Merchant One is #1 in Shady Sales Strategies

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As we continue to expose the trickery of shady credit card processing companies, we contacted Merchant One to request a quote for an Internet-based business. As with all our merchant account reviews, we contacted the company directly by submitting an request for quotation through their company website.

We submitted a request on Tuesday, April 24th, and we received an automated email response that indicated “we look forward to speaking with you.” No calls or further emails were received. We left TWO MESSAGES, but NO ONE CALLED US BACK. Finally, on our third call, we were able to speak with a “live” person, and they asked us for more information.

As with all the other companies we’ve reviewed, they never send the full list of rates and fees from the beginning. They send a “salesy” email with the lowest Qualified rate and hope to lure you in (click image to download the pdf they emailed us). We finally received the full contract that helped us see that they’re just like all the other shady companies we’ve reviewed. By looking at Merchant One’s full agreement and other online reviews, here’s what we’ve learned.

Four Reasons to AVOID Merchant One

  1. Merchant One will sell you on the lie that they’re a “direct processor”.
    The customer service representative kept going back to this over and over again, and it’s just not true. They are an ISO (Independent Sales Organization) and MSP (Member Service Provider) for both Wells Fargo Bank and First National Bank of Omaha. Look at the bottom of their website or any paperwork. The Merchant One rep kept telling us that we’ll get “so much better customer service” because they are a director processor. I’m not sure I would want to process my payments with a company that blatantly lies about their identity.
  2. Merchant One has a whopping 188 COMPLAINTS through the BBB within 36 months.
    We have no idea how the Better Business Bureau can justify Merchant One’s “A+” rating when there are an overwhelming amount of issues with their business. 125 of those complaints were because of “Advertising / Sales Issues” which doesn’t surprise us in the least.
  3. Merchant One sells a rate of 1.19% online but FAILS to mention their surcharges.
    Instead of simply telling the truth, Merchant One advertises their “Qualified” rate of 1.19% (retail) or 1.99% (Internet) for which only 10-20% of all your transactions will qualify. They fail to mention the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” surcharges that 80% or more of transactions will receive. Typically, these fees will cost you a full 1-2% more per transaction. On top of the high rate, they will also charge you $.40 per Internet transaction ($.20 for authorization plus $.20 for gateway). It’s not surprising that many of the complaints online about Merchant One revolve around the provider’s misleading sales tactics.
  4. Merchant One CONCEALS their PCI fee in the fine print.
    PCI Compliance is now mandatory for all businesses that process credit cards, but many merchant account providers are anxious about educating merchants about the costs involved. Merchant One is no different. In fact, they hide their $129 annual PCI Compliance fee in the fine print of their agreement, and it’s no where near all the other rates and fees. You’d have to scour the document in order to find it.

One reviewer gives Merchant One a “D”, and another reviewer rates them 2.5 out of 5 stars. Based on the evidence, we consider Merchant One “#1” in the category of “Shady Sales Practices.” There is always a better option.