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January 17th, 2019

Cause For Advocacy

Have you ever heard the saying, “One bad apple spoils the barrel?”  It’s true, ya know.  An overripe, spoiled apple will emit significantly higher levels of ethylene gas causing other apples around it to overripen as well.  We often use this saying or variations of it to describe how low character people can be bad influences on those around them.  So, what does this have to do with payment processing?  Well, to be honest, quite a bit.  You see, there are a lot of bad apples in the payment processing industry.

Somewhere a long the way, many merchant services providers forgot that they should be on the same side of the table as their clients – and they allowed their own greed to drive their decision making.  Because of that, we’ve seen many companies employ agents who have lied to clients, fraudulently forged signatures on agreements, or even changed the terms of an agreement afterwards by turning 1’s into 4’s or 7’s.

The most common practice is to not disclose the term(s) of a merchant services agreement.  For example, many businesses have no idea when they’re locking themselves into a 3 year agreement with a $495 cancellation fee and liquidated damages. We’ve also met several merchants who didn’t know that they were signing up for a long-term, non-cancellable lease because they agent told them it was a month-to-month rental or that it was “free.”

Sadly, over the years we’ve seen all of this and worse. So, we’ve compiled a checklist of things to consider before signing a new merchant agreement:

  • Have you researched the company online? If they have no online presence or their reviews are overwhelmingly negative, that’s cause for concern.
  • Are they members of a local chamber of commerce or an accredited business with the BBB? Fly by night companies almost never go through the vetting process required for these kinds of organizations.
  • Do you know of any other businesses who use their services and can provide a reference? Knowing someone who can vouch for them goes a long way when it comes to trust.
  • Is the company easily accessible?  Do you know where their office is or have any other contact information for them?  It’s important to be able to reach the company, not just the sales rep.
  • Have you thoroughly read through the entire agreement presented to you?  It may sound elementary, but you should never sign anything you haven’t read or don’t understand.

If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, that should give you pause and should prompt some more investigating.

So, what happens if you’ve made these kinds of mistakes already and find yourself being taken advantage of by con artists who now have access to your bank account?  If fraud has been committed by a sales agent and/or the company they represent, it’s important that you contact the state’s attorney’s office in your state, the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  We’re located in Maryland, so the contact information listed below is for the Maryland Attorney General and the BBB of Greater Maryland.  The FTC and CFPB are national organizations.

Maryland Attorney General’s Office
410-528-8662
www.marylandattorneygernal.gov

BBB of Greater Maryland
410-347-3990
www.bbb.org/greater-maryland/

Federal Trade Commission
877-382-4357
www.ftc.gov

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
855-411-2372
www.consumerfinance.gov

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Magothy Payments came as a recommendation from our accountant who realized how much we were paying with our old company. Jaron made the process very easy by reviewing our old statements to see if there was any room for saving. After our consultation, he offered to use Magothy payments for one month and if we didn't see any savings we had the option to walk away without losing anything. Jaron has been upfront from the beginning and has been there promptly to address any concerns we have with our system. I highly recommended Magothy Payments!

Dr. Hetal Rana, Eye Associates

Worldwide Waterproofing changed payment processing companies in 2016 after 14 years of being with the same provider. We had a great initial meeting with Jaron and felt comfortable with his knowledge and expertise. Working with a local company that is easily accessible made sense for us. We hadn't really tracked our credit card costs over the last several years, so we were BLOWN AWAY when we saved more than $2000 in our first month alone. This was the by far the best decision we could have made. We get our deposits next day, the platform is easy to use, and we finally have a relationship with the company funding our transactions. I couldn't recommend Magothy Payments enough.

Summer Hoder, Worldwide Waterproofing

Magothy Payments has been GREAT for our business. We get calls from merchant services vendors every day. But when you need service from THEM, they are nowhere to be found. This never happens with Jaron and his team. Their personalized service is outstanding, and our costs are down too! I highly recommend you consider Magothy Payments for your business.

Bruce Spencer, Walt Eger's Service Center

The team at Magothy Payments is nothing short of SPECTACULAR and I can't recommend them enough! If you are tired of wondering if you are paying too much for your credit card processing and harassing daily calls about saving you money, I can assure you that Magothy Payments is your BEST option. Local, Personal and Professional, their integrity shines through at every service opportunity. The statements are transparent, the rates are the lowest, and they are focused on a long-term relationship that will save you money. Everyone that I have referred comes back to me very satisfied and glad that they made the change.

Andy Byrd, Victory Awards & Promotions

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