trust your agent, then maybe it's worth it to you. But be careful.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
Many merchants around the web complain of poor customer support. Our comments section also features a number of business owners who back up this claim. As a reviewer, it's difficult for me to assess the real-world performance of Crescent's customer support for account-specific and technical issues. So please, if you have insights, leave me a comment!
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
You can find the Crescent Processing BBB profile here. It has an A- rating, with 302 complaints in the last 36 months. This is way, way too many complaints for an independent sales office of this size. As a point of reference: Chase Paymentech processes exponentially more than Crescent yet has under 70 complaints at the moment.
- Poorly trained independent sales reps: This is probably the number one complaint I read about Crecent, and all other complaints tend to stem from this. But don’t take my word for it…
“The rep was a poorly educated young lady that my wife felt a great deal of empathy for, but she arrived with no printed material to leave behind, no business card, and no training of significance.”
“I was contacted by phone a couple of days ago and visited by a rep today. He told me the video presentation on his computer would contain the specifics of the contract. In fact it was an infomercial. He was vague on some terms, and called his supervisor to ask some questions, so I figured he was very new and nervous; I didn’t realized until the end that he was not an employee.”
“I just had a salesman meet with me yesterday. I could not wait until he left to look up what I knew would be horrible reviews on this company.”
- Undisclosed fees and contract terms: It’s possible that the reps are actually doing this by accident, since many appear to not even understand the contracts they are selling. That fact does little to soothe the wounds of merchants stuck in long-term contracts with early termination fees that sales agents manage to gloss over.
- Poor customer service: While you can find a few merchants across the web who allegedly love the customer service they’ve received from Crescent, the overwhelming majority of reports I read cited sup-par support as a major deterrent.
- Expensive lease contracts: Let me save my breath and just direct you to this article. Terminal leases are almost never a good idea, and can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
You can read a few positive remarks mixed in with the damning reviews on the Google reviews page, but not enough to make much of a difference in my mind. Their Google review rating is currently 2.6 stars.
If these positive reviews are genuine, it means that – at best – Crescent provides extremely inconsistent sales and support experiences. I’m not impressed.
I have no doubt that some merchants are satisfied with the service offered by Crescent Processing Company, and that some of this company’s sales agents are honest and knowledgeable. But some isn’t enough to get my seal of approval. I’ve seen far too many reports of unethical sales practices and overall sub-par service from Crescent. Their reselling program seems bad for agents and bad for merchants.
If you’ve had a different experience with Crescent, I invite you to speak up in our comments section. Or if you’ve been burned by Crescent, please comment as well. A company’s reputation is a constantly changing thing, but at the moment I don’t have much hope for the future of this company. 2.5 stars doesn’t cut it for me.