If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, you know that I’m a stickler on being totally transparent when it comes to credit card processing services. I always want to take my merchants, and potential merchants, alongside and give them a thorough education on how the business works. Obviously, since it is an area of their business that typically costs them lots of money, I want to make certain that they fully understand what they are paying for.
Over the many years that I’ve been a merchant services rep, I’ve come across numerous ways that merchants have been misled or outright lied to about their services. On more occasions than I’d like to admit, I have had merchants had me sealed envelopes containing their monthly processing statement. They tell me things like “I’ve given up trying to understand this thing” or, “it all seems like a bunch of smoke and mirrors” or, “it seems like this thing is designed to be confusing”. Look, as the title of this article says….”Question Everything“. You absolutely must look at and fully understand your monthly statement…if there are fees or charges that you don’t understand….ASK!!!
In some instances, we see that there are also charges that don’t actually appear on the processing statement. One example of this would be equipment leasing fees. Again, if you’ve read any of my articles before, you know that I am not a fan (that’s putting it mildly) of leasing. This is simply a money grab by reps that makes them lots of money and is not a benefit to the merchant. Remember, however, if indeed, you are involved in a leasing agreement, they are iron-clad. If it’s a three or four year lease…you’re stuck paying those ridiculous fees monthly until the end of the lease agreement. And, just so you know, it’s up to you to know when it expires and you need to contact the leasing company to stop the draining of your checking account. That’s right, if you don’t notify them, they’ll just continue taking monthly installments…..forever!!!! So, simply put…beware and, again, QUESTION EVERYTHING!
Last week I wrote a new merchant up for processing services and they continued to make comments like…”nobody ever told me this stuff before”, and, “you have been so helpful in this entire process”. I don’t just write them and leave them…it’s a relationship that I desire, not just a sale. Anyway, after we got them up and running and downloaded their existing terminal, they gave me a call a couple days later. It seems that when they cancelled their agreement with their prior processor, they were informed that the terminal they had was being rented….OUCH!!! That’s right, they had been with the previous guys for 12 years and over that time, they had received a few different upgrades on their terminal but, they had been paying $41.78 per month for that entire time….that’s over $6000. Initially, this wasn’t anything that was made apparent while I was quoting for them because this wasn’t a charge that was showing up on their processing statement….it was showing up on their bank statement and it was never questioned.
So, once again, be diligent and QUESTION EVERYTHING!!! It’s your money so you want to fully understand everything you’re paying for. Thanks for reading and I hope you will find value here.