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Leaders Merchant Services / Unauthorized charges

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I opened my leaders statement and found some strange unexplained charges. I own a small business, I'm the only employee, for the month of May I had a total of 1081.30 in charges. I occurred fees for 70.66, 39.00 of it was listed as **additional fees with no explanation. Now they also take monthly user fees from my bank account for using their services (25.00) and do not list these on their statements.

So I call customer service, I'm told that I'm being charged 129.00 annual PCI compliance fee, so they can update their security services and it will be billed to me over three months! So I ask the CSR don't we have a contract... how can you raise my fees? I'm told that they have the right to raise their fees without my consent all they have to do is give me a 30 day notice and it's done. Now I say... well what if I refuse to have my fees raised??

I'm told it's in my contract that they have the right to do so anytime they please. I told the CSR that when I signed up with their sales person I asked him all these questions and was told no hidden fees, I was given a low credit card rate. The CSR told me it was the sales persons 'job' to tell me what I want to hear and I should have read the fine print. Now I can't find anything in the contract I was given by the sales person about this fine print the CSR is referring to.

I asked him to send it to me and he said it would be in the mail, he couldn't email it to me. Which is funny because that is how I received the original contract. I was told my only option is to pay 299.00 to buy out of this bogus contract. This guy was rude and if he is correct about what they can do to me, this company is a sham and you should stay away from them!

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  • Sb
      6th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    LEADERS Merchant Services would like to apologize to this merchant for the experience he had with our company. LEADERS would be more than happy to review this merchant’s account and address his concerns with our company; however, this complaint does not provide LEADERS with enough information to locate this merchant’s account.

    LEADERS invites the merchant to please call our Complaint Resolutions Specialist, Cindy Schwerdtfeger, at 877-538-3377 extension 137 in order to begin the merchant account review process.

  • Br
      19th of Aug, 2009
    +3 Votes

    I experience the same exact things with leaders merchant services. Unauthorized fees like crazy. Their comments to this post say they would love to review the account, well my account was reviewed numerous times and even Leaders found that they were in the wrong and reversed the charges everytime. The point is that it took HOURS of my time to get these reversed.

    I signed up with leaders over 2 years ago and signed a two year contract, the first year wasn't too bad, I had a charges hit my account numerous times that had to be refunded because they shouldn't have been charged- (first red flag). At about the end of the first year I talked to a rep about them denying me a charge for $2000 (saying I wasn't authorized for this, they wouldn't authorize me for this and my account was set up to run tickets of $80- although I had numerous transactions in the thousands in the past). Long story short the rep even told me to go somewhere else. I never used my account again and paid the monthly fee until the end of my contract. I send a fax to cancel last day of the contract. Week later I get charged 'annual fee' for $100. I called to get it reversed- month later still getting run around. Long short of it : Go somewhere else! Bad customer service, and many 'hidden/unauth' fees.

    They may be willing to help once it gets to the point of posting on here, as Cindy was happy to give her number. The point is that it happens too much and is a waste of time and a large expense to do business with this company. I switched to First Data over a year ago, not one problem or fee I didn't know about that hit my account.

  • Sr
      1st of Sep, 2009
    -2 Votes

    We, at Leaders Merchant Services, regret to hear that the experience this merchant has had with our company was unsatisfactory. LEADERS strives to provide each and every one of our merchants with superior customer services and to hear that this merchant was less than satisfied is truly disheartening.

    LEADERS continues to set-up and maintain thousands of merchant processing accounts flawlessly, and we regret that the merchant did not receive the superior customer services that we continuously strive to improve upon and provide. LEADERS employs certain processes and procedures to help merchants understand their fees and the maintenance of their accounts, as well as to refund any charges a merchant may have been charged in error.

    LEADERS would like to apologize to this merchant for any misunderstandings he may have had with our company and we would like to wish him well in all future endeavors.

  • Sm
      9th of Sep, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I agree with every word! sales lady is the sweetest in the world, saying no hidden charges and no extra fees beyond 3% $0.75 per trx. You start with no setup fee and a promise of flat fee. 3 months later $99 fee, and 7.30 'dormancy fee' - their rude rep can only say - its in the contract. hidden, well hidden in tiny letters in sections you would not expect anything about fees. what to get out? ha - you'll have to pay $350 for that 'service' . they are rude on the phone and the web is full of complaints about them. I wish I had checked BEFORE signing up. now I need to watch my account on a daily basis for unauthorized charges. I might cancel and cut my losses with these crooks.
    ah, and its just pathetic to see their standard response on this site. "would like to apologize etc etc."

  • Ti
      24th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Leaders continues to rip off its customers... tons of hidden fees...stay away from this company... I agree with all of the complaints.. I get hidden charges constantly I have to call Leaders three times a month about all of the charges that they arbitrarily charge...getting credit is next to imposible... and takes multiple phone calls and way too much time ... Leaders response is a lie STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!!

  • Co
      16th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am also a small buisness owner, DONT SIGN WITH LEADERS MERCHANT SERVICES ive never seen such a shady company, they will use you buisness bank acct like there own your fee's will be higher then the amount you take in.And if you finally had enough of them the will charge you 550.00 to cancel, but you wont know until its out of you account and into theres. By far the worst company Ive ever dealt with.


  • Sr
      31st of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    LEADERS has reviewed this merchant’s complaint and we are rather confused as to why the merchant is requesting a refund. Our records clearly indicate that the merchant was refunded $350.00 on 12/18/2009, the full amount in dispute.

    We would like to urge this merchant to review his account once more and if there are any further indiscretions, to please contact our Customer Services department at 877-538-3377 and to please have his bank statements ready for refund review.

  • Sh
      15th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I cancelled my account with Leaders Merchant Services well over a year ago because they charged outrageous hidden fees. At that time it took a BBB complaint and numerous phone calls to receive refunds for unauthorized charges and to get them to close my account and stop billing me. Leaders Merchant Services just ACH debited my Regions bank account $99.95 for an annual fee without authorization on December 28, 2009. I disputed the charge through my local Regions bank branch and Leaders denied it. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! If you have used them I recommend changing your bank account number ASAP because they will continue to draft your bank account even after you cancel their service.

  • Sr
      20th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    LEADERS has reviewed this merchant’s account. The merchant’s numerous complaints and postings here are unfounded, as we have worked very hard with the merchant to resolve the issues he had with our company. The merchant was refunded the full amount in dispute on December 18, 2009 after we contacted him for an account review. It was also at this time that we issued our full apologies for causing this merchant any additional distress.

    Leaders Merchant Services is an outstanding processing company with thousands of flawlessly processing merchant accounts. We always endeavor to repair whatever issues may arise, working professionally with all of our merchants to maintain healthy and responsible relationships with our merchants and providing superior processing services.

    LEADERS would like to take this opportunity to amend any of the unresolved issues the merchant may have with our company. We strongly encourage this merchant to please contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-876-9843, option 2 and to please have his processing statements ready for an account review if necessary.

  • Sr
      20th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    :Shear Precision:
    LEADERS has carefully reviewed this merchant’s account and has found that the merchant was charged the $99.00 Annual fee for her account as it was an open, processing account in the calendar year, 2009. This is a standard fee that was signed and agreed to in the contract on the Schedule of Fees (page 2 of 4). LEADERS has agreed to refund this merchant the full $99.00 Annual fee as a good faith gesture toward the merchant and would like to wish this merchant well in all future endeavors.

  • Sr
      20th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    LEADERS would like the opportunity to help the merchant with any unresolved issues that they may have. Unfortunately, there is not enough information in this complaint for us to locate and contact the merchant regarding their account. We highly encourage the merchant to contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-876-9843 (option 2) and to please have your bank & processing statements ready for an account review.

  • Af
      5th of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes

    As a small business owner and also a supervisor for the bank that Leaders Merchant Services uses, I'm looking to file a complaint internally to whomever will listen. I should have read the small print but since I always deal with customers with integrity I was naive to think that everything the sales rep was telling me was the truth. Needless to say, it wasn't!! How can you charge an annual fee three months into a contract then charge the same annual fee on the aniversary of the account? Why don't they just charge the annual fee when the account is open like every other processor? I'll tell you why. Because you would know they're an unethical company right off the bat instead of three months into the contract period. Anyone looking for a Merchant card company, please do yourself a favor and look elsewhere. For myself, I just cancelled my account today with them and if they continue to take money out of my account, I'm going to raise hell here at the bank, my employer, who does business with them.

  • Bl
      7th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    if you read this before you sign a contract with this company please STAY AWAY FROM THEM" MERCHANT NUMBER 0001233469983%%$%###

  • Ae
      11th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Just plain rediculous. Unfortunately I am another victim of this ravenous company. The previous complaints listed here have also happened to me. This company has also used their "sweet-talking" to convince me to use their services. I run a web-only business. For several months at start, they charged a fee for what they claimed was for supplies for my terminal. I explained that I do not use a terminal, eventually they agreed that the charges were not valid, and that they would send a check. It never arrived, and then the next month they charged the fee again. Finally after several calls, wasted time, they reimbursed the invalid fees for 3 months of invalid charges. This was episode 1. Episode 2, I was not told about the $7.30 dormancy fees. Found out the hard way that this is in addition to the minimum discount charge (which is what I thought it was for), but was placed in fine print in the contract. Thanks guys! Then Episode 3, they charged the unexpected $99.00 annual fee, apparently the "sweet-talking" representative forgot to disclose that one to me as well. Now here's the latest, Episode 4. After the 1 year annual fee, they raised their charges, and added $39.95 a month in additional fees! When I called to inquire about these charges that I was getting, they told me that they raised my minimum discount fee, added a security fee, and an iaccess fee? This now raised my processing expenses to $75 a month! Seriously keep this in mind when you consider signing on with this company! I placed a call to "customer care" and they have agreed to drop the $39.95 charges to $10 a month, but all the other fees are to remain. They were very friendly until I mentioned if they were going to refund the previous 6 months of unauthorized fees, then the tone changed drastically, and threatened with "your under contract with us for 2 years, and if you want to break contract, then you will be charged a $250 fee, it's legal". He also told me that I will have to notify them in writing over a month in advance that I will not renew. Obviously this is an extremely shady company, who masters the art of trickery and suckers many small businesses and sucks them dry. They blamed the fees on "our way of recovering expenses for the credit card companies that charge us for your account". Sounds like a line of bull to me. If you are prepared to have your $25 a month processing charge inflate to $75 a month, go with this company. Keep in mind that it will be actually $85 a month when you factor in the annual fee, and if you want to dump them, it's another $250! Obsurd! I can only hope that someone reads my complaint prior to signing on, and saves themself the troubles!

  • Pi
      12th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Well I have seen enough to not want to do business with leaders.

  • Sr
      17th of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes


    LEADERS has reviewed this merchant’s complaint in order to find a resolution on behalf of the merchant’s requests. LEADERS considers every merchant and their concerns valuable and LEADERS would like to offer its sincerest apologies for the misunderstandings that the merchant has had with our company. However, LEADERS has a signed record of this merchant’s contract in which the merchant signed and sent back. As with all LEADERS contracts, the terms, rates, and applicable agreements are clearly delineated throughout. Though we endeavor to work with all of our merchant’s to resolve any complaint, it is ultimately the merchant’s responsibility to read what they sign. As a good faith gesture, LEADERS has agreed to refund this merchant the $99.00 Annual fee (which is located on the Schedule of Fees, page 2 of 4 of the contract). LEADERS would like to thank this merchant for her time and we consider this matter closed.

  • Sr
      17th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    LEADERS would like the opportunity to help this merchant. However, this complaint does not provide us with an actual Merchant ID Number nor does it yield us with enough of the merchant’s information to resolve the issues that this merchant has had. We strongly urge this merchant to contact our Merchant Services department at 1-800-876-9843 (option 2) and to please have their statements ready for review.

  • Rm
      22nd of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes
    Leaders Merchant Sevices - rip off
    rms and sons car care center
    United States

    leaders continues to charge me for fees after i have closed my account. i have been charged for 2 years of security fees for just 1 year of my account with them, thier fees are extremely high and the customer service is far less than one would expect, beware of this company, avoid them and tell everyone you know to stay clear of these theives

  • Bo
      30th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Same thing happened to me here. To minimize the fees, I suspended my account for much of the contract term. I then finally cancelled in November 2009. Now March 2010, they are charging me another $129. I really hate this company. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. I promise you too will be disappointed.

  • Ti
      12th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    I find it amazingly funny that someone from Leaders replies. DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH LEADERS EVER!!! SO MANY HIDDEN FEES I AM WRITING MY SENATOR ABOUT THIS!!
    I have owned my own business for 19yrs Leaders is the worst CC processor that I have ever come accross. Stop using them, deny them access to your account ( you must go to your bank) All they know is hidden fees hidden fees!!!

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