Beware the Wells Fargo Merchant Account

May 13th, 2009 by Chris

I’ve twice had a Wells Fargo merchant account. I should say the old adage holds true, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame of me. But I allowed myself to be fooled. Never again, nor should anyone else be fooled. Let me state clearly and firmly, avoid Wells Fargo merchant accounts, merchant services, etc. They have extremely shady business practices.

I first got a Wells Fargo merchant account with one business and after one year they jacked up the rate so I switched. Later when I was opening another business I got another account from them. I mentioned my previous experience and the guy said they would not jack up the rate or if they did I could cancel.

Wells Fargo you see operates with the classic bait and switch sales scam.

In truth my rate was jacked up, so I called the same guy who helped me last time Wells Fargo jacked up my rate increase, and together we set up a new account.

These were not small rate increases, these were large rate increases. Two totalling 0.8%. Which is huge. On $10,000 of volume in a month that’ll cost you $80, if you process more it’ll increase. It was going to cost me more. I was looking at an increase of a monthly fee of over $200 a month. What if your phone company could jack up your wireless rate in mid contract?

Wells Fargo claims that this increase was passed down from Visa & Mastercard. I don’t buy it. Why don’t I buy it? Because I have two merchant accounts, and my other one did get a rate increase as well at the same time. How much was my rate increase with the other account? 0.05%. Big difference.

So now, I call Wells Fargo to cancel, because why not? I’ve got another account already set up. They tell me I signed a three year contract and there is a $500 cancellation fee. I read the contract I have, the maximum cancellation fee is $200, and it was only if cancelled in less than 2 years, not 3. Are they rewriting contracts now? In addition to of course having their sales rep mislead me to originally get me to sign up?

Unfortunately I feel kinda stuck. Terms within the agreement limit my legal options, and terms within the agreement indicate that if I merely ceased using them it’d constitute termination. I don’t see how they feel they can change some terms without changing other terms. My only hope is pressure, if this post gets ranked high on Google they may cancel my account for me just to shut me up (and if you folks wanna link to this post to help, it’d be awesome). I’ll also be pursuing options with my state attorney general, and with the BBB.

In the meantime, let me recommend Mike Montefusco. mmontefusco AT banccard DOT com. He is the one who has twice helped me out after Wells Fargo jacked up my rate, and the merchant accounts he has gotten me have always had competitive rates and have never had their own rates jacked up by as much as .4% at one time like Wells Fargo. If you need a merchant account, contact him.

98 Responses to “Beware the Wells Fargo Merchant Account”

  1. Devon  Says:

    The BBB won’t help you too much, but if it can help discourage others from using that service, it doesn’t hurt to provide a low rating and talk to the local BBB rep and inform him/her about your experience.

  2. Chris  Says:

    Despite the fact that I sell swords, I do think the pen is mightier. Someone from Well’s executive office closed my account and waived the cancellation fee. One of my complaints worked, yay me. The new merchant account will save me $100-$200 a month, and as the business owner, that goes directly to my pocket, thats almost a car payment.

  3. Chris  Says:

    My second complaint on another issue with their bank just worked as well.

  4. Fred Thornbury  Says:

    well i was just about to open an account at wells fargo but not now

    thx for the heads up

    and congrats on the Google listing it was 2nd just after wellsfargo link ;)

  5. Dan Pueppke  Says:

    Does anyone else see the humor in the Wells Fargo Adsense ad at the bottom of the page? ;)

  6. bfa  Says:

    thanks for the heads up. I bank with Wells Fargo, so thought they would be a good bet, but after reading your post I won’t apply with them.
    BTW: ALL credit card merchant providers use deceptive, misleading sales people.
    I’ve learned the hard way that I need to read the entire contract.

    I had Nova, which switched to Elavon, through costco, who was the lowest of the lowest for fees and rates. but then they changed how they billed debit cards. which considerably increased debit transaction fees.
    Then they sent me a notice I needed to upgrade my terminal, saying they found one for me for only $300.

    So, I looked around and picked NAB(North american bancard)
    and the salesman said NOTHING about a 3 year contract (I read but missed that in the contract.) He told me verbally that it was a month to month contract, and that he would beat the total fees I’m paying or pay me $500.

    well Now,
    They tell me there is a 45 day free cancel period, but I didn’t get the first full month billing until the 47th day (from the time I APPLIED for the service, not when I started it.)

    Being persistent I was able to find a customer service supervisor who finally offered to extend the free cancelation period to 60 days.
    They also offered to match any other merchant services fees and rates if I FAXed the contract to them.

    BEWARE: the merchant service sales people are ALL deceptive and misleading.

    so no matter what they say: READ THE CONTRACT.
    I didn’t read it well enough.

  7. Ben  Says:

    I am a new business owner and I went with Wells Fargo Merchant. (BIG MISTAKE) There are fees that I am getting charged that I was not aware of. I tried to cancle my account but they also told me that I was in a three year contract and that I would have to pay $500 to get out. I feel like I’m stuck. It’s hard enough trying to start a business without a lot of money and I don’t need someone taking even more money when it’s not comming in. Wish I would have found this post earlier

  8. Jeff  Says:

    I’ve had problems with Nova (Elavon) and their PCI compliance fees. They claim I agreed to these fees in the application (it’s not there) and terms of service (TOS), which I never got. I need to find the version in place in the beginning of 2008 to prove I didn’t agree to this. bfa, do you have yours around still? Can you send it to me? jeff@cdalawyer.com

  9. Merchant Accounts  Says:

    Hi, i like your blog, it’s so cool.
    And want to have a link trading with you, look forward to your reply.
    Thank you

  10. anonymous  Says:

    wells fargo did the same to us. we were going to close the account because we were merging with a different business only to find out we were trapped in a 3 year contract. this was not disclosed to us when we signed up. After reviewing the contract, in really small print on the confirmation page it says ‘by signing you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the 42 page packet provided to you’ (this is general statement, not an exact quote). So we go look back in the packet, and literally, on like page 27, section 34.b, in 5 pt font – there are about 2 sentences about the long term contract. Seems shady they would bury this information instead of providing it on the main confirmation/summary page that you sign (this page captures all the other things…rates, purchase of the machine, authorized people on acct, etc. – everything except the length of the contract and cancellation fees).

  11. anonymous  Says:

    We have recently heard of Elavon Merchant Services. If you are a costco member, there are some great perks to being with them. They offer a free machine and very competitve rates. You can get ahold of them at chris.barton@elavon.com

  12. Sarge  Says:

    I am an insider, worked at a large bank merchant card services as a senior officer for 7 years.

    Some good posts here —

    Except the last post: Elavon is US Bank, another set of three card monte players in merchant services. Chris Barton or whoever you are, don’t come on this board and try to pimp your own services in the name of education. How about trying to develop some innovative products that have real value instead?

    If you folks want to check a couple of good ISO merchant card suppliers, google merchant account and review a couple that are coming up high in the organic rankings. They are there for a reason. (Elevaon and Wells are nowhere to be found)…

  13. JEANETTE MENDISZABEL  Says:

    Good point Sarge. I would also study the type of platforms that would benefit my business and negotiate from there opposed to accepting whatever my agent directs me to.Google articles involving the “how to’s” ( for merchant services) and description of platforms in order to save money. Also, be familiar with the interchange rates in use now to negotiate from a point authority.

  14. Mike  Says:

    If unhappy with Wells Fargo, bring your account to First National Merchant Services in Omaha, NE. aka. FNMS.

  15. Kristen  Says:

    Its so silly to blame other people because YOU did not read the contract. And yes, Visa and Mastercard run the business, and they determine the fluctuation in rates. Every April and October. Google it. And yes, costco is the way to go if you are going to process. If you go straight through the processor, then you get standard fees. If you go through a third party service, then you get tacked on extra fees. If you go through Costco, you actually get competitive rates. 1.64 to be exact. I would never process with anyone besides them.
    The truth is, when you get a “free” terminal and rates that are lower than what visa and mastercard themselves, then you are being screwed. They will always get you with other fees. No processor gets for free terminals. Verifone and Hypercom never say “Here are a bunch of terminals to give away!” Processors pay for them, and they wouldnt give the terminals away unless they could recoop the money. But heres the thing. Even after the terminal is paid for, they will still keep charging you, and you will still see this as your regular fees. Why not just pay $400 up front for your terminal instead of paying extra fees like $20 minimum bill fees for the duration of your contract. Do the math. Its better to just pay for a terminal than to be in the dark about these outrageous standard fees that come with a free terminal.

    Thats what I like about Costco. Besides, the customer service is great. Not once have I spoken with anyone who does not try to relate to my situation. Before I knock any processing company, I would call them up and speak to them and find out the truth. Ask them straight up, “is there a cancellation fee?”, “If so, how much?”, “What if I need support after hours, can I contact someone to help me?”. If they say no, then ask for a contract. If it contradicts what they have said, then knock that company off the list. If they are dishonest about that, then they will be no good to do business with.

    And most importantly, READ THE CONTRACT!

  16. Al  Says:

    I hear that an applicant’s credit rating has a lot to do with the rates that you receive. I’m starting an MLM where most of the transactions will be conducted over the internet. Can anyone direct me to someone who doesn’t require an A-1 credit rating?

    I already have a Point of Sale Merchant Account with Wells Fargo, but haven’t used it that much recently and have kept it active by paying fees. I did notice that they jacked up my minimum monthly fees recently by $5.00. Nevertheless, I’m wondering if I should go to them since I already have the POS account.

  17. Jessica  Says:

    This has been a nightmare and if anyone who has had a similar experience with these people is at all is interested in contacting me so we can figure out a way to take legal action against them… PLEASE DO!!!… vonbonbon.jewelry@gmail.com. Here’s my story…

    I am posting here because I have recently had a very similar experience with them… Mine was with a company owned by Wells Fargo called _erchant One. (Evidentally, my “contract” says I can’t use their name anywhere for any reason, so I will let you infer what the first letter is.) And I will hereby refer to them as M1. I started up a very small business and needed a credit card processor to handle my credit card transactions when I sold merchandise at events. M1 had the best rates and the customer service people seemed really helpful and nice.

    I asked very specific questions of the agent I talked to, including, “Can I cancel this service at any time or is there a minimum monthly commitment?” To which her reply was, “Oh no, there’s no contracts or minimum commitments, you can cancel at any time! No charges or fees for doing so!” I also asked, “Have you explained all of the fees you will ever charge to my account? Will I ever be charged anything in addition to what you’ve just gone over with me?” And again, she lied, “Nope! No more fees, just the basic fees I’ve talked to you about.”

    I said, “Wow, sounds great! Sign me up!” She said all I had to do was sign the “application” that she was emailing to me, and email it back to her along with my business account and bank verification forms. So I did. She specifically called this an “application,” not a contract. “Just a formality,” she said. She was even kind enough to fill everything in from her end before sending it to me so that I didn’t have to go to all of the trouble of reading it over. I did look it over, and in a couple of areas where I thought it was saying there would be extra fees, I asked her to explain it to me. She said no to worry, those fees were for store-front merchants and didn’t apply to me.

    About 2 months later, M1 withdrew $150 from my business account without notifying me or receiving my authorization. Unfortunately, they also tried to withdraw their regular monthly fees at the same time, and I didn’t have sufficient funds in the account. They then proceeded to add another $25 or $30 to my bill because my account was overdrawn. I didn’t even realize any of this was going on until I received notices from my bank telling me the account was overdrawn. My bank charged me 2 seperate $25 overdraft fees in addition to what M1 had just charged me.

    So… My monthly fees from M1, which should have only been $18, turned into about $225. Luckily when I notified my bank, they refunded my overdraft fees, and when I disputed the charge, my bank found in my favor and also refunded the $150 that M1 took out without my knowledge or authorization. The problem is, now M1 is sending me to collections for the $150 that they say they were never paid.

    I contacted M1 to find out what was going on with my account. They told me the $150 was for a PCI compliance fee and they told me where to look in my “application” to see where I had agreed to paying it by signing the “application.” I explained that there had been a mistake. The M1 representative that I had helped me set up my account had assured me that this section of the “application” didn’t apply to me because I was not a store front operation. Their only response was that they had no way of verifying what she had said to me, so I should refer to my application.

    I told them I wanted to speak with a supervisor. They said one wasn’t available, but that they would have her call me back. No manager ever called. I called them back a few more times, but to no avail. Each time I called, they became more aggressive and it even got to the point that the representatives simply stated that they didn’t have access to my account or my contract, so I’d have to go back to my copy of the contract to answer my own questions.

    I told them to cancel my account, I was done with them. They said no problem. “Wow, that was really easy,” I thought. The guy I spoke with said that he was going to email me a form to sign, stating that I wanted to close my account. All I had to do was sign and send it back. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I checked my email and downloaded the form. The form he sent stated that by terminating my contract, (which I was totally unaware I had even entered into a contractual agreement with them until this point), I would either have to pay $25 per month for the remainder of the contract, or a $295 termination fee.

    I called them back. “What contract?!?” I asked. “Your application was a legally binding contract,” he said. I asked what the duration of the contract was. He told me to refer to my application. I went back through my application, and found a section with fine print that said, “By its signature below, Client acknowledges that it has received the complete Merchant Services Program Guide. Client further acknowledges reading and agreeing to all terms in the Program Guide, which shall be incorporated into Client’s Agreement.” There was a website under this, and if you go to it, there is a copy of the Program Guide.

    The Program Guide is a 36 page document… on the 16th page of this document is a small section which says that upon commencement of this agreement, the agreement will last for 3 years. THREE YEARS. They flat out lied to me and tricked me into signing a 3 year contract. When asked why I was never sent a copy of the Program Guide either by email or regular mail as my contract indicated I would be, they responded that they didn’t know, I should have received it. Well I DIDN’T receive it because they never sent it.

    I called them back and told them I refused to sign anything saying that I would pay them either $295 or $25 per month for the remainder of my “contract.” $25 per month for the remainder of my contract = $1,400 by the way. He told me that if I didn’t send them that piece of paper, then they would not close my account. I immediately went to the bank and closed my business account so that they could not withdraw anymore money. I started receiving letters from them telling me they were going to send me to a collection agency. For all I know, they might still consider my account open and have it accruing monthly fees even though they have no way of receiving payment from me.

    This has been a nightmare and if anyone who has had a similar experience with these people is at all is interested in contacting me so we can figure out a way to take legal action against them… PLEASE DO!!!… vonbonbon.jewelry@gmail.com

  18. Ken  Says:

    Sounds like Wells Fargo is as bad as Elavon (aka Nova). They’ve raised my rate and fees frequently over the years with no advance warning. I don’t know how much they’re taking until I get my statement, and it’s often more than the previous month. They now take nearly 10% of my sales with the high discount rate and high fees.

    They recently hit my account with a bogus charge. (I think it’s one of those “accidently on purpose” type of mistakes.) When I found out I called them and asked for a refund. They readily admitted it was their mistake, which it obviously was, but they won’t refund the money, not yet anyway, more than 3 weeks later. The supervisor I talked to when I first called them said he’d have it corrected within 48 hours. He lied. Now he won’t return my calls or e-mails. I’ve read a lot of horror stories on the web about Elavon since then.

    So Wells Fargo isn’t the only group of crooks in this business.

  19. Kristen  Says:

    Ken, have you ever requested a rate review? Many processors allow you to request a rate review every so often and they will lower your rates. I know that Elavon is a company that does this because they have done it for me before. You might try doing that.

  20. dominee  Says:

    If you want to make it cheaper for your self tell the company that you want to be set up as IC+pricing instead of a fixed pricing. The “Shady” company will auto set as fixed pricing and charge you tons of fees on downgrade fees pending on the type of card that is presented. That way with IC+pricing you pay what the company pays visa and master card plus .15-.25 per transaction

  21. George  Says:

    I am also screwed by Wells Fargo which continiously changes my rates. We are an online business and we are currently at 3.4% from the bank but get hammered by “Interchange fees” which bring that percentage to 6+ % depending on how busy we are. We process about $450000 in sales on a slow year so every percent counts big time. Are those Interchange fees standard?

    What do other feel about Paypal? They seem to have a flat 2.6% plus .10 per transaction and nothing else. Does that sound right or do they have other expenses too?

    I have friend with Elavon and they are also masters of the additional fees. My friend had to pay $50 per month for non PCI compliance when he does not even come close to the level of merchant that needs to be PCI compliant.

    I have been with Wells Fargo for over 14 yera now and I have not see a more greedy, fee hungry, and ruthless bank. What kept me there was my personal banker who from time to time stepped in to eliminate fees but recently only managers are able to waive fees and my branch manager is a moron that I would hate to ask favors from. As I am tired of handing them money I am getty ready to leave them and I have been so long with them that they ain’t going to be charging any cancellation fees…

    Cheers to all fellow merchants…

  22. Chris  Says:

    Paypal used to have a horrible reputation, it is getting better though.

    And they have less fees so you know what you’re getting up front.

    One thing you have to worry about with paypal though is fraud. There are many horror stories about frozen accounts or other things.

    On the flip side, address verification for international customers is something they can do that a typical merchant account usually can’t.

  23. Bab  Says:

    When I signed up to WF Merchant account they promised a free terminal reprog/local WF rep. A month later they hit my account with a $100.00 terminal reprog. fee. They also hit me with a $25.00 minimum fee plus all the other bs fees which bought the total to $40-50 just to have a cc machine. I am a small retail outlet. Now for the past 2 months I have a sign in my shop stating check or cash only. Not a single complaint so far. However, I just got a bill from WF asking for another $127.00 which they did not even explained for what, just a promise that I will be reported to the credit bureau. The worst bank ever.

  24. Red  Says:

    BEWARE OF WELLS FARGO MERCHANT ACCT! THEY HAVE MANY HIDDEN FEES AND YOU CAN’T GO OUT OF YOUR CONTRACT ONCE YOU SIGNED-UP. We’ve been fooled by the agent telling us that the charges were only $35 monthly fee for the machine lease plus transaction fees. We just found out that we still need to pay yearly fee, monthly paper fee for the statement, etc, etc.. REALLY HATE THIS COMPANY! IT’s A RIPPED OFF!!!!!!

  25. Robert  Says:

    I am also currently dealing with the $500 early termination penalty. I was told it was a one year agreement and was under that impression when I went to the branch to cancel the account. I admit I never read the approximately 35,000 word 42 page contract that would have taken about 3 hours, I went by what the branch employee told me. I have cancelled all my accounts at WF after being a customer for 10 years and will never do business with them again. I will also never pay their penalties and fees.

  26. Randall Hebert  Says:

    My wife and I have a small hair salon and process $7,000 – $9,000 a month with Wells Fargo. We have had their merchant service for about 6 years.
    In Feb 2010 the IRS emptied my account for a Tax Lien right at the beginning of the month while I had about $1500 in pended payments—- wells fargo bank pays the IRS instead of my pended items(it was pended over the weekend), refuses to pay the pended items so that they could run all the items thru NSF 3 times. They charged me about $2,000 in NSF over 3 weeks.i HAVE BANKED WITH wELLS fARGO SINCE 1989.
    The merchant service bills me in 4 charges each month so that when they ran it thru 2-3 times, wells fargo bank collected $140 each time and the merchant service charged equal NSF charges. The merchant service THEN,when I had the NSF roller coaster at an idle, the merchant service changed the collection date from March 8 to March 1 when I have a number of items on auto-withdrawal— there was no notice of the collection date change. This set off another round of NSF around $500 this time.

    I will be cancelling my personal,business & merchant service with Wells Fargo this week.
    It sad state of affairs when a business does not value a 20 yr business relationship.
    Randall

  27. Ronnie  Says:

    Most if not all of the merchant services companies are charging the merchants on what is known as “tiered” pricing. I won’t go into bashing the competition here, all I ask is that if you are serious about finding true transparent merchant services please read my blog. From there you can also find links to our website.

  28. rashelle  Says:

    wow i just got a call from Merchant services and they offered me a job. Selling their product they offered me a 9,000.00 sing on bonus and that they would fly me to sunny Calie for training. After reading all of the shady dealings I will be sure not to fall for it. thanks, rashelle

  29. Brian  Says:

    As a few others have pointed out, “interchange plus” or “interchange passthrough” is the way to go. With interchange plus, you know exactly how much you’re paying to the processor. Interchange fees are fees that get paid out to (a) the card issuer’s bank and (b) the Visa/MC card associations. Interchange must be paid no matter who the processor is. With tiered pricing, interchange is paid out of the collected discount fees. With “interchange plus” pricing, the interchange fees are merely passed through to the merchant and the merchant pays the “plus” part which is known ahead of time. In my experience, most merchants can save 0.5% – 1.0% (or more in some especially egregious tiered pricing situations) by switching to interchange plus.

  30. Teri  Says:

    Ok! I’m starting a new retail storefront. You all are scary me! Now I know NOT to call Wells Fargo. SO that said…..who do you recommend? Help!

  31. Rishi  Says:

    We do Internet Retail Business & Wells Fargo guys promised the moon, so switched to using it. After 45 days of using it, they have suddenly withhold $50K (which happens to be 50% of our revenue)for a reason that charge backs would be coming(0.2% of our orders get charge back). They say we doing good business because of Mothers Day is bad & they suspect the sudden surge in orders & just withhold without informing us.
    When i call, all they say is that they cannot do anything about it. Infact, they took away even the balance in our bank account. They have royally screwed our cash flows. I am running around, right now to fix it.
    Please dont go for their service. They are bad for small business.

  32. ktotheb  Says:

    Just wanted to say how frustrating this whole thing is.
    I have had an ECommerce Exchange account for 15 years, swipe acct. no problems, but they do have hidden fees where per swipe charge was not .25 but goes up to .60+, but my money was always deposited on time.
    I needed a web account so I went back to them and was about to sign but Merchant Warehouse pointed the other companies contract terms etc., so I went with Merchant Warehouse WHAT A BIG MISSTAKE. First they didn’t set up the account properly and I was paying fees to authorize.net but never actually had a working Merchant Acct. Then Mercant Warehouse uses FIRST DATA SERVICES as their actual processor, some persons charge did not go thru and then they froze my funding, for 3 weeks, didn’t notice until I saw my checking account being empty (I was busy) – they told me they would clear it up and I would get the money in my acct. in 24-48 hours – nope, a week later, $150 in fees at my bank (because I thought the money was going in), had to chase down people back and forth, eventually calling him a liar – then they wired money into my account. Only a week later to find it was short $200. They still have not “figured” where the money went and why it was deposited.
    Thanks for the heads up on Wells Fargo was just going to do them or PayPal Pro (they have a fixed 2.2% for business regardless of types of credit cards etc. and no contract – wish me luck.

  33. Rick  Says:

    I too am now in a battle with WF. My issue is over an unauthorized charge to my back account for not returning a credit card machine as exchange for a new one. I did return the old machine, and my assigned account rep agreed that it had been returned, and all funds would be returned in 7 to 10 business days. I told him that was not satisfactory as I had checks and debits out that would bounce if the money wasn’t replaced into my account immediately. I then contacted my bank, and removed authorization for the amount WF had charged me. Now WF has turned this over to THEIR collection department, and is withholding payment to me for all credit cards until they get the amount back, PLUS $50 collection fee. All of this with no notification to me at all.

    I contacted my ‘rep’ again by leaving a strong voice mail. He did return my call that day and said he had fixed everything, gotten the $50 fee waived, and I would see the money they owed me no later than this past Monday. WRONG. I now have three debit charges overdrawn, each with around a $36 service fee.

    Thia is the second time WF has yanked me around, both times due to errors on their part. My account rep is Randy Beal (sp), and cannot be trusted. I do get a good rate since we have a corporate contract with them, but it is absolutely not worth the savings when they screw up then charge me for it!

    I highly suggest shopping around for your merchant services, and totally avoid Wells Fargo.

  34. mitch  Says:

    im in credit processing for EVO Platinum Services
    i fight all the time with clients getting ripped off with wells fargo.You need to have interchange rates as they have talked about.We charge you what Visa Mc charge at their site and no markup.Then we show you how much profit we will charge to service your acct no hidden fees.go to our website to learn more.Our software reads every card stripe and charges the right rate for that card nothing more.www.evohouston.com

  35. Kathy  Says:

    I despise WF Merchant Services! I have banked with WF for 5 years for my business and been gloriiously happy. So I recently switched my merchant account over to them as they promised all this stellar service. An important client’s card did not go through due to size of transaction. It’s customary that I break it up in small increments over several days so that her assistant doesn’t have to take time on the phone with their bank. Been doing it like this for years and with my old processing company, it was Never, ever a problem/issue. WF calls today to inform that they did NOT fund ANY of the transactions since last week…and I’ve written a lot of checks AGAINST this money which showed to be funded into my account in daily print outs and online. Client’s bank did not have a problem with us doing it this way (they are not with WF). However, my bank treated their client, ME, like I was a total criminal. Guy was such a JERK on the phone and downright accusatory as if I was creating fraudulant credit card processing over the series of 5 days. I explained the situation and the demeanour of Courtney Robinson was still rude and accussatory. I asked why he was not treating me, his client, like someone he should be helping sort out the situation instead of making me go on the defense. I’m stuck as I’d have a huge termination fee since I just signed up. Sick about it. Please stay away from WF Merchant Services! Worst thing you can do for your business!

  36. Sophia chang  Says:

    I know how expensive WellsFargo and other main bank Merchang rates are. Try our company rate, I can guarantee 15-60% off yoru existing rates. We have no contract forever, if we change our rates you can cancel anythime other than the rate for Visa, MC, Discover, they change very little every April and October.

    We have interchange rate and all the terminals and pin pad are free as long as you keep the service and we only charge $250 for a terminal if you loose them or something. I have clients saving $800 per month with our service.

  37. Hal  Says:

    Stay away Wellsfargo is total ripoff its been a year and they still haven’t given us the contract nor was I ever informed it was a 36 month lease.

  38. Siva  Says:

    Look at section 23.3, Events of Default, in the online program guide (http://www.wellsfargo.com/downloads/pdf/biz/merchant/program_guide.pdf).

    You may be eligible to terminate the contract based upon WF’s mutual breach of the agreement, or upon a section 18.3 fee increase, in which case you have 20 days to terminate.

  39. Siva  Says:

    I meant “material breach” of the agreement, not “mutual breach”.

  40. Alisha  Says:

    Yep. Same story as so many here. My business partner and I were absolutely duped into signing a contract that the agent told me said one thing and was actually another. I was told it was a one-year contract. It was 3. I was not told about the $500 cancellation fee. It’s there, on page 37 in 9pt font. A) Read contracts- salespeople LIE. Especially at this establishment, apparently. B) Don’t bank with these people in general. I’m not impressed with anything I’ve seen.

  41. Thomas Pulcini  Says:

    Wells Fargo merchant services is a total complete rip off and they steal your money!!!! I signed up for a merchant account with them in April 2010 and in 1 month I processed about $30,000.00 and I had 1 charge back for $349.00. I got an LOA from the customer but Wells Fargo didn’t care. They STOLE $20,000.00 from my Wells Fargo bank account and put it into a reserve and then wanted to take 50% of everything I processed and put it toward a $70,000.00 reserve. I told them NO and I closed the account. So at the time I closed the account I talked to Alex in their RISK department and he told me that if I don’t have or have minimal charge backs after 90 days they will start releasing the funds from my reserve. Well it’s been over 8 months and I haven’t received 1 penny of MY $20,000.00 that they stole from me. Every time I call THEY never answer the phone and when I leave a message THEY never return my calls even though the message on their extension says they will return the call by end of business day. In my contract it states they can keep the money for 11 months unless their is excessive charge backs. I’m curious to see what excuse they give me at the 11 month mark because I’ve had NO charge backs. RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN away as fast as you can from Wells Fargo!!!!

  42. Fred  Says:

    I am laughing because there are so many MADE UP STORIES on this blog it’s hilarious. Thomas is completely full of it! Wells doesn’t have any policy that holds $70,000 in reserve because of a $349 charge back and if they stole $20,000 of your money I feel certain you’d have a lawyer and would have already sued them. Since there is NO suit on record with your name or for this reason, I call BS on your entire story.

    Same goes for Alisha! Wells Merchant contracts are 17 pages long! There is NOT a page 37…I call BS on you too! And your complaint that a salesmen told you it was a one year contract when in fact it was a three year contract falls SQUARELY on you. You signed a contract you didn’t read and now you’re upset at someone else. BS!

    Frankly I call BS on 99% of what’s written in this blog!

    As with ALL CONTRACTS you people are blaming the company for your lack of reading a contract you were signing! This is 100% on all of you who signed contracts and claim to have relied on the word of a salesperson for running your business; again, I call BS! It is YOUR business or you are authorized to sign on behalf of a business and it is YOUR responsibility to READ THE CONTRACT! If you don’t like it or understand it…DON’T SIGN IT! However, to blame the company for upholding a written and signed contract is YOUR fault…and NOT theirs!

  43. mike  Says:

    fred,, you are correct,,the contract isnt a 37 page contract. its more like 52 pages. it looks like you werent the one to be paying attention.
    i am currently looking at switching to wells fargo, but i am very leary. the bank manager is kind of a friend of mine, and i trust him,, but the salesman for the processing seems a little squirrely. i am being told that i will have a flat rate for mastercard and visa, with no interchange fees (midqual or nonqual)and the rate is under 2%, but the contract says otherwise. these guys have sworn up and down that i will not be charged any downgrades (i have asked them many times in or 2 weeks of negotiation). i have been through many processors in my 8 years of business and each one of them has raked me over the coals. yes, they will out and out lie to you. the funny thing is,, i am happy with my current processor (on a side note, for people who are looking for a processor, i would checking with the tavern league in whatever state you are in to see who they endorse. at least there is someone you can go to and complain and that processor has some accountability to make things right (or lose their endorsement).
    you may ask why i would want to change if i am happy with my processor?? wells fargo said they could shave $200 from my monthly fees of about $800. im probably gonna hate myself, but im leaning towards wells fargo. stay tuned, i might be back here in a month with sad (or happy) story.

    ps, if your processor is ripping you off,,, be happy to pay the $300 or $500 penalty. they will cost you alot more than that in the long run.

  44. mike  Says:

    fred, im sorry, i was mistaken. the contract comes in 2 parts. there is the 16 page contract and a 50 page “program guide” which explains the 16 page contract. ummm, yeah,,, that makes 66 pages. ( i hope you read all of yours, lol)

  45. Mike L  Says:

    I googled and found this blog because I am in a dispute with WFB Merchant Services over their refusal to fund a $17K cc transaction. They have taken the funds from my customer, but because the transaction is larger than my normal transaction they have held on to my money. It has been five days now and, frighteningly, the fact that we are fighting this seems to have caused WF to hold every other transaction as well. We have processed another $6K since this was discovered and none of it has funded. This seems illegal? Is anyone pursuing legal recourse against this tyrant?

  46. Mike L  Says:

    Well… I just got favorable resolution of my issue. It took some frustration dealing but reasonable accomodations were reached and the end result was positive.

  47. Joe  Says:

    Wells Fargo is a complete rip off. Now they are charging $25 monthly fees from Trustwave… something that was never in the contract. I try to comntact them to figure out how to fix it and they never get back to you or are totally unhelpful.

  48. Vivian  Says:

    Sure wished I would’ve googled this before. I feel so ripped off, I trusted the company for it’s name. Yes, I should’ve read the contract. Not only is there a $500 cancellation fee, but I would have to pay $2,240 to the leasing company even if I return the equipment, plus sales tax paid on it, plus fees over fees, plus fees fees fees fees. Ever wished you could return time? RUN AWAY FROM WELLS FARGO MERCHANT SERVICES. TOTAL RIP OFF. Here is the fate of small businesses trying to make this economy better. WELLS FARGO IS A RIP OFF WELLS FARGO IS A RIP OFF WELLS FARGO IS A RIP OFF

  49. Don Webster  Says:

    When I signed up for this Merchant Card Service at Wells Fargo in June 2010 I was as assured by the Wells Fargo Rep at the time that I could cancel at any time with no cancellation fee. They now inform me that I signed a 3 year contract and that I can only cancel by paying a $500.00 cancellation fee. Otherwise I will continue to be billed the minimum of $25.00 plus a number of other charges monthly whether I use the service or not. When I signed up the Wells Fargo rep had me sign a number of lengthy small print forms. I had trusted his verbal assurances so if the 3 year termination penalty was included I was not aware of it. Otherwise I would never have signed it.The bank did not give me a copy of any document with this provision. I still hope to be able to arrange a settlemnent with Wells Fargo but I will never recommend them to anyone else since they obviously misled me in our verbal discussions.

  50. Chris B  Says:

    First off, ALL processors aren’t bad. There are shady people in all industries. However, in order to protect yourself and steer clear of the dirty agents, ask your potential merchant services providers the following:

    –To provide IN WRITING the promises they make. For example, if they tell you there is not a cancellation fee or there are no other monthly fees, ask for it in writing signed by them or a supervisor
    –Make sure you find out what rates you will pay for various “downgraded” card categories (also referred to mid or non-qualified). You may pay 1.80% for a Visa credit card, but if it is a rewards card your rates could double or more. Keep in mind that in this case a Visa rewards card is more expensive, but only by about 0.11%
    –Yes, it is correct that interchange rates MAY change every April & October. However, major rate increases are infrequent and usually VERY small. This is public info, so you can always research to see how much YOUR rates increased vs interchange. FYI: Interchange rates are cost/wholesale for the industry, so everyone has to charge these.

    Shameless plug from the “good guys”: http://www.transactionsforcharity.org

  51. Tom B  Says:

    I had not used the merchant account but once in 2 years. This account was a conversion from a previous account & no contract was ever signed or given to me. 14 months after the transaction, Wells Fargo started hitting an inactive bank account (Fifth Third Bank)for $25 that I was closing the next week. I received an OD notice from 53 bank. I called & Fifth Third would not help. The next month I got hit again & I went in person to 53. They finally told me it was Wells Fargo. I contacted Wells Fargo & was told about the cancellation fee. I asked that a copy of the contract be sent to me. Never got the contract so I called again. I was told it was a “virtual” contract. The next month I got hit again but 53 bank charged me another $37 for refusing the transaction. I called Wells Fargo again & was told the “contract” would be cancelled & I would receive no more charges and my fees would be refunded. Fifth Third bank would not close my checking account until I paid off a $650 note with them. Yesterday, I received another $37 charge from 53 because Wells Fargo hit the account for $.20. Yes $.20. opened another envelope & it was from Wells fargo Merchant Services wth collection demand for $175.20.

  52. Jason M  Says:

    Wells Fargo has committed most of the crimes stated in the thread to me as well. I am a business owner still in shock and shaking while typing this. My Business checking account is frozen without notice and all checks out will not be honored even if could be covered. It’s going to take 15 days for WELLS FARGO to release the account funds and issue a final check of the avial. funds. And then account will be closed. In the mean time,all credit card transactions that were being processed at my business for the last 7 days and for the next 8 days will be lost.(That’s approx $4,000 Thousand) HuH? What?Is that possible??Legal?Not sure,so i will not be using my credit card machine any longer. This all because Wells fargo decided i had too many nsf fees.I had a very trying last few months but have since dug my way out and paid the fees associated, but,WELLS FARGO is fraudulent and has let me down in so many ways they will never understand. Its truly amazing how out of touch they really are. Having this relationship with WF was a BIG MISTAKE. And I will tell anyone who will listen for the rest of my life,how i was STRONG ARMED at WELLS FARGO,THIS is AN OUTRAGE! WELLS FARGO ROBBED ME!!! And it may have cost me my business. I’ll know in the coming months. Until then WELLS FARGO,SEE YOU IN COURT,FILTHY CROOKS, many will read this and look elsewhere for their banking needs and that makes me feel a little better :)

  53. Bruce Winkler  Says:

    I am finally firing Wells Fargo today as my CC processor. There hidden fees deceptive practices and lack of customer service are the key issues to start with. However, when they forze my account because my transactions were starting to climb – without even a phone call, letter or email was the begining of the end. They made me prove that all the trasnactions were real. I had to send all invoices and contact info. This is after 6 years as a client with not one fraudalant claim to date. On top of that – they gave me the run around for a week. First sending me to customer service, then sending me to collections, then finally sending me to Security office – where noone would answer the phone. They only had an answering machine. I had to yell at customer service to finally get someone on the phone who knew anything. When you add up the page and a half of hidden fees and fees on top of fees, Wells Fargo Merchant services is taking me for OVER 6% of every transaction. I asked for a fee review based on other quotes – They said no and in fact sent me a leeter letting me know the rates were increasing to cover thier increased cost of doing business. I could list another half dozen interactions with Wells Fargo clearly demonstrating deceptive business practices and a serious lack of employee training to do thier jobs properly. Overall lack of customer service, integrity and transparency that a business needs in a service provider.

  54. heliosan  Says:

    I work for a processing company, and I know how some sales people use their ability to convince people to have them sigh the agreement without reading it or without asking too many questions, what you need to do is this, don’t let the sales person talk too much, and ask to show you , on the agreement, all the different fees that you are going to be charged, you don’t want to hear the numbers, you want to see the numbers, also ask where in the contract says the length of the agreement, and last, where in the agreement says the amount to be paid if you need to cancel the agreement anytime before the maturity of the agreement, if the sales person has to read the agreement and can not tell you right away where to find what you are asking, then that person is not the right person to do business with

  55. Rick DiMattio  Says:

    I am a merchant service provider. I take exception to ALL msp are deceptive. I have been in this business since 2002 and have not had any of the complaints that you are mentioning from the merchants that I work with. I would be happy to show you how, when merchant services are provided correctly, you will avoid all the issues mentioned in this thread. The real issue is that very few sales on the street have been properly trained or have a vested interest in the business other than the next merchant they can sign to a contract. I am in this for the long haul and am an owner in the ISO. I will fully explain and disclose all fees, contract lengths and penalties for canceling upfront. There should be NO SURPRISES!!!!!!!! If those of you who are unhappy would give me a call I would be happy to discuss your situation.
    Thanks’
    Rick DiMattio
    MLS Direct Network of Idaho
    208-938-5303

  56. Jim  Says:

    I too am wary of the sales rep I’ve spoken with about Wells Fargo Merchant Services. He’s not up front with info like the 3 year contract and certain fees. It’s in the contract, but the contract is extremely vague and hard to follow in places (intentionally, I believe). So, I’m going to go with Dharma Merchant Services, a company I’ve heard good things about, though I can’t vouch for them personally, yet. They’re a little wierd, but they seem like they’re trustworthy, which is worth a lot.

    Two things to point out re: Wells Fargo. First, the contract does state that if they change the service rates on you (Wells Fargo, not Visa/MC interchange rates) you can opt out of the contract. See section 23.3 of the program guide. If you’re feeling stuck, you may be able to use that as an out.

    The other thing I wanted to mention in general is this: If you’re looking for a merch account, be sure to check out companies offering ‘interchange plus’ pricing, or other similar variations. The idea is that they only charge you a certain percent, say .0035%, in addition to the interchange rates charged by Visa/MC. The more common tiered structure is usually a waste of money. Wells fargo does offer this, if you ask, but I don’t trust them, so I’m going to stay away.

    Oh, and READ THE CONTRACT people. It’s boring, but it’s important. If you don’t feel up to it, then hire a lawyer. If you don’t read it carefully, you could be signing your kids away; you just don’t know.

  57. Jimigsun@cox.net  Says:

    I have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I need a job now. I have an interview tomorrow with WF in merchant services but after reading this blog am thinking I would rather be homeless then work for WF. Should I blow them off? Please respond honestly.

  58. Thomas Pulcini  Says:

    IN RESPONSE TO FRED #42: FIRST OFF DON’T EVERY ACCUSE ME OF MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS!!!! Everything I said in Response #41 is completely ACCURATE!!!!! MERCHANT PROCESSORS have every right to close accounts and hold money for reserves to protect themselves…..But all I’m saying is I had processed 30k in 1 month and they kept 20k of it because of 1 charge back…..how is this excessive charge backs? They were more than willing to keep my account open but wanted a 70K reserve and wanted to keep 50% of every funding until it reached 70K. I don’t make 50% profit so this would be stupid for me to do. So I closed the account. They did tell me funds “could” be released after 90 days if no charge backs but EVERY single time I called and left messages NOBODY every returned my call…..I left over 20 messages, literally, no lie! ANYWAYS I finally got a hold of Wells Fargo Risk Dept and they FINALLY released my 20K….BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO DO BUSINESS WITH THEM…RUN RUN RUN RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!!

  59. Debbie Johnson  Says:

    These posts make me so angry at the entire merchant services industry. For those of you who don’t already know this, merchant services is one of the only unregulated industries in banking. Tragic as that is, it is only the very well versed in the merchant services industry who can make heads or tails of what a fair pricing is for accepting credit cards.

    I will openly admit that I represent Heartland Payment Systems, a direct processor of all major card brands (versus an ISO for a processor). But I am not here to convince anyone that they should jump ship from their current processor on come over to Heartland.

    Instead, I would like to offer a couple of websites that I encourage all prospective merchant services clients to take a look at. All are completely educational in their context and no matter who you are using or will decide to use, these sites provide some very useful information in understanding more about how this industry works and the pitfalls you should avoid when doing business with any merchant services provider – ISO or Direct Processor.

    You will also see some of the legislation that is in the works to begin some assemblance of regulation in this very corrupt, scam-filled industry… legislation that Heartland fully supports and is actively advocating.

    http://www.MerchantBillofRights.org
    http://www.heartlandpaymentsystems.com/resources/
    http://www.knowyourcardrates.com/

    I also recommend checking some of the merchant services review sites, as these are third party un-biased reviews that may help you make a better decision as well.

    http://www.merchantmaverick.com/category/reviews/

    If I can help one business owner make a better decision about who they entrust their personal information and bank account to, then I have been successful in doing my job : )

    Thank you for your time,
    Debbie Johnson
    debbie.johnson@e-hps.com

  60. jan hayden  Says:

    I am looking at a proceesing company called EVO Platinum Services, out of Melville, NY. Is anybody familiar with them?

  61. earl rollins  Says:

    Try using clearpay processing they lowered my bill from 410.00 to 300.00 a month and no hidden gimmicks and locked in my rates for 3 years.I am in california.
    My rep was bob dumars 951-254-3458

  62. Chelsea  Says:

    I tried using Wells Fargo merchant services for my business and it was nothing but trouble. I ran three transactions that were larger than my set “maximum” transaction amount. My representative told me that it would not ever be a problem. Well, it was a huge problem.

    All of the money was taken from my account after handing out the equipment, I was still charged processing fees, my account was cancelled, I was placed on a merchant black-list for fraud, and it has taken nearly one month to get any sort of communication back from them. Plus, I was charged a way higher lease fee for the equipment and the managers refuse to discuss it with me (very strange).

    I was never given the chance to provide receipts and proof of the validity of my transactions, though their securities person covered his own butt by notating that he asked me for receipts twice. It was just not true at all.

    I thought that Wells Fargo would have been the best choice for us since their fees are low, they tout about their “killer” customer service, and I have banked with them for the past seven years. I am closing all of my accounts once this issue is resolved, because I do not trust them at all with my business. They only care about their own bottom line. My advice is that you would be better off with a smaller business provider who cares about your business, as well. Plus, be sure to get everything in writing before you believe any of it.

  63. undrgrndgirl  Says:

    @jim #56 thanks for the heads up about dharma…don’t know if i am going to use them, but nice to know there are some good companies out there! :)

  64. Richard Lahr  Says:

    Well I see I am not the only one. Caution to those who cancel there account within 60 days.
    I did this due to the expense for my low volume business, I switched to Paypal. The contract says you can close with no penalty. Well they went and took $500 out of my account as a penalty.
    Trying to get it back is a chore so you best have some time and patience. Point of fact, they had no right to take it out to start with. It’s been a week, I am stillwaiting to see the money back in my account. I give it 3 more days and my wife and I change banks and take out 5 accounts with us !

  65. Michelle Nolan  Says:

    DITTO ON AVOIDING WELLS FARGO!!! Horrible deceptive practices regarding merchant account services. They are receiving over $60 a month for an account I haven’t used in six months and won’t be using again. They and others are behaving themselves right into being regulated by the government. Ridiculous!

  66. Sally  Says:

    Same feelings hereabout WF Mechant account! We were “signed up” over the phone and no mention of a penalty for closing the account early and never received a written contract . Due to lack of business I closed the account and put $500 in the bank account to pay their rip-off fee!
    Was told it takes 24-48 hrs to close the account so made sure the money was there. They didn’t tell me they would wait until my normal time of the month they took the monthly fee out so they could charge that too. Hence they caused me to have a ISF fee from the bank. Before I could get more money into the account when I realised what had happened, they then tried to put it thru again,this time for $550 and yes another ISF fee!!! Then try getting someone to talk to you to resolve the problem. I even called last week and tried to pay them over the phone but was told they couldn’t do that !!!!!
    WF Merchant services are scum, Big business taking advantage of people trying to do the right thing. I have excellent personal credit and refuse to let them drag it thru the mud!
    Oh I was also told they only tried to get payment once and if funds were not available the account went right to collections! They can’t even keep their stories the straight!
    One more thing. I now have a full-time job. Tried over the weekend to talk to someone and every department that could have maybe helped is only open mon-Fri during the times I work and can’t make personal calls! grrr!
    I will also be closing my WF banking account!

  67. Stacia  Says:

    A Wells Fargo Merchant Service representative erroneously set my client (A), up in a wrong merchant service account type for her business a year ago. A has paid setup and maintenance fees for a year and processed two transactions in the same time. We asked to be relieved of the contract because of major inconveniences with Wells Fargo and the multiple third parties required to process transactions and meet security compliance rules. This request was denied under the terms of the contract which we deem unfair, feeling our needs were never understood and products and services were not clearly explained from day one. We have spent countless hours figuring out how it all works, managing the multiple user log-ins and passwords for the four websites we must use. Just last week I spoke with 15 people between Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Merchant Services, and the third party gateway provider, trying to understand and implement an ability to swipe cards while away from the office. I received different information on this capability from each of the 15 people. This has been one of the most frustrating parts of the whole experience – there is no cohesion among the knowledge these folks have about the products and services they provide. Again after speaking with four new people today my client is still left stuck in a contract, with no option to swipe a card using her Wells Fargo Merchant Service account – except to take others recommendations and get out of the contract and GO STRAIGHT OVER TO INTUIT’S MERCHANT SERVICE for QUICKBOOKS.

  68. marland vizard  Says:

    Stay away from wells fargo/ valued merchant services. rep did the usual sales pitch. Can save my business money, lower rates, no contract, cancel at any time. Was told there were no PCI compliance fees. That was the incentive and promise that had me sign the application for acceptance. Fill out an application for approval he says. sign here and I will advise you in a few days if you are approved. takes thirty days due to faulty overpriced CC processor and swiper to start service. Multiple calls regarding failed equipment ignored until 30 day return period expires. End up with no contract and have to pay again for new CC swiper. Call and asked for the contract 4 times after service started. They finaly email me a ” copy ” of the contract completely altered from what was filled out on site at my business, The sales rep Andy McEachron fraudulently stated my sales figures for the business at 600% more than income I reported to him. Also filled in a $300 termination fee for canceling service after leaving my office. Was told this service could be canceled at any time with no penalty. No annual fee was later billed at $60 for an annual fee. $5.00 monthly service fee jacked to $14.95 2 months after starting service. Calls ignored. left messages take 24 hours be responded to. The sales rep has committed fraud and deception. calls to valued Merchant services regarding this deception were answered with it will be 3 to 5 days before anything can be addressed. Very poor service probably bordering on criminal deception

  69. softpretzl  Says:

    ISO’s are not employees of the acquiring bank!! This last post is not even talking about Wells Fargo. Valued Merchant Services are not Wells Fargo employees, do not have Wells Fargo business cards, etc.. Wells Fargo does not “own” these companies…. Hence the term… INDEPENDANT SALES ORGANIZATIONS……

    Love this site though. It’s a combination of various merchant employees advertising their business, and a few disgruntled business customers. By reading this it sounds like.

    a) Wells Fargo is the only merchant company that charges a termination fee.
    b) Wells Fargo is the only company that has unscrupulous idiots posing as salespeople.
    c) Wells Fargo’s service department doesn’t care about their small business customers….

    As a 10 year merchant veteran who has dealt with just about every merchant service company out there (give or take a few dozen ISO’s that come and go) I will say this… Wells Fargo Merchant Services are the patron saints of the business…..

    These comments sound like a day at the beach compared to what I have seen merchant companies do..

    Sorry for the bad experiences. Before you decide to do business with anyone, do your due diligence!! Doesn’t sound like that was the case in some of these instances.. Sales people are just that.. SALES…

  70. Homer  Says:

    Stay away from Wells Fargo Merchant Services, they’ll wring out as money as they can. They have sales agents urging people to open accounts and to use their card reading machines. I haven’t even started using their machine, it’s still locked up in the box it came with, they have already emptied my accounts, they claim I still owe them $149, my debt to them has been increasing daily, for a service I haven’t even started. The saleswomen won’t even contact me now, she has somebody in the Eastcoast call me, threaten me, and warn me that I can’t escape from them. Cancelling the lease will cost me $2089 and I’m hooked to those crooks for the next 48 months. I’m planning on asking my governor or somebody to investigate this organization. They’ve been calling me about 3 times a day for the past 2 weeks. They’ve taken over $350, and lastnight I got a call from their collections department, again threatening me. I totally regret having considered Wells Fargo as my merchant bank, please people stay away from them, their salespeople only want their commision, the lady who sold me the contract won’t even answer the phone, she has somebody that’s 2000 miles away call me here in Arizona. Shame on these people.

  71. ceemey trujillo  Says:

    Please dont use Wells Fargo merchant services. They are dishonest, they will debit your account without giving you any notice. When you call to talk with someone be prepared to be treated poorly. They do not care about you! It’s too bad, I’ve been a Wells customner for over 18 years and I’m the first one to defend them, when people say how horrible they are, well not anymore! Be aware you will be locked into a contract,it is immpossible to get out of it, and they have the highest fees. And to think I was affraied to use some noname online company, they have been great(flagship). I should have been scared of the biggest financial institutin. Shame on you Wells Fargo!!

  72. Joel  Says:

    It all goes back to a simple practice. Do your research and you wont get bit.

  73. Another One  Says:

    I got screwed as well. Wish I had seen this site first. They unload a mountain of paperwork on you, which I did my best to read, but I’m not going to spend days reading all their literature when I’m trying to start a business. They litter the paperwork with statements like “Wells Fargo recognizes that small business owners like you are busy” to lull you into trusting them. Don’t! The early cancellation fee is listed in their Program Guide, which I never got, but I signed something saying “Applicant acknowledges that they received and reviewed the Program Guide”, buried in tiny text on a 15 page application of course. I also waived all kinds of rights, including class action lawsuits. Signing their contract basically means they can charge me anything they want, for any reason they want, without notification, for the rest of my life, and I cannot sue or protest.

  74. Marcus Bradley  Says:

    I had Wells Fargo for 2 years and had many problems. One of my problems was that my volume of sales increased exponentially with my business and they consequently dropped my ach account. This was a big upset for me as my business was in the midst of expanding and then I had to deal with that all at the same time. I decided to go with a smaller company for my ACH processing needs, http://www.nationalach.com and they have been great for the past 2 years. The customer service is great. The biggest sign to me that a company is doing their job is that I don’t have to use their customer service that often, and with nationalach I don’t.

  75. Shannon  Says:

    I’m glad to see all this before I signed the Wells Fargo Merchant Services contract.

    The sales rep we spoke to drafted the proposal and walked us through it expecting us to sign as we went, but we declined and said we’d rather take it home over the weekend to read it before signing it.

    Since we are preparing to open a small retail business in less than two weeks, I don’t have time to read the 42 page program guide and 18 page contract. I spent about 20 minutes trying to find any hidden fees and contract length/early termination fee. After 20 minutes I did find those items (they were difficult to find). It’s a four year contract with a $500 early termination fee. Of course, the rep made no mention of that. We are a small, low-volume retail store, and he knew it. These sorts of terms are a big deal for us. I called him and asked about those terms and what our options are, if any. He said they are pretty standard terms and made no offer to adjust them.

    I’m shredding the proposal now.

  76. Colin  Says:

    Wish I had seen this before I signed their contract. I am 15 months into my 3 year contract with Wells Fargo, and want to get out. I started my business and personal accounts with Wachovia years ago, which was then bought by Wells Fargo. Due to a couple of really nasty customer service encounters with WF, I decided to move my accounts to a local bank. I didn’t want to deal with two banks, so I signed up for the local bank’s CC processing.

    When I called to cancel the Wells Fargo account I learned of the $500 blackmail and three year term.
    I know a lot of you said “read the contract”, which I did. The contract is 9 pages long, but at the end of this document is an acknowledgement that I had received and read the 50 page “Program Guide”.

    Yes, I should have read that too.

    But, it is clear that by deceptively naming this addendum to the contract “Program Guide” the company is intentionally misleading you to think that this is perhaps a manual for conducting business with this merchant account, NOT that it might contain very important contract information. IF it is that important (and it is) why wasn’t it included on the 9 page contract? Only one reason – DECEPTION. They know that most people will not read the 50 page “guide (at least not until after signing).

    For the record, the salesperson at Wachovia did not mention term of contract or early termination fee.

    I feel that Wells Fargo and Wachovia acted in unison to intentionally deceive me into signing this contract. I never would have agreed to 3 years and $500 ET. Nor would most people…this is why they bury this clause.

    Ever signed a two year agreement with Verizon Wireless? They are COMPLETELY transparent about early termination. They even play you a recording telling you of the early termination fee, and then record you saying that you agree. At least they are completely up front about their policies.

    Run from Wells Fargo.

  77. devin  Says:

    Thanks for this! great job on getting it listed right after Wells Fargo on Google. I think i’ll just stick with paypal, at least i know what i’ll be getting from them!!

  78. Nicole  Says:

    I am in the process of going at it with wells fargo as well. I opened my account in delaware and i meet with the office manager. He assured me that all my business needs would be wraped in to one easy mainagable account. I depoited 1300.00 wrotechecks for 400.00 and a few card transations totaling maybe 200.00 and they had taken everything from my over draft account and said i was around -450.00 and all the checks i wrote were returned and not paid. My account was only open for three weeks not much to go through, but even though i point out what the issue is they act likethey cant see it.
    Thank You
    dated

  79. Kyle Williams  Says:

    We got swindled into signing up with Wells Fargo Merchant Services as well. First of all, we bank with wells, we never had any idea that merchant services was a seperate entity from wells fargo bank. Secondly, the sales rep screwed us. He ‘convieniently’ didn’t give us the full contract, and the pages that were missing spoke about cancellation fees.

    The whole point of getting this account, was to save money on fees accepting cards. This has not happened one time, even the transaction fees are higher than any other merchant account out there. I am paying a higher percentage than PAYPAL!! Then we have $80 in extra fees just for having the damn thing.

    Now comes to the point where we try to negotiate with them. We decide we can eliminate the First Data machine and save $50 per month and just use an online gateway. Nope, the only way to get out of that is to pay off the FULL lease!! Their reps are like robots, they do not even want to listen or work wit you.

    Since they have fought this tooth and nail, we are left with no other choice but to just close the bank account they are tied to and return the machine and let them attempt to try and collect (which will never happen). We will take them to court if necessary. First of all, Eric our rep, is a crook. He purposely lied in order to get a sale, and afte reading the full 25 page contract (there were supposed to be 30 plus pages but many were missing) we realized we were screwed.

    So just a word of warning to anyone else out there, avoid them at all costs, there are many GREAT options for merchant accounts out there. Wells Merchant Services is NOT one of them.

  80. Wells Fargo Business Banker  Says:

    I am a business banker for Wells Fargo on the west coast, it troubles me to see these issues because the Merchant Rep that i work with to help my business customers goes through to contract very in depth with every customer I work with, does not expect you to sign along the way, answers any questions they have, always explains length of contract & termination fee, and where to find it in the contract. I am sorry to hear about some of the people you all have worked with but this is not typical wells fargo practices i am hearing.

  81. kyle  Says:

    Well….the saga continues…we are in the process of closing all wells accounts but they stuck us with more fees in the mean time.

    We gave them the option of keeping the account and getting rid of the machine to reduce the fees but since they are totally unwilling to hear our case e have decided to walk away…even possibly sue for damages since we were misinformed and decieved from the get go…all of these complants online will just help our case.

  82. Abie  Says:

    I am in the midst of negotiating with WFMS – since I have my accounts with Wells Fargo(ex Wachovia)
    I was in my local branch this morning and everyone was depressed (When it was Wachovia it was a pleasure to bank there) They all told me in a few months none of us will be here. It seems WF is pushing all the tellers to open accounts on a regular basis – and if you do not meet the goals – you are in trouble. Pressure is too much! So along with this blog to which I am adding my 2 bits – it does seem like WFMS could be trouble.

    I was offered
    Interchange Plus the following fees :
    Credit Card Processing Fees (1):

    0.2000% On Gross Visa®, MasterCard® and Discover® Network Card Sales

  83. Lynn West  Says:

    I too have had very bad experiences with Wells Fargo. We have two merchants at this time and one is North American Bancard, the other is Wells Fargo. The first month of January 2011, it was such a shock at the amount of money taken out of our business account due to the new interchange fees. At first, I called the customers service department at Wells Fargo to complain and I was informed that Visa and Mastercard were the culprits charging these interchange fees and if I discouraged a customer in any way “not to use Visa or Mastercard” for our services, they could terminite our ability to accept visa or mastercard. Now, that we are down the road from January of 2011, I find the visa & mastercard interchange fees are “just to pay for their reward programs”. The more they charge their customers “who by the way are the ones making them money by accepting visa and mastercard, the less they have to come up with out of their own pockets. I was told by another merchant customer service manager, that it is not “LEGAL”, what visa and mastercard are doing and they are just like Wall Street – they will keep doing it until they are told to stop and pay some ridiculous fine to the government, and we will never see any of the money they have stolen from us. Look us VISA.COM and check out who is on the board of directors, and the fact that if you have a complaint – it probably will never reach anyone on the board of directors. This is what I’ve found out during the year of 2011.
    With a new administration, hopefully we will get a new president that cares about businesses, since he has never even had a business, it seems that he has no respect for us business owners and has done nothing to help us “stay in business”.
    If he can’t make money off a venture or some lie that helps him get re-elected, it doesn’t seem to be worth his while to look into.
    God Bless us all and just believe that it “must change” in the future, or there will be no survival rate for small businesses in America.
    Yes, my 2 cents is that Wells Farge has lowered the bar so much in the banking and merchant part of American business, that it will take decades to repair this kind of damage they are continuing to inflict on us as customers and businesses. You can stop banking with them and wait until your term in finished in the merchant. STOP USING THEM AND WATCH THEM FALL.

  84. Eric B.  Says:

    I will also comment on my merchant service experiences with wells fargo.

    Collin Tague out of Omaha, Ne was my Merchant Service Rep. I launched my first small business and needed CC Processing and the assistance with setting it up. Collin was very indirect about the contractual terms of the agreement, I had no idea it was a 3 yr contract with a $500 cancellation fee. He also tried to get me to sign the contract in the first five minutes of our sit down, and didnt offer any type of knowledge of the agreement. I became very suspicious, and opted to take the paperwork home and look over things,

    Granted i should have done my research on the matter, one would suspect that a Brand as established as WellsFargo would have good business practices… Not true.

    I feel totally taken advantage of and the true criminals in this world are all wearing suits, not orange jump suits.

    When one reaches out to a service provider he expects that service provider to point out and go over any fees and terms that could potentially harm ones business practices. That is just plain good customer service, what american business has grown to lack. Not expect him to find it in 30 pages of gibberish. Im cool, I will pay wells fargo it’s $500 cancellation fee, I will also close and move all my accounts, $500 is’nt shit compared to what they could have made off my business.

    America will fall because of these big business tyrants, can’t wait to move to Europe.

  85. michael  Says:

    Firstly without any further ado I AM A WELLS FARGO MERCHANT CARD SALES REP.
    I would like to start off with saying that any processing company is out to do one thing MAKE MONEY, and so are the reps that are selling their services. The banking industry has changed dramatically since 2008, its all about the bottom line for the BIG 5. If its not profitable for the bank then the customer most of the time will get screwed, that said, there is still something to say about the person selling said product. Banks have not hidden their new fee’s and corporate structures, its all over the news and with some due diligence, on any search engine; its the sales reps job to sell the product not the bank, so if you get a dishonest salesman, not looking out for the consumer then the consumers are going to get the short end of the stick EVERY TIME. Its not difficult to ask the right questions to any sales rep, I do my best to disclose any features of my product that might be a hold up for the customer without killing my sale, thats my job, i am a sales man. My product really only makes sense if you primarily bank your business with Wells Fargo. If you do, you will have little to no issues with my product.
    All that said, you really need to place blame on the rep you work with. If they really are a good rep (i would like to think that i am) then they will be good at the customer service aspect of any sales job. Its all about being there for the customer and honestly telling them whether or not your product is right for them. I have told many customers and prospective clients that my product is probably not your best option, whether it be the size of the business or the type of industry etc.
    In summation, you cannot blame the bank, ISO, or product as much as everyone would like to, because lets face it, they are all competetive with each other, and they offer generally the same product. Blame the person that you are dealing with, because 99.9% of the time it is them that are to blame for the issues you are facing.

    All the best,
    Michael, a husband and father making an honest living for his family.

  86. Anna  Says:

    Wells Fargo Merchant Services are criminals! We had been customers with them for five years and were tired of all the ridiculous fees and unexpected withdrawls that they made on our account. In January of 2012 I went to the local branch to close my accounts and move them to Citibank. My rep reassured me that ALL accounts including Merchant Services had been closed. 3 months later I get a collection letter from Merchant Services stating that the account is still open and I owe them like $300!!!!!
    I called customer service and they could care less. Leave it to Wells Fargo to keep racking up fees even after you think the account has been closed BEWARE OF WELLS FARGO!

  87. mary  Says:

    They are the biggest rip they are saying I signed a 3 yr contract too and I am waiting for them to send me the proof and my original application that I signed stating they could increase pricing.

  88. Darren Barnes  Says:

    I just tried to cancel my wells fargo merchant account and they shocked me when they told me about the 3 year contract and $500 early termination fee. I specifically asked my agent (Nataly Gomez) about an early termination fee as I was a startup company and didn’t know how long I would be in business. She said for me there was no long term commitment. I then asked here for a schedule of all fee’s which she gave me in her “proposal” which I read and went over with her. In that proposal, there is no mention of any contract length or early termination fee. I think this is a material ommission and may constitute fraud. Please contact me at dfbarnes1@aol.com if you had a similar experience and would like to possibly look at a class action lawsuit.

    Geez, my agent didn’t even give me a copy of the so called agreement I signed, only the proposal which conveniently left out any $500 cancellation fee.

  89. Sylvia  Says:

    BEWARE OF WELLS FARGO MERCHANT SERVICES!!!! THEY ARE CROOKS! I have been in business for over ten years and was bated to switch to their services only to have unilaterally decide to create a reserve of over 50K and hold all of my batches hostage. Good luck trying to get your hard earned cash released they state that they will hold all funds for 6 months if they have to.
    THIS IS A TOTAL SCAM AND THEY CAN AND WILL RUIN YOU!!!!!!!
    I AM A VERY ESTABLISHED BUSINESS AND I AM IN SHOCK ABOUT HOW THEY HAVE HANDLED SUCH A LARGE ACCOUNT WITH SUCH DISMAY.

    VERY UNPROFESSIONAL AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR!!!!
    DO NOT PROCESS WITH WELLS FARGO UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS!!!!
    Please help in in spreading the word.

  90. jason richter  Says:

    great rep. if you do not like your service provider call me and i will take of you. i charge .20% over cost works out to be .95% qualified 1.45%mid 1.95 non on average and a trans fee of .10 cents
    call me at 928-848-8545. if you want a good rep looking out for you

  91. jason richter  Says:

    you may want to read your terms and conditions because most of the companies selling this service our with wells fargo. iso independent sales offices being backed by wells. some of the offices do not even own your acct they can sell them to other service providers.and if there a iso of wellsfargo they can sell them to wells the same day they sign them. then in Apr and Oct they raise your rates as much as they fill fit to. and its all written in the terms and conditions. believe me all these companies say guaranteed lowest rates. but in comparison to whom more iso of the same bank.

  92. jason richter  Says:

    do you see where im going with this. the vast majority of the industry are controlled by the three major banks. so even if your not with wells fargo and your with northamericabancard they are still wells fargo. and your still screwed.

  93. Vernon Locke  Says:

    I received a “collection letter” today from Transworld Systems, Inc re: a claim from Wells Fargo Merchant Services for $40.00. This has been going on with Wells Fargo for three years and I refuse to pay the $40.00 because I do not owe it !! I wrote Wells Fargo a letter three years ago stating that I would no longer be using my credit card equipment after 10 years of use) in my business (in fact I pulled it out of my business at the end of 2009) because the costs far outweighed the benefit that I was receiving by taking credit cards. I never heard anything from them for one and a half years. Then they started billing me for service received eight months after I quit using the credit card equipment. When I called (several times) they could not connect my business to the account number they were referencing on the merchant account bills. The only thing I asked was to send me something that connected my merchant account number to the billing – they could not connect my account to the billing (on the phone or in writing). I received billing from them on and off for two years now and have now received a letter from the collection agancy. If they couldn’t send me anything re: my account – how could the collection agency have anything that connects me to my account? Or, does the collection agency only receive an affadavit stating that I owe them money ? I’m not sure how to proceed with this; anybody have suggestions ? Thanks !

  94. DoubleG  Says:

    Hello everyone,

    My father tried to cancel his merchent account with Wells Fargo today and was also shocked to discover that there was a 3 years contract with a $500 termination fee and a monthly minimum of $55 even if he doesn’t uses the service.

    SHAME ON WELLS FARGO.

    In today tough economy, you would think they will help the small business out.

    Anyway, my dad is using “square” using his Iphone. So easy to use and so fast. Here is the website:

    https://squareup.com/

    I copied these from their website:

    Transparent Pricing

    * 2.75% per swipe for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AmEx.
    * Free app, free Square Card Reader and free shipping.
    * No merchant account, monthly fees or set-up costs.
    * Manually-entered cards cost 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.

    Next-Day Deposits

    * Payments taken during business hours will usually be available
    in your bank account the next business day. Learn more
    * Payments can be automatically sent for deposit to your bank
    account. Get email confirmations when deposits are made.
    * No limit to the number or amount of payments you can take.

  95. David Fen  Says:

    I agree that its crazy. Many processors sales persons are deceptive or not properly trained and/or told bymthensales manager how to find the points of pain and zero in tomclose the sale. In consulting rather than selling services, I barely scraped by because I refused to sell services that locked merchants into hefty fees with hefty early termination fees. It just wasn’t right. My passion is to help businesses succeed so I warned the business owner and educated myself on the ins and outs in their best interest. My dad taught me to make a friend, then make a sale. Money will come as you do the right thing the right way. It should be a merchant account no binding contract,, no hidden fees, and no bait and switch tactics. And the business owner should be able to contact the person who set the account via email, text or phone. I literally price the account pennies above my cost and survive on volume of accounts. it hurts my pockets when a competing salesperson fakes out the owner and they jump ship to another processor. which leaves me with a loss. I don’t spend big money on advertising I cut costs everywhere I can so that owners can pursue their passion not credit card agents. that’s the way it should be. I would rather be able to be proud of what I do, rather then slink around in the darkness padding my pockets. We also need to come together and figure out the most effective way to deal with deceptive sales practices. It is what it is. Davidf.financeconsultancy@gmail.com

    Best regards

  96. Ayrat Zakirov  Says:

    Stay away from Flagship merchant service!!! Thieves! They are have stolen $520 from me. Beware!!!

  97. tj  Says:

    go with processors who are their own bank and who offer interchange plus. Interchange rates are the vigs taken by the card company (visa, mc, etc) and what the bank takes that issued the card (like citizen’s bank, td bank, etc). all of these rates are the same for each type of card. there are many types of cards (rewards, etc). the only difference in rates and swipe (transaction) fees are what your processor (first data, chasepaymentech, bank of America, first third, heartland, etc) assesses. it is easy to find the card rates on visa’s site for example. Don’t ever go with an ISO that offers qual, non-qual, etc. They are trying to hide their rates behind gobbledygook. ONLY use interchange plus companies like heartland, chase, BoA, etc. RBS is best if you are very small (<$50k gross total credit card charges in a year, that is, you sold <$50k of whatever you sell IN TOTAL. A small bagel shop is a good example) and you have lots of very small transactions like a 7-11. Their average transaction amount is probably < $6 but clearly they do hundreds a day. Just take a look at a few samples of their statements. If you can understand after a few minutes of study then it is probably OK. If not, they are trying to put one over on you.

  98. Scott  Says:

    Wells Fargo is holding a lot of my money in their reserves and keeping a percentage I bill each month. Rules are rules and contracts can have fine print . And bones can be broken regardless of what is signed

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