Merchant One Review
Processing $5,000 per month or less in card payments?
- Date Established
- Miami Beach, FL
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.
- 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!
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!
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