Total Merchant Services

Total Merchant Services
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good


Review Summary:

We recommend that merchants make sure they perform their due diligence and avoid being memorized by "low rates" or a "free" terminal. Overall cost on all payments you process is the key item to look for, especially if working with a processor that may use a contract.

Total Merchant Services

Review Summary:

We recommend that merchants make sure they perform their due diligence and avoid being memorized by "low rates" or a "free" terminal. Overall cost on all payments you process is the key item to look for, especially if working with a processor that may use a contract.

View our Top Ranked Processor

Total Merchant Services was founded in 1996 and is headquartered out of Basalt, Colorado. They are a registered ISO/MSP for HSBC Bank, National Association, Buffalo, New York. They offer credit and debit card processing solutions as well as cash advances, check processing, and gift cards. Their credit and debit card processing solutions include retail, mobile processing equipment, and e-commerce. According to their website, they have over 100,000 merchants processing with them and add an additional 4,000 each month.

Total Merchant Services is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating with them. Over the past three years, they have had 99 complaints filed against them, with 20 closed within the past twelve months. Eight of the customers whom filed complaints felt that the response they received was unsatisfactory. The majority of the complaints filed cited advertising/sales issues as well as problems with product/service. Billing/collection issues was a close third with 38 complaints.

Whenever a business has a high number of complaints filed under advertising/sales issues it raises concern if their sales representatives are using deceptive sales techniques to gain accounts. Eight complaints have been filed this year and Total Merchant Services does not allow anyone to read the complaint details filed against them. Given the large number of merchants who are processing with Total Merchant Services, 99 complaints is a relatively low number.

Before You Sign A Contract!

We recommend that all merchants speak with at least 2 processors before signing their contract. Why?…

First – You should feel comfortable with the sales representative, if you’re feeling pressure on the call or feel as though you are not a focus, it’s unlikely your experience will improve after signing your contract!

Second – Be wary of introductory rates (specifically qualified rates) in the initial pitch – each business is unique and the rates/fees that will actually save your business the most, are only available once the sales representative has learned about your business.

We currently have Cayan listed as our top ranked merchant service provider. However if they do not fit your needs, you can look through our full list of processors and find the one that is right for your business here.

Total Merchant Services advertises “lowest rates and fees ever” which is a pretty dangerous claim to make. They cite the Durbin Amendment which lowered debit card transaction fees across the board, and most merchant service providers by now have lowered their debit card rate respectively. However, lowering the debit card transaction rate does not mean “lowest rates and fees ever” which is what Total Merchant Services is making it seem like.

They also advertise “free equipment” on their website, which can also be misleading. A free credit card machine will almost always mean a monthly lease fee ranging from $10-$30 or more. Most credit card machines cost less than $300 so even if a merchant service provider gives you a machine for free upfront, a business would be overpaying for that machine within the year. Furthermore, if a business ever decides to cancel their contract, the machine would have to be returned.

Total Merchant Services does not advertise their rates and fees on their website so it is advised to call in to get their schedule of rates and fees. As always, it depends on the business and how you plan on accepting cards. There are reports however that they have a three year contract with an early termination fee ranging from $100-$300.

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SMB Reviews
SMB Reviews 498 posts

SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

Editor review

Costs
3.25/5
Sales
3.45/5
Customer Service
3.85/5
Ratings
3.42/5

3.49

Average
3.49
Summary

We recommend that merchants make sure they perform their due diligence and avoid being memorized by "low rates" or a "free" terminal. Overall cost on all payments you process is the key item to look for, especially if working with a processor that may use a contract.

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