Heartland Credit Card Processing Complaints

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Heartland Payment Systems is a very large provider of business accounts, formerly headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma and now in Oklahoma City. Founded in 1997, the company is the fifth largest payment processor in the United States, processing more than $80 billion in credit card transactions annually, according to multiple reports. Heartland was acquired by Global Payments for $4.3 billion in December 2015, followed by Global Payments’ acquisition of TSYS in 2019. It is unclear whether the combined company plans to incorporate the Heartland brand into Global Payments Inc over time, but for now it appears that Heartland will continue to operate under the Heartland name.

Heartland Credit Card Processing Complaints

Heartland Credit Card Processing Complaints

The company made national headlines in 2008 when Heartland’s computer systems were breached by a computer hacker named Albert Gonzalez, who subsequently stole information on more than 130 million credit cards. While this can be devastating for such a well-known company, Heartland reacted quickly to repair the damage and prevent future security breaches. Heartland now regularly updates its security systems and understandably takes data security very seriously. Also, Heartland seems to have an ingrained philosophy of educating merchants about payment processing, and even has an entire website dedicated to the Merchant Bill of Rights, which is more than the average merchant service provider.

Heartland Payment Systems Review 2022

Heartland Payment Systems processes all major credit and debit cards for most types of businesses, including enterprise level businesses. Their services include POS systems, mobile payments, e-commerce solutions, payroll services, customer engagement, and invoicing and recurring billing.

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA and Bancorp Bank, Philadelphia, PA. The company is headquartered at 616 Broadway, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City. However, the BBB lists 3932 S Boulevard Edmond, OK 73013. Marcus Dean is CEO of Heartland and Cameron Brady is President and CEO of Global Payments. However, some sites list Vincent Lombardo as the CEO.

For a processor of Heartland’s size, the company has fielded a low to moderate number of complaints in normal channels and forums, with only a few accusing the company of fraud or piracy. Almost all of the negative Heartland reviews mentioned fees that were not properly disclosed before signing up. The personal sales representatives that merchants interact with appear to be a major factor in determining merchants’ future satisfaction with Heartland, so merchants are encouraged to work with people they trust. Heartland even has a dedicated communication manager to improve communication in this area.

In addition to complaints from agents, there have been several reports (and at least one lawsuit) of merchants suddenly increasing their fees without notice. In one particular case, the businessman “told [the sales rep] that I would try his company, but I wouldn’t sign a 3-year contract. [The rep] said that’s fine.” But later “they said.” I signed up and am charged $295 for a 3 year non-cancellable contract. I asked them to send me a copy of the contract which is clearly fake.

Heartland Payment Systems Reviews

In October 2017, a judge gave preliminary approval to a proposed class action against Heartland, agreeing to pay $2.5 million. The plaintiffs in the case allege that Heartland initially told merchants in June 2014 that it would charge them the same American Express rates as Visa and MasterCard. They also allege that Heartland began charging them in October 2014 for “adjusting American Express charges” that contradicted the company’s previous statements and the terms of its contract.

In July 2018, the SEC filed a complaint against former Heartland CEO Robert Carr and his lover Catherine M. Hanratty filed, alleging that the pair engaged in insider trading in the sale of Heartland Payment Systems to Global Payments. In October 2018, the suit was settled, requiring Harathi to hand over the funds and pay a civil penalty. The SEC case against Robert Carr is ongoing.

In 2020, Heartland was sued for allegedly collecting tuition from parents at a number of US schools. These costs are paid by the school itself.

Heartland Credit Card Processing Complaints

In 2021, another class action lawsuit was filed against Heartland by a group of restaurants that allegedly received excessive new fees during the 2020-21 global pandemic.

Heartland Payment Systems Review & Alternatives

Other negative user reviews typically refer to poor customer service and non-payment of funds, although they vary in detail and severity. Overall, Heartland seems to offer above-average customer service, but its billing approach is less so. Heartland offers a variety of support contact options on its website, which is what we’ve come to expect from a top payment processor for customer service.

It gives Heartland an “A-” rating and reports 63 complaints filed in the past 36 months. All things considered, the total number of complaints is low for such a large processor. 23 complaints were due to product or service issues, 36 were related to billing or collection, 2 were due to advertising or sales issues, 1 was warranty or guarantee, and 1 was related to delivery. Out of 63 complaints, only 23 were settled by the company and satisfied the traders. The remaining 40 cases were resolved with merchant dissatisfaction or did not receive a final response.

In addition to 63 complaints, Heartland’s payment system received 17 informal reviews. All 17 reviews are negative. A recent article mentions a case where Heartland customer service failed to resolve the issue:

Don’t send a bill up to 45 days late and don’t threaten to send it to get it. Then send a **** after contacting them. Does not answer calls. You should always ask them to call you back, but they have even a 1/5 chance that they will call you back. Terrible customer service

Heartland Payment Processing Reviews, Cost & Features

Large providers like Heartland often struggle to provide quality customer service to their large number of merchants. Businesses should explore options for merchant account providers that can address their concerns.

Pricing for Heartland business accounts appears to vary based on a number of factors, including business needs, sales volume, and the agent setting up the account. The company’s standard contract has a 3-year service contract with a $295 cancellation fee, both of which appear to be negotiable. In many cases, it appears that Heartland is willing to waive cancellation and processing fees.

Heartland’s website claims that the company offers all of its merchants the most transparent pricing model available, exchange-plus pricing. The company does not appear to charge an annual PCI compliance fee, but does charge a $25 monthly “regulatory license and service fee.” Agents can waive the fee, a representative said. Heartland has also added a few basis points to rates for businesses that need monthly rather than daily billing.

Heartland Credit Card Processing Complaints

Under the company’s commercial agreement, businesses can lease or purchase hardware from Heartland. Leasing equipment for the duration of an ongoing contract often results in costs that exceed the price of the equipment, which can be as little as $500.

Heartland Payment Processing Reviews, Demo & Pricing

In addition to storefront payment processing services, the Heartland payment system also provides other services such as virtual terminals and payment gateway services. However, no pricing has been revealed for any of these services. Additional rates and fees, including gateway fees, technical support fees, volume fees, and additional transaction fees, typically apply to these e-commerce services.

Last year we saw merchants and agencies report increased costs and unexpected expenses. A former broker claimed Heartland plans to raise rates in February 2018, a company representative later confirmed. However, the rate hike will only affect businesses whose initial three-year contracts have expired and whose sales have dropped significantly. Several merchants also claim they were charged $299 without notice because they hadn’t yet upgraded their terminals to EMV compatibility, which is costly for small businesses. We encourage merchants to check out our list of the best merchant service providers.

Overall, Heartland’s contract terms are better than the industry average, but more competitive than monthly contracts with no termination fees. If you can add more details about this company’s pricing, please leave it in the comments section below.

Heartland does not appear to use deceptive advertising or solicitation methods. In addition, Heartland representatives said all of the company’s salespeople are internal W-2 employees who have undergone background checks. Heartland has never outsourced its products and services to other companies, nor used independent contractors, sub-ISOs, or vendor organizations. It compares favorably with our list of the best credit card processors.

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Although the company claims it does its best to fully disclose the terms of its contracts to merchants.

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