Flagship Merchant Services Review
Merchant Maverick's Rating: (4.5 out of 5)
Last Updated: April 12th, 2013.
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Flagship Merchant Services has been in business since 2001. They're based out of Charlestown, Massachusetts and have boarded over 100,000 merchants since they opened their doors. That's a pretty decent sized company.
Even though they're a bigger company, they still don't have very many complaints against them. I've seen much smaller ISO/MSPs that have racked up BBB complaints in the triple digits, but Flagship's complaint count is still pretty low (see here). That's good news!
They do have a few complaints against them around the web, but those complaints lack any type of consistent pattern. What that tells me is that Flagship merchants don't have any regular or recurring issues that you should be concerned about.
With that said, It seems that Flagship charges a PCI compliance fee (around $99/yr), but you can get out of it if you just do a little work on your end. Read our article about PCI compliance fees, and make sure that you're compliant. If you are, then you can provide the necessary documentation to Flagship, and they'll most likely waive the fee. Talk to your rep to learn more.
Here's what I like about Flagship...
To start off, they've been around since 2001, and even though they do have some complaints, there aren't nearly as many as I'd expect Flagship to have. Especially since they're one of the larger ISO/MSPs out there.
Secondly, they don't lock you into a contract like most other providers, which is a huge plus! (As always, double check your contract just to make sure. Generally, you'll find all the info you need in the "Termination" section of the agreement.)
Finally, they offer interchange-plus pricing, and they don't seem to push the bogus terminal lease programs that other ISO/MSPs rely on.
I'm gonna keep my eye on Flagship to see how they do. Until then, it's 4.5 out of 5.
Feel free to let us know your experience with them.
Flagship Merchant Services is the DBA of CardServ Inc.
Registered ISO/MSP under the name CardServ Inc.
Acquiring Bank(s) (Acquirer):
Wells Fargo Bank.
Authorize.Net. Do you need help setting up your payment gateway with your website? Click here.
Here's the Flagship Merchant Services corporate info. Flagship's corporate name is Cardserv, Inc., not to be confused with CardService International, Inc., which is a property of First Data Corp.
You'll notice that three out of five of those ROR complaints are by the same person. You'll also notice that hardly any of those complaints have any type of rebuttal submitted by Flagship Merchant Services...not good.
The only similarity that I found between most of the negative reviews was that the merchant's issue was with Flagship's processor First Data. For one reason or another, First Data shuts the merchant down, and Flagship ends up taking the heat.
I'm not protecting Flagship here, but facts are facts. ISO/MSPs hardly have any say in what the banks or processors do.
The only other issue that has come up has been with their PCI compliance fee. You can get out of paying that fee if you show Flagship that you are PCI compliant. The best way to do that is to read our article on PCI compliance fees, which will tell you what you need to do to get compliant. Once you are compliant, you can show proof to Flagship, and they should waive the fee.
There are quite a few testimonials on the Flagship site, but none of them have any business-related info, so they're hard to verify. Be sure to ask for references.
The Flagship site is secured by Security Metrics.
Haven't had a chance to deal with their customer service, so don't forget to leave us a review if you have.
No contract length. Just make sure you verify that with your rep, and review it in your contract.
No early cancellation fee.
Interchange-plus pricing is offered by Flagship.
Seasonal downtime is also offered.
Retail, Wireless, Restaurant, Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO), e-Commerce, eCheck, Petroleum Cards, Hotel/Lodging.
None in particular.
Don't forget to leave your review and rating in the comment section.
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