Flagship Merchant Services Review

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Date Established
2001
Location
Charlestown, MA

Highlights:

  • Interchange-plus pricing offered
  • Good customer support
  • Multiple products and services offered
  • No termination fees
  • No setup/application fees

Overview:

With over a decade in the industry, Flagship Merchant Services has stable roots and a comprehensive track record. Founded in 2001, Flagship is a longtime supporter of fair contract terms like no early termination fees, no setup fees and no application fees – all charges which I consider dubious. While many processing companies these days are dropping fees like this, Flagship helped pave the way toward a more consistently fair payments landscape fee-wise. For this, I sincerely applaud them.

Back in 2012 iPayment acquired Flagship, which – in the long run – has provided additional resources and a more direct relationship between provider and processor. There were some bumps in the road during 2013, perhaps due to growing pains and corporate changes accompanying the acquisition, which seems to have manifested a worrisome number of complaints in our comments section and elsewhere. I’ve read all of these remarks and take them very seriously.

At this point, in mid-2014, I believe Flagship has turned a corner toward improving their services. They sign up tens of thousands of merchants each year, so complaints are always going to come up. But I have faith that 2014 will be a better year, thanks to increased accountability for Flagship account reps and better tracking of merchant/rep communication company-wide. You can now expect your communications to be addressed either the same day you reach out, or at the very least soon after. You can also expect to receive a response from a Flagship representative to any complaints you leave on this review.

In terms of general incentives, Flagship will waive your Authorize.Net gateway setup fee (usually about $100), a nice bonus for small ecommerce businesses along with their free shopping cart setup. The free mobile swiper and mobile app provided by Flagship could also come in handy. You will have to do the math for your specific needs, comparing the Flagship numbers with other providers. Overall, they provide fair value. I’m not crazy about Flagship’s PCI compliance fee or standard monthly minimum, but these are industry-standard and fees you’re likely to contend with elsewhere as well. The PCI fee comes directly from their processor, so don’t bother trying to negotiate it. While Flagship primarily markets tiered plans, they’ll gladly set up interchange-plus accounts.

All said and done, Flagship Merchant Services makes the grade as a 4-star provider at the moment. I love that they have no early termination fee, and that they do their best to add value to your processing account. They’re absolutely doing better than average, and in many cases perform very well indeed. Check them out, and please come back to report on your experience!

Products and Services:

Flagship Merchant Services offers a pretty limited number of products and services, which is actually a good sign in my mind. I like to see a provider add value to your account without trying to shove the kitchen sink down your throat. While nothing really sets Flagship apart from the pack here – and I had a hard time locating much useful information in their public advertising – they offer everything you’d need to get started. Offerings include:

  • Merchant accounts: Flagship Merchant Services is not a direct processor. They use a third-party for processing services, mostly through iPayment (their parent company), but in some situations First Data.
  • Gateway/virtual terminal: Gateways come from Authorize.Net, with no setup fee. This could save you about $100 in some cases, and is a solid bonus. This includes the option to use Authorize.Net’s mPOS mobile app and their “Simple Checkout” payment buttons for your website.
  • Mobile processing: Offered through iPayment’s MobilePay. They’ll also hook you up with a free swiper. I haven’t reviewed the app in-depth yet, but it seems capable.
  • Credit card terminal sales
  • Online reporting
  • Shopping cart setup

Fees and Rates:

While Flagship primarily markets a tiered pricing platform, they are completely willing to offer interchange-plus pricing (preferable). Merchants applying at Flagship through our partnership can expect the following:

  • Processing markup over actual cost: 0.30% + $0.10
  • Statement fee: $7.95
  • Monthly minimum: $25 (negotiable)
  • PCI compliance fee: $99 annually

The $25 monthly minimum means you’ll have to process about $8,000 per month on interchange-plus to avoid paying a penalty. If your monthly volume will be less than that, think about negotiating a lower monthly minimum. I consider this a better deal than their tiered plan.

Other fees include:

  • PCI non-action fee: Additional $19.95 monthly (must complete PCI assessment to avoid this)
  • Authorize.Net gateway fee: $7.95

So here’s the bottom line: If you avoid the PCI non-compliance fee and come in under your monthly minimum, Flagship offers fairly competitive pricing. Maybe not the lowest cost-plus markup you’ll find, but overall a good deal for most merchants, and a good overall value.

They have no early termination fee and no hidden junk fees. Flagship is, as of lately, doing a great job of making sure merchants know about the PCI non-compliance/non-action fee and helping them to avoid it (for merchants signing up mid-2014 or later). You’ll be responsible for the network fees (like the FANF), and a fee for chargebacks, but these are unavoidable.

Overall, I am satisfied with the value provided by Flagship Merchant Service.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

Flagship Merchant Services has no early termination fee, making your account with them a month-to-month agreement (which is awesome). Make sure to cancel your account as per the instructions in your contract, though, or else they’ll continue taking monthly fees from your bank account. I suggest you vigorously confirm your cancellation, and get it in writing.

You should note that some merchant have reported difficulty closing their accounts, a problem that Flagship has historically blamed the processor for. The good news is that if this occurs and you are charged monthly fees when your account should have already been cancelled, Flagship will generally reimburse you that fee.

In part to rectify this issue, Flagship has recently (early 2014) instituted a company-wide reporting system for merchant contact. If you contact Flagship for any reason, the contact will be logged and addressed same-day. This will help to make representatives more accountable for handing account closures in a timely fashion. But remember – it’s up to you to file the actual paperwork. The sooner you fax it over, the sooner your account will be closed.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

While I have confidence in the sales team at Flagship, and have spoken to their salespeople in the past, I believe that a company’s website sets the tone for how they do business in an overarching sense. This marketing is controlled and decided at the corporate level, making it a good predictor of the general sales practices and attitude.

Flagship makes very few fee disclosures on their website, offering visitors little initial guidance or educational material. The only rate quote they give is their regulated debit quote, which is much lower than the overall average for transaction cost:

Rates start at 0.38% + $0.19 per transaction with Free Account Set up!

Consider now that the average interchange fee is close to 1.8%. They don’t even offer a footnote explaining that this rate will only apply to some debit transactions, nor do they go on to explain how rates are decided anywhere on the Flagship site. While I accept that this is a marketing choice and that – in their defense – debit tends to make up 40-50% of transactions overall, I would rather they didn’t provide any rate quote than a single deceptively low number that is likely to cause at least some confusion, regardless of how thorough their salespeople are on the phone. While this is a very low regulated debit quote, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your overall cost will be lower.

Furthermore, although they advertise their credit card terminals with some vigor, Flagship fails to disclose any pricing information. While most providers don’t disclose any pricing information, the best ones do (Helcim and Dharma Merchant Service, to name a couple, and even Elavon recently).

When visiting the Flagship homepage, readers might be impressed to see that Top Ten Reviews rated them the number one merchant account provider in the industry for seven straight years. That’s a pretty big deal, you might think. While it certainly seems like a commendable achievement, I can tell you that Top Ten Reviews is basically worthless when it comes to assessing credit card processing providers. For instance, just in terms of fees, they completely ignore the $100 annual PCI compliance fee charged by Flagship, as well as the $20 monthly PCI non-action fee. They also ignore important considerations like customer satisfaction and sales/advertising transparency. Interchange-plus pricing? I don’t think that Top Ten even knows what that is. So keep this in mind and don’t get sucked in by this marketing. I actually do think that Flagship is worth checking out – in spite of and not because of their Top Ten Reviews rating.

But there’s good news here too. Flagship offers a completely gimmickless “lowest overall cost” commitment. This means that if you come to them with a rate quote from another provider, or with your current provider’s rates, they will match it or beat in almost all cases. I like that they don’t use this as a sales gimmick. They don’t offer $1000 if they can’t meet or beat your rates, a tactic I consider dishonest. Flagship just gives it to you straight. I admire that.

I’m also thrilled to see that Flagship Merchant Services uses an in-house sales team for most of their accounts, since independent sales reps are known for unregulated activities and overall poor training. On average, Flagship provides a consistent and honest sales experience, and they are consistently taking steps to make sure account reps are held accountable (pun intended) for taking good care of you. If you’ve experienced otherwise, please leave us a comment. Or if you can confirm their dedication to your satisfaction, please chime in too!

Customer Service and Technical Support:

While Flagship Merchant Services advertises 24/7 customer support (thumbs up), many merchants have reported a lack of overall quality. During business hours you are likely to get in touch with an in-house representative to help you (which is ideal!), but outside of regular business hours you may see a decline in the quality of service (this is not unusual in this industry). Also in many cases Flagship will have you contact the processor directly, and I haven’t exactly heard stunning feedback about iPayment‘s customer service reps.

I really love that Flagship makes the person who sold you their services your continuing point of contact as a dedicated account manager. Unfortunately, this means that if you get an unresponsive account rep, you could be in for a bumpy ride. While I have every reason to believe that most Flagship reps do a great job, it’s obvious to me that some have been missing the mark. If this happens, I’d encourage you to escalate the matter to his or her manager, and even ask to have your account transferred to a different representative if you simply can’t make it work. At the end of the day, Flagship wants you to be happy. Sometimes you just need to be aggressive to make that happen.

The other good news here is that, like I mentioned earlier, Flagship has instituted a new company-wide customer contact reporting system. This means that your calls and emails are logged and reviewed, and representatives are required to address your concerns the same day you voice them. This added level of accountability has already improved merchant support at Flagship, and I have a good feeling about their future in this regard.

Still, you should be aware that in the past there have been issues, as evidenced by our readers’ comments, especially during 2013.

Furthermore, the Flagship FAQ leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s the only self-service customer support available.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Flagship’s internet reputation had a rough year in 2013. You can currently find 46 complaints on RipoffReports, as well as almost 60 complaints in our own comments section. They have an unfavorable C+ rating with the BBB, with 112 complaints in the past three years. 68 of those complaints came in over the past 12 months, demonstrating a rapid rise in complaint volume. In addition to the 112 complaints, Flagship has been reviewed 33 times on the BBB, with 30 of those being negative, three neutral, and zero positive. You can find an additional 42 complaints on ConsumerAffairs.com.

Some of the most common complaints with Flagship Merchant Services include:

  • PCI non-action fee: While I don’t really like to see this fee at all, especially when you’re already paying a PCI compliance fee of $99 with Flagship – the fee itself is not my problem here. The problem is that account representatives have in the past failed to help merchants avoid this fee in many cases. The cost is an additional $19.95 per month for non-action. But the good news here is that Flagship has recently (mid-2014) stepped up its efforts to help merchants avoid this fee by having account reps discuss it with merchants during their welcome call. I’m hoping to see this complaint peter out with time. If you complete the PCI compliance questionnaire, you can avoid this fee.
  • Difficulty cancelling service: This comes up over and over and over again, so I know something is up over there. Having no early termination fee starts to lose its meaning when you’re paying $50+ per month for a service you’re not using and that you wanted to get rid of. I’m hoping to see this complaint taper off this year, since Flagship Merchant Services has taken initiative to increase accountability and transparency when it comes to account rep and merchant communications. If you feel you’ve been treated poorly in this regard, Flagship will usually give you at least a partial refund.
  • Poor customer service after signing: Having your salesperson as a continuing point of contact can make for an overall excellent support experience. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When your account representative becomes unresponsive, it can be a nightmare. While I believe that Flagship has taken steps to correct this issue, time will tell if they’ve done enough. As of mid-2014, things are looking up for Flagship. My fingers are crossed, but I’ll keep you posted.
  • Billing issues: In these instances, Flagships points the finger at their processor iPayment, and perhaps rightfully so. After all, these mistakes often do come directly from the processor. In my opinion, though, Flagship had ought to provide intensive arbitration and mediation on the merchant’s behalf. This includes account holds/freezes, which you can do your part to avoid by reading this article. Some of these issues are unavoidable though, so these complaints should be taken with a grain of salt.

The good news here: Flagship is generally willing to provide at least partial refunds to make things right. In fact, so far in 2014 Flagship has become one of the most accommodating and generous providers I’ve seen in terms of refunding fees, especially when the BBB is arbitrating.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

You can find a couple of merchant testimonials on the Flagship homepage, as well as a small list of logos for companies they provide services for. Aside from that, you won’t find any intensive case studies or reviews.

The most substantial recommendation for Flagship Merchant Services comes from the popular review site Top Ten Reviews, which reviews everything from consumer products to career choices. While Top Ten may honestly and unbiasedly believe that Flagship is the best merchant account provider out there, I have to disagree with them.

Unlike Top Ten Reviews, we only review merchant services and software here. It seems to me that Top Ten misses some very important aspects of the review process. They completely ignore the $100 annual PCI compliance fee charged by Flagship, as well as the $20 monthly non-compliance fee. They also ignore important considerations like customer satisfaction and sales/advertising transparency. Interchange-plus pricing doesn’t seem to be a phrase in their vocabulary. To be frank, I think that the merchant account reviews from Top Ten are driven by arbitrary data and superficial appearances. So while Flagship has indeed won their top spot seven years running, I question the meaningfulness of this award – and so should you.

Not to say this is a bad thing necessarily. You should just realize that it’s more of a marketing ploy than a meaningful assessment.

Final Verdict:

There’s a lot to love about Flagship, to be sure. They generally provide good value, deal with most active sales in-house as far as I know, and let you leave at any time without penalty. I love the freebies they offer, even if they’re presented in a somewhat gimmicky way at times. Flagship is doing a good job overall. It seems like they slipped a little bit in 2013 – maybe due to growing pains stemming from their acquisition by iPayment in 2012 – but are coming back in the first half of 2014 from what I’ve seen so far.

While some complaints that come in under the Flagship name are actually criticisms of their processors, namely iPayment, it’s Flagship’s responsibility to provide excellent arbitration, mediation, and prevention when it comes to processing issues. Some of these issues are unavoidable, not to mention incredibly frustrating for merchant, so make sure to take complaints regarding chargebacks and funding holds with that as context. I don’t think that Flagship’s marketing at the corporate level is nearly as straightforward or useful as other providers, but it’s not hurtful either.

Flagship gets 4 out of 5 stars for the moment. They perform better than the industry standard, but have room for improvement. I’m comfortable recommending Flagship to you, but – as always – encourage you to enter your sales consultation reservedly and as an educated, informed merchant. So read up, then go ahead and check out Flagship Merchant Services!

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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183 Comments

    Linda Lutz

    I really can’t give them a good rating for having no termination fees since it takes forever to actually terminate your account. Terrible customer service. All they are really good at is Bait & Switch…and Smoke & Mirrors.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of the delay closing this customer’s account. However, we can confirm this account was closed per the customer’s request.

    RatingNot Rated
    Bryan Kinney

    MAJOR FRAUD COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!! MAJOR!!!!!!!!!
    Flagship Merchant Services is a Major fraud and rip off!
    Our account has been closed for months with them, Sent in the paper work, mail was returned undelivered, called them repeatedly to be placed on hold for hours, customer service rep’s cannot not seem to give our the correct info even there own address, they have been hitting our bank account over and over, we asked them to provide us with there email address so we can summit the paper work again, 4 different rep’s 4 different email address,
    they are refusing to cancel our account, this can not go on, we are a small business just like millions of other small business and we base our business on customer satisfaction and honesty just like millions of other small business, I could never conduct business like Flagship Merchant Services, nor would I be proud to work for them,
    Your logo has the American Flag on it, Your company is a disgrace to the American flag and the good ol USA!
    Do not do business with them at all Total Fraud!!!

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer in our database based on the information in this post. The customer is encouraged to contact us and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    jeanette jogiel

    STAY AWAY FROM FLAGSHIP MERCHANT SERVICES – RUN! IF YOU WANT POSSIBLE RESOLVE READ ON ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS / BUSINESS AFFAIRS, AQUIRING BANK REPORTING:

    My accounting with Flagship is a ‘business terrorist’ story. Proven covertly attacked by lies and ‘creative auto withdrawals’, deadly billing of double charging per month and more:

    LIE 1: Was purposefully lied to by rep on opening this account with flagship in Jan 2015. Had a full conversation about ‘monthly fees’ he said there were none – I stated to him – how you guys make money. He said via transaction fees. Like a fool I accepted their lies. There was no disclosure about PCI $95.00 fee nor minimum not meet fees of $25.00 a month.

    LIE 2: includes 5 ‘creative’ transactions fees:
    Flagship Representative “A” stated he would refund my 35.00 they took because of the lie and then charge me a $5.00 a month thru May till I had their system connected to my business. Then take $15.00 monthly for ‘quota not met fee’ starting in June 2015.

    MY BANK ACCOUNT STATES:
    Feb charged: 32.95 (After almost having heart failure – being lied to on sign up – Had to call several times to get my refund of 25.00 which took 45 days or so)
    March: 5.00 fee deducted (agreed on)
    April: 35.00 fee deducted (suppose to be 5.00)
    May: 5.00 fee deducted
    June: 95.00 PCI fee + 35.00 fee
    (was only directed to a rep that would do this with me -this for me was never told about it and they took another 35.00 not agreed upon fee)
    June again: yes double charged for May 25.00

    LIE 3: PCI when one does not disclose information it’s a lie. Was told someone would call me for PCI form with me – was never told about 95.00 fee!

    LIE 4: They are trying to double bill me after I told them I was terminating this service. Demanding yet another monthly fee was already billed for.

    LIE 5: Now this is real ‘customer service’! Lol
    I put a full stop payment on $148.95 auto-charge and call rep “A” telling him what a bunch of crooks they are he said immediately they would take me to collections – didn’t even go over the screwed up accounting they did to me. Now am their financial monitor keeping track of their business accounting!? Wow. He sent me cancellation form, which doesn’t even have their name on it! FTC said not to fill it out – but these idiots can cause more trouble if I don’t! Read on…. So, told him I would report them to FTC (feds) , authorize.net, visa and all their piers. He said go ahead. OK I did rep “A” and they are all very interested – see results:

    I have reported Flagship to the following companies that they are associating them selves with crooks: to Massachusetts Consumer Affairs, Division of Banks of Massachusetts, authorize.net, FTC, Visa, PCI, on the way to AMX, MasterCard, Discovery, Comp Controller of Currency, FDIC, AARP and PCI. These agencies took this report with great care, as they are very concerned and interested. If they get enough complaints (as there are so negative reports online about Flagship) wonder what can happen ☺ What will happen in future – haven’t even started my business and what about my clients money? This is as bad as paypal who is regulated by the FBI as an auction site I think. My old client reported paypal and never saw their money again! Have spent a few days of time with this and have found:

    MASSACHUSETTS / BUSINESS AFFAIRS:
    Mass.gov – THE 30 DAY DEMAND LETTER under CONSUMER – RIGHTS-AND RESOURCES section.

    WELLS FARGO / FIRST DATA: Is next for my reporting as this seems to be their acquired bank.

    LIE 6: Their advertising all over the internet. No Contracts yet that’s all they talk about it a contract between us! And there is no address listed on their web site.

    YESTERDAY
    Received ‘ipayment / Flagship demand letter’ and they added another 35.00 for double charges for same thing in May. So now they say I owe them 174.00 and haven’t even done business with them.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We regret this customer’s negative experience. While we are confident all rates and fees were disclosed during the sales and application process, we have requested a courtesy refund of $80.90 in service fees. A collections balance of $148.95 has also been waived.

    RatingNot Rated
    jeanette

    There rep did ‘down and out lie’ to me ok. In jan when I called in to sign up – purposefully asking him about fees – “J” said there were none! I took pause..not ever using merchant services I said ok but thought it weird… asked him “J” how do you make money and he said via processing fees. This whole experience has bent my mind for business. Offering consulting / marketing / web services to small business this has been the worst experience ever. And you have the ego to basically state it was my issue you ‘are honorable’! Dude wow. Am still recouping from it. Getting refund was little of the bigger picture of transacting with these companies. The old saying time heals all is best medicine.

    RatingNot Rated
    Richard

    There was a period when I first started using Flagship where I would have given them a zero rating, but now that I have been with them for 6 months, I will rate them 2 out of 5. I think the decision to consider them (from a cost perspective) depends a lot on the type of transactions your business makes. In my case, I make a lot of small transactions ($5-$10) and now that I have experienced all the undisclosed fees that Flagship tacks on to your statement each month, it is obvious that a service like Stripe would have been a much better and less expensive option for my business.

    Sales –The sales rep will say anything to set the hook. My rep, [Name Removed], failed to disclose the PCI fee ($99 per year, even if credit card info does not traverse your web site), and gave me false information about transaction fees even after I asked her very specific questions. For instance, I have (in writing) an assurance that there would not be an additional fee for “authorizations only” (transactions for an amount of $0.01 to test for card validity). However, they do in fact charge a fee for that and refuse to stand behind what their sales rep gave me in writing. You will also encounter numerous transaction fees in addition to the $.021 that they advertise. Authorize.net will also charge a transaction fee that they don’t tell you about. They say these extra fees are akin to the FCC fees on your phone and cable bill so they don’t have to disclose them. That might be legal, but I consider it unethical, especially when I was assured over and over that $0.21 was “absolutely the only transaction fee”. If your average transaction amount is $50 or more, these fees are probably not a big deal but if you make a lot of smaller transactions ($20 or less) they add up very quickly.

    Customer Service – I consider this a wash. I have had several positive experiences with courteous and helpful reps as well as several frustrating experiences with nasty, defensive, condescending people who have no business in a customer service department.

    In retrospect, I am disappointed in myself for choosing Flagship Merchant Services. I went with them because I thought my costs would be lower. My initial cost analysis, based on the type of charges I make and the rates provided to me by their sales rep, projected an average total cost of about 4% on a $10 charge (as compared to Stripe’s cost of 6%). In reality, after all the undisclosed fees that Flagship charges, my costs are closer to 8%. So, my advice would be to anticipate a per transaction fee of twice what they tell you and instead of the advertised 1.9% of the amount, anticipate closer to 3%. Also, keep an eye on your statement – last month they snuck in an extra $20 monthly charge for a service called “COMPANY.COM Business Suite”. Apparently they think that they obfuscate the monthly statement enough that the average customer won’t notice. It would seem that their marketing director slept through the Business Ethics class that he took at Brandeis University.

    Rating22222
    Ashley W

    BEWARE! Based on my high volume business, this company said I would get the lowest percent charge rates. They said I would only be charged 2% on rewards cards and 4% on high rewards cards which are “hardly used”…..WRONG. I got my statement and every single credit card transaction I did, this company charged me 4%. THATS NOT ALL! It took me 3-5 days to get my money after processing a transaction. I never got my money earlier than 3 days. I cancelled after 3 weeks of horrible service. I WOULD NEVER USE THIS COMPANY AGAIN.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer in our database based on the information in this post. The customer is encouraged to contact us and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Angie

    This company is horrible!!! They are unethical, liars and thieves. Brett, our service adviser at Flagship opened 3 UNAUTHORIZED accounts for our company, when only 1 was supposed to be opened. I’ll bet his numbers looked great! I wonder how many others he does that too? For the past 3 months IPayment has been debiting our business checking for the additional 2 fraudulent accounts, which have never been used, to the point of overdrawing our business account. We have called a multitude of times and no one has ever been willing to help us. It’s a perpetual roller coaster that never ends. I spoke with Cassandra, a manager at IPayment who was rude, talked over me and was no help whatsoever! When I asked to speak with her boss she in fact stated that she didn’t have a boss and she was it!? Really? I asked if she was the owner? Just the fact that she’s a manager treating customers this way, giving such a low level of customer service worries me. The bottom line is that we want our accounts closed through this company and our money refunded. Cassandra was only willing to give us SOME of our money back….SOME OF OUR MONEY?? Why not ALL of our money that they stole from us??
    I would NEVER do business with this company EVER!!!! I’m contacting the BBB regarding this issue and if I don’t receive our money I will be filing a law suit against them.
    Do yourself a favor….DO NOT make the same mistake that we have….Look around and investigate other companies. I have found Square to be a better bet.

    RatingNot Rated
    William Taylor

    Worst bank or processor I ever dealt with. They withheld my funds. When I complained the risk management person, Aimee O’Dea, told me they could withhold my funds for up to 180 days. She was, in effect, telling me that because I complained I would be punished by her not releasing my funds. My clients repeatedly returned her phone calls to verify to her that the charges were valid. Still she would not release my funds, and still has not released my funds.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer in our database based on the information in this post. The customer is encouraged to contact us and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Kevin Sollie

    Signed up because of 4 star rating here when actuality it far much lower based on reviews on this webpage alone. I was promised a $100 gift card from Amex to offset the $100.00 they charges fro my terminal. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! I was also told I would be getting next day funding as I had with my previous merchant servicing company. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN!(SUPPOSEDLY IT WAS A 1 DAY REVIEW. WE ARE NOW AT 2 WEEKS LATER). The Authorize.Net gateway is holding over $2000.00 in transactions for really no apparent reason. I am now going to try to get a refund for my terminal(which didn’t even come with an Ethernet Cable). I am closing accounts ASAP and just sticking with who I have. Rates are similar and communication is clear and consistent.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Flagship and very much regrets if a business client is not satisfied with our services. While we believe that it is not appropriate to discuss this customer’s specific account activity here, the funds referenced by the customer were addressed pursuant to the procedures referenced in the commercial agreement entered into between the parties. The customer has been informed of the status of the funds. Should the customer desire more specific information regarding their account, the customer is encouraged to contact us directly. We can confirm the $100 referenced in this post was refunded back to the customer’s credit card on 5/12.

    RatingNot Rated
    Adrienne Franklin

    I do the office work for a sole proprietor painting contractor who is looking for a card processor. She filled out Flagship’s form for a quote and was contacted by a rep and then was sent an application form, which she filled out and returned. Then she read the reviews… She understood that she must be approved and thought she would then be able to decide whether to open a Flagship account, but the rep said “I can definitely cancel your acct… You need to sign a cancelation form” which sounds like there is an open account.

    I cannot find a cancelation form anywhere online, or any cancellation instructions. She has emailed him asking for one, but I’m concerned because he’s no longer chasing a commission. I think we should send a certified letter to Flagship on Monday.

    She has not been shown the contract or terms and conditions, and I can’t find it online, as I gather everyone gets their own. She has been given no prices. I know the contracts usually say that by applying, you agree to them, but am hoping that as she has had no chance to even see one, she will still have the right to withdraw.

    Can you help us? Do you know how I can find the cancellation form?

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    All of Flagship’s application/agreements disclose the rates and fees associated with the merchant account. They must be e-signed by the customer in order to become active. Upon request of cancellation, our reps will typically email a PDF of the closure form that requires a signature. However, based on the information in this post, we were unable to locate this customer in our database. The customer is encouraged to contact our company and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Adrienne Franklin

    Update – the sales rep emailed and said he was canceling the application, that since she had not yet been approved there was no account. We are watching the bank account that was to be linked like a hawk, but so far so good. So now she is in a mess with First Data, after their rep sent a copy of the signed contract that’s different from what we reviewed before signing (does not include waiving termination fee). Will post review there soon if we don’t hear from them soon – sales rep has disappeared.

    RatingNot Rated
    David abady

    I am finding out how distrustful this company is they misled me into believing my rates were 1.98% which actually they were 3.96 %. Colin misled me in the belief that this company was legit.
    Please do not use them the aggravation is not worth it.
    Feel free to discuss this type of confusion between qualified and non qualified cards with me!

    You cannot know the extent of the credit cards you are receiving and therefore a Scam!

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We regret that this merchant did not fully understand all of the terms of the agreement. The customer contacted our company and was then connected to an account representative who went over the rates and fees of our merchant services. The customer then provided their personal and proprietary information to the representative to prefill an electronic application and begin the approval/activation process. The application was sent over for the customer to review at which point they are able to do an “e-signature” with their mouse and they then answer security questions based on their personal history pulled from public records. The full agreement was available to print out via PDF. They were also sent a copy of the agreement and program guide on a CD with more details on their merchant account. As a courtesy, we are working with this customer on a rate reduction and possible refunds.

    RatingNot Rated
    Angie

    Hi David, we were also mislead. I needed to open 1 account and our adviser, Brett at Flagship opened 3 unauthorized accounts for us!? I only found this out after they debited almost ALL the money we made at our on-site show….in fees for not only the one account we knew of, but the other two fraudulent accounts!!! I’ve tried closing ALL the accounts, but they never do it and they keep billing us; stealing our money, and the fraud continues! They definitely do not want to refund us our money they stole, however, they said they would refund some of it?! SERIOUSLY!? WHO DOES THAT!? What a bunch of SCAM artists! Have you found a different merchant servicer? If so, we’d be interested in knowing who…we will need a different company soon, as we will be doing Sturgis in August. Thanks, Angie ~

    RatingNot Rated
    Ruth Goldner

    Working with Flagship was a complete nightmare.

    I signed up in January of 2015 and explained that I was a first-time merchant and needed explanation about how to do things properly. I gave the representative my information and he told me that he would hold my application and follow up with me in a week, because I needed to gather information from my bank. Instead, he submitted my application before leaving the company. Nobody followed up with me. After several long phone calls, I seemed to get things sorted out.

    Because of the strange circumstances surrounding my account application, I never got any sort of helpful explanation of what would be required of me. Contrary to what is noted above, nobody ever discussed PCI with me and I ended up getting hit with irreversible fees that would have been completely avoidable. In contrast, the new company I am working with made sure I understood everything that needed to be filled out.

    Once my accounts were finally set up (took 6 weeks), the first time I used my account, it wasn’t set up properly. Fees came out of an account that was not authorized for deductions, despite the fact that all paperwork and verbal representations from Flagship indicated that this would never happen. It took two months to get this fixed.

    When I finally went to close my accounts, I sent the forms to the email address indicated and received a confirmation. 9 days later, when I called for followup, they claimed that my forms had never been sent. I was also at this point told about a mysterious third account that had been set up under my name and never mentioned to me until now. I had to send in a third account cancellation form and resend my first two account cancellation forms.

    In the four months that I was a customer, I probably spent at least 20 hours on the phone with them trying to get my accounts functional. Their statements are incredibly difficult to read and do not contain complete information. They have many different departments and they do not communicate or share notes, so I was often given conflicting information. Some customer service representatives openly expressed frustration with Flagship’s limitations. Even though my account had nothing but problems and did not function for 50% of our relationship, Flagship never made any good faith efforts to reduce fees or take any other relationship-repairing steps.

    I am not happily working with a local company that takes my business seriously. It is incredibly easy to use their services, they charge me lower fees, and their system isn’t convoluted and confusing.

    Rating11111
    P. Vogt

    I cancelled my account with flagship merchants in March 2013 and received an email confirming this. Then on 12/31/2014 they charged my checking account $49.50. Since then I have not been able to get it back. Any advice?

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer in our database based on the information in this post. The customer is encouraged to contact us and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Days Inn

    Flagship is one of the worst merchant services that is out there. We switched from our local bank’s merchant processor to flagship merchant service after reading excellent rating on toptenreview website. Now, I feel dumb to even have switched to this merchant service. On their website, the calculator shows that if I did $50,000 in sales, my merchant fee would be $500 to $600. I took those numbers to my local processor and they told me it would be impossible to get such low fees on $50,000 a month sale.

    I still switched it to the flagship merchant services. First month of switching it our monthly sale was $70,000+, merchant fee $2,500+.

    Dispute Fees:
    Flagship is one of the handful of companies in the entire United States that charges $35/transaction if there is a dispute.

    So lets say that I charged guest credit card for a hotel room for $55 including the taxes. And if this guest for any reason dispute the transaction with their bank, flagship would charge you $35 additional for the dispute. So, now you’re left with $20.00 which does not even cover my hotel expenses to for that particular room, I would be putting money upfront from my pocket.

    We charge extra person fees at my hotel which is $5 per person over two people in room. I have had card disputes for $5 as well and flag ship made me pay $35 dispute fee on $5 transaction.

    In 2012, I used flagship service for whole year and my business actually lost money just because of the outrageous fees that flagship does not disclose to its customers.

    In early 2013, I switched back to my local merchant service provider.

    Do you self a favor, and no matter where in the world you are, always use the local bank’s merchant service. This way you build relationship with your local bank and possibly it makes easier for that bank to loan you money for future because they already know how your current business is doing.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer in our database based on the information in this post. The customer is encouraged to contact us and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Joseph Langlois

    In July of last year, we switched processors to get much better rates and the sales rep, [Name Removed], was extremely helpful and the process went smoothly. Immediately after opening our account, the rep became unresponsive, but the first couple months saved us a decent amount from our previous processor.
    Then, all of a sudden, customers were contacting us unable to use their credit cards. When we contacted Flagship, we were told that a suspicious transaction was made and we should provide them copies of our invoices. We gave them everything and within a week we were told our account was closed (for one suspicious charge??). Our risk management rep, [Name Removed], refused to answer our calls and we could never get transferred to someone else. Luckily we kept the old account open because it would have taken several more weeks to open a new account. But they were holding a substantial amount of funds in case there were chargebacks.
    And now, I write this review a year later because after finally receiving our held funds, we were shorted. After weeks of requesting statements to verify, we found out that we had been charged $250 for PCI fees and $350 termination fee on top of numerous other things.
    So much for no termination fees (We didn’t even want to close our account, they closed it ON us). If it were $100 annual PCI fee, I may have accepted it, but $250? I would NOT recommend Flagship Merchant Services and I find it hard to believe that they have been rated so well here. I wish I had read the customer reviews sooner.

    Rating11111
    Days Inn

    Hello,
    Same thing happened to me. They put hold on our account because too many disputes, without me knowing about it withdrew $3500 from my checking out. I got the money back after 8 months of closing my account with flagship.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Flagship and very much regrets if a business client is not satisfied with our services. While we believe that it is not appropriate to discuss this specific account activity here, the funds referenced by the customer were addressed pursuant to procedures as referenced in the commercial agreement entered into between the parties. Should the customer desire more specific information regarding their account, the customer is encouraged to contact us directly and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    virginia carter

    if it were possible to leave a negative rating for this company i would. They do not deposit the entire amount of payment into your account, but instead take out fees prior to making the deposit, then take out more fees on my statement. This makes it very difficult to reconcile your payments with your accounting system.

    However, the thing that got me to kick them to the curb, was their unwillingness to process charges higher than $3000 (upgraded to $6000), I had to literally refund a payment of $24,000 to a customer because they disallowed it. (Let me add that i’ve been in business since 1988, and have never had this problem with my prior processor.) I had believed the online ratings that are posted by reviewers, much to my sorrow.

    I just received my monthly statement from Flagship, and they’re charging me a fee for the payment they refused to process. I have switched processors.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Flagship and very much regrets if a business client is not satisfied with our services. While we believe that it is not appropriate to discuss this specific account activity here, the funds referenced by the customer were addressed pursuant to procedures as referenced in the commercial agreement entered into between the parties. We have requested a refund for the fees in question, but should the customer desire more specific information regarding their account, the customer is encouraged to contact us directly.

    RatingNot Rated
    Dana Foulds

    Zero star rating would be my choice also. Upon signing up, I was told there would be a monthly charge of either $5.95 (to match a competitor) . I received written information by mail from Flagship stating I would agree to the Fee Schedule and Term and Conditions when making my first transaction. When I received the Fee Schedule by mail, I realized there were several fees that I did not understand and was not aware of so I did not use the terminal or make any transactions. I have been billed over $30 per month for services I have never used. In addition, when I attempted to return the equipment that cost $174.00, I was told that they do not except returns. Their website says otherwise. I have been placed on extended holds and shuffled from person to person. It has been a very frustrating experience and not a good fit for my business. Very Disappointing!

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear this customer was not satisfied with our services. While all rates and fees were disclosed on the merchant application this customer submitted, we have requested a courtesy refund of $65.90 in service fees. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days. Our website states we will accept equipment returns within 30 days with a 15% restocking fee. However, we will take certain situations on a case by case basis. This customer was refunded the full amount of their equipment on 4/21.

    RatingNot Rated
    Christine A.

    If I could leave zero stars I would. I am ready to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. My rep signed me up telling me it was $7.95 per month with no minimum transaction costs. He told me not to worry about what was written in the Fee Schedule. Further, he led me to believe that I could put the acct on hold during the spring/summer months when we would have no business (we are a non-profit booster club). We have paid over $40 per month in service fees, plus $30 a month in non-compliance fees! Our bills have been $70.90 per month vs. the $7.95 I was promised! We simply cannot afford that. This program has COST us money, not made us money. As a final insult, on March 14, 2015, we had a big sale at school. I called and talked to several reps and none of them could figure out why we couldn’t log in to our own account to accept payments! As a result, we had a least one customer with a $90 order walk away from the table because we couldn’t log in and accept her credit card! The company is a rip off. I feel deceived… and now I’m embarrassed that I’m the one who recommended this company to our not for profit group who works hard to make every penny for our athletes and now we’ve just blown probably $400 of that money. What a costly mistake signing up with this company turned out to be!

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer based on the information listed in this post. The customer is welcome to contact us directly. Please ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sandra Detar

    A Big ZERO. I would not recommend using Flagship Merchant Services. As others have expressed, everything that was told by their sales representatives is a lie. They use classic bait and switch tactics to get you to use their services. Getting simple resolution to problems is impossible. I have been trying to get charge/billing issues resolved with them now for 3 months. The attitude of the woman I have been working with is one of complete indifference. I’m very disappointed and disgusted with this company. I regret ever entering into any kind of business relationship with Flagship Merchant Services.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of the negative experience described in this post. The account has been closed. While we are confident all rates and fees were disclosed during the sales and application process, we have requested a refund of the fees charged to this customer’s account. A check is being mailed to the customer.

    RatingNot Rated
    Scott Smith

    Zero stars rating. This company employs planned lying from the first contact with the sales rep. Just received my first itemized statement for February. [Name Removed], my sales rep promised that the visa, Mastercard rate would be 1.58% . Nothing could be further from the truth. When I called their customer service I was told that the sales should of never said what he said and guarantee that rate. I asked her to call Youri to clear this up, she said that the customer service department has no way to get in touch with the sales team. Unbelievable that she could say that without breaking into laughter. Very long story short, If you want to get lied to and deceived, hire them, if not, never consider them as your processor.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer based on the information listed in this post. The customer is welcome to contact us directly. Please ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Nicole Castillo

    Agreed, would give them 0 stars if I could. Ipayment is the real criminal here but Flagship failed to set my account up properly and now over 6 thousand dollars of my funds are being held. I newly signed up and have never received any payments , on my first group of transactions they said one of them was flagged for being over my processing limit (no one informed me what my limit was) and another one was held by risk management – so they froze all my transactions and now want to sit on them for 30 days. I cannot make payroll and lost a $6000 deal with a customer who felt she was being scammed because someone other than her bank was calling to verify information she didn’t want to give out. What a nightmare. And of course the person who set up my account says there’s nothing he can do. In 4 years I have never had a chargeback – I even sent them my last 6 months of merchant statements.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer based on the information listed in this post. The customer is welcome to contact us directly. Please ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tonisha Jarrett

    If I could leave zero stars I would. This company is terrible. [Name Removed] signed me up telling me it was $7.95 per month with no minimum transaction costs. When I asked about the numbers in the Fee Schedule he told me it was just how the paperwork was done. He also completed my compliance survey to avoid the fees. However, none of this was true. I have paid over $40 per month and just got the $30 non compliance fee added because he didn’t submit the survey. The company is junk. Customer service is crap too. They’re rude and have no idea what they are doing. NEVER use this company.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are sorry about the misunderstanding and poor experience this customer reports. We can confirm this account is closed. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $139.94 in service fees that should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Nicole

    Thank you so much to the reviewers who posted here…I am in the process of choosing a credit card processor and wondering which one you have had good experience with. Obviously , Square.com is the most well-known one out there, but seems rather expensive…any other options?

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Nicole,

    For lower volume businesses (under $5K or $10K monthly), options like Square actually end up being the less expensive avenue because there are no monthly fees. But instead of Square, consider a provider like Flint Mobile. Payline Data also has a good option for low-volume businesses, as does Payjunction.

    If you’ll be processing a higher volume, consider our top-rated providers. If you need more help choosing, submit this form and we’ll get in touch ASAP!

    RatingNot Rated
    Tiffany Malcolm

    I too am not happy with Flagship. The customer service is not bad and everyone I’ve ever spoken to is helpful and pleasant. My issue is the fees that pop up here and there. PCI compliance fee and now a Reg Reporting fee. What has prompted me to change providers, however, is the length of time it takes for our money to reach our bank account. Sometimes as long as five days, hardly ever sooner than 3. In my business, being retail, I need that money in my account in a reasonable amount of time. I am giving Dharma a try and will review again if there are issues with leaving Flagship.

    Rating22222
    SEAN

    We’d like to help! While all rates and fees are disclosed during the sales and application process, we would like to try and accommodate whenever possible. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer’s account based on the information in this post. Please call us directly and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Robin Anderson

    Well, here we go again. Flagship once again has taken the “Gateway Fee” from my account over 2 months after I terminated the agreement. I have again written to my sales rep Joshua Longway to have this problem dealt with. So today, I once again have to contact my bank and this time dispute the charge. For those of you who don’t know it, on business accounts you have to report the issue within 24 hours or you are SOL. I deal with Compass bank…please don’t get me started down that customer service nightmare road about them either….they require notification within 24 hours of the invalid charge on the account. How many of you out there think that there should be a class act suit again Flagship filed immediately?? Can we say nightmares on the nightmare??

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    As a courtesy for the issues the customer encountered, we have requested a refund of $266.85 in service fees. We wish things had turned out better, but we can confirm the accounts are now closed.

    RatingNot Rated
    Lusine Toensing-Makaryan

    FRAUD !!!! Fraud , junk company.
    I used them for a month or so in 2014, then I wanted to close the account. AND THEY WOULD NOT LET ME GO. I have all the written proof of my complaint. Run away from Flagship Merchant Services company ASAP, or better even never start with them. There are many other reliable honest companies to work with.

    I asked to close my account, my agent specifically promised that if I sign a closure document and send back to him, my account will be closed right away without any problems and without any future money to pay, no fees, nothing. Then I found out that Flagship Merchant Services kept withdrawing UNAUTHORISED money from my banking account. Imagine that!

    It was closed in September, and they kept stealing from me for October, November, December. I told them about that. My rep was returning my emails after several days, weeks sometimes. What professional person does that?! And If I call, they keep transferring me from rep to rep, and they keep telling fairytales that they never heard that my account closed. (I have a written proof of everything). Flagship Merchant Services owes me money for those months, and additionally, money that my bank was charging me for overdraft protection – because Flagship Merchant Services was draining my account. I kept calling them telling that they should stop withdrawing money from me because my account is closed in September, by they said no, it is still open. Then at the end of conversation they said ok, we will close the account. But then they kept it open, like my account is some kind of gold mining for them….

    My immediate agent was Matthew Kersker who confirmed that yes, he closed the account in September, and then when I eventually could get a hold of another rep, some Aileen who promised AGAIN to take care of this issue if I send her all the proof, (which I did)—she never bothered to write me back even when I asked several times. Matthew Kersker said that YES, it was a fault of Flagship Merchant Services, and they should have no problem to refund my money. Where is my money?!
    They even sent me letters threatening to file on me to credit bureau company and that I would never again be able to open credit cards, or take loans, etc, and my credit history would be damaged. How they dare to treat me like that?!

    And after these months of my “battle” with them regarding my refunds, today, in Jan 30th 2015, I found a new surprise – they decided to close my account today. Really?? Well, that is indeed “interesting”. And where is my money that Flagship Merchant Services was unauthorized draining from my account? I am hurt, disappointed and humiliated. I doubt this Flagship Merchant Services will stand up, refund my money, the money that they took from me unlawfully. Shame on you, Flagship Merchant Services!!

    Rating11111
    Tony Chima

    I am having the same exact issue. My rep [name removed] stopped responding to my calls and emails after two weeks of signing up. Then I started seeing all kinds of BS fees coming out of my account. When I call and hold forever then waste 5 mins of telling them all of my security information which by the way is a joke, they act dumb, have no idea what the problem is. Check they’re notes, “who did you speak with because I don’t see anything here?” I spoke with [different rep] 5 times, got the cancellation form weeks AFTER I tried to cancel. Sent it back right away but yet still no cancellation and yet another 250.00 taken out of my business checking account. Spoke with [another different rep], she’s clueless and swears that no one there has an email account or direct ext. on their phones. Then I get [yet another different rep], seems like he’s got it together, I’ll make sure Mr. Chima that this is cancelled and I’ll even call you tomorrow to let you know the status. STILL NOT CANCELLED!!! I sent them all an email together and plan on filing suit at this point. In the mean time I have to spend yet more time going to the bank to depute the 750.00 they’ve stolen since DEC. as well as closing my business account and paying for new business checks!

    [Editor note: representative names removed as per our comment policy.]

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of Tony’s difficulty closing his merchant account. It also appears the signed closure form was not initially received in this case. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $589.72. We have requested a check be sent to the business address.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. Because we provide a financial service, we typically require signed authorization from our customers to cancel their merchant account. It does not appear a signed authorization was initially received in this case. We can confirm this account is now closed. As a courtesy, we have requested the collections balance be waived. We have also requested a refund of $279.28, which should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Mark Mancebo

    Like many other people have commented, this company was great at getting our business but severely lacked any follow up since then. I had heard many great reviews about them and how the service was great. I have to say, it was not there at all. After being told I could put my account on hold for any length of time then reinstate it as needed at no charge, I found this to be not true at all. I was unable to reach or get a return phone call from my rep for over a month. When I finally was able to speak with a supervisor she informed me I would be charged for the hold (and not reimbursed for the time it took anyone to finally speak to me), even though the rep has specifically told me would not be the case. As for putting it on hold for an extended period of time, not a chance! This company is not worth using. They over charge and do not give truthful information in an attempt to get you to sign up with them.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are very unhappy to learn of the customer service experience this customer describes. As a courtesy for the communication issues described, we have requested a courtesy refund of $98.70 in service fees. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Robin Anderson

    Flagship is a company that doesn’t care. Their customer service is horrible, the PCI fee is never disclosed on the statement. I went into the PCI website, went through the assessment, the site erorred out while I was in the middle of it. I never got a call from Flagship to assist with walking me through it. I had several accounts and I was assessed extra 100’s of $$ in fees. They would not work with me to reverse the fees. Even after I cancelled, they charged me an extra gateway fee after I didn’t do business with them. Horrible service!!! Do yourself a favor and go to square or I’d recommend Key bank’s processing. Not quite as good of a rate, but the service actually exists and the CSR’s don’t sit and argue with you. Your account rep will actually go to bat for you instead of sitting on their hands and sending you a cancellation form versus trying to work issues out.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    All PCI related fees were billed to this merchant from their credit card processor I-Payment. PCI/DSS stands for “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards” and it is a Visa/MasterCard requirement that all businesses that accept credit cards are PCI/DSS compliant, keeping their customer’s credit card information safe from being compromised. The PCI fee of $99 was disclosed during the application process with this merchant, and was in the PDF that they received upon completion of the application. In the application it said in the “Schedule of Fees” portion: “A PCI Compliance and Data Security fee will be applied on an annual basis.” Although our organization feels that the PCI-DSS related fees were disclosed and communicated to this merchant, a refund of $152.82 was credited to the customer’s checking account on 2/11. Another refund of $99 is currently in process and should deposit into the customer’s checking account within the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Ken A.

    Fees:
    Batch Header: $1.71
    Statement Fee: $7.95
    Reg Reporting AF: $49.95
    Internet Access: $7.95
    PCI Compliance: $99 + $30 each month you don’t complete the PCI survey.
    This is just a list of fees off of this month’s statement and the top of my head.

    I began using Flagship in early 2012. Such fees did no appear on my statement. I just called them and the rep offered to waive all sorts of fees and whatnot. Typical parasitic business model. They are bleeding their clients for $99 here, $49 there… unless you want to call and complain every month, move on to another cc processor.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We’d like to help! While all rates and fees are disclosed during the sales and application process, we would like to try and accommodate whenever possible. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this customer’s account based on the information in this post. Please call us directly and ask for the Operations Department.

    RatingNot Rated
    Vanina Wolf

    I chose flagship to process my credit card transactions, because it offered the best rate/fee structure, provided that I would be PCI compliant. While the customer service was outstanding in setting up my account. Once I was up and running, I couldn’t pass the PCI compliance scan, and was subject to much higher fees. No one in my office, or comcast could figure out why I couldn’t pass the compliance scan. It was impossible to get in touch with anyone at Flagship by phone, email, or fax. In fact, I received an email saying that I had to fax my complaint with a form, which I did. 5 days later, I received an email (with no return address or contact information) saying that my complaint couldn’t be processed. I’m still trying to get reimbursed for those fees. Communication with the company is terrible, once your sales rep has “closed the deal.”

    Rating33333
    SEAN

    We’re disappointed to hear of this customer’s experience. Our offices are open Monday through Friday, 9am-7pm EST and we do not require faxes for complaints or issues. A live representative is almost always available. We also have a 24/7 support line for our client’s if they need assistance after hours. We’re sorry to hear customer service was not able to adequately assist with the PCI compliance certification. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $99 in service fees. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Gregory Pratt

    I only wish it were possible to leave a 0 star rating. This company is the biggest bunch of cons and theives I have ever dealt with and I hope to god they lose their license immediately.

    They promise you a rate of 1.98 but it does not take long to realize you are getting charged over 4%. They are cons, theives, and I am reporting them to the BBB along with any other govt. agency I can find.
    They also will fake “electronic contracts” that lock you in, but the hell if they think I am paying for that.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We’d like to help. We were unable to locate this customer in our system based on the information in this post. Please contact our company and ask for the Operations Department and we will try to assist as best as possible.

    RatingNot Rated
    Renee HC

    Terrible company; terrible experience. I hired this company based on positive reviews online. I called and was quoted a price by agent [Name Removed], who promised me that I would deal with him only moving forward. After 2 months of billing, I received charges in excess of what he quoted me, which we did not agree upon. [The representative] refused to respond to my inquires and directed me to the billing department who advised that “interchange fees” could not be predicted and I would be charged an unknown about for these fees every month. To make matters worse, I called another Flagship agent who confirmed I was being over billed. When I followed up with [the representative] via email he refused to call me and simply sent me a cancellation form. I regret ever hiring this company.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    All rates and fees were disclosed during the sales and application process. However, as a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $85.06 in service fees that should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Baron Abboud

    WE have only been using your service for about 2 months. But on our first statement we noted that your company was charging almost 4% for processing. The sale representative had quoted a rate of 1.98%. We have called the service representative and emailed yet we have received no response back other than “I will look into it”. The service representatives name is [Name Removed] (a senior account rep). I don’t really understand what there is to look into – you promised a rate of 1.98% and have billed almost 2x that rate. Don’t waste my time with another email promising to look into the matter, rather admit you have made an error and credit the overcharge back or admit that the rate is 3.96% and your sale representative misrepresented your company. If in fact the rate is 3.96% I will find another processor and would expect that you would refund the overcharge as it should be your policy to supervise your account representatives and insure that they are in fact representing your company honestly.

    Baron Abboud
    480.513.4065

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear how things have turned out for this customer and the communication issues they described in this post. All rates and fees were disclosed in the merchant application and agreement the customer signed. As a courtesy, this customer’s non-qualified rates, batch fees, and customer service fees were reduced. A refund has been requested to credit the differences.

    RatingNot Rated
    John Marquis

    I would have to agree with all of the other negative comments about Flagship. Knowing what I now I would have not have signed on. My total cost to used them is around 5%.
    This what I wrote to them:
    I am cancelling my service with you based on deceptive practices. Since you have desire to refund the extra monthly fees that I was charged especially after asking your sales rep Ryan Kelleher about in the email string below.

    [Name Removed],
    I was reading about Merchant Services and one of the biggest complaints was hidden monthly fees. What are the monthly fees? You said $7.95 is their anything else?
    John”

    Sales Rep response:
    John,
    Our customer service fee is $7.95, which allows you to keep track of all of your transactions, provides customer and tech support, and also pays for the statements that are sent to you. Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    [Name Removed]
    Account Representative

    Fees I have been paying:
    Reg. Reporting Fee: $49.95Year (not disclosed)
    Internet Access: $7.95 (Not Disclosed)
    Additional Fees: $30/mo PCI (Not disclosed) I guess I was to fill out this complicated group of questions to get a certification but in any case not part of the original deal!
    Statement Fee: $7.95 (Disclosed)
    PCI Fee: $99/year (Disclosed)

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience with our company. This customer was notified of the $49.95 regulatory reporting fee 30 days prior to the charge on page 1 of their merchant statement. All other rates and fees were referenced in the merchant application agreement that the customer reviewed and e-signed prior to account activation. However, as a courtesy for the misunderstanding, we have requested a refund of $268.11 in service fees. These charges should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tony Chima

    Hey Sean, are you sorry that all of your people are full of it? I have been trying to cancel since December and you’re still stealing from my business account. I dealt with [name removed], [name removed] (terrible rep), I forget the other female because she drained me with her stupidity, [name removed] who swears no one has an email account there to contact (BS) and [name removed] who promised to call me back yesterday to make sure that THIS TIME MY ACCOUNT WAS REALLY CLOSED! Nothing! Your company stole hundreds of dollars from my business account and I will do whatever it takes to make sure you pay me back and to let everyone in business know what you guys are really about. SCAM! Feel free to call me back anytime. 215.589.0678 Tony

    RatingNot Rated
    Habip Cetinkaya

    it is by far the worst business transaction I have had. every month there are new fees and the fees are not even explained on the statement. statement says “please contact merchant services”. when i call and speak to someone after waiting half an hour due to high volume they have, they tell me that it was on my contract even though none of them were on the list of fees they told me. Non compliance fee for about 5 months then compliance fee when you comply. $50 to send you a 1099. I am paying over %4 of my sales to these people now.
    funny thing this website gives them a favorable rating.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. The rates and fees were discussed during the sales and application process. Any additional upcoming rate/fee changes were disclosed on page 1 of the merchant’s statement. As a courtesy for any misunderstanding, we have requested a refund of $99 in service fees. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days. We have also requested that this customer’s non-qualified transaction percentage be reduced by 1.06%. This change should reflect in the next week.

    RatingNot Rated
    Robert Custrini

    Beware of this processor! Though they have obviously gone to great lengths to present themselves online as having great rates and good customer service, they go beyond bait-and-switch by withholding rate information at the time of sign-up. They do so by offering what appears to be a very competitive rate on “qualified” transactions. The problem is, VERY few credit or debit cards actually qualify and there is no way to know which will and which will not. Very slippery. While the customer service people are pleasant, they are also very well trained to not provide the information that you really need. If they did, this would make it clear that their business model is built on deception. When I discovered the rates I was actually paying (versus what they advertised), I closed out my account. This was in early September of 2014. A week ago (on 12/31/14), a PCI compliance fee of $99 was deducted from my checking account. I called customer service and after a 25 minute hold I was finally connected to a representative. When I explained that I had been mistakenly billed for a compliance fee on an account that had been closed months ago, she indicated that there was nothing that she could do because the account was active during a portion of 2014. It is, of course, outrageous to be charged a compliance fee on a nonexistent account, but she would not budge from her position and refused to refund the fee. Instead, she kept instructing me to look at my contract. After a good deal of research, I am now using another card processor and am very pleased with the transparency and fairness that they practice in their day-to-day operations. I would strongly recommend staying away from Flagship.

    RatingNot Rated
    SEAN

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. The customer’s $99 annual compliance fee covers the cost of their annual PCI certification to show compliance with Visa/Mastercard’s security requirements. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of the $99 annual PCI compliance fee. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Lisa Wilson

    Beware of this company! I just got off the phone with “customer service” because a fee showed up on my December statement, charging me $49.95 to issue a standard 1099-K to the IRS. WHAT?!? That’s like me charging my employees to issue W-2s for them! Absolutely ridiculous! I called to argue it, and was told by one representative that she could waive the fee “as long as I agree not to cancel the account.” I said that I can’t agree to that because I don’t want to do business anymore with a company like this, and I was switched to a second person who said there was nothing that could be done. That felt a bit like blackmail – only offering to waive the fee if I agree to continue with them. Horrible. She offered to have a supervisor call me, but I don’t hold out much hope because no one at Flagship has ever called me back when they promised to. I intend to switch processors ASAP.

    Rating11111
    SEAN

    We’d like to help. Our customers who were assessed the regulatory reporting fee were notified on page 1 of their merchant statement 30 days prior to the charge. We would be happy to refund this fee as a courtesy. Please contact our company and ask for the Operations department so we can assist.

    RatingNot Rated
    Seanju DelVecchio

    I am so disappointed the flagship, decided to make time to write a review. I used another merchant service and compeleted the PCI test in order to avoid pay $99. But I was not happy with them beacuse the hidden fees, so I switched to Flagship. I made sure understanding of all the fees they were going to charge me. I read all complains and had really carefull to understand their fees, including the PCI fees. Flagship told me that there won’t be PCI fees since I took the test. after 3months I used their services, I relized that the service cost more than what I expected. Eventhough I earned nothing I had to pay. So I decided to cancel the service. The month I canceledd their service, I had $200 income, onetime service. Later on, when I looked my bank statement, the flagship charged me $125 ($99 for PCI and monthly fees and the one time credit card swifted fees). The reson was that I had to pay the $99. They said it is not PCI compliant fees but PCI annual fee. I was so mad!!! There is no way that I can get the $99. I asked to my bank to make sure not make to payments to the Flagship in the future, but they could not stop the auto payment. It is not the bank’s faul, but sounds very hard to do that. I have to close my business account now. I hope nobody use this bad service.

    Rating11111
    Sean

    All PCI related fees are billed from their credit card processor I-Payment. PCI/DSS stands for “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards” and it is a Visa/MasterCard requirement that all businesses that accept credit cards are PCI/DSS compliant, keeping their customer’s credit card information safe from being compromised. The PCI fee of $99 was disclosed during the application process with this merchant, and was in the PDF that they received upon completion of the application. In the application it said in the “Schedule of Fees” portion: “A PCI Compliance and Data Security fee will be applied on an annual basis.” Although our organization feels that the PCI-DSS related fees were disclosed and communicated to this merchant, we have requested a refund of the $99 compliance fee, which should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Dana LeBlanc

    Tom,

    I like that you do very thorough reviews and are very candid. I also appreciate that you take the extra effort to explain processing and all the potential “gotchas” that merchants make encounter navigating the murky waters and often hidden charges imposed by many unscrupulous processors. Conversely, you guide them to good processors who offer honesty, integrity, service and support.

    In reading this review of Flagship, you did a great job of identifying what merchants will get, both good and bad.

    As a side note, I work as a rep for a competing processor and appreciate that you level the playing field and provide good, useful information. I often refer to your site to assist merchants in making an educated decision regarding their processing needs.

    You understand your own competition as well and hold them to high standards. I was looking to get reviewed by the “TOP TEN PROCESSORS” for our company and was contacted and quoted a “FEE” of $10,000/month to be listed . That struck a negative chord with me as it appears processors get preference based upon $$$$. I don’t believe processors should “buy” their ratings, but should truly “earn” them. I am not sure how you make your money off your site, but would assume (based upon your straightforward reviews) that you are operating to a higher standard.

    Keep up the good work.

    RatingNot Rated
    Greg Holland

    There is not a rating low enough for this company , the start up was good , the reader is free , and the money goes in my account just fine….B U T , these people need a Class Action started against them , they lie and charge you way over what they say and you can not get them to give your money back so all we can do is call and get lied to more and more. There is no telling how many hundreds of thousands of bucks they steal from people every month/year . How in the world does this company get a #1 rating ??? Is anyone reading our complaints??? They will make you to fill out their yearly forms for the Feds so you will not be charged then lie and turn right around and try to slip it right out of account….. people listen up , you WILL get ripped off and you WILL loose your money with this company !!!… sign me up for that Class-Action !!

    Rating11111
    Sean

    We are sorry to hear of your poor experience. We would need to verify your account information and we will be happy to assist you with your account. When you call in, simply ask to speak to an Operations Manager and reference this post.

    RatingNot Rated
    Steve Hatch

    You named it in your review article:
    Difficulty cancelling service: I have done everything requested multiple times over two months. Still getting billed. The “Customer Service Lady” I just spoke with blamed me because I am not following up enough. WOW! and still getting charged.
    Poor customer service after signing.

    Rating11111
    Sean McEvoy

    We are sorry to hear of your poor experience. We need to verify your account information and we will be happy to have your account closed. We will request a refund of any charges for the months that the account was to have been closed. When you call in, simply ask to speak to an Operations Manager.

    RatingNot Rated
    Kenneth Matteo

    RUN DON’T WALK……..Lies lies lies lies…….I have been waiting 3 plus weeks to clear a $10,000 transaction …..no returned calls extended hold times . I have finally had it . Yes in the middle of my busy season I’m switching….that’s how I found this site ….not to leave this comment. Oh but don’t let me forget my latest bill $9000 in transactions (we mostly take checks) and $400 in costs OVER 4% can you say ….BAIT AND SWITCH
    Oh but don’t worry I will stalk them on every internet review board like a STD. You may have ripped me off but the price will be high and those doing there do diligence will hear me LOUD AND CLEAR.

    Rating11111
    Sean

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. We were unable to locate this customer based on the information in this post. We would advise this customer to contact us and request the Operations department. We will attempt to facilitate this situation as best we can.

    RatingNot Rated
    Lew Pewterbaugh

    Difficult to get a hold of, They deducted $50.00 a month from my account, then charged $149.00 for PCI compliance then locked my terminal, which I paid for. Paperwork out the wazoo, and then it was all wrong. Stupid, impossible to talk to, and when you do, you get bad info. I would not recommend them to anyone. There may be some people happy with Flagship, but I notice they are no longer in the top 10. Must be one or two others like me.

    Rating11111
    Sean

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. While we are confident that all rates and fees were discussed during the application process, we will request a refund of $249 in service fees. This refund should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Dana Hudson

    My friend and I started our own candle making company earlier this year. I researched a number of merchant services options before deciding on Flagship Merchant services. At first, they seemed to offer the best deal – ranging from 0.98%-1.98% + $0.09 per transaction depending on the type (check card, card present or card not present. The the $7.95/month fee for the Flagship account and $7.95/month fee for the mobile card reader seemed pretty much par for the course. But on our 2nd invoice, we started seeing a $25 monthly minimum fee. That monthly minimum fee wasn’t discussed or explained to us at all when we signed up for the account, though after reading our contract paperwork, I did find it in “fine print”. I feel totally taken advantage of!! Furthermore, when I brought the matter up with our sales rep, saying I was especially surprised b/c the charge wasn’t on our first invoice, he did absolutely zero to explain the charge. Just said I should call the billing department – “They can breakdown the rates and fees and issue any refunds if necessary.” What a bunch of BS – how about I just cancel the account instead!! I’m giving them 2 stars, b/c I rather like RoamPayX, which is their mobile payment solution.

    As a side note, I’ve learned that Square is the most cost effective mobile merchant services solution if you do a low volume of sales – <5K/month. We do <$1000/month. Even w/out that $25 monthly minimum fee, Square is still going to be the most cost effective solution for us.

    Rating22222
    Sean

    We regret that this merchant did not fully understand all of the terms of the agreement. The customer contacted our company, and was then connected to an account representative who went over the rates and fees of our merchant services. The customer then provided their personal and proprietary information to the representative to prefill an electronic application and begin the approval/activation process. The application was sent over for the customer to review at which point they are able to do an “e-signature” with their mouse and they then answer security questions based on their personal history pulled from public records. The full agreement was available to print out via PDF. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $164.21 in service fees which should deposit into this customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Kathy Crotts

    Do not do business with this company. When I first contacted them they couldn’t have been nicer, but once I signed up all my calls went to voice mail. They charged me for September even though they had promised to wait until October because I wasn’t using it until then. They fees they charged me for my $1 test added up to $3.21 plus the monthly fees (a total of $44.01) which were much higher than quoted. They promised to refund that full amount but as of today they have not. When I got my September statement (on October 10th) it stated that as of October 1st rates would be increasing by 0.20% + 0.10 – a huge difference! When I called I of course got voice mail, but after calling back several times I finally reached a supervisor who knew who I was without my saying so obviously he was looking at caller ID. He sent me a cancellation form right away and promised to close out my account, but I have heard nothing since returning the form. The supervisor told me to contact him from now on and that all calls are returned in 24 hours but that is not the case. I have been communicating by email as much as possible in order to have a paper trail, but now I can’t get any response. Now I will have to go to the bank and either put a stop payment on them or if that isn’t possible, close my entire business account and start over so that they will no longer be able to access my account for fees. What a nightmare!

    Rating11111
    Sean

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s poor experience. Customer service is of the utmost importance to Flagship. We can confirm that this account is closed and that a refund of $40.89 was deposited into the customer’s checking account on 10/23.

    RatingNot Rated
    Amy Stringham

    I had a very bad experience with this company. I requested closure of our account last August 2, 2014 as our season has ended but apparently they did not close the account. They keep on charging our company which prompted me to call their attention. For the second time they assured me that everything us taken cared of. Them the following month I received another charge. When I called this time I was already fuming mad because of the mishandling of our account. This time they said there was an error on the filing of closure that it should be signed by the one who requested the opening of the account which is a very flimsy alibi. What if the one who signed the opening no longer works for the company. This is making it difficult for companies to make changes on the account. Plus they boast for their reliable and courteous staff. But they are rude and does not understand good customer service. It took me to call back 4 times to make sure our account was taken cared of. They also block my computer from sending emails to their site. This greatly inconvenience us.

    Rating11111
    Sean

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience. Because we provide a financial service, we require a signed authorization to cancel by the original signer of the merchant agreement. The signed authorization does not appear to have been received on the first attempt. We can confirm this account has been closed. As a courtesy, we have requested a refund of $95.90 in service fees which should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Aja Senestraro

    I wish I had read this before I started doing business with this company. I saw their good ratings as a mobile credit card reader provider on some of the comparison websites. I don’t know if those sites were being paid off or just take no account of customer service and complaints. The whole experience has been horrible. First they had hidden fees. Then cancelling was a nightmare. Customer service was not only unhelpful but actually straight lied to me on three occasions. They also did not send me the necessary paperwork (or inform me of it’s existence) to actually cancel the account when they said they would. Either they are grossly incompetent or intentionally fraudulent in their handling of clients. My feeling is the latter but either way horrible company, don’t do business with them.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    We’re sorry to hear that this customer’s experience was a bad one. We’re fully confident all rates and fees were disclosed during the sales and application process. However, as a courtesy, we will request a refund of $112.67 in monthly service charges which should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Evelyn Scott

    I have had an absolutely horrible experience with this company. I will try to make a 4-month infuriating ordeal very concise. Roampay is the mobile device card reader they use. It had a “glitch” for 3 days in June 2014 where if you were using wireless and not wifi it would represent to you that a card was not being read and the transaction not processed. — Turns out – in fact it WAS being processed – multiple times. The kicker is it showed up no where in the “roam pay” records that it was processed more than the one time. Consequently, my client who was paying me a $500 deposit was charged $2,000. Neither of us knew till our bank statements came out. I called my client and assured her I would speak to the merchant services company and make sure it was refunded. I could not refund it myself – because it never even showed up on my records that she was charged more than the $500 that was supposed to be. Flagship withheld funds from me without notice to repay the deficit (which was fun since I am a very small business and it sent it into overdraft) — then never paid them back to the cardholder. 3 months have gone by (it is currently October 2014)– ipayment is sending me collections letters demanding $2,000 and all the while they have had the money since the beginning of August. I’m not sure if the right hand does not know what the left is doing — or if these people are just criminals, but I am astonished at the situation. So . . . to sum up – the Roampay reader had a problem (not me — the reader – the company acknowledged the “glitch” to me — would have been nice to have sent out a letter explaining that to my client) – they overcharged my client, withheld and withdrew funds from my business account without notice – and have never repaid my client, and are now sending me to collections to get ANOTHER $2,000. The “risk department” is atrocious. I especially love how they classify my problem as a “charge-back issue” — as if I have some disgruntled client who disputed the charge because I did not render services. Roampay charged her multiple times —- took the money back and have still never paid her. I have spent at least 20 hours on the phone with various departments trying to remedy the problem. I have canceled my account and the saga just continues. The sales rep who opened my account has never spoken to me since (Christoper Crook) not even to call back and say — “hey I’m not the guy to talk to about that let me give you a number of someone who could address that issue”. The risk department guy assigned to my account (Ken Mejes) is simply awful. They would not reassign the case to someone else —- and so here I sit 4 months later – with a pissed off skeptical client who is wondering what the heck is going on. $1,500 of money gone. And collections e-mails. Please – never deal with these people. I cannot tell you the stress, heartache and ridiculousness I have endured because of this giant snafu which should have been a small issues – easily addressed.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Flagship and iPayment and very much regrets if a business client is not satisfied with our services. While we believe that it is not appropriate to discuss a customer’s specific account activity here, the funds referenced by the customer were addressed pursuant to the chargeback procedures as referenced in the commercial agreement entered into between the parties. The customer has been informed of the status of the funds. Should the customer desire more specific information regarding their account, the customer is encouraged to contact us directly.

    RatingNot Rated
    Dena Kelley

    Can I give FLAGSHIP NO stars? This Company is ridiculous! We are a band and sold 6 CDs in total, at $10 a pop. They didnt even have record of 5 of the CDs sold, then they proceeded to charge me 45$ a month and then 70.90 a month for internet fees, “PCI fees”($30 a month), and “minimum discount fees ($25 a month). The reps (multiple because we called in several times before signing up for this service) said it was 7.95 a month….Not the case it is at minimum $15.90 a month and then they will start adding the $25 fee and then the $30 fee. Not a good situation for an indie band who sells only a few CDs every other month (By card reader). Use the SQUARE! They only charge a flat fee per transaction, no set up fee and no monthly charges…Then when I tried to resolve these charges they proceeded to tell me to fill out 3 different forms for each charge, sign this and that and essentially assign me with hours of digging and paperwork. All to get back $250 in fees that we were never told would be charged. Its basically fraudulant, in my opinion, to do what they have done. A misrepresentation and bad business! I give them an F…F…F!

    Rating11111
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Dena,

    They never should have set you up with such an expensive account given your low volume. The sales rep who signed you up acted irresponsibly. Square is definitely a better option for you. You might also consider Flint or PayPal Here if you’re interested in trying out a different mobile processor with a pay-as-you-go (no monthly fee) pricing model like Square’s. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you.

    Good luck,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    We’re sorry to hear that this customer’s experience was a bad one. We’re fully confident all rates and fees were disclosed during the sales and application process, we can work with this customer. However, as a courtesy, this customer was refunded $179.36 in service fees. They were also reimbursed $50 to cover shipping charges. The account has been closed and no further monthly fees will be assessed.

    RatingNot Rated
    Karen Zahner

    You must be getting a kick back for giving them good reviews!!!! They are crooks, charged me double, charged non compliance fees, closed my account but kept all my money until I said I was going to District Attorney and Consumer Affairs, then gave me a small portion that day went into my site added bogus returns (Whats up with that, 10 to one lady) Said I was a bad risk, I sell picnic baskets and essential oils, they said They called my customer and that I didn’t supply the products to them again bogus I even sent them the shipping and tracking numbers. They need to be put away in Jail!!!!!!!!

    Rating11111
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Karen,

    That sounds incredibly frustrating. I can assure you, though, that I have no incentive to give Flagship a better review than they deserve. My main prerogative is to provide as accurate a review as possible in order to maintain my credibility.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the issues you are describing exist with most processors. It should also be noted that in terms of risk assessment and account suspensions/terminations Flagship does not hold the reins. That falls under the purview of their processor, iPayment (or in some cases, First Data). When an account is terminated because they are deemed high-risk (the system for determining risk isn’t always fair, unfortunately), it’s standard procedure for funds to be held for about 90 days as protection for possible chargebacks. This can have a devastating effect on a small business and is all-around infuriating, but it’s standard operating procedure in the payment processing industry.

    Flagship should, however, have been communicative with you during this process to let you know what to expect and what you can do about it. They should also have clearly described your fees and how to avoid non-compliance fees.

    I hope you’ll consider one of our other high-rated processors for you business in the future.

    All the best,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    steve

    How come you don’t have a review of Chi Payment Systems? Are they not a big enough player in the game?

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Steve,

    Chi is more of an agent-centered company, and does not have the volume to warrant a full review. If we observe a lot of public interest or complaints, we may review them in the future.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us and we very much regret if a business client is not satisfied with our services. While we believe that it is not appropriate to discuss this customer’s specific account activity here, the funds referenced by the customer were addressed pursuant to the loss prevention procedures as referenced in the commercial agreement. The customer has been informed of the status of the funds. Should the customer desire more specific information regarding their account, the customer is encouraged to contact us directly.

    RatingNot Rated
    Sharon

    Mr. Disimone you should be aware that Flagship DOES offer $500 to the merchant if they cannot meet or beat a competitive deal. I interviewed with them today and this was their #1
    selling point for sales reps

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for letting me know about that. They still do not advertise this publicly, but it seems that sales reps are authorized to use this gimmick. It’s not a bad thing altogether, but you should be aware that it can be misleading. It can be very difficult to compare providers apples-to-apples, and you can count on the sales rep to interpret the numbers in a way that is favorable to their company. That said, getting quotes from a few different processors and using the quotes as leverage is something I absolutely encourage, so please do use the offer to your advantage! Just don’t expect to see $500.

    Good luck,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated
    Sean

    We’re sorry to hear about the miscommunication. Flagship actually will offer you $50 if we cannot beat your current rates as part of our overall lowest cost guarantee!

    RatingNot Rated
    Jeff Hilton

    Two months ago I cancelled service and still getting $32.95 taken out of my account each month. I called twice and they assured me it was cancelled and no more charges would appear. This month I called and the CS rep said it would take 30 days from the day it was cancelled to show up BOGUS, I used their service for about 3 months last year and they are not the #1 CC processing company that everyone seems to make them out to be. Obviously the reviews are not from someone that has actually dealt with them. They told me “unfortunately we can’t refund you the fees associated with activating an account”. BOGUS again, the sales rep told me if I didn’t use the service there would be no fees so go ahead and get your application in and get the account approved and then if you decide to use our service you’ll get our great rates if not, no harm done. BOGUS again…..’nuf said.

    Rating11111
    Sean McEvoy

    We are sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience. Please contact our company and ask for me directly, and I would be more than happy to work on some credits for you. I would just need to verify your account information.

    RatingNot Rated
    Rindy Engleman

    These guys have been a nightmare since day one. I was promised lower fees that my previous merchant, but was surprised with not only higher rates, but TRIPLE higher rates. Then when I inquired, [Name Removed], our account rep, stopped answering my e-mails and phone calls. Now just recently we had a huge issue with their ROAMPAY network. Their whole system crashed, which cased several of our transactions to be submitted 2-3 times per transaction. Here is the kicker, on our end all of our transactions show they only processed once. Now we are being forced to payback $1100 that we didn’t realize we had acquired because they pay in lump sums without regard to transaction. We are a small business and that is a lot of money for us to come up with. They said they would “work with us” by just taking all the incoming transactions to pay it off, this leaves us with a problem of not having any future income for weeks to run our business. I’m completely fed up. We typically give companies the benefit of the doubt when stuff goes wrong but after all this…..

    Rating11111
    Sean McEvoy

    Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance to Flagship and we very much regret if a business client is not satisfied with our services. The customer is encouraged to contact us directly if they wish to discuss the matter further. We have processed a courtesy refund of $163.75 in fees that should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next few days.

    RatingNot Rated
    Evelyn Scott

    The EXACT thing happened to me to the tune of $2,000. EXACTLY. You’re not alone. These people handled that situation very poorly. Problems and glitches are inevitable. It is how you handle that fall out that demonstrates good business and integrity. Flagship certainly demonstrated neither in their interactions with me.

    RatingNot Rated
    F. Butler

    we highly regret using Flagship Merchant. Starting using there service in 2012. No problems with terminal then but paying to much for monthly fee for the amount of use. Recently we have been working on accepting the government fuel card (WEX). Took over a month to get approved then shuffled around from one agent to another that knows absolutely nothing. Then after several reprogramming of terminal it now will not work at all. Loss of income now. And they could care less. They have your banking account number and will continue to pull from it even if there service cannot be used. They now want me to buy a new terminal at 400.00 as the one they sent me in 2012 they no longer support. They also told me that they know nothing about the set up and use of this terminal with the (WEX) card. This card is used for government fuel purchase. Sorry I ever did business with them. Please search for a merchant very closely

    Rating11111
    SEAN MCEVOY

    We regret this customer’s negative experience. Upon initial boarding of the account, we were not aware of this customer’s needs to accept government fuel cards issued by Wright Express. Wright Express applications can take up to a month for approval in some instances. They also require specific equipment that is more expensive. In regards to the equipment charges, it was not a deliberate attempt to make more money. Our terminals sold at cost, so no profit is made from the sale of equipment. However, as a courtesy, a refund has been issued for $200 towards the cost of the terminal.

    RatingNot Rated
    Kevin Annis

    STAY AWAY from flagship they get just enough info to start dinging your bank account when you are looking for a provider and start billing you even when you dont go with them.
    and try to get it cancelled thats impossible and dont bother trying to geta refund. They say they cant stop it without written consent but they sure got it started fast. Really a bad choice if you pick this company>

    Rating11111
    Sean McEvoy

    We regret that this merchant did not fully understand all of the terms of the agreement. The customer contacted our company, and was then contacted by an account representative who went over the rates and fees of our merchant services. The customer then provided their personal and proprietary information to the representative to prefill an electronic application and begin the approval/activation process. The application was sent over for the customer to review at which point they are able to do an “e-signature” with their mouse and they then answer security questions based on their personal history pulled from public records. The full agreement was available to print out via PDF. They were also sent a copy of the agreement and program guide on a CD with more details on their live, active merchant account. Further, the merchant was sent an email explaining when the billing would begin. However, since there was clearly a misunderstanding, we will try to accommodate. The account has been closed, and we have requested a refund of $309 in charges, which should deposit to the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated
    John Nedham

    The absolute worst experience I have encountered. Was sold an incorrect terminal for processing from sales rep [Name Removed] back in February for $149.00 & a $25.00 shipping fee he neglected to inform me of, & have been charged for three months worth of fees. Total spent right now is $249.14 & have not even been able to accept any credit cards. Finally received a refund of $147.00 after sending terminal back less shipping. Customer service is anything but SERVICE. Nothing else to do except to share this on the internet

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Sean McEvoy

    We regret this customer’s negative experience. All of our credit card machines will process through an analog phone line or ethernet connection. Our understanding is that a few weeks after the customer received their terminal, he attempted to process via a system that was neither a standard phone line or internet connection. The account was cancelled per the customer’s request, and his card was refunded minus a 15% restocking fee per the FAQ section of our website. Based on this complaint, we will take it a step further to ensure a more amicable separation of the relationship. The remaining $26.10 has been returned to the customer’s credit card today. As well, a refund request for their monthly fees, totalling $73.85 should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    anthony 's appliance service

    Beware of this company (flagship merchants) this company is terrible. I have a very successful small appliance business and i went online and found out that flagship is number one . I don’t understand how in the world they were one unless this is there website claiming this. Because after using them for only four months they are on the bottom of my list. When i sign up with Nick of flagship merchants he tells me that make sure i have plenty of money in my checking account. This should of send red flags up.THIS COMPANY NICKLE AND DIMES YOU WITH FEES. NOT small fees but BIG FEES. It cost me alot with this company and i’m a little guy and just want to save you the time and the fees . STAY AWAY FROM COMPANY.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Sean McEvoy

    We’re sorry to hear of this customer’s negative experience with Flagship. The customer contacted our company, and was then contacted by an account representative who went over the rates and fees of our merchant services. The customer then provided their personal and propietary information to the representative to prefill an electronic application and begin the approval/activation process. The application was sent over for the customer to review at which point they are able to do an “e-signature” with their mouse and they then answer security questions based on their personal history pulled from public records. The full agreement was available to print out via PDF. They were also sent a copy of the agreement and program guide on a CD with more details on their live, active merchant account. Further, the merchant was sent an email explaining when the billing would begin. However, since this customer was unhappy with their services, we have requested a courtesy refund of $130.80 from iPayment, the processor. Upon refund approval, the funds should deposit into the customer’s checking account in the next 7 to 10 business days.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Peter

    Dear Tom,

    How can you give Flagship Merchant Services 4 stars? I’m confused…most of the reviews are scathingly bad. My own experience was similar…undisclosed and almost random fees that have no explanation and poor justification. I terminated my agreement with them in Oct 2013 and was charged the $99 compliance fee on 12-31-13 to an account we thought was finished…thus causing an overdraft situation and an additional $32 fee. When terminating with Flagship, I expressly asked if there were any other fees or charges and they said no and that they would take care of everything. My mistake…hopefully it won’t be ongoing. I suggest you reconsider your 4 star rating of Flagship Merchant Services….a very undeserved ranking in my opinion. Have you actually used their service?

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Peter,

    I absolutely understand your frustration and confusion here. Very recently (a few days ago), I gave our Flagship review a long overdue update. At that point, I lowered the rating from 4.5 to 4 stars, citing a number of recurring complaints that came up with alarming regularity in 2013 especially. If you check out my introduction to this review, you’ll see my list of qualms and the overall ambivalence and hopefulness with which I lowered their rating by only half a star instead of by more. The main reason I decided to do this comes from Flagship’s formerly good reputation and reliable service, which is clearly in serious jeopardy at this point. You can bet that their rating will continue to sink in the coming weeks and months if their business practices do not improve. We have personally contacted Flagship to let them know how we’d like to see them improve, and we anxiously await their implementation (hopefully) of these changes. I will be taking your comment and the many other comments here and elsewhere on the web under careful consideration over the coming weeks.

    Thank you so much for your time and your input, Peter. It has not reached deaf ears.

    All the best,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Colette Salter

    These guys are awful if you are in consulting or high dollar low volume sales. I am a consultant and get paid via relatively few transactions per year. Occasionally I’ve been asked if I take credit cards. As an effort at customer service I opened this account to try it out.

    To start I was approved for a relatively low max transaction value making it of limited use for my business. The agent I spoke to was a good salesperson and convinced me to try it out any way even though I saw it of little use. When the bills started arriving, the charges ping ponged all over the place and included a statement fee of $7.95 which I had not been informed of. A few months in the annual PCI fee of $99. Then a mysterious $30 fee was added on.

    I had never actually logged into set up the account and decided to cancel. When I called customer service person offered me $75 refund on the PCI fee and a lower monthly fee of $7.95, no statement fee. I thought this was reasonable for a potential value to customers.

    Three months later they were still charging me $37.95 a month. I called to cancel and they claimed it was a PCI non compliance fee because I had not filled out a form on their website. I asked them to suspend service immediately.

    They never did and claimed they needed my signature first and had sent me an email requesting this. The next time I checked my account I see they have continued to charge me $37.95/month for a service I have never used.

    Today I spoke to [Name Removed] in customer service and he told me it was reasonable for them to charge us the PCI non compliance fee as I was advised monthly on my statement.

    Folks – in the middle of the bill is a “Reminder” that merchants must be PCI compliant. It does not say anywhere that my account is NOT compliant. In the fees section it posts a $30 fee which is described as **Additional Fees.

    When I complained that this is not clear and poor practice, Brian told me I was properly charged and “declined” to offer a refund. He said it was part of the fees for having an account. When I asked what they do with these PCI fees he said it simply goes to them. His attitude was well, that’s too bad for you, its in the fine print. They were so solicitous and helpful in the sales process and so dismissive in the customer service process.

    Talk about a rip off – $7.95 for a service and $30 additional FEES per month totaling over $500 in 10 months for processing exactly 0 transaction. I’m sure this works better if you run a pizza shop or in retail, but think carefully and don’t believe the sales hype. They get you in the fees.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Sean McEvoy

    All PCI related fees are billed from their credit card processor I-Payment. PCI/DSS stands for “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards” and it is a Visa/MasterCard requirement that all businesses that accept credit cards are PCI/DSS compliant, keeping their customer’s credit card information safe from being compromised. The PCI fee of $99 was disclosed during the application process with this merchant, and was in the PDF that they received upon completion of the application. In the application it said in the “Schedule of Fees” portion: “A PCI Compliance and Data Security fee will be applied on an annual basis.” The merchant application also states that a PCI non-action fee will be assessed monthly if PCI compliance requirements are not met. Page 1 of the merchant statement that is sent out monthly refers our customers to a site where they can complete a brief PCI compliance certification. Although our organization feels that the PCI-DSS related fees were disclosed and communicated to this merchant, we wish to inquire with iPayment regarding refunding at least a portion of the PCI fees that were billed. However, we were unable to locate this customer in our system based on the information in this post. If the customer replies to this post with the business name they applied under, we will be happy to accommodate.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jeff Henderson

    I’ve never taken the time before to write a complaint about a company. First time for everything!

    I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a company with such terrible customer service. They don’t care about you as a customer… in my experience. I called to complain about the surprising items on my bill – which were NEVER mentioned to me by the sales guy who reviewed what I would be paying each month. They’re response? “It’s in the contract sir. You signed the contract!” I explained that I may not have read all the fine print – and that’s clearly my fault… but I gave some credence to what the sales guy said – and just accepted it as accurate. Boy was I wrong! One item was a fee they told me I had to pay because the IRS required it. I found out by a big bank I called that this is a flat LIE.

    So, after getting nowhere with her, I asked to just speak to the manager. When I got to her – without hearing my story she said “it was clearly in the contract and you signed it.” I tried to share my story – nicely – and she just talked right over me. I stopped, she finished, I started again and she talked right over me. It was unbelievable.
    So, I canceled my service. I was told it would be canceled in 30 days after I filled out some paperwork. Believing I had through Jan to still use the service…I didn’t get around to setting up the next one. I tried to run a few transactions and it didn’t work. I called t hem back and said “I though I had through January??” She said, “Nope. We canceled your account on the 8th.” I explained the last person said I could use it through the month, etc. and she just said NOTHING. Like the “cold hearted Orb that rules the night” (Moody Blues). I swear these people, the training, the policies, the service is seriously pathetic. I hope they lose all their customers because no one should be allowed to conduct business this way.

    There. I got it off my chest.

    Pffft.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jon Perry

    I enlisted Flagship Merchant Services to set-up credit card processing for a charity event where 100% of monies raised go directly to needy children. As such, credit card processing fees would be paid separately so fees were critical. Being a lawyer, I knew what questions to ask and attempted to have ALL fees clearly deliniated. Every single statement made to me regarding fees was a lie. The fees were higher, there were undisclosed fees such a “monthly report fee,” and then a $125 charge described simply as an “additional fee.” The company also created “security issues” and refused to deposit credit card charges for more than 20 days. I am sure they float other merchant’s money in a similar fashion and collect interest on the withheld money. No merchant who reviews and understands their statements could EVER recommend this company.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Margaret Lois Jansen

    In August I discovered that Flagship Merchant Services had set up an account in my name that was fraudulent. My business name and EIN had been stolen and combined with the SSN of an 83 year old woman. I notified them immediately and received in return copies of the application. Numerous red flags, as in the birth date was 1929 and the names for the signature and typed names were different. Over $3600 was run through this fraudulent account that I notified them about. Now they are trying to collect that money from me and have sent the account to Collections. They knew it was fraudulent because I had told them and sent them the Police Report I had made…and now, to cover their incompetence in setting up without verifying , they are trying to collect from me. Fail. I don’t think there is a low enough rating. I question their ethics, if they even know what the word means.

    Rating11111

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    Kevin Van Liere

    Flagship was terrible for me. They kept my first payment of $2300 for a month to confirm that it was a legitimate transaction. They wouldn’t call the person that was trying to pay and they wouldn’t call their bank – they would only use a fax and wait for a response. Additionally I was promised a $7.95 monthly fee plus the usual transaction fee. I had set up the account clearly explaining that I would rarely use the service. Last month I paid $62.95 and I didn’t use it at all. They wouldn’t refund the charges.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    SBrose

    First transaction is taking over 5 business days and still ‘processing’. Authorize.net went without a hitch, ipayments halted processing demanding documentation of the transaction. I had to send them my customers PO and my company’s Invoice. Now they want 3 months of bank statements! It is not uncommon for us to have a contract requiring start-up funds, draws at milestone completions, and final payment. Now they are saying they won’t allow the same customer to charge more than 5K per month!. Peanuts for construction jobs. As a construction company I am not sure they are the provider for us. Am shopping for a better solution.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jeff Grinstead

    I just cancelled my service with Flagship Merchant Services and Roam Pay. When I signed up for the service, about 5 months ago, the salesman quoted me a $7.95 per month fee (acceptable) with a 1.5% processing fee per transaction (also acceptable) and no lock in long contract (very attractive). I let the salesman know that I was just starting up and that I wanted the ability to take charge cards, but sales would likely be sporadic and small. There was no mention of a minimum volume for transactions… Surprise! Over the past two months I have paid $25 per month in “Minimum Discount” fees PLUS the $7.95, and this month another $7.95 was added for an Internet Access (Gateway) Fee (notification received Sept 6 regarding this addition to my bill. I called customer service (on hold for 10+ minutes) last month and the service rep explained that the “Minimum Discount Fee” would be charged any month that I didn’t use the service. So I figured with two transactions over the past 30 days, I wouldn’t be subject to the minimum $25 fee… I guess it just doesn’t really work that way! SO, for my $55 in transactions over the past two months, I have paid $73.65 in fees to Flagship Merchant Services. Needless to say, the economics just didn’t make sense… I’d be ahead if I had just given those services away for free. Subscriber beware! Especially if you are not going to be doing a huge amount of transactions.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    A. McDaniel

    I am a non-profit with very little funds. I closed my account in 12/12. I get my bank statement today and I have been charged three separate fees totaling $150.00 I am told that I had two accounts with them and only one was closed. They are refusing to refund me of the charges. If you want to be taken advantage of this is the kind of company you want to do business with. Who is going to explain to a burn survivor that is requesting medical help? Not Flagship Merchants.

    Rating11111

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Nathan Hatcher

    TERRIBLE experience with FLAGSHIP MERCHANT SERVICES!! I am a farmer and I have a sporting goods store that I opened a few years ago that I work when I have slowed down after the harvest season which sells everything from camping supplies to firearms. I had done some internet research and came across Flagship because of their high rating. I am extremely busy with the farm and had my girlfriend call them to ask several question and get some information for me. Well, they seemed very helpful with her as she explained what business I had and made sure to let them know that firearm sales were part of the business. They told her “no problem” and she returned with lots of fees, transaction percentages, etc.. for me to study. After I had decided to go through with them, I contacted the representative via email to further discuss opening an account with them, which I explained that I was very busy working from dusk till dawn and didn’t have time to sit on a phone going through an application and speaking with someone at that time. I requested that he send me written documentation of their policies, and an application form or a list of needed/required info for their application process so that I could jot down everything when I could and then call them back after I had all the info needed to speed up the process. I received a quick reply with NO policy attachment or information on what was needed for the application! I was just told the application was “easily” done over the phone and only took “10 minutes”. Well, that didn’t sit well with me because I just explained that I couldn’t speak over the phone at that time! (It’s hard to talk on a phone when you are covered in sweat, dirt, oil, mud, grease and the sounds of loud diesel tractor motors and pumps running around you!) So, I sent a quick text message to my girlfriend to find out what was needed. Apparently they do not like to put ANYTHING in writing because they told her over the phone what was needed for the application. She emailed what they said to me and I jotted down all info later that evening and returned it to her. She called them back and did the application process and was “APPROVED”, they just needed a voided business check for the account info to link to. Now this is where it gets good! I immediately started getting telemarketer calls for credit card machines, etc! I got several after the application process and the next day! During this time, I had a guy building my website and trying to post item for sale. I had my girlfriend call Flagship to let them know she had a copy of the voided check and to let them know I was unhappy about the selling on my info to telemarketers and to take me off any lists that I may have been on. They LIED to her saying that they do not do that. (REALLY!? Maybe that’s why they wont give you any written documentation of their policies!) Well apparently she pissed them off. They called her back and claimed they went to my website, which is “under construction” being rebuilt and since they saw “guns” they could not “approve” me and would not do business with me!! (Wait, what!? I explained to them up-front, guns were part of my business. I was APPROVED the day before! And now since I expressed they were not allowed to sell my information to telemarketers, they are denying their services now!? WOW!) As stated before me, DO NOT USE FLAGSHIP MERCHANT SERVICES!!!! They are a joke and complete waste of time! I hope my experience helps save someone else this same hassle and headache!

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Nathan Hatcher

    OH, and I forgot to add, they never ONCE mentioned anything about “PCI Compliance”!! Which if you are not aware of and and do not have, they charge you something like $90+ each month!!

    RatingNot Rated

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    A. McDaniel

    My exact experience with them!

    Rating11111

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    A. McDaniel

    Flagship Merchants are taking advantage of businesses and they need to be stopped.

    Rating11111

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    Janice Driver

    BEWARE. Flagship Merchant Services is TERRIBLE. They misrepresented their fees, until the final contract. Then, they did not wait for approval.

    They signed me up without my final consent and would not let me retract their mistake. It took me 4 phone calls and over 50 minutes on hold to find out that I needed to fax a form to withdraw from their service. Then, they withdrew $32.95 simply because they “cannot cancel my account until month’s end.” Then, they sent a threating letter about PCI Compliance where they want to withdraw $129.00 from my account.

    When I tried to speak with a manager, they refused. I finally had to cancel my bank account to prevent further withdrawals from theim. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. It cost much more than the $14.95 they advertise.

    I am surprised that Top Ten REviews endorses this company. It makes me wonder how these reviews are set.

    Rating11111

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    A. McDaniel

    They are horrible!!

    Rating11111

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    Kenneth Goldberg

    Please beware of this company, as James Nielson states in his accurate and pointiest description of Flagship Merchant Service. I too have been a victim of the deceitful practices of this company. In short misrepresentation of fees from Account Representative [edited: name removed], lies about the time to post to my account from the same account representative and the fact that they are not the producer of merchant service at all that they use a poorly organized and miss directed servicer iPayment to carry forth the lies and thievery. To give this company 1 star is generous but provided because there is no contract knowing that I could get out and did in 2 weeks! Do not use Flagship Merchant Services or iPayment as your Credit Card service. Fore Warned Is Fore Told.

    Rating11111

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    James Nielson

    First, let me point out that Flagship’s rating with the BBB has dropped (and will continue to, if you ask me). It’s not that easy for us “little people” to get ourselves heard, and corporations DO have their ways of keeping their image nice and shiny, but when you get on the wrong side of customers like me…

    I’ll spare everyone the maddening details, but I’d like to offer my experience with Flagship/iPayment. Basically, they double-billed me for MONTHS via my personal account as well as my business account. It took a while for ME (not them) to figure it out, so by the time I realized what was going on I was out $400+, and they were content to keep it. My credit union changed my account numbers to finally end the charges, but Flagship has fought the reversal of funds, and has not done anything to remedy the “error”, so they really are scum in my book.

    Regardless of how well researched any positive reviews of them might be, the truth is that “on-paper” research and journalism, although useful, does not equate to real-world experience.

    James Nielson
    The Fix, LLC
    Portland Oregon

    RatingNot Rated

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    A. McDaniel

    I can verify everything that James is writing is accurate. I have had the exact same experience with them and I feel violated.

    RatingNot Rated

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    Dave Nuss

    Talk about gouging. These people are liars! I went through 4 months and was wondering where all these extra debits (ACH payments) were coming from. They were taking from 20% to 30% out of my sales (and that didn’t even include Authorize.Net’s fees which were reasonable). I made a commitment with them based on this website and am extremely disappointed. In a month, I had ~$550 in charges and their bill was ~$160 (~$120 was marked as “Additional Fees”)!! (the other months were similar 20%-30% munched from these jerks!)
    I was told I was low risk and no chargebacks were ever made. When I began to do my year-end accounting, I was scratching my head as to where all my money went. What am I paying for? Why the HIDDEN charges? Geez!

    Rating11111

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    Taylor Standish

    I would not recommend this company. I went with Flagship based on your review and was very happy with how easy the set up process was and how friendly the customer service was at first, but it all went south from there very quickly. I have actually never dealt with a more frusterating company.

    My issues all started with my “account manager.” I had a trunk show the following week and needed my Roam Data swiper before then. In order to do this, he put my account at very low monthly maximum transacation amount, which I went over on my first day of sales. I would have told him that I needed a higher amount, had he ever told me I had this maximum. He was also suppossed to send me the Roam Pay swiper before my show, but it was late and arrived 2 days after my trunk show. Because I did not have my swiper, he told me to manually enter in my charges to my authorize.net account, and everything woudl be fine. NOT TRUE. Immediately following my trunk show my account was flagged for fraud and my funds were frozen. It was flagged because all my charges were the same (I ONLY HAVE ONE PRODUCT) and because I manually entered in data (Which was an order from my manager). At this point, my contact manager literally fell off the face of the earth. Over two weeks later, I STILL have not heard back from him after sending countless emails and leaving voicemails. The woman working in the risk department on my account also never returned my calls, ever. It took me calling probally 15 times in one day until I could speak to a supervisor, for them to get a hold of my contact in the Risk Department.

    At this point, the risk department explained that the hold up was because there were not phone numbers on the invoicse (WHICH WAS NOT TRUE), so she had to look these people up in the phone book. Are you crazy!? So I sent through a very neat and detailed excel with all of the necessary information. Still did not hear anything.

    At the same time, my account funds were being held becasue I went over my maximum, so I was trying to up my minimum. I recieved an email from the supervisor I was working with last week, that I was apprvoed. Only to find out yesterday that actually, no, he was wrong. Two weeks later, I still have not been approved.

    I have called and called and called to speak wtih supervisors trying to get my funds released. Finally last night the Risk deparmtent confirmed they were releasing my funds. (I will believe that when I see it).

    I have never dealt with a company that a)had such bad customer services and b) the employees had no idea what was going on, everyone told me different things and told me to speak with different departments.

    Needless to say, I am canceling my account as soon as the funds go into my bank and I am signing up for Chase Paymentech.

    I would not recommend this company to anyone. Had they been responsive and kept me up to date with the status of my funds, I would be okay with this. But they were not. They were quite the opposite.

    RatingNot Rated

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    Lisa Chang

    I would not recommend this company. I cancelled my merchant account after two months. I was not happy with their customer service at all. I process large amount of foreign credit cards and for some reason most of them would not go through. And I’ve tried different cards, lowering the amount swiped, have my customer call their bank in front of me to “unfreeze” a US transaction. Nothing worked…until they walk across the sweet and swipe the card at another merchant office.

    I had given my customer service representative the benefit of the doubt after emailing and leaving voicemail that he had a reason for not responding to a customer. But come to think of it, why would anybody want to having any dealings with me if I ignore request/inquiry for a week. But in the mean time, I did not hesitate to contact iPayment and Roam Data X to figure out the issue. iPayment representative was cordial and helpful. Roam Data X representative basically told me to go back to Flagship to get my answer.

    I am a reasonable person. If my representative had responded to me and frankly told me he doesn’t have an answer, referred me to somebody else, or just plain “tough”…I think I would have still given them a little more time so I can sort the issue out. But being un-responsive is not what anybody expect from a company who rely on continuation and referral of business.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Thomas Agema

    I would not recommend this company at all. They are helpful at first but when you don’t receive the funds in your account it’s like talking to a brick wall. I was also told at the beginning that my monthly fee would be $15.00 but it turned out to be $32.95. After I complained they told me it would drop to $20.00, of course it never did and they had excuses every time. This company is a joke! Oh and I still have money that wasn’t funded to my account. They are working really hard to figure out why(I’m sure of it). DON’T USE THEM!!

    RatingNot Rated

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    helen barone

    I would not recommend Flagship Merchant Services. I woud definitely charcterize this as a “BUYER BEWARE” company. The salesman I originally spoke with is exactly that…a stereotypical SALESMAN. He never outright lied to me, but he lied by omission which caused a problem for me and for my customer. The customer service department was like a box of chocolates….you never know what you’re gonna get. The only person who seemed to know what he was doing was Anthony in the risk department. So now I have no choice but to cancel my account and go to another company.

    RatingNot Rated

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    Heather Caballero

    Just signed an application with flagship after painstaking month comparing processsors. I didn’t like that they wouldn’t send me a MPA up front like other company, but they had the best rates and seemed to be rated good on this site and others. I’m concerned about making a bad decision, but since they are month to month I figure I can always cancel. They claim they will use my PCI compliant certificate, no problem, no fees.

    RatingNot Rated

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    Heather Caballero

    After signing an application online, my next email was with instructions on how to reprogram the terminal. I’m like, wait a minute, where’s the MPA?? They forwarded me a copy of the agreement, which had my digital signature placed on pages I’d never seen. Seems to be in order, but I’m not happy about that. How hard is it for me to review each page online and place the signature myself? We’ll see when I get the first statement..

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Bob

    Flagship is so bad, I don’t where and what to say. Since I open account with them in May I am on the phone most of the time, no statement monthly fee so high, this is unreal it is night mare, customer service is joke, they hang up on me several times, [edited: name removed] so many names I don’t know all of those Crazy people I am dealing every day, what a mistake. I had Elavon for 15 yrs and I switch it to Flagship what the mistake. Guys Please believe and stay far a-way as far as you can because those are thief’s sick people. Each time I do the transaction I have to call them on the phone, it is phone line, some numbers I am typing going through my credit card machine each time. Do not repeat my mistake do not do any king of the business with them.

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    Carl Mattson

    Account reps do not know what they are doing. I switched over from another company, and then was told, after the fact, that it would take 24 hours for my account to be activated. I was not told this in advance. Otherwise I could have gotten around this problem. They created a problem for me, but could not come up with a solution

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    Carl Mattson

    At this time, I withdraw any complaints I have had with Flagship. Most of my complaints were caused by a misunderstanding on my part. Since I am a new customer, I will monitor their performance.

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    A. McDaniel

    Did Flagship Merchants make things right with you? I would like to know what they did right for you to post such a complimenting review of them.

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    Yury Reznik

    This is a scam just stole 5300 out of my account STAY AWAY REPORT THEM TO THE FTC OR FDIC

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    A. McDaniel

    Scam they are. Some people liked to be scammed, used, and stolen from. I am guessing that is the kind of people that are leaving such positive reviews for Flagship Merchants. The “little people” are the ones paying the price for companies like Flagship Merchants to take advantage and steal from others.

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    Jana shimley

    My first transaction with this company has been a Night Mare!! The customer service is terrible. I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau! If I did business like this company, I would not be in business anymore!

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    Derrick Pugh

    I love flagship, and all they have done for me. Been with them for about 9months. Had a wireless credit card terminal with them for the first 3 months, and had an authorize.net gateway since month 3. My rep, [edited: name removed], is awesome.

    I have been happy with everything…except their use of ipayment as the processor. I HATE them so far. They don’t inform you about much. I have to call them on almost a monthly basis. They charge my bank account before I get the statement…and its never what I expect. After two months of goofiness, I called to see why it cost so much. I was informed of some pci compliance things. wasted a bunch of time getting compliant and getting monthly charges back to normal. Then, this month, they charged like $120. $100 more that “usual”. So, I call about a week after this change (waited a week cause that how long it took to get the statement in mail after they charged me). Their statements make NO sense to me until I get to the summary section: $20.xx in processing fees (the breakdown of “processing” fees I can’t understand cause that’s in the body of the statement which just looks like babble to me) and the $99 for additional fees*. that asterisk led me to a note saying “for an explanation of additional fees, call us at xxxxxxxxx”

    flagship: awesome
    authorize: nothing special. have called multiples times, and on 2 occasions my rep had no idea what she was saying, and I was transferred to someone who did (had problems accepting amex a few times).
    ipayment: customer service is awesome. you call, someone picks up, they ask for merchant id, they confirm your id, then ask what’s up. but that’s it…everything else sucks. what I don’t like about ipayment is their crappy statements that seem to be generated in excel1982 and their general lacking of the pertinent information. From what I’ve learned and gathered, ipayment is for bigdawg businesses processing more than the “measly” couple grand that I do each month…often less than a grand on bad months. it takes up way to much of my time just to make sure I save the $30 non-compliance fee. ipayment control panel has a login, the pci compliance has a whole other login, then there is another one that you need a login for. Can it just be built it?

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    Bobby Wheat

    Worst company you could ever possibly deal with. Absolutely horrible customer service. Hidden fees. They do not care about you as a client at all. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. FIND SOMEONE ELSE and save yourself a lot of frustration, time, and money.

    Rating11111

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    Gail

    I used this merchant for our credit card processing and only after losing my business (and home) in a fire, including both retail and virtual terminal merchant account numbers, did I find out I wish I had gone with a different vendor. I didn’t have the contact info for the gentleman (a great guy) who handled the account setup and that I usually called with general questions, so when I needed to call to shut down the accounts after deciding to close the business, I called the 800 number listed at the top of the website. I figured that would at least get me in and they could re-direct my call to the appropriate department from there.

    The only information available to give was my name, social security number, and business info. The man I spoke with couldn’t have cared less about trying to help. When I said I didn’t have the merchant account numbers his first reaction was to tell me I didn’t have an account with them. After explaining that I must still have the account because I was still being charged, he disagreed because the charge wouldn’t show up as ‘Flagship,’ which was a ridiculous argument! I asked if he could at least get me contact info for authorize.net to help in some way and after saying they don’t do business with them, he gave me the number to call to cancel their virtual terminal linked to the Flagship account. If they don’t to business with them why did he have the number right in front of him?!?

    I hung up after bursting into tears. All I wanted was some help. I scoured old emails and found the application number from when we first applied for the accounts. I called back, got someone different who brought the accounts right up, without the application numbers mind you, and directed me to exactly who I needed to talk to.

    Overall, the service we’ve received from this company was good, but one bad apple ruins the bunch. We just lost our house, all our memories, and our business in a fire. The last thing I needed was a poor attitude from someone who’s job it is to help paying customers, and by poor attitude I mean flat out rude and unkind. It reflects poorly on the employee and on the company, because of that, I can’t recommend Flagship Merchant Service. If you’re considering them, keep looking.

    Rating11111

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    Damian K.

    Horrible!!! I have received so many extra fees, that all my profit is going to them. They forgot to mention a $99.95 yearly fee that they charge plus a security service you have to take and if you do not they charge you $19.95 every month until you do. Stay away for your own good.

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    Thresa

    I do also get $99 fee (they didn’t tell at first) for annual compliance fee, plus $19.95 additional fee if you are not pci-compliance, means you don’t pass the security questionaire. I am relieved to switch to [name removed] now since they offer lower rates and no hidden/pci fees.

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    Damian

    I found out that this PCI-Compliance fee of $99 is charged by every credit card processing company. The $19.95 fee they charged was for not filling out the form. When I did fill out they returned that $19.95 back to me.

    I called them today and they were actually very nice. Since my business is very small i was able to negotiate a better rates for myself. They were very helpful.

    I retract my previous statement that they are Horrible. They are actually not so bad :)

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    Peter Hutnick

    Flagship does NOT provide 24/7 customer service and technical support. They are 9-7 Eastern Time Mon-Fri. Much of their literature states that they will provide a 24/7 phone number, but the number they provide is for a 3rd party card processing center that has NOTHING to do with Flagship.

    They are in the business of signing up merchants and abandoning them after the sign-up process.

    I couldn’t be more UNHAPPY with the service they promise, but don’t deliver.

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    Florina Tan

    Flagship does not care about the service they provide. They sell you a package and your bank statement reflects something different. They are not good in responding to emails. They prefer to do sales and after you locked in with them, they brush you aside and tell you something different and explain that the additional charges, is due to when you activated the account, you did not check off some of the boxes. They do provide the best rates, but the best rates dont give you the best service. And when you get that additional charges, they have some way of telling you is protection program that just come into effect. There is always a story behind the additional charges.

    I have emails back and forth with them since I started my account, at this point, I am going with my own bank even the charges are higher, so I dont deal with the middle man

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    Thomas

    I am talking to flagship rep and he says no contract that i can go month to month is that true

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Thomas,

    From what I know, Flagship does not have a contract, so you’ve most likely been told the truth. Always double check your agreement though.

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    A. McDaniel

    That is the same thing I was told and then I was “under contract”. Flagship Merchants do whatever they want to whomever they want with no consequences.

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    Derek

    I have been going back and forth comparing Flagship with Chase PaymentTech. The service reps at both have been very helpful and surprisingly accomodating to all my questions. And both have dropped fees/rates to match the other. The big issue for me is that I have no experience in this part of business and tend to be skeptical of larger businesses like Chase – especially when they require such a lengthy contract. Flagship seems like they’ll treat you as less of a number and has no contract but can’t quite meet Chase’s lower monthly fees. They both rate rather high. How do you weigh the impact of the types of complaints each get? How often would you expect to need customer service contact? Should the First Data complaints be a big concern? And is a 3-year contract with Chase excessive?

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    Ahmad

    I just signed up for a merchant account with flagship, and they did sent me a welcome letter via post to my address, including a CD (for Guide) and some other papers confirming my processing rates etc…

    The strange part is that i find “iPayment” logo on their welcome papers, Because actually i was thinking that they are a FirstData company.

    Anyways, I am still confused about if i should go with them or no. they just have some bad reviews (with no good reviews at all), and moreover “iPayment” have TONS of bad reviews.

    I do web hosting, i don’t want to get suspended by them like Seth said. and freezing my money for 6 month.

    Anybody can help? is there some more reviews about them? what do you guys recommend me? go with them or no?

    Thank a lot!

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    Vadim

    I had the same question. Searching iPayment seems to produce just as many complaints as for First Data. I also see iPayment in fact purchased a large portion of business from First Data. So it is not clear that there is any real difference between them.

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    Jay

    I’m told that by the Flagship rep that I have been in contact with that they also use iPayment as a processor in addition to First Data. As many reviews state, many users have had all sorts of horror stories with First Data and I want to stay as far away from them as possible. That being said, do you know about iPayment as a processor? I haven’t been able to dig too much up on them.

    Thanks for the great resource Mav!

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Hi Jay,

    I’m actually working on a review of iPayment, so stay tuned.

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    Cliff Perkins

    First of all they started taking money early…of course they blame that on me even though I told them we would not actually be operating for weeks and I was just wanting to be prepared. Secondly they take more than they are supposed to out of my bank ( extra debit card fee and minimum balace fee even when minimum reached and a CD fee?) and then on what they do admit to being wrong about take several weeks to refund or rather it has been weeks and I am still waiting.

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    Seth S.

    Do not use flagship or first data who handles the backend processing for flagship. They will shut down your merchant account over any miniscule excuse they come up with (not knowing the last four digits of your new business’s tin). They will then keep your money for six months. Look up flagship and/or first data merchant services on ripoffreport.Com or just google them. Stay away!

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Thanks for the review Seth. I did the honor of removing the caps lock from your comments. I’m not a big fan of all caps. :)

    Out of curiosity, the account that Flagship shut down, is it the Child Custody site that you have as your web address? If so, I can tell you that those types of industry’s are always being scrutinized. Especially, by processor’s like FD. You may have some more luck going with a high risk provider. They’re used to dealing with your business model, and won’t freak out at the drop of a hat.

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    Christopher

    I wanted to comment on the ripoffreport.com complaint. I started a correspondence with Flagship, but I got cold feet after reading the ripoffreport. I was asked why not go through with the application, and I thought Ross at flagship was worth an explanation as he did handle himself professionally.

    I wrote very bluntly about how the ripoffreport made me feel as a potential costumer. I mentioned that not responding to the complaint made me feel uneasy. I treated the info as “unchallenged allegations.” I stated that if the allegations were true, it made me worry for the type of treatment described.

    Moreover I pointed out that the complainant is allegedly unemployed.

    Ross pointed out that the claims made are not congruent with the BBB rating and the lack of complaints. He also cited our brief conversation where the non-charging of fees thing was not mentioned. To which, I must confess is a valid point (or if he did mention it, I don’t recall it).

    With that said, I would like to see flagship offer this guy a chance to produce a W-2 to show that he was unemployed. If so, I know that it is not Christmas, but I just feel for unemployed people. Because some unemployed people are entrepreneurs with no funding, I think that everyone with an interest in this website can relate to him.

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    James Nielson

    As a business-owner, I know that there are PLENTY of people who just complain about anything, and that satisfied customers hardly ever bother to comment. Flagship/iPayment must have SOME satisfied customers, but I highly recommend that people pay attention to what ACTUAL customers are posting about them. I fell for “Top 10 Reviews” GLOWING review of them, and it cost me over $400 in duplicate charges that Flagship refused to refund, even when my credit union got involved.

    James Nielson
    The Fix, LLC
    Portland OR

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    Cindy

    Hi,
    Now I concerned. In good faith, I just gave all my info to this company to get credit card processing ability, since the Top Ten Reviews website had such rave stats for them. Do I have reason to be concerned??? I can’t have this become a nightmare in my life. I am very anxious now.

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    Merchant Maverick Admin

    Hi Cindy,

    I don’t think you should be worried. Just because they’re not a 5 star provider on my site, doesn’t mean that they are bad. I gave them a 4 out of 5, which is still pretty good. So long as you do your own due diligence, then you should be fine.

    From my experience, the two most important areas that you want to focus on are:

    1. What are all of my fees? Be sure to verify them on your contract.
    2. What is the contract duration, and cancellation fee? Usually found in the “Termination” section of your contract.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions.

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    Cindy

    Merchant Maverick,
    Thanks for your very quick response and helpful, I might add! I just called my bank and asked them if the information I gave earlier today to Flagship Merchant (without naming any names) is legit and what they would require in order to get the processing started and they said yes. My bank might have a few different ways to get the account approved initially, she said, but what was asked of me wasn’t out the ordinary.
    I am feeling somewhat better so I can rest easier thru the weekend til Monday.
    Thanks much!

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    Guy

    Thanks for posting this review (I asked about them a month ago)! I actually went with CDG but I had talks with Flagship and they were very helpful. Either one seems good.

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    The Merchant Maverick

    Hi Guy!

    Sorry about the delay. Who would’ve thought gathering and researching data on the internet would be so time consuming. :)

    I also had a few other requests in the pipeline, so I couldn’t get to Flagship sooner. I hope everything works out with you and CDG. It’s a bit early right now, but at some point, I’d love to hear how your experience with them plays out.
    http://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/cdg-commerce-review/

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    A. McDaniel

    With all the bed experiences with Flagship Merchants why are their reviews good? Clearly the reviews are not coming from people like us that have actually tried to do business with them. This is why they can continue to steal from people!!! This is not acceptable and should not continue because small businesses are paying the price for people to get “kickbacks” by giving fraudulent companies like this great reviews.

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    Amad Ebrahimi

    Thank you for the input A. McDaniel. Let me give an explanation of our rating that might help clarify things. We’ve read thousands of user complaints just like yours. We’ve also spent hours researching and reviewing most of the major credit card processors on the market today. Flagship is a very large processor so they will naturally have more complaints than the others. However, considering their size, their complaint count is much smaller than other processors of their same size. The important lesson in all of this is that it’s not just the sheer number of complaints that matters. It’s the number of complaints in relation to the size of the company.

    Additionally, Flagship is one of the only processors that does not charge an early termination fee which is a huge benefit, especially when most processors do charge one.

    With that said, we always monitor user reviews on our site, and if they get out of control, then we will adjust the Flagship rating accordingly.

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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