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1st National Processing / Touchpay / overcharge

1 6399 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 18005542777

In 2006, I opened a Touch-Pay merchant account through Thompson Merchant Services. Thompson itself did not handle my account; they represent 1st Nat'l Processing, sometimes known as 1st National Merchant Services. My records show an address in Calabasas, but it seems they've relocated to 6399 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. For the first few years, I was very satisfied and eagerly recommended it to my colleagues. Accepting cards increased my sales significantly and I only paid a $6.99 statement fee and a flat % on sales. 

Unfortunately, after a few years, my monthly fee more than doubled without warning. When I called customer service, I was told I was being charged a $10 monthly fee and a $7 statement fee. As I am a seasonal user, I asked to discontinue the statements, but was not told that this would mean I would receive NO information at all - no announcements, no information about changes to the contract or fees or PCI compliance, NOTHING. Last year, I discovered my fee had increased dramatically, totaling almost $440 for 8 months, a $300 overage. I was told these were PCI compliance fees I was being charged because my account was not compliant. I am not unfamiliar with PCI compliance. In fact, at a previous job, I was responsible for meeting PCI requirements. (If you already practice good security, it's not rocket science; you just fill out a questionnaire.) However, it is not possible to meet standards you are not informed about! I believe this is intentional. Each time I have spoken to a representative, they have been unhelpful, stonewalling and reading from a script, which leads me to believe they'd heard the same complaint many times over.

On another occasion I was told by customer service that if I wish to cancel my merchant account I must inform them in writing, and was given an address, so I drafted and mailed a letter. This was misinformation; there is a specific form they require to be faxed, to the correct number. This delayed closing my account by a month.

Finally I was able to close the account, my last fee of $21.99 (this is $5 higher than normal, for some reason) withdrawn May 3. However, my bank statement shows a $129 PCI compliance fee withdrawn on June 28! I was essentially told they bill retroactively (what??) and that no supervisor was available to speak with me but that she could request a supervisor call me back. I asked what time their office closes, and returned the call myself this evening as I did not expect to hear from them. I spoke to a supervisor, who flatly refused to consider a refund. I have read other reports that they charged customers a $250 cancellation fee. (!) I will be going to my credit union tomorrow to discuss this, and close my account if necessary.

I have switched to another service that allows me to swipe cards on my phone, and it has been just great so far. (I'd plug them, but I'm not posting this to advertise.) Easier and MUCH cheaper. It's worth getting a smartphone just for that, IMO; my card sales are more than enough to subsidize the increase to my cell phone bill. If you are looking for a merchant account, ask the sales rep who will actually be processing your transactions and research THAT name.

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Comments

  • Br
      Sep 24, 2011

    I totally agree with this complaint.

    I used TMS for years and in the beginning would recommend them to everyone due to their great rates. Then the company slowly went down hill and I had constant billing mistakes. I was one of the people you mentioned in your complaint that was charged a $250.00 fee and my account was closed. I never authorized my account to be closed.. It was a "mistake" on their end. A computer glitch per Joe.

    When I first stated using TMS my account went thru 1st National Processing and then I started getting outrageous fees without notice . After numerous calls and complaints, Joe then switched me over to TMS's "Other" Processor who he said had better rates which was Bluestone Payments.

    For the 7 years I was with TMS, not once was I asked to fill out a compliance form and always wondered if he was cutting corners in regards to compliance on his end.

    There was constant miscommunications with this company!!

    You can read my complaint here:

    https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/thompson-merchant-services-c497110.html

    -1 Votes
  • An
      Nov 08, 2011

    1st National has held over $6k of my funds for more than 18 months. William in the Risk Department will not respond. In fact, the company didn't even respond when approach by the California Attorney General's office, or my attorneys.

    Google the owner, who has been sued for an enormous amount of money, and you will see where the problem comes from.

    There is STRENGTH in numbers. Help get this company stopped. Please lodge a complaint against them with both the California Attorney General's office, as well as the FTC - (it only takes 5 minutes) - 877-382-4357.

    0 Votes
  • In
      Dec 20, 2011

    As an FYI 1st National is not the same company as Thompson Merchant Services. Their billing is totally separate from Thompson Merchant. They are two separate companies, with two separate owners, so the owner of 1st National's lawsuits in no way reflect the practices of Thompson Merchant.

    As of this date Thompson Merchant Services has not had one PCI fee charge. Again, we are separate from 1st National.

    0 Votes
  • In
      Dec 20, 2011

    In direct response to Brice (not the other posts) Just to reiterate 1st National is not the same as Thompson. This merchant could not have processed direct with Thompson and had to fill out a PCI form because as of today we have NEVER had a PCI compliance charge.

    Please direct these concerns to 1st National as we are not the same company and this person clearly has Thompson direct confused with 1st National - again they are not the same company and Thompson has not billed one PCI compliance fee yet - so this complaint is about 1st National and not Thompson's billing practices.

    0 Votes

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