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MerchantCircle / Fraud

1 United States Review updated:
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Just like the others, I received a phone call, on my mobile, telling me I had received a negative review. I signed up for their free "service" to address the issue but was never able to find anything about my business. This is obviously a scam. If anyone knows which authority can address this, please let me know.

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Ov
  30th of Aug, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

We are in the process of filing a law suit against Merchant Circle for allowing defamatory posting which are nothing less than internet terrorism. They have now set up a “900″ number that you can call customer service and then pay for the call per minute and $40.00 to remove postings. If someone is determined to damage your business they just go back immediately and repost the malicious information again. You now have to repeat the process to remove the information once again. It is extortion and can be incredible damaging to any company if someone posing as a representative from your company sets your company up on the website without any authorization and then begins posting false and harmful postings. We have a high turnover in our company and any disgruntled employee can go directly to a site like this and begin working on undermining you r companies web presence with on accountability and complete anonymity. If there are any other businesses that have had these problems I would consider creating a class action lawsuit because we are filing suit as an individual company.

Wa
  19th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

what about honest NEGATIVE reviews, that the business owner previews and of course, deletes! So you are going to see nothing but good reviews about a business. Merchant Circle is a bogus, lying site. If you can't post an honest review, what's the point? I'm talking about a certain therapist who should have her license revoked!!!

Bo
  3rd of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Can anyone tell me what MercantCircle's process for getting identifying info about a poster? The stuff posted about us is beyond bad. Is there any way to do this without getting an attorney?

Thank You

Me
  23rd of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I'm finding it hard to get rid of total misinformation about our company posted on MerchantCircle. They do not respond to reports of misinformation. Another person is using our company name, only with an alternate addresss, and they are receiving horrible postings that are hurting our sales.

Any Ideas?
Paul

Je
  15th of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I have a MerchantCircle listing which I claimed because there was a negative and VERY untrue review I wanted off. When I asked about removing it, they told me I could either claim my listing and remove the review or the entire listing quickly or I could fax in a removal request for free but it would take a couple weeks or I could call the paid line to get it removed by them same day. I opted just to claim the listing and remove the review. I don't think the information about the call per minute is right either (Im pretty sure its like $35 for the entire call).

Me
  8th of Sep, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Agency: District Attorney
Description: NEWS RELEASE

MERCHANTCIRCLE PAYS $900, 000
FOR UNLAWFUL MARKETING PRACTICES

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores A. Carr announced today her office has settled a consumer protection lawsuit against WYBS, dba MerchantCircle, an internet social networking company for small businesses. The action arose out of an investigation by the District Attorney’s office.

The District Attorney alleged that from 2006 to 2008, MerchantCircle engaged in improper automated telemarketing campaigns which violated California “live voice” requirement for automated calls. Some of those calls also contained unverified statements that the MerchantCircle website had reviews, ratings, or video footage of the recipient business.

Without admitting wrongdoing, WYBS, dba MerchantCircle, consented to a judgment entered in Santa Clara County Superior Court requiring it to pay $700, 000 in civil penalties and $50, 000 in investigative costs. MerchantCircle with also pay $150, 000 into the Consumer Protection Trust Fund, a trust used to fund investigation and prosecution of consumer protection law violations statewide. MerchantCircle cooperated with the investigation, has brought its telemarketing practices into compliance with California laws, and has agreed to implement additional procedures to ensure future compliance.

“These penalties should remind any business engaging in telemarketing in California that this state has strict laws requiring the use of an actual person to allow call recipients to ‘opt out’ of the message.” said District Attorney Dolores Carr.“These business are also placed on notice that any statements they make to consumers must be true and verified.”
Date of Action: 5/20/2010

De
  16th of Dec, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

MerchantCircle obviously didn't learn from this lawsuit. I am in the process of filing suit against them now. I have given them every opportunity to address the situation and they will not comply. They have to be held accountable for their improper/untrue/inaccurate marketing. They need to realize just how damaging "their" work can be to small businesses. Since the problem still continues and the statements/information is unture and can be proven to be untrue - what happens now?

De
  16th of Dec, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

MerchantCircle actually copied my customer reviews from another site, changed them slightly and posted them on "their" site. Isn't this illegal? Not to mention the other inaccurate information they've posted - which has been detramental to my business - that's why I'm now filing suit.

De
  6th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Businesses at MerchantCircle can and will remove any negative comments or reviews at this website. This is very unfair to the consumer who is not able to read the negative reviews that the businesses do not what consumers to read. Try writing a negative review at their website: merchantcircle.com, it will be eliminated within days by the business it was written about. Try to call their 800 number from their website: merchantcircle.com. 800-305-9203. It always says this business is temporary closed or want to charge you $34.95 to talk to them. Consumers need to stand up to these so call consumer advocate websites otherwise we the consumer will get taken and scammed into thinking these businesses have only wonderful reviews and do business with them. Stay away from MerchantCircle.

Email I received from MerchantCircle after questioning why my review about “HEAT USA” was removed:

Subject: [#MGO-788957]: neighbor / listing-remove=Remove listing /
Date: 12/28/2010 2:46:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
From: support@merchantcircle.com


Merchants are allowed to manage their Reviews feature, hence, they can remove individual reviews or the entire feature if they so desire.


The MerchantCircle Team
800 W. El Camino Real, Suite 330
Mountain View, CA 94040

De
  7th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Why are the Union's backing Heat USA?

Me
  22nd of Feb, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

this web site should be shutdown. Our company has lost so much money because of their mis-information this is just unreal and I do not understand why this web site is still on, what was the law suit for? just to admit that who ever suit them was right but that they could continue their scam?! I am puzzled...

Ke
  3rd of Mar, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I decided to remove my business listing from merchantcircle and I had to jump thru many hoops to do that. Then, once I was finally able to accomplish my goal, merchantcirlce's site tried to download a malicious file several times to my laptop. I will never recommend merchantcircle and will do everything in my power to discourage anyone else from remaining with them.

Ca
  14th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

As has been pointed out before, leaving a negative review for a business will almost always result in it being removed. The rating will still be affected, but the review itself will have disappeared.I even registered a user account so I could keep track of a review I left for a scam company (Dynatek Industries, in case anyone is interested) and sure enough, 2 days later the review is gone and doesn't even show up in my user account's written reviews list. It seems that if a business has a paid account, they can just delete any reviews they want. There are also plenty of fake 'shill' reviews that are 5 stars, which I don't understand seeing as how you need to register an account now to rate or review a business.

An
  27th of May, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Dealing with this company has been a nightmare. My personal telephone number and old address was listed for a company that has a very similar name as mine and a negative review (I should say it was more malicious than anything) was left, intended for a different company. I faxed over Merchant Circle's listing removal form and two months later, nothing was done. I spend hours trying to talk to someone on their live chat who said they removed the listing, however, they didn't remove them all. The listing is still be indexed by Google showing in the search engine results a portion of the very negative comments. Back and forth, round and round we go. Merchant Circle says to contact Google, Google says to contact Merchant Circle. The only way Google will remove a cached URL is if the page returns a 404. Merchant Circle refused to do this and the page shows as being live. Why bother removing anything if you're not going to remove the entire page! I will be indexed by Google for years to come unless This company does something. Every email I've sent them I receive an auto response that does not address my email. Every live person I've chatted with has rudely disconnected me. Every fax I've sent mysteriously never gets there. I am convinced that Merchant Circle is systematically and methodically forcing people to pay their $35 fee for the priveledge of speaking with a live person on the telephone. Who ever heard of such a thing? A company can keep your reputation hostage and there is NO CUSTOMER SERVICE number and they make it very clear that emails may take weeks to be responded to if you are not a "member". This is the worst company I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. If I could give them a zero star rating I would. I am contacting an attorney and filing as many complaints against them as I possibly can.

Su
  7th of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I am fed up with this bogus company. I signed my business up 7 years ago. Since then, I get constant 'requests' from companies that have absolutely ZERO relevance to our business, and they're not customers. Then I get requests for 'deals' for services we don't even offer or products that have nothing to do with us. Then today, I tried to go to the site to zilch my account totally. I don't want to be associated with them. So guess what? I can't log on. They have some inane 'ad' on their front page, and I requested new password and got nothing. Now I'm getting an 'under construction' message. They just continue to waste more of my time and money.

Also, a friend of mine received a lot of negative reviews that were 'faked' by a competitor's business (who was once her employees). It was a nightmare for her trying to get her account removed.

I'm absolutely sick of these people. I hope everyone reads these reviews and STOPS DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM.

Su
  7th of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

(I've tried posting this before, but it disappeared in another browser. So please excuse if this ends up being a duplicate.)

RUN from Merchant Circle, people!!! They are NOT your friend, nor a friend of your business. They're a huge time-waster and just try to get something handled properly. No phone number, email is virtually impossible to find, and when you do find it, they don't read it and send 'canned responses'. My issue? It's done nothing for me but waste my time, and now I'm having a hard time removing my company totally from their site. I get 'deal requests' from idiots who are asking for products and services we don't even offer. We're already the lowest priced and highest service in the market. TIME WASTER. I also get link requests from businesses that are not relevant to ours. TIME WASTER. I get notifications that I've gotten glowing reviews but can never find or view the review, and can't find who left it just in case I want to thank them. TIME WASTER. And then today, I tried to log on to get rid of the account? Well, first they have some inane ad on their 'front page' and then I can't log in. So I requested password reset three times. No password reset email received (and no - I don't filter spam because I don't want to accidently filter a good customer.) So then I try to write them since no phone number can be found. I get a CANNED response. They don't even read the email. Their 'online chat' support isn't available til 1 PM my time (which is 6 hrs after I started trying to remove myself from their system.) MONSTROUS TIME WASTER!!!

A friend of mine suffered great damage because of Merchant Circle. She had two fired employees who started a competing business, then they took on various aliases and began to leave negative reviews for her business. Merchant Circle did nothing about it.

I will continue today to try to delete my account, but in the meantime...DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE SCAMMERS! They deserve to go down. (And...I believe I'll spend some of my time today WISELY and post this same complaint everywhere I can. Hopefully it will help other businesses who have had to deal with this crap.)

Su
  9th of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I'm back with another complaint. I never received anything but canned responses from these scammers, so I went on their site to remove the listing totally. Well, I went through the process - THREE TIMES NOW in the past three hours. The message I get is this: (first check my email)
# Look for a message from MerchantCircle entitled "Confirm your request to remove your business listing" to confirm your request
# Click or visit the link in the email. You must visit the link to complete the removal process. Either click the link or copy and paste the URL into your browser window.
# Login to your MerchantCircle account
# Click "Remove Listing" to complete the process.
# You will receive a confirmation message that your listing has been removed.

The email never comes. Are these people that hard up? I understand they're being sued and I can certainly see why.

Se
  16th of Jul, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

OMG! I just read all of these complaints and I am floored. I've been using MC for about 9+ years and never had any problems. But as I read all these disturbing posts. I am going to be very conscious of any negative actions
Thanks to all that have posted

Wi
  9th of Jan, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Merchant Circle has unauthorized charges on my visa 1 month they charged me $300. they were being punitive when I complained to my bank and Merchant Circle.on the INTERNET when you would click on my site that had merchant circle on the listing. You would be directed to my site on MC no pictures, my web address removed and contact info removed. My info was replaced with an ad on my page with my competitors ad.

Fr
  2nd of Dec, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

My company recently discovered a bogus posting on Merchant Circle, We have never heard of, nor contracted to do any work for any such individual that posted the review. Websites such as Merchant Circle, apparently have no social or moral responsibility for allowing bogus, non-substantiated and most of all unverifiable negative claims that are allowed to be posted on their website. It appears that sites such as these can harbor, childish prank comments, those of an unethical competitor seeking to better their own position, a former employee, or just a misguided mind plundering reputations of responsible business and individuals via this medium. It appears from other comments it could very well be a scam site. As a reputable contractor for over 35 yrs we have held the highest standards of the industry and those of our clientele. Thank you for reading our rebuttal and we urge anyone to be wary of any unregulated referral sites posting any review albeit positive or negative.

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