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Merchant One Review

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Date Established
2002
Location
Miami Beach, FL

Overview:

Started in 2002, Merchant One is based out of Miami Beach, Florida from where it serves over 100,000 customers.

Merchant One has been a bit of a rollercoaster since we first reviewed them back in July of 09′; they only had about a handful of negative reviews on the most popular complaint sites and were sitting on about 68 complaints on their BBB profile. As they have continued in the business, their complaint volume has gone up and down. After nearly reaching 200 complaints on the BBB at the time of previous reviews, they have now slid back down to 33 complaints in the last 3 years. They also boast BBB accreditation since 2010

Despite these thumbs up, Merchant One really lacks in the area of transparency. They don’t disclose anything; there are no prices and no specific devices or software. The website seems nice upon initial inspection, but so would anything if it doesn’t have any extra features.

Why would anyone even pick up the phone for more information without any background info when there are other processors that are up front about everything?

Despite these failings, Merchant One still seems to offer enough services to keep some customers happy so we’re sticking with a 3 out of 5 star rating. Interested in a 5 star processor? Check out our merchant account comparison chart.

Products & Services:

Merchant One advertises fairly comprehensive services. However, they don’t go into much detail about what they all entail.

  • Merchant accounts
  • POS software
  • In-store/mobile terminals: The terminals offered by Merchant One support all major credit/debit cards. They don’t state whether you lease or buy terminals, but if they suggest leasing, just say no.
  • e-Commerce
  • Phone/Mail order processing: These features include complete fraud protection, and there are no application or set up fees for mail order processing.
  • Check Processing
  • Gift/Rewards Cards: Gift card and loyalty programs are built into all services.

Fees & Rates:

Merchant One does not disclose any prices on its website. Interchange-plus is available, but only for larger, more established merchants, with higher processing volumes. Also, many merchants have complained about being charged a $150 PCI fee.

Contract Length & Early Termination Fee:

Many merchants report being told that contract duration is only 1-year, but many are in for a rude awakening, like this ROR complaint, because it’s more like 3-years. See this PDF of Merchant One’s terms as well. Section A.3 states:

The initial term of this Agreement shall commence and shall continue in force for three years after it becomes effective. Thereafter, it shall continue until either party terminates the Agreement upon written notice to the other…

Previously, there was a $25 deconversion fee (that’s per month left on the contract) if you canceled inside the 3-year contract term or $295 per location, whichever was greater. However, that seems to have changed:

If this Agreement is terminated by either party for any reason before the end of the then-current term…you will immediately pay us, as a termination fee, the greater of (i) $295.00 for each year remaining in the then-current term or (ii) the fees (net of Association charges) we would have received based on the average monthly transaction volume during the highest 12 month period prior to termination (annualized in the event such period is less than 12 month) (or the fee we should have received, based on your representations in the Application, if greater) during the months remaining in the then-current term but for such termination. 

So, you could be paying $295 or more to cancel your account. Make sure to read those contracts!

Sales & Advertising Transparency:

Like I said before, Merchant One does not advertise any rates for its services. They also share very few details about the the services they offer. Many companies are fairly upfront with their offerings and at least throw out a few pricing models for prospective customers to at least think about and compare with other processors. With Merchant One, merchants pretty much have to fly blind into the process. Luckily, it doesn’t cost anything to get a quote.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Merchant One advertises 24/7 support, both over phone and via email. Despite this, man people report receiving very poor customer service. There is also a small FAQ page, but I would like to see a more detailed help/education section.

Negative Reviews & Complaints:

You can find the Merchant One BBB profile here. As of this review, they have an “A+” rating and have had 33 complaints in the last 36 months. All of these complaints have been answered by Merchant One, but the majority of them have not been resolved due to dissatisfaction from customers. There are also two reviews on the review page, but they are far from favorable.

You can find quite a few complaints the Merchant One TrustLink profile and on Merchant One’s Yelp profile.

Based on all of the negative review sources that I could find, common complaints fall under the same few categories:

  • Bad post-approval customer service: Many merchants reported that the customer service reps they talked to tended to be rude, even when there was an admitted mistake from Merchant One.
  • Undisclosed cancellation fee: Usually this fee is in fact disclosed somewhere, but most likely in the teeny-tiny print, so be sure to read it. However, some merchants reported never even seeing a contract in the first place.
  • PCI compliance fee ($150)

Positive Reviews  Testimonials:

There is no testimonial page for Merchant One, but they do have a section connected to a Trustpilot account where the majority of the reviews are favorable. Be forewarned, though, the number of false reviews on Trustpilot and some other similar review sites have “fake reviewing on an almost industrial scale.” They also have some glowing Google reviews, but for every 5-star review, there is a one-star review.

Have you had a good experience with Merchant One? Let us know in the comments!

Final Verdict:

Despite showing that they have services to offer, what really trips up Merchant One is what they don’t tell us. Unfortunately, this is almost everything important. Between non-disclosure of fees and vague information about their products, it makes me curious as to what they are trying to hide and that sends up red flags. Couple that with poor customer support, they really don’t have much to offer.

I cannot recommend Merchant One. While they advertise quite a few products, they don’t offer anything unique. Why settle when there are processors that offer innovative services with honesty and integrity. So for now, we’re sticking with our 3-star rating. Let us know what you think!

Looking for a better option? Let us help you find a processor that best fits your needs.

Tom DeSimone
Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, Tom has written for Merchant Maverick since 2013 and currently serves as the website’s managing editor for payment processing content. His work is cited by publications including TechCrunch, Washington Business Journal, and Bank Advisor. Press seeking expert comments for stories related to credit card processing can reach him via LinkedIn for a prompt reply.
Tom DeSimone
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19 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    jamie eckelbarger

    Organization Name: Eckelbarger construction

    This company approved my account said p i compliance is free I ran a customer card and was told it was fradulent. So they closed my account and cleaned out my bank account never ever mess with these jokers I will be going to Florida this fall and pay them a visit. Run like hell they are fraudulent! !!!!! There only on treat was to gain access to my bank account. They need shut down asap!!!!!#crooks

    • Organization Name: Eckelbarger construction
    Donald L

    Switch and bait company!Used Merchant One for over 8 years, asked for a review of my account, sales rep came back with great news, he could save me money. after agreeing to the new rates my account cost more. A good switch and bate. decided to close account, six months later they informed me about a chargeback they paid, did not give us a chance to fight it.gave to collections and hit my personal credit, not the business credit.Only received one a notice letter about balance due, and it was after they hit my personal credit .Have tried to contact them, their response was you can only contact collections by email or mail.

    1
      Jason Gravelle

      When I contacted them I was VERY clear in both recorded conversations as well as email that I wanted to know ALL the fees I would be charged. They assured me I would be charged $6 per month for the account, and either 2 or 3 percent depending on the card. What they don’t tell you is that there are minimums that must be met with them. We kept getting bills when there were no CC processes being ran. When I called to complain they just offered to see if they could reduce the charges. This is a bait and switch company. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THEM!

      1

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

        Zack

        So, you could be paying $295 or more to cancel your account.

        I think you mean you can pay up to $295 to cancel your account.

        : }

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

          Amad Ebrahimi

          Not exactly Zack. It depends on how many locations you have.

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

            Sandro Mathieu

            I almost never see my hard earn cash deposited ,this makes me very and extremely angry. Iam considering contacting the fbi for possible funds kept illegally withheld with the knowledge that customers will not take notice but they do.

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

              Dean Larson

              Merchant one is a poor company to work with very dishonest.I tell everyone not too use them unless you like too give your money away they have alot of hidden fees.My rating is zero

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

                Robert Parsons

                Glad I checked this out because they was lying to me too. well I didn’t sign up without a whole contract to read over but none of them will give it to you they all have hiden fees. so ill stay with the one im with and just charge the customer the 4% fee that the government says we can charge now.

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

                  Jim Kiesel

                  Run Run like you hair is on fire from these guys, 3 stars boy I would have trouble giving them 1 they are sneaky. We never had a completed contract and they started charging us $25.00 a month without a completed contract. It is this type of business practice that will get you !35 complaints in no time.

                  Just Run and be happy you saved the time and money of not being caught in their trap.

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

                    Drew Horn

                    Merchant One is misleading! I signed up with them two years ago, only to find they capped the transaction dollar amount on purchases, which hurt us dearly due to our high ticket sales. Also they raised our interest rate about 5 times during the year “due to higher interchange rates”…. So the advertised rate didn’t last long. Also their statement fees, yearly $99 account fee, and PCI and monthly fees were exhorbitant. They hold you hostage to a three year agreement, and if you cancel early, (which I just did) they say they charge you $25 a month for every month left on your contract. However, if this amount is less than $295 then they charge you the greater amount. So it has cost me $425 to get out of my account this year. DO NOT RECOMMEND!

                    1

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

                      Amanda Lavi

                      I am in the process of trying to cancel my service with Merchant One. Most of the fees are very clear on the application but the kicker comes with the three year term that is buried in the so called “Program Guide” and the one line of the application that says the Program Guide is part of the agreement. Buried on page 35 is the actual language. Obviously you need to read everything you are signing but if they can put every fee on the one page application I have a feeling they can disclose a three year term clearly on the application as well. They also hype the “one day approval” which is done over the phone and through e-mail so you don’t get a copy of the Program Guide to read through until after you have signed up right? Not according to them! The have a single sentence on the application that directs you to a web page to read the 38 page “guide”. It’s so blatantly obvious that they are trying to dupe people. If it was called “Contract Terms” or “Agreement Terms” you better believe people would be reading it. And come on…38 pages? I got taken in but hopefully after reading this you review you won’t. Good luck and run far from this processor. I won’t even go into the repeated rate raises and the lousy customer service. Its just all part of the whole rotten package.

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

                        Tony Radford

                        I made the HUGE mistake of switching to Merchant One. Let it be a lesson to anyone considering them for CC processing. They will say anything – including blatant lying – to sign you. After speaking with [edited: name removed] and going over *to the penny* what I was paying at that time, he assured me, repeatedly, that he (Merchant One) would save me money on credit card processing. Their advertised rates sounded/looked great, but the fraud and deception came to light after sign up when all the hidden fees and miscellaneous charges appeared. [edited: name removed] is a lying POS as is Merchant One. After a few months of seeing fees that greatly exceeded what I was previously paying, I closed the account. To add insult to injury they proceeded to bill me a termination fee of $300. This was after all my time and effort wasted with this situation. If this isn’t extortion, I don’t know what is. This company and its employees are thugs, plain and simple. And, if that weren’t enough, they put a charge-off on my credit report putting a ding in my otherwise perfect credit. Don’t walk, RUN from this company. You have been warned. Search and you will find scenario after scenario just like mine, and worse. I’m actively seeking participants for a class-action suit against Merchant One. Please contact me if you have been subject to the fraudulent practices of this corporation.

                        1

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

                          Elisabete ferreira

                          Hi Tony, I just finished reading your complaint and it is like I was conned from this company just like you! I didn’t signed their cancellation paper. I sent them a notarized letter this 09/30/2013 to cancelled my services but it’s going to get really ugly. They say there was no contract now they’re saying I signed a 3 yr contract… My husband is going to seek an attorney but I wanted to find out if you actually started a class action? I an definitely in…

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

                            mark arnold

                            I am having almost all the same issues as everyone else, plus that started charging extra for rewards cards, which I was told initially would not happen. I am all in on class action. They need to be reported to the State Attorney’s office and they will straighten them out, or close them down. I am out to state for another two weeks but will following up on that as soon as I return.

                            In the meantime I am using our social media resources to blast them as everyone should be warned and will be reporting them to every consumer advocacy company I can.

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

                              Jeanette Henderson

                              I am with you guys. I just signed up with them on December 17, 2018 and they have taken money out of my account. They also marked that I received equipment that I don’t need and never received. I am going to cancel immediately and would definitely be in for a class action suit. Please let me know if you find an attorney.

                                Manuel Darocha

                                I have been with this company for 4 years. On multiple occasions, they have failed to post transactions on to my account. I had to search for these transactions my self ad they were “suspend mode” as they called it. Additionally, last January I made a mistake on a transaction wich was later cancelled and they charged my account $900.00. Additionally the 1099 form listed this cancelled transaction as as sale and I had to reported to IRS . Do not do any business with this company! You will regret it!!

                                2

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

                                  Kevin Barwick

                                  I signed a contract in February 2011. I was verbally told that I was on a month-to-month contract. Besides having frustrations with all the hidden and extemporaneous fees, they were not responsive to my need for them to own up to a mistake they made regarding PCI Compliance.

                                  After several months of being charged $24.50/month for me allegedly being non-compliant with PCI regs, I called Merchant One to get this cleared up. The rep arranged a conference call with Control Scan. CS and Merchant One admitted they made a mistake in how it was inputted, i.e. absolving me of any negligence. Although I had been compliant from the beginning, Merchant One chose to not refund me for any of the months, but one. My five calls to them never transpired into any help toward me.

                                  I thus decided to cancel my contract with Merchant One. I signed the cancellation notice. When I found a $295 charge on my checking account I called once again. They said that there was a three-year contract to which I originally signed. I was never told about a three-year contract, nor was I sent their Program Guide stipulating this policy.

                                  A Merchant One supervisor refused to refund me the cancellation fee, leaning on the fact that I signed an original contract (which indicated only the “possibility” of an early termination fee). I felt as if I wasn’t heard nor respected by the “Customer Service” reps.

                                  I would not recommend Merchant One for any small business needs!

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

                                    Think

                                    I don’t have their service, I don’t and have never worked for them in any way and I don’t understand how you, who act as though you are the “know it all” concerning Credit Card Company’s can be so incompetent. This company has exploded with customers because of the service and low fees they provide.

                                    You say a whopping 139 complaints. Do you not do your homework? Do you not live in the real world? Why haven’t you checked to see how many customers they have? Would 139 compliants be “whopping” if they have 30,000 customers, 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 or more.

                                    Come on!! Wake up, before you start posting just wreckless comments, without doing your research!! I mean really. I have read other reviews you have posted and you just spew your venom about company’s you know absolutely nothing about because you don’t take the time to fully research the company!

                                    Think about how much damage you are doing to companys by posting such uninformed information. Some people actually believe everything you say without doing their research either!

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

                                      Merchant Maverick Admin

                                      I do look at the complaint to customer ratio. There are plenty of other companies that have just as many customers and not nearly as many complaints as Merchant One.

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

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