D overall rating

Sales & Marketing Tactics

Costs & Contract Terms

Complaints & Service

BBB Rating

BBB Information

Summit Merchant Solutions aka Certified Payment Processing, LP, has earned an F rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Since BBB’s rating system ranges from A+ to F, a lower rating is impossible.

The first BBB file was opened in 2004, although the business did not begin until August 2005.

The cause of this rating is the 308 complaints filed in the past three years, with 35 of these not successfully resolved. Additionally, 6 of these complaints were classified as “serious” by the BBB.

With over 200 adverse reviews targeted to problems with the services, there is a record of continuing problems. Specific complaints often noted sales practice issues. The most common complaint: Sales representatives quoted low processing prices, but merchants’ monthly bills were higher than sales force predictions.

Reviews

Reviews similar to the BBB ratings were common. For example, MerchantMaverick.com gives Summit Merchant Solutions 2 stars (out of 5), citing the large number of complaints voiced by former dissatisfied users and former equally disenchanted employees.

Research indicates Summit Merchant Solutions aka Certified Payment Processing, LP, uses independent representatives, paid on commission, their services, but who also may be exaggerating savings and adding extra fees.

Along with a standard contract that includes a $495 early termination fee and a $120+ PCI Compliance Fee, which is higher than most card processing firms. Complaints include negative reviews from former agents who complain that they were hired under “false pretenses” or were led to believe they were calling on confirmed leads, most of which involved merchants who were surprised by their visits.

Complaints

With a high volume of complaints, this company may not be a top choice of many merchants. The site RipoffReport.com indicates it has over 50 complaint reports. The BBB and complaint posters on the Ripoff Report indicate that Summit Merchant Solutions has additional trade names, such as Certified Payment Processing, LP, Trans Tech Merchant Group, TMG and First American Payment Systems, causing alleged misleading and/or deceptive information according to the complainants.

PissedConsumer.com also reports multiple complaints about Summit Merchant Solutions and their alternative trade names and/or independent sales representatives for unfulfilled promises or deceptive sales information. For example, one former customer reports a sales rep assured that the business owner could cancel the credit card hardware lease “anytime.” But allegedly, the sales person, after the customer signed the lease, wrote in the term as a “48 month lease.” The lease finance company then demanded around $4,500 from the customer, who cancelled the processing agreement.

The volume of complaints–and the “passion” with which they are written–is troubling. Business owners wishing to do business with this company should carefully review all contracts, leases and other legal documentation before affixing their signature. Prospective customers are wise to review all documentation from any company before executing contracts that involve long-term agreements.