Common Credit Card Processing Lies
The credit card processing business is almost entirely dishonest. We’ll help shed light on some of the most common credit card processing lies you might encounter from the industry. We aren’t attorneys. We always advise that you consult an attorney for any legal questions. Our experience with these lies and omissions are simply based on our 10+ years in business.
“Your account has been flagged as preferred by Visa and MasterCard.”
“I’m from your credit card processor, and there is a problem with your account.”
Most credit card processors rely on telemarketing to set appointments for their local salespeople. They have to convince you that they are an authority on the matter and you must meet with their representatives. Visa and MasterCard will never flag your account for positive activity. They’ll actually never directly flag your account at all. This sales pitch is to get you in the door.
In the second scenario, the telemarketer is trying to get you to give up important information about your account to warm you up as a potential lead. You can easily prove that they are lying by asking them to recite your merchant number to you. If they hesitate or make excuses, you’ll know they are lying.
Sales Representative Lies
You’ll often submit a merchant statement to get a cost proposal from a competing credit card processor. They’ll show numbers demonstrating how poorly you are being treated by your current credit card processor and by comparison how inexpensive their processing will be. The problem is that the numbers are often fudged. At best, they’re inexperienced at reading merchant statements. At worst, they’re trying to trick you. First, review the card assessment fees you’re currently paying vs. what they are proposing. Card assessments fees are the same for every processor and should be identical on each quote. Second, review the rates and fees they say you are currently paying and ask them to identify and explain them on the merchant statement you provided. If the sales representative can’t find them on the statement, they’ve likely been inflated to seem worse than they actually are. Third, ask them to prove the dollar amount savings by showing you the math in each savings category. If the math is even slightly off, you should be wary of trusting them.
Contract Discrepancies and Ommissions
Sometimes sales representatives will tell you that there is “no contract” when asking you to sign their agreement. They may mean that there is no early termination fee, but in that event, they need to show you within the agreement where they have waived the termination fee and how much it would have been. Often, clients are advised by the representatives that they can leave anytime they want without penalty. If that’s the case, the contract should either state that there is a $0 early termination fee or you should receive a separate addendum stating that the $0 termination fee will override the normal termination fee. If you don’t see a Term and Termination clause in your agreement, ask if there is a separate Terms & Conditions packet for you to review.
Sales representatives will often tell you that your rates are guaranteed to stay at the contracted rate. There is no way they can promise a true “rate lock.” There are some fees increases beyond the processor’s control. They won’t avoid passing those fees on to you simply because their sales representative told you so. Additionally, there is typically a clause in a processing contract that allows them to raise any fee at any time with 30 days prior notice. During those 30 days, you may have the ability to break your contract without penalty. If those 30 days pass without objection, the rates will change without your being able to break your contract free of penalty because of the increase.
Customer Service Lies
“We can’t do that, or we’ll lose money.”
When you call customer service to complain about your fees, they’ll fight you over every penny. They’ll advise you that your account is barely making a profit as is and any small change will put them in the red. They’re lying. They likely aren’t even reviewing the math on their computer; it’s just a simple rebuttal created to shut down any concern you have.
“That’s not our fee. It’s directly from Visa and MasterCard.”
The agent will advise you that the specific fee you’re referring to isn’t even from them. They’ll suggest it’s simply a fee passed on from the card companies. Occasionally, this is true, but often the fee isn’t passed on from Visa and MasterCard, or they have marked up the fee themselves.
<“You’re doing it wrong.”
Customer service agents are masters of distraction. If you call to complain about your fees, they’ll blame you for not knowing how to accept cards optimally. The truth is, there are only a few ways to accept a credit card or credit card number. You’re probably not doing it wrong, but by blaming you, they’re distracting from the processor’s overcharges.
Don’t Take on the Credit Card Processors by Yourself
Since 2009, IdealCost.com has helped hundreds of companies nationwide reduce their merchant account fees through identifying and fixing hidden profit, overcharges, fake fees, and billing errors. Clients have saved $300-$20,000 per month on their credit card processing fees without going through the hassle of changing their processing vendor, bank, or equipment. Switching credit card processors should be a last resort, only reserved for funding delays, poor customer service, or technical difficulties. See if you qualify for IdealCost.com’s monthly savings program be uploading your most recent merchant statement for a free analysis. You’ll receive an estimate within 24 business hours.