TransFirst Merchant Services Review

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Date Established
Broomfield, CO


If you’re looking for a big, stable company to process payments with, you’ve found a good option with TransFirst. In business since 1995, they’re the ninth largest processor in the US, handling $37 billion from 200,000 merchants every year. With their long list of acquisitions and mergers (including Bank of America Merchant Services, Inc. and Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions’ Third Party Sales Merchant Division), you may have already processed with them without knowing it. The old TransFirst headquarters were located on Long Island in Hauppauge, NY. They’ve since moved to Broomsfield, CO, so that’s where the phone calls from their friendly (they really are) sales reps come from.

While some negative reviews have accumulated about TransFirst, you can avoid the most of the common complaints by approaching your sales consultation as an educated merchant. To avoid paying an early termination fee, be sure to have that clause removed from your contract or get a waiver form attached. If you’re worried about the rates being too high, make sure to ask for an interchange-plus plan with a markup rate appropriate for your business size and type. Don’t want any surprise fees? Make sure you demand a complete list of fees in writing. A number of merchants have complained of billing mistakes from TransFirst, though, and that’s a red flag for me since it’s difficult to prevent.

While I can’t promise you that your TransFirst sales rep will go out of his or her way to get you a great deal, this is a fairly reliable company that can offer you good technology and good rates if you know what to ask for. They have acceptable advertising and sales transparency, and overall come in at above average in my book. I know that the bar is pretty low in this industry when it comes to sales reps disclosing all of the essential fees (especially from independent offices), so as always I encourage you to proceed with caution.

For the best results, try to get a hold of a sales representative at the corporate office and not an independent agent from who-knows-where. Don’t rush through anything, and remember that you are the customer here. If you don’t get a good feeling from TransFirst, feel free to take your business elsewhere.

Check out my full review below for the nitty-gritty on TransFirst. Overall, though, I’m still comfortable giving them 3.5 stars. They could improve their rating by:

  • Addressing some complaints publicly
  • Striving for consistency throughout their independent sales offices
  • Doing more to minimize billing errors

I’d also like to see the auto-renewal clause and early termination fees removed from their standard contract, or at the very least disclosed more clearly. That alone would bump them up a star.

Products and Services:

  • Merchant Accounts
  • Transaction Express: Web-based virtual terminal.
  • Translink Data Management Software: TransFirst’s in-house POS software. Pretty standard fare, it allows you to customize the information you receive depending on your needs.
  • Payfox Mobile Terminal: This mobile card reader and app allow you to swipe cards from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Compared to many other mobile swipers and apps I’ve seen, Payfox looks promising.
  • Transguard: This service is a little creepy. Through Transguard, the company can “provide TransFirst’s sales partners with early intelligence that one of their merchant accounts is shopping around for a new provider.” Good for sales people, uncomfortable for merchants.
  • Terminal Leases/Bundled Leasing Program: Check out this article and pass this one up.
  • Gift/Loyalty Programs
  • Check Services

Fees and Rates:

Somehow, TransFirst manages to offer simultaneously too much and too little information on rates. If you check out their Rates page, you’ll see six different categories of rates: retail, eCommerce, phone processing, mobile swipe, wireless, and check/ACH. In each section, they list the discount rate, transaction fee, monthly service fee, and batch fee. You will find this information almost entirely useless, since only some fees appear here and the flat-rate for service will probably not operate in your favor. It’s nice to see some disclosure of fees, though. So thanks TransFirst – sort of.

Needless to say you should not accept these advertised rates. Demand an interchange-plus plan and ask for their markup and transactions fees so you can easily shop around.

TransFirst also has a new fixed-fee program called Transfreedom. This “simplified billing” program seems like a step backward to me. It reduces billing transparency to spare merchants from “confusing” statements and fees. (Riiiiiiight…) But if you’re looking for simple, flat-rate solutions, it might work for you. Basically, you pay a fixed rate depending on how much business you do and how large your average sale is. If you go over the allotted amount of sales for a given month, you buy extra room on your plan (at $20 per $500). The rates go as low as $39 each month if you’re doing less than $1,500 per month and your average ticket price is over $20. Check out their handy chart to see how much you might expect to pay each month under the Transfreedom plan. You can expect a two-year agreement with this plan, although they’ll consider a month-to-month deal with 90 days notice prior to cancelling for some merchants. If you need a terminal from them, expect a five-year contract.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

Right out of the gate, TransFirst will basically offer you the industry standard for contract duration and terminations fees, which includes:

  • Three-year contract
  • Auto renewal for one-year periods each successive year
  • Must receive written notice of cancellation 90 days prior to end of contract to prevent auto-renewal.
  • Early termination fee of about $500. Or possibly between $250 and $1,000, depending on time remaining on contract and the amount of business you do. We’ve seen different terms in different contracts. Some also claim they were charge the dreaded “liquidated damages,” which is a major red flag for me.

These are more or less the same terms I see all day. Unfortunately, the industry standard sucks. Never accept these terms.

Having a merchant agreement that lasts for three years won’t be a problem as long as the cancellation fee is low enough – or preferably nonexistent. Make sure that you get the auto-renewal clause removed. It provides no benefits for you as long as you remember to renew with them if you’d like to keep the service. In general, your processor won’t let you forget about that.

I should talk about the 30-day free trial for a moment. A free trial can offer a great opportunity to put a service through its paces at minimal risk. Watch out for the terms, though, or that free trial could end up costing you big time. Also note: “This offer does not apply to leased equipment. Certain restrictions and exclusions apply. Merchant account is subject to credit approval. Offer subject to change without notice.” If you’re going to sign up with TransFirst, you might as well take advantage of this trial period. Make sure you know what you’ll have to do to cancel, though, and what charges you’ll incur. Some complaints have come in citing difficulty with closing during the free trial period.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

Even though I’m not crazy about their advertised rates, I’m glad to see some rates and fees advertised. Many processors leave you completely in the dark until you contact a sales representative. So while I don’t necessarily think this information will be useful to you (since you will, of course, ask for an interchange-plus plan), I view it as a show of good faith and a testament to transparency.

They also provide a sample statement for merchants to get an idea of what they’ll see each month. I love to see a sample statement, and I usually ask to see one from a sales rep during my research (and so should you). You should always take these samples with a grain of salt, since the processor will undoubtedly put their best foot forward… right? Actually, that’s not always my experience. Case in point: TransFirst.

I’m glad to see a bunch of fees disclosed here, including the FANF fee (which all merchants have to pay directly to the credit card companies) and a PCI non-compliance fee. The rates are really strange, though, and no interchange information is provided. So much for transparency…

On a better note, I’m impressed by the amount of educational resources TransFirst provides. While most processors will list a few pages to explain how processing works, and maybe even offer a free “guide” if you’re lucky, TransFirst goes the extra mile to put together a really comprehensive collection of glossaries, infographics, blog posts, articles and so on. Of course some are more useful than others, and I don’t feel like the whole set up has great organization. They also fail to offer any information on interchange-plus pricing models. Still – a good effort and worth perusing.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

TransFirst advertises 24/7/365 US-based customer service (my favorite kind!). I’ve read a lot of conflicting opinions about their customer service, though, both in the comments section here and on other review sites. Some say they love it, others say it is hands down the worst service experience they’ve had. I would love to see some verified TransFirst users give their input. If you use or have used TransFirst and would like to help us out on this, please see our posting policy for information on Review Authentication. I’d really appreciate it!

I can say that the sales rep I spoke to at TransFirst had a lot of fun energy and a really friendly demeanor. It’s nice to talk to people who seem to sincerely enjoy their jobs, so we got off on the right foot in that way. I asked her to send me a complete list of fees, a copy of their merchant agreement, which she agreed to, and I said goodbye with a good feeling about the exchange. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing.

After a couple of days I decided to submit an electronic request for this info. Hey, maybe she just took down my email wrong, I thought. There won’t be any transcription problems if I send my information electronically. The next day I got an email and a missed call from the same rep I spoke to originally. She sounded as friendly and energetic as ever, but didn’t seem to remember that I had already requested this information. So I RE-requested it. And – I’m still waiting.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, a poor rate of responsiveness on the sales end of a business is a bad sign. Usually responsiveness peters out after you sign up, but it should always be 110% on the ball during the sales exchanges. For this reason, I don’t have a good feeling about the treatment you can expect from TransFirst’s representatives.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

With 119 complaints in the past three years with the BBB and 38 with Ripoff Report, TransFirst has a normal amount of complaints for a processor of this size. Not that normal is good here – but I’ve seen worse. They service 300,000 merchants, so under 200 public complaints in the past three years sounds pretty good. They also tout an A+ BBB rating despite the number of complaints issued, mostly because they addressed every one. How they could have over 100 complaints but supposedly no room for improvement baffles me, but that’s just how the BBB rolls.

The complaints I see for TransFirst seem all too familiar, especially for processors who use a lot of independent sales agents. Mostly merchants complain about agents failing to explain the contract terms and disclose all fees during negotiations. Basically, they trick merchants into signing a legally binding contract by failing to mention terms that might be deal breakers and rushing the process along. True, it is the legal responsibility of the merchant to read the contract before signing, but I really hate to see these kinds of complaints. Complaints about terminal leases also come up again and again.

  • Terminal Leasing Complaints – A considerable percentage of the overall complaints volume comes from merchants upset with the terminal leasing terms they get through TransFirst, who outsources their terminal leases to various companies including Lease Finance Group (LFG), Northern Leasing, and First Data Global Leasing (FDGL). These things usually come with a four-year contract and almost never work out in your favor. Why don’t you take a moment to go to and do a quick search for “credit card terminal.” What kind of prices do you see? $150, maybe $200 bucks for a brand new machine. Now go ahead and sort the results by price from high to low. That’s right, even the most expensive machines come in at about $300 on Amazon. You can afford this – I promise. You can write it off on your taxes. If you don’t, you will regret it.  When you lease, they tell you that you’ll be able to buy the machine out at any time. The problem is that you have to pay whatever they say it’s worth, often $1-2K. You want to cancel your lease? No problem! You’ll only have ship the machine back and pay $1,000+ to buy out the rest of the time on your lease. And don’t forget all of those contract fees they’re charging you. Not to mention that to lease the machine will probably be $30-40 per month… Trust me, you can afford the $300 machine. Worried that it will become obsolete? Buy a new one. Buy three new ones. You’re still saving money. Pay someone to hook it up for you. You’re still saving money. But don’t take my word for it.
  • Nondisclosure of Fees – The next most common complaint comes from “undisclosed” contract terms. When I say undisclosed, I mean that the sales person did not sufficiently explain the terms. They are, of course, in the contract. Somewhere. Many of these complaints have to do with the early termination fee. You have every right to request a full, written disclosure of fees before moving forward with any company, and I suggest you do so. To get the best result possible from TransFirst, make sure you, (a) do not lease any equipment with them, and (b) negotiate an affordable cancellation fee and get it in writing. Dharma Merchant Services only asks for $25 to cover closing expenses, which seems reasonable to me. Use that as your baseline.
  • Billing Issues and General Incompetence – This category of complaints probably scares me the most. No matter how well you negotiate your contract, how many hours you spent deciphering all the complex terms and haggling with your sales rep, it can all go out the window when your merchant account provider screws up your order, so to speak (i.e. double billing, failing to release funds, etc.). If you’ve read a few of my reviews, you’ve undoubtedly seen me say: “PLEASE, read your contract!” I have a follow up recommendation for that: PLEASE, read every single statement you get! And read them punctually. In the contracts I’ve seen from TransFirst (and other processors), any billing issues not addressed within 90 days become null and void. That means if you realize that you overpaid by $500 on a six-month-old statement, the contractual statute of limitations has expired and there’s nothing you can do about it, legally speaking.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

TransFirst wins my “Most Improved Processor Award” in the category of available testimonials. They went from having absolutely no authorized positive reviews listed to having quite a few, many in video format on their YouTube channel. All of these testimonials come from business partners, mostly independent banks, but nevertheless these merchants seem highly satisfied with TransFirst’s services, and they say their customers also appreciate the quality service.

At least one of the testimonials doesn’t quite check out, though. In it, Dan Brattland comes on claiming to be the owner of an ISO called Global Bankcard LLC in Minnesota. He is, in fact, the President of Cocard Merchant Services, LLC. The name Global Bankcard, LLC, exists only in a few directories. So that’s weird, but I really love to see video testimonials and the rest seem to check out. TransFirst still gets the point on this one.

You can also check out TransFirst’s Testimonials page to see about ten short reviews. I wish these reviews had dates and contact info so I could more easily confirm their veracity, but they’re nice to see anyway.

Final Verdict:

For a big processor, TransFirst doesn’t really stand out. They get the job done, but don’t go above and beyond. If you stay away from their independent sales agents and go directly through the corporate office, you’re more likely to have a good experience. Independent sales agents often have little oversight and minimal expertise. I have a feeling that most of those complaints for nondisclosure of fees and a bad sales experience come from those who worked with an independent sales office.

TransFirst offers big-business resources and stability. They know what they’re doing and can definitely hook you up with quality service if they want to. You might have to negotiate to get what you want, though, and they might not concede to your request if they’ve got bigger fish to fry. If that’s the case, I’d recommend trying out a smaller merchant account provider like where you’re more likely to be treated with care.

TransFirst is okay in my book. Not great, but okay. They retain their 3.5 stars for now. If you’ve had a terrible experience with them in a way I have not addressed, please chime in. At this point, I’m not ready to lower my rating based on non-disclosure of fees by independent sales agents. But if you can confirm bad practices coming through their main offices, that would take them down a peg. On the other hand, if you can confirm a better standard merchant agreement than I’ve described here, I’d consider raising my rating.

Tom DeSimone

Tom DeSimone

Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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    No idea why staff is giving this company a 4* rating.

    I fell into the same trap, and I am not sure what I actually signed and what I didn’t sign. I do not think that I actually signed a $19.98/mo 4 year lease agreement on a mobile card reader that Square gives away for free. Why in the hell would I pay almost $1000 for a piece of equipment that costs less that $10 to manufacture. Of course, now there is a contract that “I signed” and there isn’t an exit clause. Same story as everyone else here. I would gladly participate in any class action suit against this company. Even though I don’t think I signed the contract and I know that it’s not what my rep said I was getting, there is now a “valid contract” in place that I can’t fight. My advice… Never under any circumstances should you ever do business with this company. Worst business decision I have ever made in my life. (can’t say worst decision ever because I’m sure there are worse things in life…like drinking and driving, putting cancer causing agents in your body, dirty things with dirty people, etc) But, for business…This is the same as walking as walking through the hood after dark and waving a bunch of money around. Not a good idea.

    Connie Gomez

    After reading all the complaints with Transfirst, I am going to contact them and talk about my account with them. I am going to cancel my lease with them on the terminal machine, and also cancel my contract with them. I have an idea, by reading these complaints that it will cost me more to get out from under them, but I am ready and willing to bite the bullet, and pay whatever I have to in order to be rid of their services. I know in the long run I will benefit from it.

    We have leased from them for years and now I realize how foolish it has been to do so. I am looking into other companies, and Payment Depot, seems to be the best deal for me. The offer a “membership” with no contract a a “true cost”. Transfirst, scares me to the point that I am unable to sleep. I refuse to give them any more of our hard earned money.

    Thank all of you for sharing and making me act quicker to solve my issues with this Horrible company! I would think with all the complaints esp. with the BBB, they would be forced out of business.

    Connie G

    Sehra SooJung Han

    These people are crooks and liars. DO NOT DEAL with THEM.
    They charged me more than twice what was quoted to me over the phone.
    I specifically asked if there were any hidden fees or any other penalties or any other charges I should know about and the agent sweetly told me that no, no there weren’t.


    I turned in a complaint to the BBB today and we will see what happens.
    Has anyone fought the $500 early termination fee and won?
    Please contact me if you have. I’ll be your ally.

    Also, PLEASE NOTE** that the Terms and Conditions are on a page of the contract that does not have a signature on it. I don’t even know if this can be held up in a court of law. I never signed the page that said there was a termination fee. There is no line on that page for a signature.


    Here is my update. Thank you for posting my comments.

    The BBB has taken the complaint after all. So has our State AG office. My complaint is based solely on the failure to verbally disclose the 500.00 fee for cancelling “with more than 12 months remaining” stated in the Terms and Agreement, page 4. **BTW, there are no shortage of studies showing that we tend to absorb a lot less of what we’re reading from a computer screen, add to that 6 pages of size 8 font and the termination clause tucked in the middle, it’s no wonder so many people don’t see it. Do I think that TransFirst is counting on this? Yes. The next question is why do they have such a strict cancellation policy? If they were a good company they wouldn’t need one. People wouldn’t want to cancel.

    I was with Elavon for 28 years and it never occurred to me to cancel. When I added an e-commerce site, I had to open a separate acct. When that site didn’t work out, I canceled the second account. The charge was 20.00 for the month since I canceled midway into the month.

    It’s also very strange that I still have nothing in writing out lining what the fees are. I’ve asked CS, the rep, and tech support and there has been no clarity, no actual breakdown. Ironically, I got the most out of tech support, where my call was routed on the weekend (the 24/7 CS that was promised were off). TS threw out some numbers, 39.00 for the first 1,000 and 20.00 for increments over that, but he was very non-committal and told me I needed to contact CS.

    I first emailed the rep (who promised to be there for me hell or high water), asking why I was charged a monthly fee of 119.00, he only offered to see if he could get them lowered, then I never heard back, after repeated attempts to contact him. Customer Service wouldn’t explain the fees either, they just threatened me with the 500.00 cancellation policy and reminded me I had agreed to the fees and the cancellation policy when I e-signed the 8 point font contract.

    I then tried to access my “electronic contract” from the email link they sent to sign me up back in September, and the document had been “removed”. I was able to access the Terms and Conditions link.

    In the end, it’s just a handful of dollars over what it would have cost to have stayed with my other processor Elavon (1.99 % and .25 per transaction), but handfuls of dollars add up. Combine that with the lack of support and clarity as to the breakdown of fees, from CS and the rep, the undisclosed 500.00 penalty for canceling, and the threat of legal action if i canceled without a verbal agreement to pay 200.00, it was a nightmarish experience.

    I’ve learned a big lesson. Either don’t answer the phone or hang up the second it’s clear I’m being solicited.

    RatingNot Rated
    robert rowe

    just a note to explain my issues with transfirst that led to my contact with the BBB…i actually had been a customer of transfirst for several years when i was solicited by another commpany…….the sales rep compared my original contract with my statement, and the terms/fees were considerably different….a quarter percent here , 3/8 percent there…..added up to $10,000.00 over the life of the contract…….calling transfirst and speaking to the phone rep, she examined my contract on her computer screen, and it was an entirely different document than the one i signed….in fact, the signature on the contract authorizing the opening of the contract was entirely unknown…..she stated i would receive a copy of the contract in the mail within 5 business days…..this conversation was repeated at weekly intervals for 50 consecutive weeks, and i never received a copy of the contract from their office…..finally went to my bank which received a copy of the contract allowing transfirst to debit their fees from my account…..lo and behold, the bank received a different contract from the one i signed but identical from the one on file at transfirst…..asking the company to please explain this once again, was told that i would receive a copy of the contract in the mail, and that management would speak to me the….never came and when a called the following week, i was told that all old contracts have been deleted the company had no record of my multi year business association….. i never received an answer, how my signed contact became an entirely different one implemented by the company, why they refused to send my a copy of the contract they had on file, or how it so conveniently and mysteriously disappeared amidst mounting evidence that i had been victimized by a classic bait and switch

    RatingNot Rated
    bob johnson

    interesting…..i signed with transfirst and they opened 2 accounts for me… was completely inoperable……..began receiving 2 statements, the agent claimed one was a subtotal to the other….a scam known as a mirrir, parallel, or ghost account….the company had on file 2 contracts, started on consecutive days, but different months (nov 30 and dec1, which was a smokescreen to deceive) incredibly, tried to charge me 300 dollars to cancel the ghost account…..ended up having to close my bank account to prevent these thieves from taking any more fees…..apparently, they were notorious for this type of double billing

    RatingNot Rated
    Sehra SooJung Han

    Hi Jayne,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I will also take this up with the BBB.
    I’m having the same issue with them as you are over the strict cancellation policy
    and how they directly lied to me when I asked them over the phone if there was a contract involved and if there were any hidden fees.
    If you have any information for me if you won your case or how you went about it, I would be very appreciative to know.
    Thank you ~


    I have already weighed in on my rating which is negative. Zero. I am back with a quick note about TransFirst BBB rating. I tried to file a complaint with the BBB along the same exact lines as all the reasons customers have listed here, misleading quotes, triple the rates that were quoted, no disclosure of onerous cancellation policy. The BBB rejected the complaint with this comment:

    We regret to inform you that your Better Business Bureau cannot process your complaint. The case has been reviewed by one of our Complaint Specialists and was found to contain issues that are out of BBB?s purview.

    It is our policy to process only those complaints that fall into BBB’s scope. Items such as landlord/tenant issues, criminal allegations, requests for punitive damages, employer/employee disputes, cases already involved in litigation, civil right violations, business to business collection issues, etc. are not handled by BBB.

    Any insights would be helpful.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Jayne,

    That is very unusual. The type of complaint you have against TransFirst is commonly processed via the BBB, so I really have no idea why they declined to pursue it. My only suggestion would be to try to refile it with slightly different wording that takes into account the rationale they provided here. Sorry to hear about your horrible experience with TransFirst, and am glad you’re back with Elavon and satisfied with your service there.

    Good luck,

    RatingNot Rated

    I had been with Elavon since 1989 and my terminal was about to become obsolete. I got a call from a Transfirst Sales Rep who was very personable, and in hindsight, I realize that it was all a scam. He caught me at an incredibly busy time, I had months of work to catch up on and a dozen fires to put out, and he knew it. He kept after me with this extremely supportive and polite nature, promising me that TransFirst could offer me better services at equitable rates. I should have listened to my fax machine which just didn’t seem to want to send him the statements. It took me a week to get them faxed, the sales rep so patient, and in hindsight more like a mosquito that kept buzzzing.
    Bottom line, run the other way if a TransFirst sales rep calls. I was with them for three months, the fees were triple, the 200.00 cash back that was promised didn’t transpire, I had to insist on it, and then when I realized that the fees were not what was effusively promised, I put a call into to cancel to find that the fee for that was going to 500.00. I don’t even rent a terminal from them, I use their website. UNBELIEVABLE.
    I was back with Elavon in a matter of hours. My rates have actually gone down as I am now using their website for my processing. When I reached out to the sales rep who had promised to be there for me come rain or shine…when I asked “why are these fees triple what you quoted,” he basically disappeared.

    Any company, big or small, that tolerates this kind of business practices should be held accountable.

    RatingNot Rated
    Chuck Jones

    I wish I could give transfirst a 0 rating. They don’t deserve any stars. The sales rep steered me to a equipment lease that is criminal. I never saw the contract they said I signed. He also promised my total cost of processing would be much less than 3 per cent. The real cost for me is well over 3 percent, sometimes a monthly charge is 4 per cent!

    TOTAL RIPOFF’!!!!!!!!

    Doug Gurth

    As an employee I will not give a rating but after reading the complaints and praise I do want to address a few things.
    1. Not all reps are the same at any company you come across. There are good and bad everywhere.
    2. Your rep should always set expectations. 90% of merchants I sign cannot even read their current statements. Ask your rep to explain pricing, fees etc. I personally provide a written proposal letter.
    3. Industry standard for processing and leases is contractual. Proccesing is typically 3 years and leases are always 4 years (in some casaes I have seen 3 or 5 but definately out of the norm). Be extreamly careful about buying terminals or equipment off the enet. It may seem cheaper but is it secure or does it work? Is it locked? Never buy from an individual/private party.
    4. PCI compliance is very important. Get it done and you won’t see higher penalty fees.
    5. Interchange plus pricings is not always the best option. I provide a cost analysis to my customers based on their current pricing.
    6. Remember, when you use a in person Rep. that his/her time is just as valuable as yours. They do not work for free and anything of quality cost something. If you want to call them at odd hours or have personal service to help you with something that is very misunderstood it will cost you something but a good rep will save you hundreds if not thousands a year in the long run.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Doug,

    Thank you for taking the time to offer your perspective. I’d like to respond to a couple points to make sure readers get a little more information.

    1. We absolutely agree that no company has 100% consistency for the practices of its sales reps, but some companies are more consistent than others. Unfortunately since we are unable to review each agent independently, we have to report on trends we witness and on corporate-level practices and decisions.

    2. Sales reps should absolutely explain statements and go over pricing information in-depth. So glad to hear you do this!

    3. This is not 100% true anymore. Month-to-month agreements are becoming more common, and early termination fees are very often waiveable. Yes, you will technically need some sort of a contract term, but it doesn’t have to be enforced by an early termination penalty, and certainly doesn’t have to auto-renew at three-year increments if a penalty is to be assessed. Four-year non-cancelable leasing agreements are also quickly falling out of favor in the industry as merchants wise-up to other options and ISOs find better ways to handle equipment rentals/sales. That said, I do 100% agree with you that merchants should make sure their credit card machine purchases come from reputable parties.

    4. PCI compliance is certainly very important. We just like to make sure that fees are disclosed and that merchants are receiving the compliance help they deserve when they are charged a compliance fee, and that they are offered help toward avoiding non-action fees.

    5. Interchange-plus is not always the best option, but it often is. Of course, an interchange-plus plan can be overpriced in the same way a tiered plan can.

    6. To my mind, nothing beats a dedicated in-person rep. But again, we are not in the business of reviewing local account managers. We just try to provide merchants with the tools to ensure that they get a fair deal and good value. Many merchants are willing to pay a little extra for better service if the contract terms are fair.

    Thank you again for posting.


    RatingNot Rated

    worst company by far!!!!! they are horrible, Absolute worst re seller for

    Tonda Richards

    the reason Transfirst is getting 2 stars from us is their horrible customer service. We have been attempting to integrate payment processing into our website and have had unreasonable amounts of issues and problems. We were told one thing and then told another, not to mention their representatives do not return calls and seem to conveniently “drop” calls in the middle of a conversation with them. If at all possible, find another processing company. This one is not worth your time and effort.

    Lari Johnson

    Run like the wind from this company!!!!

    We’re a small business with fewer than 35 transactions per year, all of which are called/dialed in. We’ve been with TransFirst for 7 years and despite the high-ish fees and lukewarm customer service, we just did not want to be bothered changing merchant services companies. Bad decision!

    In our business, when we do have a credit card transaction, it is usually quite high and since we ship the merchandise as soon as we receive the approval from TransFirst for the transaction, we trust they will do what they are contracted to do and process the charge and deposit the funds in our account in a timely manner. This is critical to a small company.

    Then this nightmare happened – All of our transactions from November 2013 through February 2014, each of which had been approved by TransFirst via the automated phone method, never got processed! And TransFirst did not notify us that their “system had experienced a glitch” (as they put it) despite the fact that they were aware for weeks that these transactions were not being processed. TransFirst allowed the problem continue for four months!

    This resulted in more than $12,000 in credit card charges never being processed. Our customers received merchandise but their credit cards were never charged. We received NO funds and TransFirst’s customer service reps (yes, friendly enough when you reach them, but they NEVER call back and one put me on hold for 8 minutes, then disconnected because I asked to talk with a supervisor!) offered NO solutions, NO refund of fees, NO assistance with recouping the lost funds and NO explanation for not notifying us of this problem.

    Their response: “If it’s over 30 days, we can’t help you.” BUT it’s TransFirst’s error and my company should not lose this income because of their “system’s glitch”. Attempts to resolve this very serious financial loss to our company and speak with anyone who has the power to make a decision have been fruitless and frustrating.

    I should mention that we continued to get the monthly statements and to be charged fees even though they were providing no services and had cost our company $12,000 in lost revenue.

    I have complained to the BBB (I cannot believe the A+ rating either), have spent hours trying to work with our customers to recoup some of the charges, but to little success, and become totally frustrated with TransFirst. This is unbelievably bad service bordering on criminal when it comes to the handling of funds and communicating with clients. We have spoken with the Consumer Protection Agency, and our attorney about next steps.

    Apparently corporate responsibility, integrity, professionalism and customer service are of no importance to TransFirst.


    I’ve worked with many merchant accounts now, and there are several pretty good ones (Total Merchant Services, Flagship, etc.).

    Transfirst is by far the worst I’ve ever had to deal with. Customer service is non-existent, and they withhold funds indefinitely with no updates.

    Barbara Nass

    Transfirst lied about the length of my contract which I never saw. I was told I was signing a 2 year contract which turned out to be 3 years. I wanted to cancel the account In January (after more than 2 years but less than 3) but was told my contract would be in effect until August. It was cheaper to pay each month than to pay the termination contract and cancel in August which is what I did. There were no transaction fees after January but they still charged me for the PCI validation . I explained this to one customer service agent who said she would submit it for review and to call back in a few days. When I did I was told it had never been submitted but I had to pay the fee anyway. I would never use them again.

    Robert schoultz

    I never signed up with transfirst and was billed by them when all I had done was look into their services, The compatible shopping cart list was way out of date. I never signed anything beware!!

    Diana Rae

    I run a small (less then 10 people) family run company. I must admit I am shocked at these bad reviews. I have been with TransFirst since 2009. I have had to call them a few times regarding fees and rate increases. Every time their customer service has fixed/lowered the rates within one or 2 phone calls. They might not be the absolute best company, but I have to say they have never lied to me. Their customer service has always been very helpful to me.

    Robert Rowe

    The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association has withdrawn their endorsement of Transfirst LLC following investigations of numerous complaints by their members alledging unethical or llegal practices by the company, including bait and switch, forging signatures, unauthorized charges and double billing. The company refused to cooperate in this investigation. The MVMA has alerted its members to carefully check their records for any inconsistencies. The American Veterinary Medical Association has been notified, and will be conducting their own investigation to protect thousands of their members nationwide.

    RatingNot Rated
    Nancy Barbara

    These is a disreputable company.. check reviews – Scam Artists for sure.
    USE ANYONE ELSE -take it from me! We are now trying to cancel after 18 months and they are charging us $500 TO CANCEL!!

    RatingNot Rated
    Matthew Cashion

    Beware! Extremely high fees and non transparent! We were charged fees that were not in our agreement, and we have this in writing, however, when we try to question fees no action was taken and we have followed up several times. Even after two months no action has been taken. Also, when joining TransFirst we were promised credits on our statements to compensate the exit fees of our previous merchant service inorder to switch to TransFirst. We are still fighting to receive these credits. Does not seem like a trust worthy organization.

    Joyce Ballard

    I was with Solverous for over 3 years. They sold to Transfirst. I was told it would be exactly as what I had. NOT SO. Since May, I have called about 7 times. Finally canceled in November. In January, they charged my account another $90+. I am still trying to get a refund. Don’t go with this company.

    RatingNot Rated
    Chris Rush

    I would avoid using this company at all costs.

    My rep is always unreachable. Customer service – Poor.

    The randomly added a $79 fee at their discretion for annual admin fees.

    The fine print in these documents should be investigated for a class action lawsuit in my opinion.

    RatingNot Rated
    Thomas A. Smith

    This organization does a pretty good job- but for a small business one REALLY needs to look at the fees (monthly, quarterly, and annual- yes, three different sets of fees.)
    This company worked really hard with my company to keep fees to a minimum, but the fees still ate up 50% of my annual profits from using their service.
    So, I called.
    This webpage suggests that if someone doesn’t like the program, then take the business elsewhere. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS, FOLKS! THE CONTRACT HAS SOME LANGUAGE THAT SAYS AFTER 30 DAYS OF USING THIS SERVICE, YOU ARE LOCKED IN TO A 3-YEAR CONTRACT THAT HAS A $500 PENALTY FOR CANCELLATION. I did the math, and it was actually better for me to eat the $500 now than to wait through 3 years of fees that would cost me more than that.

    Sean West

    I just cancelled my account for many reasons. They are slow, they lie to you, they hold your money for longer periods of time than agreed upon, and if you have a problem with any of it they will freeze your account and funds for 160 days. Dont you dare talk back to them. They like to think they are more important than you and because they process your money, they think they are your boss. yea right.

    now they are charging high PCI compliance rates, way more than any other company and its still charged if you are in compliance.

    Their monthly gateway fee is expensive as well. To process $500 this month cost me about $75 in monthly fees. way too expensive!!

    I would not recommend their services to anyone. They are one of the corporate bullies that needs to be put out of business.

    RatingNot Rated
    John Lysdahl

    TransFirst has been harassing me for my company’s business since November, 2012. I finally had to send them a letter requesting they never contact us again because their calls were coming in from multiple sales reps/contractors…and they would lie on the phone to get our customer service department to transfer their call(s) to me, they also went thru sales, thru the president of the company, etc.

    Now the onslaught has started again this year. [edited: name removed] called me about two weeks ago. Very clearly I let him know that we were not interest in leaving our current credit card processor. So, [edited: name removed] is harassing us once again by now going to the president as well as the CFO of the company…complaining that I will not give him a chance. Rest assured, after that tactic, TransFirst will never get our business.

    RatingNot Rated

    Don’t EVER do business with this company!! They lie about hidden fees and will charge $500 to close your account! This year our business changed and didn’t do very many CC transactions. In fact, we made 3 transactions YTD totaling $1,254 and was charged $636 for the processing!!!! When I contacted manager Becky Unruh about cancelling the account, she was rude and steadfast about charging me the cancellation fee despite the outrageous fees already paid! NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH TRANSFIRST…you’ll regret it!

    RatingNot Rated
    Beth Self

    I would not do business with Transfirst, they opened 2 accounts on my company(without my knowledge) and then where charging me 2 monthly fees, when I saw what was happening, they were going to charge me $500 to drop my service that I did not need, or order before contract was out. I have waited for my contract to be up with these folks so I could get out of this contract and away from these crooks. Please check these folks out before you sign anything they do not care about their customers!!!!!

    RatingNot Rated
    George Farag

    We had been informed by [edited: name removed] that we can terminate the agreement at any time no penalties. We had opened two accounts. After almost two years, we have closed one of our companies and we would like to close that company merchant account. We have contacted the same rep. she never replied, conated the company they informed us that there’s a $500 early termination fees. They cheated us. Finaly, be carefull if you want to deal with Trans First. As a CPA, I recommend you deal with Bank of America, Citi bank merchant services and avoid Trans First to keep away from headach.

    James Thomas

    I have been with TransFirst since 2008 and couldn’t be happier. All the cry babies above crying about closing fees, waa! waa! You are obligated to pay fees with every company with a service, not just this one. And if you have the indecency not to pay them back then they will come after you for the money owed to them. So will all other processing companies in America.
    As I stated all service companies have fees, that is how they make money. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon all have fees and if you don’t pay them then they will prosecute you and sue you.

    TransFirst is a great company and don’t believe anything differently. I have been with several other processing companies in the past and none of them are as good as TransFirst.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom DeSimone

    For the sake of full disclosure, we should mention that “James Thomas” provided an email address connected to an Agent Office for TransFirst. Unfortunately, this type of tactic will not help the rating of this company in my upcoming update of this review.

    RatingNot Rated
    Nancy Barbara

    you’re info is VERY INcorrect (but I can think that you have other agendas – waa waa?) Other merchant companies do not charge these fees. Why would you compare them to cell phone services?

    There is a movement afoot for a class action suit – I would certainly join it!

    DO NOT USE TRANSFIRST – very disreputable!

    RatingNot Rated
    Amy Feng

    Do not deal with Transfirst. I rips off your money by making false claims. Due to many unhappy issues with it, I closed my acc with Transfirst. But the processing of closing my acc was awful. I received my last statement and found it overcharged me $10 (I have completed PCI questionnaire, which according to our contract, I shall only pay $18.8, instead of $28.8 in the statement.)I called and was confirmed that its system showed I complied with PCI and $10 will be added to the refund (Ref#58). However, later on I found it did not add $10 to the refund. When I called again, I was informed that its system showed my PCI has not completed and the $10 refund was rejected. It is very conflict to the previous info. My PCI was completed a year before. If there were any issue, its system should have shown when I called. I believe Transfirst intentionally overcharges its customers by making false claims.

    RatingNot Rated
    Doug Gurth

    PCI Self assesment must be completed once a year every eyar. Not a one time thing.

    RatingNot Rated
    TL Rice

    I changed my merchant provider to Transfirst on the advice of my trusted banker from Colorado Business Bank. I never received a contract in writing and was rushed to sign an electronic form due to a dead line, I trusted them that everything was disclosed to me and all the items I required were in there, after all Colorado Buisiness Bank who I trusted was the one pushing their services. All was good for a few months and than administrative fees started to be added which was not in the original contract. Then large year end fees. When they were addressed with the company they claimed they had the right to it. They also force you to pay for a PCI compliance fee which you really do not need but they will make you pay a larger fee for something else if you don’t sign up for it. They also assured me I could cancel the account at anytime with no penalty and then when I called to close the account after all the administrative additions they wanted to charge me $500. I recommend you steer clear of this Company not a good place to do business

    rita khouri

    The hardest and most terrible people to deal with. They lie to you and they charge you as much as they need and when you complaint they will give you a discounted statement but not sent to you. You cannot review your statement. Liars 100%. Do not deal with at all. PERIOD.

    rita khouri

    absolutely correct

    RatingNot Rated
    Skipper Crow

    My Corporation has had a TransFirst merchant account for about a couple of years for our online auction business. We been trying to close the account as we no longer use the online auction company TransFirst is associated with. We have had a terrbile time getting it closed even though it has not been used in 4 months. Now they keep drafting charges out of the account until I have refused to pay anymore through our banking institution. My advise to other business people is do not get an account with them and if you have one and decide to make a change, discontinue payments after you ask to close the account as they will sock it to you until you do. Not a firm I can highly recommend to work a merchant account with.

    RatingNot Rated
    Donna H.

    I have used 3 merchant services over the years and TransFirst has been the best so far. I have had others try to beat their price and they might come close to the same but I won’t change unless someone can come up with a better deal for sure. I read everything and know every charge and after all is said and done we pay almost half of what we used to pay percentage wise. We went from an overall average of 3.56% in 2006 with SunTrust Bank to Sterling Processing in 2010 at 2.81% overall average and now so far this year with TransFirst we are averaging 1.95% with ALL fees including PCI. The only complaint I have on them is there was no forwarning to remind us to renew our PCI and was charged an additional $19.95 for a month which I, being experienced over 20 years with the process now, realized what the problem was and remedied that quickly myself. But even including that into my figures we save alot going with TransFirst.

    K Klopfenstein

    5 Stars

    K Klopfenstein

    Trans First has been fantastic to deal with.
    We are saving money from our previous merchant services provider.
    The help desk is friendly and knowledgeable.
    Our rep showed us how much money we would save by purchasing our own card machines; so we did, compared to leasing.
    They come highly recommended from several local businesses in our area.
    The above complaints helped me understand the need to do my homework, and have the contract completely explained to us.
    I signed what I read and understood, so for that thanks.
    I would Highly recommend our rep to any small business operation.

    Bisley USA

    We have been using Transfirst for about 2 months. The changeover to them was smooth as silk and the service has been super. We receive our money on time, correctly and without a hassle. We save a nice bit of money from our previous provider. It was a very good move changing to them.

    Mark Worthington

    To begin with, I was totally lied to by the sales rep. I was busy establishing my business and had an email from him stating what the terms were. Totally my fault, I agree but I was totally duped. It’s amazing all the fees that are tacked on every month.
    Customer service sucks, they talk in circle and interrupt often to make their point, which is always pointless.
    I would vote 100 negative stars.

    RatingNot Rated
    John Koonz

    When I asked my credit union for advice on how to take credit cards I was referred to Transfirst. My initial discussion with the sales rep was great. I agreed to sign on and get started asap. That was a month ago. Since then I have sent in my application, but was told I had missing information. My emails to resolve this were finally answered, but my specific questions asking for help were entirely ignored. In fact, the email read like a text message. The rep didn’t even bother to use vowels:

    “Nds privacy policy, terms&cond, refund/canc pol & contact info added to site, Adrs missmatch on crdt, Nd current util bill & copy of business licence.”

    I’m taking my business elsewhere, or I guess I should say:

    i tkng $ 2 othr guy

    RatingNot Rated
    Adrienne Buskard

    My experience with Transfirst has been horrible.

    They have shown themselves to be totally incompetent and have erroneously de-activated my account two times – causing my company a huge headache.

    On top of theat, their fees are random and exorbitant.

    Stay away!

    RatingNot Rated
    Mark Patterson

    Avoid this company at all cost. They pitch a good game on how their fees are lower, and after you get started they raise them. They claim if you do not dispute the higher fees within 15 days you have no claim for voiding the contract. When I asked them to credit the annual administrative fee (paid forward) upon contract cancellation they would not do it. We call this a unethical business practice in my business, and if I did business this way, I would be out of business. Find a different processor.

    RatingNot Rated
    Christy Bartholomew

    I wish I had never switched to this company, they are terrible to deal with, and their sales person basically lied to me. I told him I would only switch if I could get better rates and a waiver of the PCI fee, the contract I signed even showed $0 next to the PCI fees. We are an online service and do not accept credit cards directly, so have absolutely no access to customer card info, and no need for the PCI protection.
    After a couple of months I noticed I was being charged this fee and other fees I did not expect, and had never had to pay with my previous provider. I called them to complain, only to be told I had to pay the fee or cancel my service at a cost of over $500!
    I will be making complaint through as many agencies and online rating services as I can find. THIS COMPANY CANNOT BE TRUSTED!!

    RatingNot Rated
    sharon grimes

    I applied for services and during the process Transfirst sent me an email with a contract. When you clicked the link to “begin signing” you immediately signed without seeing the contract (the contract was on the following link).

    Fortunately I did not even open the link because I had already found another company. About 3 weeks later, they just sent me a credit card machine, even though I never responded or sent them the information they required. The sales person on the phone said they had an “electronic signature” which I had approved on the telephone. I informed him my state did not allow telephone contracts. I then checked my email and found the contract, unopened. The company claimed they had an electronic signature, logging from my IP address. This was absolutely impossible because I never opened the email until 3 weeks after they claimed they got the signature.

    So my question is did some employee just hack and get my “electronic signature”? Or does the company employ such tactics. I can not imagine trusting this type of company with secure information. I am going to change my bank account to prevent them from committing more fraud. The company would never admit they did not have a legitimate electronic signature, even though they cancelled the agreement. However I have to pay the postage to return the credit card machine, which I never ordered.

    Surely someone like the FCC should step in and investigate this company.

    RatingNot Rated
    sharon grimes

    Giving them a rating of 1.

    John McEntire

    I’ve worked with several merchant processors over the last 15 years. I made a huge mistake of signing up with TransFirst. They are the absolute worst of them all. They screwed up the descriptor which caused a higher charge back ratio, and instead of addressing the problem as a business partner, they shut down the account without notice, held all the funds, and TMF’d the company. After 15 years of business, just having Transfirst as a processor for less than 6 months, they almost put me out of business. They should be sued for what they did. My advice is do not do business with Transfirst.

    RatingNot Rated
    Dr. Gillezeau

    I signed up with Transfirst in June 2011 when I opened my Chiropractic business, I spoke with [name removed] who told me that I was not entered into any contract and that there were NO monthly bills and I could leave anytime I want!! He rushed me along to sign up and oh boy was I a fool (this was my first dealing with merchant accounts)!! I had $5.00 monthly fees, $30.00 Quartely fees, a percentage minimum to reach in total sales otherwise I was charged $25.00 and I would have to pay $500 to leave before 3 years!! These people are the ABSOLUTE WORST business I have ever dealt with, they are scammers and their customer service is terrible!! Please DO NOT sign up with them!!!

    Jean Watanabe

    We called Transfirst and talked to a [name removed] there, I described our business in detail, (an internet cigar store based in the USA, for off shore customers) He reassured me that they did service this type of high risk account . I explained to him that we needed to get this going because we lost a good month with US bank who said the same thing and then found out last minute after we went through the entire application process ( 30 days worth) they do not cover internet cigar stores that are offshore. I explained we did not and could not waste this time again, was he sure, yes he was sure. We waited 4 days, though it was only supposed to be 2 days, no answer. I called last Friday left a message, no response. I called again late Monday morning around 11:00 am ( one week after we initially applied) He seemed surprised to hear from me, said he was out on Friday and then tried to call us back this morning to our business line and it was disconnected. This I am quite sure was a lie, our business line had no problem getting calls from other people and we are not on it much at all since we are just starting up. He then informed me ( one week had passed since we applied) that they Do NOT cover offshore customer based, internet cigar stores. Then he tried to direct me to their companie’s sister company, Durango Merchant Services here in Colorado and said more than once that they do in fact service this type of business. Well I called Durango Merchant Services and they do not… no big surprise. Once again [name removed] did not know what he was talking about. Be careful when you call these people, the customers service reps that are answering the phones really don’t know their job or what they are doing. If you have time to waste, then take a chance and apply with them, but you will most likely have to call them back. They will not call you back if you are not approved . They just don’t do that here. Now between them and US Bank we have lost 5 weeks trying to find a merchant when this could have been easily answered from the first phone call, had [name removed] known his job.

    Merchant Maverick Admin


    I’ve removed the sales rep’s name per my policy, but your message is still clear.

    Thanks for the review.

    RatingNot Rated
    Jean Watanabe

    that’s fine, I did not realize the customer service person’s name could not be mentioned. Thanks for fixing it.

    RatingNot Rated
    William Schmidt

    I have never felt so abused by a business partner. I tried on multiple occasions to terminate but the termination fees kept changing. I was finally able to get terminated and a month later they pulled additional funds from my account. When my relationship manager finally called, she spoke in circles, compounded lies and threatened me with collections. I would not recommend this processor to anyone.

    RatingNot Rated
    Keith Hays

    I asked my Merchant Express rep 6 times in writing about the fees and costs involved and was never disclosed a single term before the service was activated, without any schedule or setup process disclosed or explained to me. I can’t even remember signing a contract, I certainly have no copy of one. The kicker is, I came to Merchant Express (from Bluehost where I had a 3 year term waiver) through a friend who referred me to the same rep. I was promised the same deal he got and he received a Addendum to waive 3 year terms and any early termination fees, but she did not provide a copy to me for my business. In addition she is non-respondent now in spite of still being employed by Merchant Express. So I have sent them notice of my intention to file a claim against them if they do not cancel my account without incurring an ETF fee. You should not put the burden of terms review on the customer if they were not disclosed anything even after requesting it in writing 6 times! Transfirst and Merchant Express are clearly participating in deceptive business practices and should be required to disclose terms upfront in simple language just like the credit card companies are. Until my situation is resolved, I believe this company is abusive and would not award them any stars for anything.

    RatingNot Rated
    Keith Hays

    Good news! I received a prompt call from Transfirst after sending them a very specific complaint with evidence. They waived the ETF fee. I am happy with the way I was treated and am glad they reconciled their mistakes. I would encourage anyone who is signing up for cc processing to be very careful in reviewing the terms of the agreement in their entirety, page for page.

    RatingNot Rated
    sharon grimes

    Most likely you did not sign anything. They claimed I approved with an “electronic signature”. The contract was in an email that fortunately, I never opened. And when questioned they claimed I approved and gave me my IP address. I’m sure they logged the IP address when I looked at the contract 3 weeks after they claimed I signed it.

    Something needs to be done about this. I see this as a form of identity theft.

    RatingNot Rated
    Tom Owen

    I have to use Tranfisrt as our processer through US merchant Services. First off all, because of changes on the way we process credit cards, I did not need 3 accounts with Transfirst. It took over 3 months to cancel both of these accounts.
    Also, they started charging us breach insurance on all 3 accounts. Which I was asking for a refund, because we use a Gateway and don’t need that coverage.
    Also they were charging us $25 per month on each account for Minimum Discount Due. These additional charges just started to show up and my Rep from US Merchant that these were not warranted. I did receive credit for the 3 months on 1 of the accounts I closed. But none so far from the others after several attempts. These guys have terrible customer service and still owe us $611.10. So I say avoid this processor art all cost.

    RatingNot Rated
    Jon Stevens

    Interesting….after opening an account with transfirst, I found that my statements did not agree with the details on my signed contract…..Upon contacting the company, they also had a different contract than the one I agreed to…..they refused to send a copy of their contract, and even refused an explanation, I ended up needing to close my bank account

    RatingNot Rated
    Amad Ebrahimi

    Thank you for the comment Jon,

    If you’re looking for a new processor, we recently launched a tool to help our readers find the right merchant account for their business. Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

    Take care,

    RatingNot Rated

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