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First Data Review

  • 59 comments
  • Updated on:
  • Review by: Tom DeSimone

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Date Established
1969
Location
Atlanta, GA

Overview:

First Data (FD) is the 800 lb. gorilla of the credit card processing industry. They were established in 1969, and according to their stats they serve over six million merchant locations worldwide. That is a HUGE merchant base, about six times bigger than the already-enormous Chasepaymentech. First Data has many offices across the globe, but their U.S. headquarters is in Atlanta, GA. They also have an independent sales wing that is headquartered in Calabasas, CA.

I’m going to focus this review solely on First Data’s direct sales channel. As you may know, there are MANY resellers (called ISOs/Agents) of First Data that either contract FD for their processing platform, or act as referral partners for all of FD’s services. Some of those resellers are going to be ethical, and others are not. My advice would be to just go direct with First Data. They have their own in-house sales team, and they can sign you up directly. No need to go through a middle-man, unless that middle-man is going to offer you something above and beyond what FD can give you. Superior customer support or training would be one example. A reseller that adds value is appropriately called a Value-Added Reseller (VAR).

Let me give you a quick rundown of the good and bad about First Data:

Pros:

First Data is at the top of the food chain. They handle everything in-house, which means that if you sign up directly with First Data, then you deal exclusively with First Data. No middlemen.

They’re at the bleeding edge when it comes to payments technology. They offer a ton of resources, tools and complementary services for their merchants. This includes tools that help with PCI compliance, transaction data & analytics, fraud prevention, chargeback dispute resolution – the list goes on and on. And they just recently partnered with Google Wallet to provide business owners the ability to accept mobile payments. When it comes to add-on services, First Data wins, hands down! Of course, all those extra services don’t come cheap…

Cons:

By default, First Data’s fees are pretty high, probably because they offer so many extras to their customers. All of that technology comes at a cost, so I’m sure they need to recoup some of that expense from their merchant base. They also have an early termination fee that is pretty hefty. Finally, they are known for using enhanced billback as a billing method, which is not good at all.

All of the above rate and term issues can be fixed pretty easily if you know what rates and fees to ask for. If you don’t, then you can contact us, and we’ll help you through the process.

First Data also has a tendency to hold funds or shut accounts down at the drop of a hat. I’m sure the simple thought of having your account shut down or funds withheld is enough to make you shiver, so the best thing you can do is educate yourself on how to prevent it from happening. If you read this article, you should be A-OK!

In conclusion, First Data is a good company. I think they’d be a decent solution for a higher volume business that needs all the bells and whistles. Unless you smaller guys can get signed up with awesome rates, then a First Data account may be a bit too rich for your blood. I’m giving First Data a 4 out of 5 for now.

Products and Services:

Rather than ask what First Data offers, perhaps we should ask what they don’t offer. It would be a very short list. If you can name it, chance are First Data supplies it – and in-house and top of the line of course! If you have complex needs and want simple, one-stop solutions, FD can take care of you in a unique way with their wide array of products and services, all backed by this incredibly stable and successful company. Their offering include (but are not limited to):

  • Merchant accounts
  • Gateway/virtual terminal
  • Online reporting
  • Terminal sales/leases: Before you decide to, take a look at this article.
  • Check processing: This allows you to scan and deposit checks right at the register. You can also run it against a national registry of bad check writer for added security.
  • Mobile processing: Basically everyone is offering this these days, and First Data is no exception.
  • POS software: First Data has integrated POS solutions for multiple industries.
  • End-to-end encryption: For optimal data security, end-to-end encryption helps to eliminate any holes.
  • Industry-specific solutions: including transportation solutions, corporate billers, consumer marketing, integrated partner, education, government, and financial analyst solutions.
  • Marketing/loyalty/gift card programs
  • Services for financial institutions

Trying to summarize these offering here doesn’t even come close to doing justice to the complex solutions and services you’ll find at First Data. Check them out here.

Fees and Rates:

First Data does not disclose any rates or fees on their website. I can tell you, though, that they could set you up with any number of billing option including tiered, interchange-plus, flat rate or enhanced billback – to name a few. I would encourage almost all merchants to pursue interchange-plus pricing, although First Data might hit you with high monthly minimums and mark up rates if you’re a small business. If you need help figuring out what the fair rate for you is, get in touch with us.

Based on what I’ve seen from First Data, your rep may not be willing to give good rates for every business. They provide a ton of useful and valuable services, but it might not make financial sense if you can’t get an affordable rate and fee structure.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

The default early termination fee by First Data is brutal. They have something called a “liquidated damages” type termination fee. Basically, that means that they’ll charge you your minimum monthly fees multiplied by the remaining months in your contract. That can get VERY expensive. Here’s a copy of their agreement by the way. Read section (8) under “Administrative Fees” to see what I’m talking about.

If you decide to go with First Data, ALWAYS ask them to waive the early termination fee. Most sales reps will do it for you. Just make sure that it clearly states so in your contract or a signed waiver form is attached.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

First Data does alright in this category, since they don’t use any sales gimmicks or misleading promises. You will undoubtedly find independent resellers of First Data’s products and service making their own, individual claims. For a processor as big as first Data, it’s impossible to make any sweeping judgments about their resellers. This is why in this review we’ve chosen to focus on the offerings directly sold through First Data’s corporate sales. And in this case, they’re doing an okay job.

I’d love to see some more education information, disclosures of fees or rates, and generally more specifics given. If they could talk a little bit about interchange-plus plans, I’d love them for it!

You can find First Data on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where merchants interact with the company on a public forum. This is good for transparency.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Surprisingly, their customer service is actually pretty good. Typically, very large companies suffer in that department, but judging from the lack of customer service related complaints, it seems like First Data is in good shape. FD offers 24/7 telephone & email support, including live chat.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

You can find the First Data BBB profile here. It has an “A” rating as of this review, with 946 complaints in the last 36 months – 381 of which have come in over the past year alone, demonstrating that complaints are still on the rise.

There are plenty of other review and complaint sites beyond the BBB like RipoffReport where you can get some good info, but those sites don’t do a good job of filtering out irrelevant complaints. Keep in mind, there are many, many resellers of First Data’s services, and not all of those reseller’s have good terms, ethical sales reps, or good customer service. So FD might be taking the heat for some of their reseller’s shady practices. The focus of this review is on First Data directly, so I’m only going to consider the reviews and complaints from people that signed up with First Data directly.

Common complaints for First Data include:

  • Excessive fees: Most of the complaints revolve around First Data’s fees. FD seems to have a fee for everything; PCI compliance, customer service, and even the new IRS reporting fee. They also have a costly cancellation fee. Granted, they do offer some great services for those fees, so if you’re looking for a dirt cheap merchant account, then FD might not be for you. With that said, the best way to avoid overpaying for any merchant account, is to either have me help you, or you can use a service like CardFellow. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can negotiate with them on your own too. You just need to know what rates or terms to ask for. At the very least, you definitely want to make sure you have them waive the cancellation fee.
  • Withheld Funds and Account Terminations: First Data has been known to be a bit trigger-happy when it comes to holding funds or terminating accounts. You’re going to want to learn how to avoid holds and minimize chargebacks, if you plan on signing up with FD.
  • Enhanced Billback: They’re also known for using a billing technique called enhanced billback, which isn’t the most transparent billing method. Check out our article about it.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

There are plenty of video testimonials and customer success stories on the First Data website, all of which seem like authentic endorsements. If you check them out, you will also notice that they don’t necessarily say that First Data has the lowest rates, they focus more on the huge number of processing services and solutions offered.

Final Verdict:

In many ways, it’s not fair to compare First Data to our favorite little providers like Dharma Merchant Services. FD is selling to a completely different market, and their offerings reflect this. While they do have surprisingly good quality customer service, you’ll never get the kind of intimate attention from First Data that you can find from a smaller company. If you run a small business and want that kind of attention, I’d recommend you look elsewhere.

For big companies looking for the largest range of services and the most processing power, look no further! First Data is just enormous and their products and services are of the highest quality you’re likely to find anywhere in the industry. If you have complex processing needs and are willing to pay a little extra to find solutions, you’ll love FD.

I’m comfortable giving First Data a solid four stars. While they don’t go the extra mile to suit every small business, they do offer quality processing. If you’re interested in checking out some of our five star processors, take a look at our awesome comparison chart!

Tom DeSimone

Tom DeSimone

Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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59 Comments

    Zach F

    I do not understand that when someone uses a Debit card with the chip, they(FIRST DATA) are automatically processing it as credit, giving me no option to let the customer input pin number. The customers are telling me they have a debit card, but the transaction always charges me credit card rate and prints a signature receipt for customer to sign. My question is:

    At the top of the receipt it says Credit Card trans. but under it says Chip card: Visa Debit… Am i being charged Credit or Debit rates??? If credit I’m being ripped off because these are Debit cards customers are using with the pin. First data is telling me only Credit cards have chips now, that no debit cards have the chip….Please someone explain….

    Rating33333
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Zach,

    To understand this, we first have to distinguish between regulated and unregulated debit. Regulated debit transactions (made with cards from banks that have over $10 billion in assets) will cost the same whether the PIN is used or not. Unregulated debit (banks with less than $10B) will be much less expensive to process when a PIN is used, as long as the transaction is over $15. Otherwise, it’s cheaper to process it non-PIN.

    Debit cards can be processed through the credit networks or debit networks. For small-ticket businesses ($15 and under), signature debit (via credit network) will be less expensive. For large-ticket business, PIN debit will be less expensive.

    For small ticket businesses, signature debit has the added benefit of convenience. Since small ticket transactions do not even require a signature (so they can just swipe and go), you save the added effort of having the customer enter a PIN.

    For large transactions, PIN debit adds security and savings on unregulated debit. Fraud is much less likely on PIN debit transactions, which is a huge plus when you are running big ticket items.

    Of course how much you actually pay for all of this will depend on your processing rates. If you have interchange-plus, you would have the savings passed on to you.

    Whether the customer will be prompted to enter their PIN, sign, or neither is dependent on the programing of your machine. If you feel there is an error or if you would like a better explanation, you’ll have to contact your provider.

    -Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Kelley

    This company is horrible! Stay away! They are impossible to get on the phone. They lie about their contracts. They all have different stories and are slow to fix their mistakes. They have crazy undisclosed fees and once they get access to your account you can kiss your money goodbye.

    Rating11111
    paul Wright

    Our customer paid $ 20,000.00 bill which was moved to our bank the next day. GREAT
    Several days later same customer paid $ 20,000.00 which F D held. ” flaged ”
    This was on Nov. 11, 2014 today Nov. 19th. F D still has funds.
    I now understand F D s policy. O K.
    question I have are:
    1. why if F D knew they were NOT going to forward funds WHY did they take them? 2. why is F D still holding the funds?

    RatingNot Rated
    Ron Olson

    Wow,

    Terrible customer service. I just spent an hour on the phone with First Data trying to see if I could use the AMEX number they gave me for my ecommerce site as well as my storefront location. The representative didn’t answer my question, got extremely rude and told me that that she was done answering my questions.

    I tried calling in again to speak to a different representative and got almost the same response.

    I will never do business with First Data Again! Awful customer service/support, and a limited product make for a terrible experience.

    Rating11111
    LushQT

    Firstdata should be honored that they even got a star on their ratings.
    The worst company ever to deal with, they scam everything there is. Rep tells you this, and you get something else. You are never going anywhere trying to resolve an issue over the phone. 2-3 hour on the phone being tossed around different reps, and be hung up on them is no surprise. I never will recommend anyone to sign up for Firstdata.

    Rating11111
    Nanthis

    First data merchant solution is my worst company to deal with.
    Customer service is terrible.
    Specially charge back department.

    Do not try them,Unless if you want them to take all you money.

    Rating11111
    Jenna Jones

    I first signed up for First Data when I opened my first Hair Salon with a partner in 2013. I figured that since they were through my bank (Huntington) that it would be my best bet. That has not been any farther from the truth! I am getting SCREWED ROYALLY!! I am paying over 5% for fees (including terminal rental) which I just found out that at the end of my lease I will be paying $1920 for a $200 machine! I just got off of the phone with another credit card merchant who was 100% up front with me about everything and they are one of the top companies and don’t go through a bank. My cousin uses them for her Auto Repair Shop and pays 2% with them. 2%!!!! Granted they run higher numbers than me, but still 2% compared to 5% is a HUGE difference! Ok, so let me tell you that as of June 2014 I separated from my business partner and went on to open a Salon by myself, thus cancelling my First Data account with my old salon with my partner (she kept first data, I just cancelled my account), I KEPT First Data for my new salon, however I went with them through Forum instead of Huntington. First Data is now charging me a $500 early termination fee from the old account. EVEN THOUGH the rep who set us up said we would NOT be under contract. He illegally signed my name electronically and is no longer with the company, so they have been fighting me to the bullet and are absolutely refusing to waive the ETF AND has sent me to collections even though I am STILL using their services at my new salon. BEWARE OF FIRST DATA I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM! I will be going with another company very soon and will just let my contract run out and do my minimum monthly if I have to.

    RatingNot Rated
    Bobby Allen

    Thanks everyone. I do gaming/sci fi conventions. I use PayPal Here (2.75%, no monthly fees). I am looking for a cheaper option.

    Rating11111
    Sebastian Corbat

    The BBB profile for First Data is here: http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-reviews/credit-cards-and-plans-equipment-and-supplies/first-data-merchant-services-in-atlanta-ga-3001650
    They have an “A” and you put the wrong link to it.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Sebastian,

    Thank you for the correction. Not sure how that happened. The link and rating are now updated.

    Thanks again,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Rob Lamensa & Pam Courtney

    Worst Company to ever deal with. One of my two credit card machines went down and they sent me a replacement the next day. This new unit was programmed improperly with wrong bank account info (two location were backwards). They stated that was not possible as I am reading and looking at the statements and they had copies as well. To correct it, they apparently opened a third account with the proper info and started billing me since April 2014 $65 month for this third account. They said that was impossible too but here I am 6 months later being billed for three accounts and if I want close out the one THEY opened, I will have to pay a termination fee. Do not use them as they will not return phone calls or emails.

    Rating11111
    Barry

    Has anyone ever succesfully been able to get out of their contract with this conglomerate of companies without paying huge cancellation penalties?

    Rating11111
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Barry,

    Early termination fees are very hard to get around after the contract is signed. One of the only ways to get out of paying it is to find a new credit card processor who will pay off your existing termination fee in order to gain your future business. Let us know if we can help further!

    Good luck,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Kelley

    Do you know of a company who pays off contracts? I’m looking at suing for breach of contract. Has anyone done this?

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Kelley,

    Many providers will be willing to pay your existing early termination fee if you sign on with them. The downside is that they will usually ask you to agree to an early termination fee in the new contract. This is because they don’t want to pay off your fee and they have you cancel service immediately after. You should talk to rep from our preferred providers. While it will depend on your specific circumstances, most are willing to help you out with this in order to win your business.

    In my experience, lawsuits against processors are not fruitful. Especially against big processors like First Data. This is because these providers have excellent legal teams who write rock-solid contracts that gives the processors a lot of leeway and control, and the merchant almost no power for legal action. So in general they don’t want to or need to breach their contract terms, since they have already secured the power they need upon your signing of the contract.

    But that said, this is not intended as legal advice, nor a replacement for it. This is just my perspective based on the many merchants who I have spoken with. If this is just about an early termination fee, you can probably find a new processor willing to pay it off for you. Unfortunately if it is an equipment lease issue, there is rarely a good outcome.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re stuck in the middle of this. A lot of payment processing companies have very unfair practices that are, unfortunately, technically legal. Another possible course of action is to file a complaint with the BBB. Sometimes this will result in a refund. Otherwise, please do get in touch with our preferred providers. They all use honest sales practices and fair contract terms.

    Good luck,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Terry Nguyen

    First Data is crap… I’m HERE TO GIVE YOU ALL SOME DECENT ADVICE! BEFORE SIGNING ANY CONTRACT WITH ANY COMPANY IF YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN THE LAWYER INDUSTRY GET THEM TO READ OVER IT!

    They will do your homework and tell you about all the hidden fees in any company!

    From Canada, First Data combined with Pivotal Payments and you have to pay 2 separate cancellation fees… Tom i dunno how you can say this is site has the lowest negative feedback for First Data… But it is pretty bad my friend…

    EVERYONE STAY AWAY FROM FIRST DATA!!! Anyone has any good reccomendations? I heard HELCIM AND DHARMA WAS GOOD (i’m in canada btw…)

    Rating11111
    Trung Nguyen

    Hi Terry,
    Can you elaborate your experience with FD. I am thinking getting Clove POS system through Wells Fargo merchant services. FD bought Clove two years ago to expand point-of-sale platform to small/medium sized businesses. So, most likely if I use Clove, FD is credit card processor.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    My first 4 yrs with this company actually was really good….until recently. I was having my credit card terminal break down about every yr and a half. Finally, I got annoyed and asked for another solution. I was told that a global gateway (online) would solve my problem and since I was an existing customer they could get me the same low fee I was currently paying AND could have me up in 24-48 hrs (since I was existing client).

    Almost 3 weeks later, I am still without credit card processing and have heard the promise of “tomorrow” way to many times. At the point of 2 weeks, I was getting pretty demanding and wanted real answers. My emails were not getting returned like they usually did and the Denver Office was not answering phones.

    After calling and calling last week for hours, I finally called my rep’s cell phone. It was listed on all of his emails and it was during business hours. Scott answered and was annoyed with me, for calling, because he was at home. The office assistant also left early and their boss was on vacation. My rep told me to call Customer Service for any further needs.

    Customer Service cannot assist with Global Gateway issues, and if you call the number my rep provided, they do not talk to members of the public, only sales reps. Finally, the next day I get a call from the assistant saying she called in some missing information, my account was boarding and I should be up and running in 30 min-1 hour. This was Thursday last week. She then sent an email with store number and password. I told her I would call back by 3:00 if it still was not up. It never worked, and the assistant yet went home early again.

    I then decide to call the 800 number on the login page, for global gateway assistance and the guy tells me to wait till morning, just because it can take up to 24 hrs. The next day comes and I call back. The account is still sitting in a status with error messages on it. I call the Global Gateway tech support and they tell me I need to talk to Merchant Services. Merchant Services says “I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I don’t have access…” So I ask for a supervisor, who tells me a form has to be submitted to have it re-board. I send an email to my rep and his assistant, who still do nothing today.

    Today I called Global Gateway tech support and got a lady named, Meredith, who called the right people to find out was information was missing. The missing information was from my reps office, and not myself. There was a lot still missing and she reviewed it with another office to be sure nothing else was missing and supposed to re-board tonight. Supposed to…. I really felt like she got to the bottom of the problem, but nobody else made an effort in this 3 weeks of frustration and as an existing customer this is a huge insult.

    If its not working tomorrow at 10:00 eastern time, I am demanding a refund and taking my services somewhere else.

    Rating22222
    Janet Opre-Mittendorf

    Wells Fargo Merchant Services totally misled me and tricked me into this scam! I am a one person glass artist who may or may not make money each month, especially since I am disabled. I am now told it will cost me $700 to get out of my lease. I’ve used the machine 3 times

    RatingNot Rated
    Russell Clamp

    These guys are a bit of a nightmare.

    I terminated my accounts 2 months ago because they could not provide me with an exact amount they were holding as a security retention (it’s approximately £20,000).

    They had also promised to review this amount at 1 year, but when one year came around, they said they couldn’t review it for another 6 months.

    Having closed my accounts 2 months ago, I called them to check when my £20K would be returned and exactly how much is is because I’m trying to do my end of year accounts, only to find they didn’t actually closed all my accounts, they just closed one.

    Yesterday I had a debit from my bank account for £120 by FDMS despite not having used them for 2 months.

    I’m now in a cycle of calling them, being promised calls back, not getting them and not having any idea when I’ll get my money back.

    My next action is to contact the FCA. Not really what I want to be spending my days on.

    Steer well clear of FDMS.

    Rating11111
    Anwar

    First Data the most disgusting company on this planet with rude/unprofessional employees. BIG scam their agents/resellers like Bank of America get you into a contract stating there is absolutely no commitment and later you will find out that you are on hook for 5 years. I have there junk CC machine that I used only few months of my business and when I called them to close this account I was surprised that you can close the account but you cannot get red-off the equipment lease and I will have to pay the lease for 5 years. I do not have that business and I am not processing anything on that machine but I have been paying for that piece of junk First Data equipment for last 3 years. They take money from my account without letting me for other craps like fee/tax which I never heard. Please if you hear the word FIRST DATA run as fast as you can and never do any business with them or their resellers. You will be doing yourself a huge favor.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean Mark

    Terrible company. They will not cancel my account and are charging me $50 per month. I showed my bank my cancellation attempts and the bank stopped allowing the deductions. Now First Data has sent me to collections. DO NOT USE THEM!

    Rating11111
    steve bradburn

    my salesman slipped in a contract under my signed month to month agreement, which I refused equipment when arrived ,data systems.trying to get funds from my bank .I stopped all bank withdrawls ‘anyone starts class action suit, ill be glad to add my name. this company is a big fraud, which works from both ends . salesman and first data rip offs

    RatingNot Rated
    Kelley

    We definitely need to bond together and stop this awful company. Does anyone have lawyer who would look at this case?

    RatingNot Rated
    Shawn Murtada

    This company has been terrible to do business with, nothing but headaches from the start. The agreement was supposed to be set up through Sam’s Club & First Data but the Account Executive never created it this way and strung me along for several months saying he would correct the problem. They even still owe me money for the month of May! I finally moved onto dealing with a new executive who informed me that I was being scammed by the other First Data employee the entire time… Not to mention, I have experienced missed sales many times since the upgrade to the new terminal and software.

    Rating11111
    Marcus Hudson

    I wish I could give them no stars. The is a terrible company. I cancelled them three years ago and signed up with someone else who was significantly cheaper. Today I found out that they never cancelled the service and has been deducting $85 buck out of my account per month for the last 3 years and they have no record of the cancellation letter (go figure). So I sent in another cancellation letter after speaking to a representative (this is the only way to cancel) and they deducted another $75 bucks as a cancellation fee. It has been over 6 years since I’ve signed anything in regards to doing business with them and yet somehow even though there has been no charges ran through that machine I’m still under contract? They are a bunch of crooks. Find another merchant preferably a local company.

    Rating11111
    Chad

    This is by far the worst company I have seen in any business exchange. Do NOT use this organization EVER if you have an alternative. This group will not help you and is impossible to get any customer service help with. I started my service and asked for help to begin. I didn’t hear back in 72 hours so I called to cancel my service all together. They wanted to charge me an early cancellation fee. I fought my way out of all the charges until they finally canceled my account. Or so I thought. Ten months later I find out I have been paying into this account the whole time. More than $500 to have an account that doesn’t work. Don’t bother even talking to them. They refused to help and told me it was my responsibility. Find another route. I know I will NEVER affiliate with this company ever again.

    Rating11111
    Adrian Jones

    Avoid this company like the plague. I cancelled my account early with First Data in January 2014. They charged me £803.10 termination fee (even though the sales manager said there would be no fee as a sole trader). This fee also iuncluded a restocking fee (for a leased terminal). The fee was paid around 20 January and I was told this was the final bill and the account was closed. I subsequently cancelled the direct debit thinking the contract had been terminated.

    On February 5th I received a bill from First data Merchant Services for customer care line fees and PCI management fees. When I contacted them regarding this and informed them the account was closed and the fee had been taken from my account.

    To my horror and surprise I was informed that there was two agreements and that First Data and First Data Merchant Services were different companies. I was told it was my responsibility to know that there was two agreements to which I pointed out that I am not psychic so how am i supposed to know there are two agreements, and supposedly two different companies if they do not inform me.

    Having looked at the details of the sales rep I discovered she works for First Data Merchant Services (the company that is still billing me). This company splits the services it supplied you, fails to tell you this and then claims you are responsible for not informing the other company.

    With this in mind I am making a complaint against the company and if they do not resolve the matter satisfactorily I have been legally advised to take this complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

    Hopefully they will sort this shambolic shower of a company out.

    RatingNot Rated
    Emma Lai

    NEVER SUBSCRIBE SERVICE TO THIS COMPANY, YOU WILL BE PAYING SO MUCH FEES YOU NEVER IMAGED. My company subscribed to them 4 Years, we leased the terminal which we have to pay min. fees of $50 and all other service fees (over $50) which you will be charged at least $100 per month. We were unable to cancel it because termination fees is like $1,800. Thus, we had to stick with the terminal for 3 years. Finally, we cannot stand it, we return it last year with paying over $500 termination fees. However, First Data never told us we have to call another department to perform ANOTHER cancellation to the service, and they continued to charge us on our checking account with monthly service fees. The service representative Debbie and her manager told me that they will not refund for the account like ours. We supposed to read OVER 60 pages and remember EVERYTHING (we signed 4 years ago) because they stated in the agreement that we need to call another department to cancel our account, otherwise, they have the right to continue charging our checking account. The manager also said FIRST DATA GLOBAL LEASING COMPANY is totally a different company than their FIRST DATA SERVICE COMPANY which means they can totally ignore customers from one to the other.

    RatingNot Rated
    Adrian Jones

    Dear Emma

    I have just seen your complaint regarding claims the companies are different. I have just had exactly the same thing except mine was First Data Global Leasing being a different company to First Data Merchant Services.

    Global Leasing charged £803 to cancel the account even though I was told that If I cancelled as a sole trader then all I would have to do is return the terminal. Merchant Services subsequently charged me and claimed it was my responsibility to know there was two seperate companies involved.

    Having checked my details again I have noticed that it was Merchant Services who signed me up to the service. With this in mind I am seeking legal advice about claiming the £803 cancellation fee back from Merchant Services as they entered me into the contract. Have you considered this as an option to get your money back.

    I assume because you refer to the fees in $ that you are in the USA whereas I am in the UK. Over here we have an organisation called the Financial Ombudsman Service and I have been told they may be able to investigate my complaint and determine any compensation I may be able to claim. Do you have such an organisation there? If so I would suggest you contact them and see if they can assist you.

    I think it is about time this company was stopped from doing this.

    Good Luck in any action you take

    Adrian

    RatingNot Rated
    larry klatzko

    How do you rate 4 out of 5 with a list of only negative comments?

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Larry. We use the input from our readers as one of many sources for information about a service provider. When there seems to be a recurring complaint, from our readers or elsewhere, we address it in the review. In comparison to the number of merchants First Data serves, their complaint volume on this site is actually fairly low. I should also note that in this review I focus on merchants signed up with First Data processing directly, not through an ISO, which certainly helped their rating here. It is also difficult in some cases to assign blame to First Data based on brief comments without greater context. Still, I do agree that they are barely a four-star processor at this point and could easily slide down the scale during our next update. Thanks for reading and thanks for the question!

    RatingNot Rated
    james alford

    first data has been (without authorization) 19.95 each month, for non-compliance fees, for years now. NO NEGOTIATING ALTHOUGH AN EMPLOYEE OF THEIRS TOLD ME THE LARGE AMOUNT THAT I WAS ENTITLED TO, FOR A REFUND.
    PATHETIC THAT ANOTHER REP. ONLY HALF OF THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT MENTIONED !
    PRETTY SAD. I HAVE BEEN A CUSTOMER OF THEIRS FOR ALMOST A DECADE AND I AM PARTING WAYS AFTER I HIRE AN ATTORNEY. HELP !

    RatingNot Rated
    Lucy Evans

    stay away from this company, will make up charges as they go, worst company I have ever used, wish I read these review before/

    Rating11111
    K.C. Kendall

    This company is a disaster. A corporate claim of a debt of $64 from five years ago(which the company now agree was paid in full at the time the claim was made) was transferred from a company at which I served as director (and therefore had to list my personal address) to my personal account. That claim of $64 due is holding up my ability to re-fi my home. It took three people, the patience of Job and tenacity to get it solved. Everyone involved was greeted with terrible customer service.

    RatingNot Rated
    Susan Smith

    First Data is the epitome of the corporate greed that gives small businesses yet another hurdle to overcome. Small businesses have no chance of fighting against such a big bank. So, they can act badly, forge documents, steal (hold) people’s money; and there is no accountability!
    Don’t let this company get close to you.
    NEVER sign a personal guarantee
    Buy your equipment…don’t lease!
    First Data is a major rip-off and crooks too.

    RatingNot Rated
    susan picarelli

    OH m an do I hate the company … they over charge . They are just out to take advatage. American corporate greed at it lowest base.
    they suck
    I too am trying to get out of the contract and it will cost me $3000 to pay off an obsoltete Hypercom crdit card machine. what RIP OFFS

    RatingNot Rated
    Susan Smith

    Agreed. They are the epitome of corporate greed and fraud too. Have them send you a copy of your contract. Mine had changes made to it after my signature!

    RatingNot Rated
    KRoss

    This company should be avoided at all cost!

    Overnight they have destroyed our business. We were running fine ‘ticking along’ as they say and then we had a christmas rush over the seasonal period, they didn’t like this and decided overnight to put a hold on our account. They stopped all money coming through to us altogether holding £50,000 from (previous income) in total. Of course, this put a delay to getting merchandise out, we missed buying stock etc and that’s when the spiral downfall started.

    Customers (quite rightly so) got annoyed wanted refunds putting charge backs through etc.. (This all coming from our business and not the £50k they were holding.)

    They risk assessed our business and decided to hold all income for 10days and we gradually got our money back. Ok we thought, we cam manage that.
    Although the amount we were refunding people was so high this was just destroying us, and caused a knock on effect through the next few months.

    Then just as we started to get back on our feet again, first data got in touch saying that a company similar to ours had just gone ‘ bust’ (probably because of these cretins!) And we needed to be assessed again. So off we go, giving them all the information they wanted taking time out for phone meetings etc… The guy on the phone (more bs coming out of his mouth than a cows backside!) Said not to worry and he will be in touch. Day later we had this letter stating they were going to pull the plug on our site and that they will not be releasing any of our money for 180 days. This was a complete kick in the teeth. At no point did they really give us a reason why, just that we were high risk.

    So just using paypal (with a 30% reserve) and them holding all of our income over the previous 20 days, we were refunding customers who wanted to cancel for one reason or another, through our usual terminal with first data (thinking it would come out of the funds they were holding.) But no, they took all the refunds that were pending out of our current bank account! They are a complete joke, not only do they cut your legs off for no reason, they then kick you in the teeth when you really need the help!

    Please please please….if you are thinking of using them please think again! Even if the charges are a little higher with another merchant or you have to pay them to cancel don’t do it to yourself, especially if your a small starter-up its really not worth the grief! We still don’t know what’s going to happen, but thanks to them we have some serious issues to deal with!

    RatingNot Rated
    Jim Bryan

    Lots of fees, I only did about $6000 in CC volume last year and paid about 8% in fees. This doesn’t include my PCI compliance fee! I initiated the service through Sams Club, I expected lower fees. The basic rate is fine, but the interchange fees are very high.

    I cancelled last month and went to square up. I have never had a charge back and don’t need a lot of customer service. My fees under Square will be 2.75% for any card with no minimums or interchange frees.

    Rating11111
    Mel Flem

    First Data is the worst merchant I have ever dealt with. If you dont like stress in your life do not go with this company. The rates look good but the service is ridiculous! They will take your money and cancel your account. I am so sorry that I ever looked them up. I am paying the price now.

    RatingNot Rated
    eugene samuelian

    they took my money neaver got anything to take cards on line out 6000.00 in sales 5 buyers and now having a hard time canceling my acct with all fees the took and waveing the canceltion fee also

    RatingNot Rated
    Toni LeGras

    I would like to know how you can justify a 4 star rating. Have you read the reviews?

    RatingNot Rated
    Toni LeGras

    I HAVE NEVER DEALT WITH A WORSE COMPANY: UNETHICAL, TIMECONSUMING, EXPENSIVE – ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE FOR A WONDERFUL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.

    ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE AND STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY

    Rating11111
    chris meadows

    Do not get involved with first data . You have been warned. They can and will hold your money for absolutely no reason what so ever. I was told many reasons including their fax machine does not recieve faxes after 2 pm, that they need need a copy of the contract before they considered releasing funds, they cannot call there own customers to verify payment to be made, and there contract for merchant services can ‘t be canceled. Do your self a big favor and get the tool for your smart phone to get paid ,with no rental fees ,no monthly fees and no cancellation fees. In my opinion first data is on the way out in light of the easy access to get funds thru smart phones that they have a contract that is non cancelable. Watch out !!!!!!!!!

    RatingNot Rated
    Jim Bryan

    Switched to Square Up, I like it a lot and I am saving lots of $$$

    RatingNot Rated
    Nancy Lin

    This company is a nightmare to deal with. They lie and misrepresent their lease terms. I have had their equipment for a month and can not use it because they programed it incorrectly. I have called numerous times and they refuse to fix it, yet they TAKE THEIR MONEY out of my account. They are nothing but SCAM ARTISTS. Sam’s should be ashamed of themselves for using these frauds.

    Rating11111
    Phyllzworld

    Do not do business with this company! They are deceptive, have too many hidden companies, and are not helpful or customer service oriented. Your billing comes from someone and somewhere you never heard of, and try solving a problem by telephone, 4 different times,4 different sub companies in one day, no resolution. Man at top of food chain was rude, and not interested in solving my problem. Tough toenails…..
    I never even could set up this service, too complicated to use, and poor tech support. Never sold anything, and was charged fees …UNREAL BAD EXPERIENCE…..Still waiting on my contract…and my account is closed. Also told to keep something that was charged to me and was supposed to be free.
    Sell it on Ebay! I was told…… Problem started with WEB.COM…. a pieces of the same
    bad company. They may have good marketing reviews, because they write them………………………Pitiful,,,,

    RatingNot Rated
    Toni LeGras

    I agree with all of the above comments. First Data is HORRIBle. Calling customer service is a joke – expect to spend over 1 hour for any issue, and then it won’t be resolved.

    It is in my opinion criminal to treat clients the way they have treated me. Do yourself a favor and do not do business with this company.

    RatingNot Rated
    Gary Coleman

    Any comments on First Data’s Emerging Market fee structure. On face, it looks better than Interchange Plus (I don’t have a hard quote yet). Are they likely to make it up on Billback? How would Billback appear on the contract?

    RatingNot Rated
    Tyler Haacke

    Being that First-Data uses ISO’s you find that a lot of people have bad experiences and put the blame on First-Data as a whole. I work for a First-Data ISO called Cardservice International and I can testify that you will not only talk to someone in the US, but also that you will have a positive customer service experience.

    RatingNot Rated
    Nancy Lin

    I have tried – they only refer you to Merchant Services and WILL NOT CORRECT ERRORS ON MY ACCOUNT. Despite calling repeatedly over ONE month, I can unable to accept credit cards. I have yet to speak to an employee with integrity that works there

    RatingNot Rated
    Rob

    We recently entered an agreement with FD at Kohls for our retail credit card. The system is terribly flawed with so many things that don’t work or are not available that should be. Example: issuing a new card to a customer fails everytime and gives a reject reason of “Customer not found”, this system is not convenient at all, I hope Kohls switches back to their own system which was a lot more productive and user friendly.

    RatingNot Rated
    Jacks Oven

    We figured using Sam’s Club Merchant Service would be a good and safe NOT. Don’t do it, the rep misinformed us, now we are stuck in a terrible 4 year lease, customer service not very helpful. Do your home work before using Sams and First Data.

    RatingNot Rated
    Bruce Arnold

    Tried to close my account with merchantlane.com It’s been 3 months of BS and it’s still not closed. Of course they continue to charge me 20.00 every month. You email them and maybe you get a response maybe not. If you ahve lot’s of extra time to deal with them and check and double check everything along the way then this is the company for you. But remember if you push them to actually be a responsive company and do the right thing you get the “vibe” instantly that you have crossed the line. :)

    RatingNot Rated
    John

    I am having the same trouble trying to get out of my contract. They take $30,00 from my bank account every month and the early cancellation fee is very high. However it is cheaper than 5 more years of monthly payments.
    Has anyone had any luck getting out of the contract?

    Thanks

    RatingNot Rated
    Donna Reiser

    First Data-horrible!I have been dealing with this company for apx. 1 year and 5 months, during which time they have denied that I ever applied to them, ever set up an account with them, etc etc. I have probably spent 60 hours on the phone with non-american people trying to download my credit card machine (at home) driving back and forth.I’ve been repeatedly hung up on,cut-off after waiting on hold for hours and today was the last strraw-I called to try to give them info. they were demanding for the 6th time to become IRS compliant and they again denied that I was the nameholder on the account-even though I was responding to a letter written by them to me and my company.I was assured that I would be transferred to the retaining dept. because they didn’t want to lose my business(at the same time they were denying that I was a business) and was given the run-around again and placed on hold for a huge amount of time 3 seperate times.I have finally given up-they know my number if they were really concerned about saving me as a customer (or not).Not only has this company been incompetent, they have lost me hundreds of dollars for a crashed system that I finally had to settle and lose several sales because I really needed some of my money to go into my bank account.I wouldn’t trust this company. They have done nothing but lie, take my money and waste hours of my time.They are actually jeopardising my restaurant business.I want far, far away from this company.I urge you to stay away also.I guess actually that shouldn’t be too hard since they keep telling me I’m not one of their customers anyway!

    RatingNot Rated
    Susan Smith

    It is so unfair. Why doesn’t this BANK get held accountable for bad business? I’m mad. So sorry to you and everyone…so many, that have had horrible dealings with this ‘so called’ company.

    RatingNot Rated

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