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Description

The Merchant Store is a retailer of credit card processing services and supplies. We specialize in electronic payment services for small to medium size businesses and non profit organizations. Our services include credit and debit card processing, mobile processing, iphone and android processing, ecommerce services, point of sale equipment and service, and more.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that The Merchant Equipment Store meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for The Merchant Equipment Store include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 5
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on The Merchant Equipment Store
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: January 05, 2004 Business started: 01/05/2004 in TX Business started locally: 01/05/2004 Business incorporated: 05/17/2005 in TX
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Peter Estep, President Mr. Joe Brannon Mr. Jamie Estep, Vice President
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Mr. Joe Brannon
Principal: Mr. Peter Estep, President
Business Category

Credit Card Processing Service Credit Card - Merchant Services Point of Sale Systems Financial Services Office Supplies

Products & Services

The Merchant Equipment Store offers the following product(s): Credit card equipment and supplies, Point of sale equipment and supplies

Hours of Operation
M: 8:00 AM - 5:00 AM
T: 8:00 AM - 5:00 AM
W: 8:00 AM - 5:00 AM
Th: 8:00 AM - 5:00 AM
F: 8:00 AM - 5:00 AM
S: Closed
Su: Closed
H: Closed
For after hours, weekend, and holiday support, please call 800.898.3436.
Method(s) of Payment
All major credit cards, Paypal, Google wallet, traditional ACH bank drafts, cash.
Alternate Business Names
The Merchant Store, Inc. US Point of Sale
Additional Information

Provider of merchant services, credit card processing, credit card equipment and supplies, wireless processing, gift cards, electronic check acceptance, and other payment services.

Industry Tips
Finding a financial planner

Additional Locations

  • 5725 W Highway 290 Ste 105

    Austin, TX 78735 (800) 898-3436

  • 1
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

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Complaint Detail(s)

11/25/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We signed with this business to handle our gateway account for our business after they promised a price match/beat from another gateway company we were talking to. We spoke with a manager there by the name of ****. **** e-mailed us the month to month contracts saying we should go ahead, sign them and start the process as it may take a while but that they wouldn't start billing us their flat monthly fee of $15 till Sept. (the fee was supposed to include everything, statement and all which is the match up price for the other company). we weren't set to launch our business till December, so we may pay couple of months worth of monthly fees without needing their service just yet, but better have the account set up and running early than late since it takes a while in the under writing process we were told and we were okay with that . We signed in July, our application was approved beginning of August, few days later, multiple charges hit our account, we can't tell who or what it is, there's no contact information in the transactions, no business name no phone number, nothing, our Bank (Chase) can't tell us much about those transactions because mainly they see what we see, except that whoever this is banks with WellsFargo. We called wellsfargo but they wouldn't tell us anything, understandably so as they were protecting the privacy of their customers. We finally started calling everyone we talked to about doing business with and everyone we signed with to do business with to try to figure out who's billing us for those unauthorized amounts, meanwhile we disputed the charges with our Bank since we couldn't figure out who it was billing us and we never authorized those charges. We find out later that the type of transactions they were billing us is classified as "ACH" which allows us only 24 hours to dispute so we couldn't reverse the funds or do anything about it. We finally were able to verify that the Merchant Store were the ones billing us, we tried to talk to ****, called over the course of 2 weeks and e-mailed multiple times with no reply, we finally called and we asked to speak to anyone and canceled our account with them after explaining how disappointed we were, the person on the phone was very rude, long story short, it took them several days and multiple calls to get the cancellation note from them, we finally received it on Sept. 5th, come to find out days later that they must've been stalling to send it because they went ahead and billed us, again, on Sept 4th which is why they didn't send us the signed paper till the 5th. Furthermore, although we have had our singed copy of the cancellation for over a month now. they have billed us twice since and there's nothing we can do about it, we were told by our bank again because of the way they are billing us, except put a "stop" with our bank with their company's name which costs $30 or completely close down the account. We have made one more attempt to resolve this with the merchant store today, once again, very rude, we were told that we should have asked for a refund before our account was closed, which we did several times and because they had lied about the amounts they were going to bill us as well as the the dates and they were completely rude saying they are not giving us any refunds and pretty much there isn't much we can do about it is why we canceled in the first place, they said now that the account is closed there isn't anything they can do which is the same response we got from them before we closed the account except it was we can't give you any refunds because your account is active. We have tried our very best to resolve this issue with them, we signed with them in good faith, with the full intentions to do business with them after we were talking to another company because they had the illusion of an outstanding customer service in the beginning and they promised to match the other company's prices. **** was very helpful and nice in the beginning, pretty much up to when we signed then we couldn't get him to return calls or e-mails. Might be our fault for not reading the fine prints, but he had a copy of the other company's prices and he committed to matching everything plus they have the BBB on their site so we trust dealing with them, this is the first time we open a business up, lesson learned. Turns out he's charging us $25 monthly fee instead of the $15 he had committed to and he had said it includes everything including statement fees but they are billing us for statements, that we never received by the way since there isn't a business running yet, on top of the $25, they also charged us a set up fee which he committed to it being waved. We have multiple charges we area dealing with a little shy of a $100 and i am going today to close our bank account so we wouldn't have to deal with further charges from them. We are very disappointed.

Business Response: I will certainly be willing to look into this for you.

I'm sorry but I'm  a little confused. You stated you were trying to close
your account in September, but had the signed cancellation for over a month,
and during that time you were billed twice?  Where I'm confused is the the
account was opened on July 30th.  So were you trying to close the account
within a couple days of opening it?  Also I see in our system that your
were billed in early August for the July billing cycle.  I do see where
**** had submitted a refund through the processor as your account was only open
for 1 day that cycle.  However I do not see where the processor completed
the request.  Im going to look into this and if It has not been refunded
already I will get it taken care of for you.


Closing the account:  Your account was billed on Sept 4 or 5th for the
August billing cycle as it was an open and live account in August.  The
delay in confirmation was due to the fact that **** was working to get the
processor to close the account in Sept, with an effective end date in August to
insure you would not be charged for having had an open account in September. 
My apologies, it doesn't sounds like this was clearly communicated to you, and
I can see how it would like he had been stalling.


Charges: You stated that a few days after signing up you were hit with multiple
charges.  I do see where the processor charged you for July and as
mentioned above that should of been refunded(checking into the completion of
that refund), however I don't see what you would of had any other
charges.  Can you see a copy of your bank statement showing the multiple
charges?


Setup Fee:  I don't see anywhere that you were charged a setup fee or any
sort of activation fee.  Can you provide me with where you are seeing such
a charge?



Matched Pricing:  This is going to probably get more wordy than I like,
but I will try to keep it short.

**** had originally quoted $15 in monthly fees, plus additional processing fees
for months with processing volume, however on 7/26 ***** ****** emailed him
asking if he could match or beat rates from Ipayment, see attached.  The
Ipayment agreement included a $5 service fee, $25 monthly minimum, a $9.95
gateway fee, a $99.95 annual fee amongst other fees, like $3.50 per call help
desk & customer service fee.

**** matched the quote on processing fees, monthly service fee, and monthly
min.  He beat Ipayments quote by not charging an annual fee, lowing the
monthly gateway fee, and not charging $3.50 for each time the merchant called
for support.

To be fair you’re going to see the $25 monthly minimum is a large number than
the original $15 monthly fee, however with a monthly minimum your processing
fees are applied to that number first.  For example with this setup after
processing about $1250 in volume in a month the monthly minimum would covered
by processing fees and the only monthly fee remaining would of been the $5.00.


Refund Request:  Can
you please provide details on how you came up with $83.76 for the Disputed
Amount?  Im showing we have only charged
your account $60 ever, and $30 of that we have already agreed to refund.


Thanks
***


Consumer Response: Complaint: 9771438

I am replying to *** ***'s message.

Dear *** ***,

Thank you for taking the time out to reply to my complain. Here's my reply to your comments and questions in blue.


"I'm sorry but I'm  a little confused. You stated you were trying to close
your account in September, but had the signed cancellation for over a month,
and during that time you were billed twice?  Where I'm confused is the the
account was opened on July 30th.  So were you trying to close the account
within a couple days of opening it?  Also I see in our system that your
were billed in early August for the July billing cycle.  I do see where
**** had submitted a refund through the processor as your account was only open
for 1 day that cycle.  However I do not see where the processor completed
the request.  Im going to look into this and if It has not been refunded
already I will get it taken care of for you."

I didn't say you had the signed copy for a month, i said it was delayed from your end and wasn't sent signed to us until a day after we were billed a second time, i didn't see it as a coincident because by that point we had been trying to reach **** by e-mail and phone for over a month with no reply, answer or a feed back. When we got billed the first time we brushed it off as a mistake, we called to see what is going on, in good faith, when few weeks passed us by and no one would return our e-mails or calls, we figured it wasn't done in good faith at all especially that our calls and emails were being returned same-to-next day before we signed the contract, but after we signed it, not only we get billed which wasn't the deal at all, but again, we couldn't get anyone to reply or call us back, that's when we decided to cancel our contract with you.
I am attaching all bank transactions that your company processed from our account. The refund you are talking about was for $30 because on that first month you had double billed us that amount, see attached files you'll see two $30 (so that's $60) transactions going through and then one $30 refund, so that still leaves your company with $30 that month alone.

"
Closing the account:  Your account was billed on Sept 4 or 5th for the
August billing cycle as it was an open and live account in August.  The
delay in confirmation was due to the fact that **** was working to get the
processor to close the account in Sept, with an effective end date in August to
insure you would not be charged for having had an open account in September. 
My apologies, it doesn't sounds like this was clearly communicated to you, and
I can see how it would like he had been stalling."

I understand, that should've been communicated to us instead of being left in the dark and we certainly shouldn't have to pay for it, which we did, again, please check attached files.

"
Charges: You stated that a few days after signing up you were hit with multiple
charges.  I do see where the processor charged you for July and as
mentioned above that should of been refunded(checking into the completion of
that refund), however I don't see what you would of had any other
charges.  Can you see a copy of your bank statement showing the multiple
charges?"

Please check attached files for the multiple charges i am referring to.

"
Setup Fee:  I don't see anywhere that you were charged a setup fee or any
sort of activation fee.  Can you provide me with where you are seeing such
a charge?"

Let me explain something, when those charges were hitting us, we didn't even know who was doing it, as you see in the statement, it doesn't state your name or a type of business charging us until way later (in later charges it says Gateway, but not first ones), the only thing our bank was able to tell us, is that those charges were being processed by Wellsfargo, i called Wellsfargo trying to see who's processing those transactions and they wouldn't give me that information, it didn't cross our mind that it would be you because the deal was that we wouldn't be billed till September and that it was going to be $15 not $30 or any of the other random amounts we got billed for but your company was the only company that had our routing number and bank information at that point, so we called to check with ****, again, for over a month, we didn't hear back from him, at that point we called and asked to talk to anyone, the rude man we got on the phone did confirm that it was you making those transactions and he's the one who said they were set up fees when we told him we weren't supposed to be billed for another month and that it was going to be $15 not $30 including statement fee and we weren't told about any set up charges, like i said he was very rude and just wanted to get off the phone, said he'll have **** call us and explain and of course, no one did call or explain. We even tried reaching out to **** the same day i filed this complain, before filing it, he said he can't do anything about the charges and that we are welcome to file a complain with the BBB.

"
**** had originally quoted $15 in monthly fees, plus additional processing fees
for months with processing volume, however on 7/26 ***** ****** emailed him
asking if he could match or beat rates from Ipayment, see attached.  The
Ipayment agreement included a $5 service fee, $25 monthly minimum, a $9.95
gateway fee, a $99.95 annual fee amongst other fees, like $3.50 per call help
desk & customer service fee.

**** matched the quote on processing fees, monthly service fee, and monthly
min.  He beat Ipayments quote by not charging an annual fee, lowing the
monthly gateway fee, and not charging $3.50 for each time the merchant called
for support.

To be fair you’re going to see the $25 monthly minimum is a large number than
the original $15 monthly fee, however with a monthly minimum your processing
fees are applied to that number first.  For example with this setup after
processing about $1250 in volume in a month the monthly minimum would covered
by processing fees and the only monthly fee remaining would of been the $5.00.


Refund Request:  Can
you please provide details on how you came up with $83.76 for the Disputed
Amount?  Im showing we have only charged
your account $60 ever, and $30 of that we have already agreed to refund.


Thanks
***"

You got most of the above right except for the monthly fees, your monthly fees are originally $25, **** agreed to match ipyaments and make it $15,(i have their contract and it is $15 not $25) and have your original prices and it says $25, now to be fair, after this whole mess went down we looked at the contract and it did say $25 and we did sign on that, but that wasn't the deal and it wasn't communicated to us, we signed without reading all the fees because we went over it with **** multiple times and he said $15 a month including statment fee every time, even the day we received the contract to sign it, we called him and said sorry, we know we are sounding like a broken record by now, but let's go over the fees again, he again said $15 a month including statement fee, so yes, our bad for not double checking what's written, we trusted his word and signed and shouldn't have, lesson learned.
 
Sincerely,
**** *******

Business Response: Thanks for the information.

I don’t doubt that you discussed $15 per month with ****, and if that’s the setup you believed you were being setup with I will certainly honor tha tpricing.  I think there has been some confusion somewhere as **** sent me the Ipayment quote that he said was provided by your company, and it clearly states a $25 monthly minimum and a $5 statement fee.

I guess I’m just a little unclear as to what you are looking for here.

The dispute amount shown by the BBB system is $83.76, however I show we have only ever charged you $90, July & August Fees plus an additional $30 from a duplicated July Fee(charged at the start of August) which was refunded the next day.  So that comes down to $60 that I show has ever come out of your account from us.

So I’m just not sure where $83.76 is coming from.  If your disputing the difference in the monthly fees then wouldn’t we be talking about $30?



BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

11/12/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Without a statement or my authorization they removed from my business account an early close out fee.

Business Response: The Merchant signed a 3 year processing agreement on Oct 4th 2013 with a $250 early termination fee (ETF).  The terms of the ETF can be found on the third page of the attached document in under the Rate Schedule.

Once the merchant account is established the merchant is only bound to the 3 year commitment once they begin processing transactions.  **** ****** ***** processed for a few days around 10/18, which fully committed them to the agreement that they made.

The merchant's account was closed on October 21st 2013.  Their processing statement for the October billing cycle was $250 for the ETF, and $3.34 for the processing that they did that month.  Per their contract they are also to be charged an $8 monthly fee, however it was waived for the month of October as they opted to cancel before completing a calender month.

As the $3.34, these were fees generated from the merchants own processing and so we see no reason to refund that amount.

It my understanding that the merchant stop processing with us to use another processor by the name of Flag Ship.  Our contract terms and ETFs are in place to protect us against the costs caused by merchant bouncing from processor to processor and while we somethings are willing to make exceptions, we don't feel that this is one of those times.  We have provided an operational merchant account, easily with in the parameters of our agreement with the merchant.

If you feel like you are receiving better rates from the other processor I would be more than willing to review that agreement and match it.  We certainly don't want you to feel like you are stuck with a bad deal, and are more than willing to work with you.

At this time we would be will to refund the $250 if the merchant is willing to complete their contractual agreement.  We would even be willing to shorten the contract length to 12 months.  After the first 12 months the contract would automatically convert to a month to month agreement, where you would be allowed to cancel at any time without penalty.

Thanks
***

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/28/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
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8/30/2011 Billing/Collection Issues
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