Wednesday, December 14, 2011

News: Small businesses are getting ripped off

Fox News has an article and video that discusses how small businesses are getting ripped off bycredit card processors:

"I'm almost embarrassed I fell for their scam," said hair salon owner Magic Munson. 
She was approached by a salesman representing a company called Payment System Corporation who promised the halve her costs for processing credit cards and debit cards. It's a strong pitch to small businesses that are struggling in a bad economy.
But after she signed up, the company couldn't help her hook up several card swipers. She began getting bills even though the machines weren't hooked up.  The salesman was nowhere to be found and the friendly faces pictured in a list of customer service representatives were missing in action.
"If you try to call any of these people, they'll put you on hold. It's a fight to talk with a real person. i was on hold for 20 minutes (once) and after 20 minutes, they just hang up the phone.  She also began getting bills for services that she never used and was denied refunds that were promised.

There are  a 2 things one should take from this article that differ from what the article implies:
1) Never sign a contract! If there is no contractual obligation you will never have an issue going elsewhere, which should make the company you are with bend over backwards to keep you business by servicing you and doing it well. It will also make it less likely that they are hiding fees.

2) If the rates you are being quoted seem to be good to be true...they probably are.
Rates like 1.09% for credit cards are simply impossible as that is below the actual cost.
Be careful out there and only deal with the most reputable company.

Although few companies have  a no contract policy a merchant service provider that advertises as such is Prestige Merchant Services.