Total Merchant Services Review

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Date Established
Basalt, CO



In the last year or two, Total Merchant Services (TMS) has made an honest effort to improve their business, and it shows. They’ve ditched their early termination fee, moved headfirst into the tech-savvy small business market, and generally improved their independent sales force. I still see a number of ways TMS could improve, but I’m glad to report they seem to be moving in the right direction.

Now based out of a Woodland Hills, California, in their brand new (2013) headquarters,  TMS serves about 100,000 merchants, making them a medium-large provider. While there are certainly many larger (Elavon serves 1.2 million merchants, to give you an idea of the volume large providers deal with), 100,000 accounts is enough to demonstrate their use of independent agents. In fact, they have a pretty convincing website to recruit independent sales agents (ISAs), maybe even better than their main site.

Usually I scoff at these recruitment gigs, but TMS has some clout in the industry to back it up. In fact, they won the Electronic Transactions Association ISO of the Year award in 2012 for their excellent sales programs. That’s a pretty good recommendation in my book – for sales agents at least, and hopefully for merchants by proxy.

When we reviewed TMS a year or so ago, we recommended more educational content through a corporate blog and a better social media presence. Well, they delivered with an active corporate blog as well as a VERY active facebook page and Twitter. They also bought out “Fanminder” in 2012, a social media marketing platform. TMS now offers access to this service to its customers at no extra charge.

I’m not convinced that TMS is providing excellent customer service or great rates, and I wish they’d offer some info about an interchange-plus pricing platform on their site (you can get it through them, however). While I think their independent salesforce is improving, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if they can maintain it. Overall, I’m comfortable leaving TMS at 3.5 stars for the moment. They have to make a bit more progress to reach the four stars in my mind.

Read the full review below for more details, or take a look at our comparison chart to see the best of the best in the industry.

Final Note: If you do a Google search for Total Merchant Services, you’ll notice a large number of other sites  heavily branded with the TMS logo that appear to be official, but most of those sites are actually set up by individual sales agents of TMS. Don’t be fooled.

Products and Services:

You’ll find a pretty good selection of products and services at TMS. I really like the look of their social marketing service “Fanminder” (despite the cheesy name). Aside from that nothing really stands out, but they’ve got all of the essentials, including:

  • Merchant accounts
  • Check services
  • Virtual terminal: Allows users to processing from any internet-connected computer with a web-browser.
  • Terminal sales/leases: TMS offers “free” terminals, but make sure you read all the fine print. Nothing is free. When you add up warranty fees and associated risk, you might still be better off buying outright. Check out our article on the subject.
  • Mobile processing: Most providers are starting to offer a mobile app and swiper. TMS offers one through Payment Jack.
  • Mobile/social marketing: Their Fanminder marketing service allows you to send deals and coupons directly to your followers on social media, and then track rates of redemption and other stats. It’s not too fancy, but it’s clean and seems useful. TMS bought this service out in 2012, but you can still buy it separately here. If you use TMS, it’s free.
  • Free Quickbooks and USB reader: In some ways, I think this is offered to avoid setting you up with a free terminal. But then again, it might be all you need and it does seem truly “free.” This is a great demonstration of simplification that can lead to savings for merchants and sellers alike.
  • Merchant “advantage” program: This usually covers additional warranties, supplies and special offers. It might even be a good deal for you, but it isn’t always. They’ll give it to you free for 3 month, but then they’ll automatically start charging $10 per month if you don’t explicitly cancel. Check out what’s included here.
  • Loyalty/gift card services
  • Cash advances

Fees and Rates:

Unfortunately, Total doesn’t offer any fees or rates publicly. Depending on whether you get set up through their corporate office or an independent agent, all rates and fees can change dramatically. Your business type and processing volume will also dictate these numbers, with higher volumes leading to better deals.

I can tell you that TMS does offer interchange-plus pricing as well as seasonal downtime for most merchants, so that’s a plus.

While the Total Merchant Service site advertises “No monthly contract,” I’ve seen copies of their Terms that include early termination fees. See more below.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

I have good news! TMS now offers agreements with no early termination fees! They even encourage independent agents to set up contracts with no termination fees. Merchant agreements will still be for three years and will auto-renew, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to cancel in order to stop billing in a timely fashion. But you won’t have to pay any fines or damages to close your account. I really love to see this.

That said, the most recent version of their Terms and Conditions lists their “standard termination fee” at $295. Given this, I must encourage you to be careful. Unless a signed waiver form is attached to your contract, this clause will remain active! Verbal agreements mean precisely jack in this business.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

While Total doesn’t disclose any rates or fees publicly and they do use a few sales gimmicks, I have an overall good feeling about their sales tactics. Let me tell you why.

  1. They take care of their agents: With any larger provider, you’re always going to see more independent reps than in-house reps. The question is, how well are the independent agents trained, and are they encouraged to give bad deals to make more money? Here’s some evidence that they are, indeed, keeping their salesforce happy: “In 2012, Total Merchant Services was named ISO of the Year by the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) for providing payment industry sales professionals with outstanding product and service innovation.” That’s nice to see.
  2. They seem more interested in saving money than making money: Case in point: they offer free Quickbooks and USB swiper. This means they don’t have to provide the merchant with a terminal, which saves both TMS and the merchant money. In turn, they pass on the savings to the agent in the form of an increased bonus, thus encouraging agents to simplify services to make money rather than complexify.
  3. They actually do give you some stuff for free: While I am always the first to say that nothing is free, I like that they give you Quickbooks 2013, a USB reader, a terminal if needed, and their social marketing service at no extra charge. These are truly value-added services. They don’t lose money on the deal though, believe me. Still, it’s nice to see some things with no strings attached. (Readers: Let me know if I’ve missed any “strings” here…)

Want to see the kinds of deals they allow their agents to extend? Check them out here.

I also like that they publicly disclose their Terms and Conditions in their Merchant Resources section. Some processors make it very difficult to get a copy of their standard contract terms before you apply.

One last point that they don’t make very clear: you must return your equipment within ten days of the contract ending, or else you have to pay for it – and you’ll have to pay whatever they say it’s worth. You can count on them not to underestimate the value…

Customer Service and Technical Support:

TMS offers 24/7 “Terminal Support,” which covers any problems with your terminal. I haven’t been able to confirm that they offer general support 24/7 as well. If you have experience with the support offered by Total, please leave me a comment! As a reviewer, it’s difficult to assess how they handle complex problems, so I rely on our readers to help me fill in the blanks here and keep the review as accurate as possible. I’ve read a number of reviews complaining about poor customer service, so I don’t have high expectation, unfortunately.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Last time I updated this review, the BBB account for Total Merchant Services corporate was unavailable. It’s back up again now, listing 27 complaints total. This seems fairly low at first glance, but you should note that for some reason TMS had their BBB profile reset in March of 2013. So they have 27 complaints in the since then, which is on par with their old 98 complaints in three years. 90% of these were resolved to the general satisfaction of the BBB or the customer, however.

This is a below average complaint volume for a provider of this size, but it may not accurately represent the total number of unsatisfied merchants. You will also find about 30 separate BBB accounts listed for independent office, demonstrating how difficult it is to give you an overarching picture of this company.

Beyond the BBB, I read 37 complaints through Ripoff Reports, although the vast majority of these have to do with specific reseller practices and not TMS as a whole. This number has remained the same for the past six months or so.

Common complaints include:

  • Unethical independent agents: While I really believe that TMS tries to give their agents the tools needed to serve merchants well, I also know that they aren’t turning too many potential sales people away. If you called them up tomorrow and wanted to be a sales agent, they would probably take you. Does that mean you’d make a good agent? Not necessarily. Since the rigors of the employee hiring process are removed, some bag eggs get through. I’ve seen a downward trend here, though, with less complaints coming in about unethical agents in the past year. So I’m cautiously optimistic.
  • Poor customer service: While TMS advertises “World-Class Customer Service,” I’m not convinced. A ton of complaints I’ve read include qualms about customer service, and Total isn’t doing much to convince me that they’re getting the job done in this department. My advice here is to sign up with a high-quality agent who can be your point of contact within the business when you have problems. If you need help finding a good agent within TMS or another provider, we can help.
  • Withholding funds/freezing accounts: You’ll see this with all merchant account providers. In many of these cases, the complaint doesn’t have a lot of validity. When an unusual transaction comes through, it’s the job of the Risk Management department to check up on it. Good providers will be communicative about this, however, warning merchants about the possibility of a hold and staying in touch while they attempt to resolve it. In some cases, TMS falls short here. To find out how to work through this or prevent it, read this article.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

You won’t find any testimonials or reviews on the TMS site – not from merchants anyway. You will find a section for sales agent testimonials. I’m always a little disappointed when I see this, since I much prefer to see a few kind words from merchants.

Overall, you won’t see too many people going out of their way to say nice things about Total publicly, but you will find a number of sales agents who seem sincerely proud to offer the TMS products (including in our comments section below). This means less to me than hearing from merchants directly, but it does mean something to me.

I went over some things that I personally like about the way TMS does business in the “Sales and Advertising Transparency” section above, so check that out if you missed it.

Final Verdict:

For a mid/large-sized merchant account provider, I feel that Total Merchant Services is doing a better than average job, and that their efforts to “get with the times” over the past year or so have paid off in general. They won’t stick you with a termination fee, and generally seem to disclose most contract terms pretty well during sales consultations. I wish they’d include some more information about interchange-plus pricing, but the fact that they offer it without a fuss redeems them a little. Their products and services are, in general, above average.

If you don’t get a good feeling from your agent, get another one. Different agents will treat you in different ways. You can usually get an in-house rep on the line through corporate if you want the best terms, but dealing with someone locally offers the advantage of proximity if you have a good agent in your area. Watch out for high rates, though. When a company offers a bunch of free stuff out of the gate, they often try to sign you with abnormally high rates to make up the difference. If you need help determining what a fair rate for your business is, let us know!

For now, I’m leaving Total Merchant Services at 3.5 stars. If you want to know what it takes to get a five-star review from us, check out our comparison chart for some examples. Thanks for reading!

Have something to say? Leave your insights or experience in a comment.

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson is an independent writer and editor who loves e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and social media. Once upon a time, she earned a journalism degree, but she went on to discover that she could work from home, researching, editing, and writing about the things she found most interesting. When she's not tied to her laptop, Melissa can usually be found in the kitchen, reading a book, or doing something of the nerdy persuasion.
Melissa Johnson

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    Brad Burns

    Absolutely the worst company to do business with in the history of merchant services, run far far away from these clowns. I’m taking them to court.

    Disc Meds

    Do Not Call list violators. They call me several times a week and simply hang up. When I call back the number that had just been so rude to me, it is answered by TMC. I told one loser who called me yesterday and was told off, that I make good on my threat to file a complaint with the FTC, and I have, numerous times. Now I call them back several times a day just to harass them and call them a bunch of thrid world shit eaters. They stopped taking my calls… I wonder why?
    Avoid these dirtbags.

    Andrew Martin

    Monthly fees are way too high and customer service is slow. When I finally cancelled my account I was changed a cancellation fee on top of the poor service and outrageously high maintenance fees. No Bueno!

    toni cantor

    date 6-29-15 this company has one of the most unprofessional representatives I have encountered in ach processing. I need an email back immediately before legal action is taken.
    1. missed (3) that is right three scheduled appointments. While I was preparing for an annual art tour my company performs.
    2. I did not solicite your business, your representative walked into my brick and mortar and asked for mine, my time and my personal information.
    3. The debra bowen act puts very specific requirements and penalties for unprofessionalism that involve the request, storage and use of personal credit or identity information. Your representative gives me zero, actually less than that in confidence, your company is not a scam or complying with my privacy rights and financial information.
    4. Bait and switch to refusing to give supervisor information or company contact info on request after, she had proven untrustworthy with my and my company financial and credit and banking information.
    5. All we have is a business card, two cell phones which will be handed over in a fraud complaint and privacy act violation police report if this matter is not handled by the 2nd of July.
    If you are going to be in the ACH business, you need to tighten up. Totally pathetic that VISA, MC, DISCOVER or banks do not police you more thoroughly
    Couple this with a hit on credit from a mysterious credit processor, when our company did not soliciate one and have had the same since 2009 and in business since 1998.
    Fix or see you in court.

    Erin Richmond

    This business engages in illegal practices, 100% of the time. This website states that the BBB has only received a small number of complaints, but when we filed our complaint, the number was at 311 in the past two years. This company sent us a contract via fax, which we signed. This contract had no term agreements or early termination fee written into it, but when we tried to cancel our account, they charged us a $490 termination fee. When contacted, they stated their copy of the contract had a termination fee on it. Fortunately, we had a hard copy of the contract. They did refund us the $490 because they realized they were holding a fraudulent contract which they had altered after the original signing. Even after this occurred, they charged us another $200 because we supposedly did not return the credit equipment. After a few more exhausting and ridiculous phone calls, they also refunded us the $200 because we had sent our equipment back months before the charge. Long story short, stay away from this business. They engage in criminal business practices.

    Ashli Young

    Can I give negative stars? I have been harassed by these guys to an unbelievable degree that I’m in complete shock. I received numerous phone calls from them and I explained that I was not interested in their services however they continue to call. I was not rude I just simply said no thanks. They will not take no for an answer. I just checked my voicemail & the last call from them resulted in the man calling me a “Mother F***er” on my voicemail. I am appalled that they would allow their employees to behave this way. I sure don’t want anything to do with them now and I want others to know what happened so that they don’t get mixed up in a company like that.

    Aubrey Clarke

    Total Merchant Services are complete crooks in my opinion.I used this company for 4 years to process my credit cards at my small auto repair shop.The first year on average it cost me abot 1 to 1 1/2 percent .The last year I used them that number was up to 4 and 4 1/2.I changed companies and found a better company to handle my credit and debit cars at my shop.I cancelled my services and Total Merchant Services continued charging me monthly fee’s of about $50.00 a month for 26 more month’s for services they were no longer providing.I called and called until I was blue in the face.They play these hold games on the phone to make you feel like you will implode.I am a patient person but my goodness!! Finally after calling and canceling numerous time’s a rep. Of Total Merchant Services tells me that the fund’s they have charged me over the last 26 months for services they did not provide can not and will not be refunded and she goes on to tell me that if I truly want the monthly fee’s to stop I can pay a cancellation fee,again in the amount of $199.99. So as for me I will avoid Total Merchant Services like the black Plague!! I feel like I have been robbed by them and was overcharged and overcharged fees on a monthly basis.But trying to get away from the company is a whole other nightmare.The telephone hold games.The monthly charges they continue to withdraw from your bank account for services they no longer provide.A real nightmare.You would think in this day and age we as American;s would have someone to protect us from Savvy thieves like Total Merchant Services.I pray someone put’s a stop to their scam’s!!.

    Nancy Gomez

    It is too bad I have to give them one star. They desire 0. My terminal was shut down (swipe) TMS did not know the company went out of business. That was down for 10 days lucky I have an online account. Then they told me I did not have to fill out the IRS I think D-5 paperwork that my EIN number matched. Well then the government starting taking 28% of my deposits. Stay away from this company if you want to keep any of the money that your company generates I think that a class action law suit is in order. I would be all for that

    Sharon Panther

    What does it take for them to accept the word NO, we get at least two three page faxes a week, I have requested at least three times to be removed from their fax list also called the company. I feel like this company is stalking us.

    RatingNot Rated
    Woodson Woodworks

    I am in the process of signing up for a merchant account so am spending a couple of days on research. Your review is the most balanced so far.

    Tom DeSimone

    Glad to help!

    If you’d like some more guidance, try our new tool that matches you with the best provider for your business.

    Take care,

    RatingNot Rated
    Odus Fryman

    Went with this company cause they were suppose to be cheaper on fees just got our machine 2 weeks ago and started using it I checked bank account and none of our deposits were coming through they don’t know where the money is almost 1200 dollars they would have made us over draw if I hadn’t checked and unhooked their machine they better send us our money.

    RatingNot Rated
    Penny Watson

    I was called by TMS this afternoon, and when I questioned their fee schedule and high early termination fees they put the squeeze on hard to get me to sign up. They sent me a contract which they wanted me to sign while we were on the phone together, and I asked them to call me back and give me some time to review the terms. Thank God I did. These guys gave me a knot in my stomach. No WAY would I sign up for services with them.

    Helen Folsom

    Stay away! Unless you want to give up most of your money to TMS. Dishonest, phony fees, cranky tech support. The billing support people cannot even look up your account, and you will hang on the phone for a very loooong time just to find out that they are ZERO help. They took 1/4 of the money I booked thru them, until I kicked them off the stack.

    lori lister

    Been with this company like 5 years and I’ve never had a problem. If something is wrong with my cc they have replaced it no questions asked. If I need paper they give it free and with in 2 days it’s great. I’m really shocked by these reviews and makes me think maybe I should change companies but what one to change to that offers free machine in paper at such a low price for processing

    RatingNot Rated
    Karen Anesi

    I have been a customer of Total Merchant Services for more than a decade. If i could give them a zero, I would. More than a year ago we asked for explanation regarding hidden fees, poor communication and a host of issues. Our agent was Martin Franze. Long story short, he repeated three times in the last month an incorrect date regarding the termination of our contract, then declared a penalty more than double what would have been assessed had his claims been correct. Even under the threat of a call to the Colorado Attorney General did he persist with half truths, denials and misstatements. When I was able to independently confirm that he was not in possession of the facts, when he was finally “caught” at the eleventh hour, he played the “Sorry for the confusion” card. Stay away from this unethical company. They are expensive and worse, do not disclose the truth even when confronted. I have never filed a complaint or registered an unfavorable review in my 15 years of doing business, but others should be warned.

    Pauline Vaughn

    This company is a total RIP OFF! We fulfilled our contract duration and they still charged us $195 to cancel our contract. We sent our machine back as instructed and now they are trying to charge us $750 for not returning our machine. DO NOT do business with this company. They are scammers. Their monthly fees were very high and they were always taking out additional fees. Terrible!!!!

    Angelle Meaux

    Machine hasn’t worked in almost a month. Trying to talk to customer service is like pulling teeth as it takes about an hour per call to even get someone on the phone before they transfer you to some other department that also puts you on hold. When I finally did speak to someone they were extremely rude and condescending. We have been trying to cancel for weeks and apparently no one in the company knows how to because they just transfer you from person to person until you can no longer stay on the line because you are at work!!!!! Also we were charged almost double for the month where the machine wasn’t even online!!!!

    Bill S.

    Read the bad reviews. Believe all of them. Cancelled my account as they are simply liars and thieves. Today there are far better options. Hopefully the reviews on this website will cost them business and save someone a huge headache.

    Cynthia Holdefer

    My daughter had the account to begin with and turned it over to me and I used it for a year or so and stopped. I never signed any agreement papers and was told that once I stopped using the CC machine and all transactions cleared that I would not have to pay anymore service charges. I retired and stopped paying close attention to my account, had many health issues and multiple collection agencies collecting health payments. I kept noticing a Global charge on my account and thought it was the last of my health care payments, but it kept being taken out and was varying amounts every month. I called my bank and they told me who the company was and I realized they had taken at least $2500 over a 3 year period out of my account. Officially I never authorized them to take any money out and at first they would not even talk to me because it was still in my daughters name. Having gone through an act of congress, we closed the account and I knew that I was out all that money. I accepted that. Never once was I told to send the card reader back….besides it was over 5 years old and extinct by now. About a month later I noticed $750 was taken out of my account by TMS company and over-drafted my account along with many more transactions as well because I did not anticipate $750 from my account. When I called they said that I needed to send the card reader back, I was very angry because after all I never authorized anything to begin with. They said they would send me a box to send the card reader in and I said, give me the address, I will send it back myself. They agreed that I would get the money back on my account quicker that way. That was September 3rd and today is September 22nd. I still did not have the money on my account so I called again. They gave me such a run around, I got my daughter involved and every single time I would barely raise my voice I was told not to talk to them in that tone. So DO YOU WANT ME TO SING MY DISPLEASURE!!!!!! Thank GOD for tracking records but of course, it is never their fault. DO NOT EVER USE THIS COMPANY!!!!!!! If I do not receive my money back into my account by the end of this week, this message will be on Facebook, Yelp and any other service I can find. Oh and by the way, they still do not have anything signed by me, so a lawsuit may be pending!

    Richard Minick

    I had signed up for this when my wife was just looking for info. Called to cancel that day and was advised to refuse shipment of machine and I did. One month later I get a box to send the machine back to TMS. Called them and told them it had been shipped back. A rude man told me that they had not received the unit and I was to investigate why it had not come back. Told them to call FedEx for that information. Today I find they have taken $500 from my checking account without authorization. I called them and they admitted the mistake, but told me they had to keep my money until I could get paperwork from my bank. I spent 2 hours of my productive time with these people. Stay away from them.

    Daniel Ricker

    I’ve been with TMS for a little more than four years. The rep told me they had no cancellation fee, and there was none in their “Schedule of Fees”. As a small mobile business owner, I’ve been tempted to go with Square or a clone and just accept credit cards with my mobile phone. I’ve stayed with TMS because I like having paper receipts that a customer can write a tip on. Anyway, after they added a mysterious $100 charge last December (we get your Xmas bonus charge), I decided to start looking elsewhere. Apparently I’ve been substantially overcharged for a real merchant account all these years. I recently switched to a lower cost alternative, and when I went to cancel my TMS account, I was told there was a $195 cancellation fee buried in #13 on page 3 of their contract agreement. BEWARE!! Read the fine print. These guys are shady and and will lie to your face. This rant is my only legal recourse.

    Todd Yung

    TMS sucks. Here’s why: I signed up for a cc machine because I was doing a govt contract and could only be paid with a credit card. I’m in construction and a cc machine is not a necessity for me, so if u use a machine a lot perhaps one should disregard this rant. The machine works great, no complaints. The problems arose last month when my bookkeeper asked about a $67 auto withdrawal from my account. I have not used the machine for 3 months or so. I called TMS and got nowhere except: “read ur agreement sir”. This was about an hour of being on hold. Yesterday, my bookkeeper said, “you call the cc company? Your charges are $77 this month. I have not used the machine 4 months now. So, I called them back and was referred to my sales partner, who is an independent company that signed me up. TMS really doesn’t know what these “sub-prime mortgage lenders” are up to, at least that is what they told me. I did ask 4 times on the phone when I signed up: 1% fees right? Yes, they didn’t hesitate to say. I know there are fees to a business, I am a company president. But I hate being lied to and rushed through a contract and then have the fees doubled over the contract amount. My agreement was $25 per month, $10. For wireless and some other minor fees. The $77 a month? Nobody has an answer. Tomorrow I will spend another hour on the phone settling my termination fee of $400 to get out of my 5 year contract. Be careful with this company. They use outside sales firms but don’t seem to have a handle on their practices which tells me they are not a good company to choose. And that is why TMS sucks. Please fact check the info presented on the header of this article. There is lots of misinformation. Good luck and if u are choosing a cc service, I encourage u to be very careful as the only recourse I had for any consumer rights was writing this rant.

    Angela Champ

    On March 26 2013 I sent a signed letter asking to stop our contract of accepting credit cards. February was the last month we used them for credit card processing. They or the Alaska Financial Network Corp who signed me up would acknowledge me. I had my account manger acknowledge in Oct of 2013 & do absolutely nothing. All the while they keep taking 67.20 out of my bank account as Global Pay, on 1/31/14 they took $166.20. They took 9 x 67.20 = 604.80 + 166.20 for a total of $771.00. I put a stop on my account in February 2014 & finally someone from one of the companies call & says they do not have my signature so they can not cancel the account, however later they admit they have my original letter signed & they have no records of sending me an e-mail stating they needed my signature. They have a note on my account from an employee who no longer works for them saying she sent an e-mail. March 2014 charges show up on my account of 67.35 from guess who TMS a stop is put on my account in their name. I call & guess what they tell me they are just going to keep switching names (I guess they have plenty of names to use) & taking money. I ask for refund for taking my money with no right to take it. In June 2014 they credit my account $134.70. They still owe me $703.65 & I want to start a class action lawsuit is there anyone who is in this situation who wants to join or a lawyer who wants the case?

    RatingNot Rated
    Angela Poland

    I just went through the same thing you did. I had two business with this company theycharged me over 1,000 in fees after I was out of my contract and canceled. I would love to get some people together and have a huge lawsuit against this company. I just got off the phone with this fraud of a company. This is not the last time they have heard from me.

    RatingNot Rated
    marie washer

    we have a business here “European auto co.” and we are having difficulty with our transaction- I keep calling my agent- no response- busy all the time- and we call the 888 # its always busy- what should I do- no very happy about the service- can not get anyone to help. on line or by phone- Help please-

    RatingNot Rated
    Shane Walters

    Worst service ever my business is suffering because they are holding my working because of the lack of experience they have and are ripping me off if i gEt my money in going to sue .WORST COMPANY EVER STAY AWAY FROM THEM

    RatingNot Rated
    Sam Ilstrup

    Terminated my account without any warning as they said they had switched banking to Wells Fargo and could no longer service my gun shop. The lack of warning has cost me a an enormous amount of sales, profit and credibility with my customers. Worst company ever!

    RatingNot Rated

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


    I seriously have never had to deal with such a cluster fuck as a company as this. THEY ARE HORRIBLE. They tell you theres no yearly fee, however they charge you a “security fee” of $100. I just started with this company and not even two month later I get a later saying I am going to be transferred over to collections because I have a out standing balance of $100 for a security fee even though I knew nothing about it. I then call and see if they can remove it, because why would a pay a years worth for a security fee when I only had them for two months. The girl that worked there told me it would be taken off and I would be able to receive my transactions for my money. Two weeks later nothing, still haven’t received my $300 in swiped transactions. Called again and another girl told me that “you no longer qualify for the credit back for the security fee”. I ask why, she then says “because you didn’t file for a refund in time”. At this point I went off, because I did file for it, two weeks before actually. I didn’t get me refund back so theres $100 out the door for no reason. I then want to cancel my account with total merchant. I paid off the $100 security fee and the girl from total merchant said she would call me back with a confirmation number. a week later, no call. I call her ext. back, no answer. I call the 1 800 number AGAIN. They finally tell me that my account is now closed and they are going to mail me a box and that I have 10 days from the time the box arrives at my house to send it back. They box never showed up, so total merchant then goes and charges my card a $750 terminal fee because I never mailed it back. HOW CAN I MAIL IT BACK WHEN I NEVER GOT THE BOX WITH THE SHIPPING LABEL!? This company is a joke. There is no origination, they nickel and dime you for everything, you pay them at the end of the month for credit card fees (they don’t automatically take it out of each transaction), they don’t know there own product, and aren’t trained enough to even know what there saying. THIS COMPANY SHOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS.

    RatingNot Rated

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


    We used Total Merchant Services for almost 10 years, and recently discovered how bad we have been overpaying for all of this time. We had asked TMS to review our rates repeatedly over the years. Each time, they lowered our rates to what appeared to be a good level. However, each month after that they would add new fees and hidden statement charges to gradually bump up our total percentage paid to a much higher level. TMS would provide interesting names and excuses for these rates, but they are unique to TMS. After recently putting our merchant processing business out for bid, our seasoned TMS “rate-reviewed” rates were over 0.8% higher than the competition! This really impacts the bottom line. In addition, TMS’s chargeback process (through Global Payments) was a joke. The chargebacks were mailed to us with a Reply By date that had already passed. There was no way to receive the chargeback notices or reply using the Internet. Anyway, to add insult to injury – after discovering we had been overcharged by thousands of dollars over the years and finally terminating TMS, they recently charged us an Early Termination Fee (this is despite what is written in the TMS review above – read the fine print!). Our experience with this company is characterized by hidden fees, creeping rate increases, poor communication and a total lack of trust that TMS would deliver what they say. We are taking the time to post this review in the hope that other merchants will not make the same mistake we did.


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

    paul devine

    I find it quite strange that TMS seems unable to show me any sort of statement until 2 days AFTER they charge me a discount fee. The capability is there and they could do it if they wanted. (look at Amex) It is almost as if they have something to hide.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Lola Jones

    This company is a ripoff. Do not use them. They messed my accounts up on setup, again on changing me to another processor, and then kept billing me after I cancelled them, and wouldn’t refund it. Incompetent, unresponsive, and uncaring.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Troy Louis

    Could you please advise me as to a preference in selling for a particular merchant? I’m a experienced agent deciding between a couple of processors to sell for. EVO, Global, Harbortouch, etcYour input is highly respected. Many due have several pros and cons.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Tom DeSimone

    Troy, Unfortunately we do not assess processors/merchant services providers from the agent’s perspective. I would, of course, recommend looking into any of our best rated providers here. I’ve heard good things about working for Heartland Payments, but again, I don’t evaluate the experience from the sales perspective. Best of luck.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Troy Louis

    Who processes for TMS? Do you know thanks.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Troy, TMS uses Global Payments for processing. You can see a copy of the TMS Merchant Agreement stating this here.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Kirstin Nrldon

    I had the worst experience with TMS. They told me that my small business would only have to pay 14 a month, and the cc fee. Instead I was charged 50 a month for not meeting a quota they never told me about. I would have never signed up with them if I knew that. Thank you TMS for being fraudulent on your services and your billing practices!

    RatingNot Rated

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


    I used TMS as a result of befriending a person who worked for them. He said that he would give me a great rate, no contract, and never mentioned a cancellation free because no contract was signed. They continued to charge me after I complained that they were more expensive and said that they would give me a better rate after I discovered that they were charging more than my bank was. I reversed and disputed the charges to my account and today received a letter from a collection bureau. I will never pay those thieves. Listen to your gut and use a bank or reputable company. I read the reviews before I started with them and told my friend of the bad press. Unfortunately, I trusted my ‘friend ‘ and not the reviews. I deal with a branch in Northern NJ, but I would not trust any of them. They are totally sleazey operators. Please heed my warning.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    North Country Veterinary Clinic

    I was with TMS for 1 year before we had to close our business due to moving. The last 3 months we did $700 on our card and were charged $89 per month for the service! So we closed the account and were told to expect a call tag within 10 days. We got it a week later, but we have no fedex location due to the extreme rural state we live in, so we did not get the machine back for a total of 20 days – our nearest fedex is 89 miles away.
    They charged us $750 for the machine and we are still disputing this but my gut tells me we will get nothing back. :(


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

    Pauline Vaughn

    My bank told me that we could file a claim through them against the company for the $750 after we returned our machine and had proof of this.

    RatingNot Rated
    David Call

    6 years and over paid all 6 years , when I told them I was leaving they offered me a better commission rate ? No customer locality anymore, and forget customer service forget it, I was a half hour on the phone to get to a real person.


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

    R Thompson

    Total Merchant services Ripped my company off hundreds of dollars and I am still fighting them to get my money back they are theives.

    RatingNot Rated

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

    Olufunso Ajayi

    Honestly this Total marchant company should be close down, they ripped me off and almost ruined my business, they stole from me thank God it was not too much before I realized what they stand for. Oh their representatives sucks, you can actually tell when thy speak. I was going to sue them for my money, but I feel mine is too little from others. I just feel upcoming mini business owners will not become a victim anyways. One day I know Better Business Bureau take an action to bring them down.

    RatingNot Rated
    Richard Moore

    I am self employed and I use Total Merchant Services to set up retail customers with updated equipment and rates. I consider myself independent of TMS because I maintain the customer service with my accounts. I don’t even give them the main number to TMS because I want the customer to know I care. They call me or my wife with any question or issue. I started in Oct of 2007. I have nearly 300 customers today. I have never lost a customer due to poor service, lack of response or inaccurate rate quotes. I can resolve 99% of any issues myself. I also install the equipment (even if it means running telephone lines or IP connections) and I train every customer on the use of the equipment. You are correct in saying that some of TMS BBB issues are due to poor reps. From my perspective, I do have problems with TMS withholding funds at the drop of a hat. But, I have learned to resolve those issues within 72 hours and the customer only had to wait one extra day. TMS sends me an e-mail every time one of my customers has had any unusual activity. I respond to every e-mail. It is the rep’s responsibilty to maintain that account. That’s why we get paid. You cannot sign up an account and disappear. Which, unfortunately, so many companies do in this industry. My wife and I also set up ATM Machines (RBS Lynk) , clean carpet, clean office buildings, teach people how to cook, paint murals, appraise properties for sale, build websites, raise chickens and three daughters. I have never worked for anyone but myself. I have had 30 years of waking up in the morning and knowing that I have to put the food on the table. I treat the customers like gold. And I have been well rewarded.

    RatingNot Rated

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

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