C- overall rating

Sales & Marketing Tactics

Costs & Contract Terms

Complaints & Service

BBB Rating

BankCard USA Merchant Services gained Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation on 2/25/2002 and currently has an A- rating. The BBB reports 86 closed cases, 6 of them serious, within the last three years. All complaints were resolved. Sixty-two cases related to problems with products/services or billing issues. The BBB profile, shows the business opened in April 2000 and the first BBB file was opened six months later in October 2000.

Based on complaint details from the BBB, RipOffReport and MerchantMaverick, the company has ongoing issues with customer service. Consumers complain that the fee structure is difficult to understand and refunds and adjustments are slow or impossible to get processed. One common complaint across most of the review sites online is that the company tends to “freeze funds” for days, or weeks, pending transaction verification.

There are a handful of positive reviews from late 2010 on TrustLink from customers about specific company representatives. An employee from Celestial Memorial Co. in Lucedale, MS claims that the company saved her money on fees as compared to her previous merchant services provider. A restaurant owner in Norfolk, VA stated that she had problems, but that the customer service representatives handled her “issues” promptly and with empathy.

Many of BankCard USA Merchant Services customer service issues are directly linked to conflicts between what sales representatives say and what is in the contract. Numerous complaints stem from exceeding account limits and cancellation fees.

Many disgruntled consumers were unaware of BankCard USA contract details that expressly state some funds can be held in reserve and delays in processing charges are likely if you exceed your established limits. High pressure sales tactics combined with customers’ failing to read the fine print create an environment ripe for abuse.

Even though the BBB downgraded the company rating from A+ to A-, there is some evidence that the company is trying to manage their reputation. They joined Facebook on March 15, 2011 to connect with online customers. They have slightly more than 450 company likes and also have a presence on Twitter and Goggle+ for followers.

Even with the marketing efforts, the BBB received additional complaints in the last few months of 2013. One customer filed a complaint in November stating that they were on a month-to-month agreement without termination penalties. Immediately after closing the account, BankCard USA submitted an electronic check for early termination. BankCard USA claims to have a signed one-year contract, which the client denies signing. Arbitration is ongoing.

Overall, the negative reviews far outweigh positive comments online. However, most customers either received refunds according to contract terms, eventually gained access to their funds or satisfactorily settled the cases through the BBB.