Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Costco - Elavon Merchant Services / POS Services

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 24th, 2014 11:43 am
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Apr 19, 2002
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Cristian_01 wrote:
Aug 4th, 2014 9:52 pm
Hey, some of these door to door reps are not bad - myself included... :-D
You sound like a nice guy - so present company excepted of course! An informative letter, email, or fax is much preferred than someone trying to demand to have a "short talk" during the middle of a busy day.
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@dani_toronto
Oh, absolutely. I found that business owners I talk to on a daily basis are focused on their jobs - which is why anyone trying to contact them personally should be asking first if they have the time... I also found that most (over 95%) of the people I speak with are happier with personal contact instead of phone calls - seems everyone hates telemarketing... :-)
Cristian.
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Cristian_01 wrote:
Aug 6th, 2014 10:29 am
@dani_toronto
Oh, absolutely. I found that business owners I talk to on a daily basis are focused on their jobs - which is why anyone trying to contact them personally should be asking first if they have the time... I also found that most (over 95%) of the people I speak with are happier with personal contact instead of phone calls - seems everyone hates telemarketing... :-)
Cristian.
Everyone just hate sales people! LOL
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Oct 4, 2006
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Burlington
^... that lol. The amount of sales calls, faxes or random drop ins I get at my place is getting annoying.

I have one company that faxes 3 pages of random adds daily no matter how many times I call to request it stopped or fax a message back asking them to stop it comes. And often full page picture crap so it burns through toner... I resorted to sending the entire pile of faxes back every time they fax me a new set of 3 pages. Seemed to work a few years back when I did that, not working atm tho :*(
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Jul 10, 2005
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DarkMasterMX wrote:
Aug 8th, 2014 6:27 pm
I have one company that faxes 3 pages of random adds daily no matter how many times I call to request it stopped or fax a message back asking them to stop it comes. And often full page picture crap so it burns through toner... I resorted to sending the entire pile of faxes back every time they fax me a new set of 3 pages. Seemed to work a few years back when I did that, not working atm tho :*(
With the price of toner you should seriously consider getting all your faxes through a fax-to-email service, and only print the ones you really have to.
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dani_toronto wrote:
Aug 8th, 2014 11:04 pm
With the price of toner you should seriously consider getting all your faxes through a fax-to-email service, and only print the ones you really have to.
Yeah, its on the agenda to get dealt with this summer. Faxes in general are getting annoying when people's writing is terrible and the fax makes it worse
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DarkMasterMX wrote:
Aug 9th, 2014 12:04 am
Yeah, its on the agenda to get dealt with this summer. Faxes in general are getting annoying when people's writing is terrible and the fax makes it worse
I have good service from srfax.com. You could just open an acct there and port your number.
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Oct 8, 2010
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There are always ups and downs. Elavon is based in the USA (Atlanta). I had a business friend that opened a restaurant and went with Costco/Elavon. He had issues getting it started and with the language barrier and american accents from the call center, just got him really frustrated. He went with Costco because of the no contract rental deal and he didn't know how to run a business so it worked out for him (no huge penalties).

One thing to keep in mind though is that you have more bargaining leverage when you are using your bank because you have a chequing account and they don't want to risk losing this and will work better with you. Also transfers are faster and customers feel safe with familiar looking terminals. If you call them up and say a competitors offered you whatever rate, they will usually match/beat the it and lower the monthly rate.

When you use 3rd party, there are tons of hidden fees they don't tell you about or even inform the sales reps. Maybe they tell you that you will get a really low rate of 1.X% but charge 3% on reward cards and Amex since not everyone has a Visa/MC from their banks.

In my opinion, renting a machine is stupid. Owning it is a great option if your business is in for the long term. There are good private companies out there if you can find them. Usually TD will charge $250 to break the contract if you are looking to move. Plug all the numbers in a spreadsheet and see what option is best for you. This is usually the job of the sales people that do come around and ask for a sit down to compare your statements to their rates. If you are worried their numbers might be a little inflated, analyze everything yourself and see if it works for you. This is why emailing or leaving a brochure is not effective. I mean, if a customer comes to your store and you want to sell them your product or service, do you tell them you will email them information and hope they come back? Most likely not unless it's a high value sale. You will try to close them on the spot. That's what these business to business sales agents are attempting to do and if you get the experienced ones that know what they are doing, you can always work a good deal out.
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DarkMasterMX wrote:
Aug 8th, 2014 6:27 pm
^... that lol. The amount of sales calls, faxes or random drop ins I get at my place is getting annoying.

I have one company that faxes 3 pages of random adds daily no matter how many times I call to request it stopped or fax a message back asking them to stop it comes. And often full page picture crap so it burns through toner... I resorted to sending the entire pile of faxes back every time they fax me a new set of 3 pages. Seemed to work a few years back when I did that, not working atm tho :*(
LMAO for the fax..... who even fax anymore *jk*

You should fax them back with three pages of black pages with white font in the middle stating *STOP THE SPAM*(one word per page). At least waste their ink and see how they feel.

I remember my buddy telling me his old boss hired someone just to do that. LOL!
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Feb 18, 2014
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Renting a machine is, by far, the best way to go. Changes in technology are constant. Look at that last 6 or 7 years. EMV, IP, even Bluetooth technology. You get stuck leasing a terminal, and because it's only the private companies that offer this option, have to cross your fingers in regards to service, fee increases etc. Want to upgrade your leased unit? NOPE, going to have to lease a brand new one...Renting a unit, with little to no cancellation fee is by FAR, the best way to go.
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gamechanger wrote:
Aug 11th, 2014 6:21 pm
Renting a machine is, by far, the best way to go. Changes in technology are constant. Look at that last 6 or 7 years. EMV, IP, even Bluetooth technology. You get stuck leasing a terminal, and because it's only the private companies that offer this option, have to cross your fingers in regards to service, fee increases etc. Want to upgrade your leased unit? NOPE, going to have to lease a brand new one...Renting a unit, with little to no cancellation fee is by FAR, the best way to go.
Although I do agree with this as I haven't checked pricing on the units in the last 5 years. I remember buying a wireless terminal for $700 at one point. Typically worth $40-$60 a month from some companies. A little over a year it's paid itself. Prices are probably a lot more than they used to but if you can find some good deals from closing businesses and direct connections, your set.
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bargainhunter99 wrote:
Aug 13th, 2014 12:49 am
Although I do agree with this as I haven't checked pricing on the units in the last 5 years. I remember buying a wireless terminal for $700 at one point. Typically worth $40-$60 a month from some companies. A little over a year it's paid itself. Prices are probably a lot more than they used to but if you can find some good deals from closing businesses and direct connections, your set.
Yes, but if you choose this route, you have other considerations, such as Warranty / terminal replacement. For something as crucial as your processing terminal, you NEED to have the ability to have the terminal fixed, and fixed quickly if it goes down. Depending on which private provider you work with, this may or may not be the case. And, if they do provide a warranty / replacement solution, it will typically cost you an additional $10 / month. Add this to the statement fees, etc, and you are at $20 / month. For pricing in that range (I can provide the full solution for under $30), you can rent a terminal, no capital outlay, and have peace of mind, knowing that your terminal will be replaced, and that you don't have to worry when new technology, inevitably arrives.
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Renting does have its perks. One other option is rent to own where you pay the monthly rental fees and after a certain number of years they stop charging you for the unit as it has been paid out. For me, I had some issues with the pin pad handheld extender unit so they swapped out a whole new unit for me just before they stopped with the monthly fees. Worked out well, but I still wonder how much it will cost if something breaks down as I'm not on the rental/lease program anymore. When I first started my business I was searching eBay looking to buy a unit outright as someone mentioned that Elavon can reprogram them, but after talking with a rep they said they don't do that. It might depend on how long of a customer you've been with them I guess as someone reported success previously. With new clients they probably don't provide that as an option.

With junk fax, definitely consider an online fax service. I'm with Rapidfax for $9.99 a month, and they've been okay. I have had some faxes refuse to go through for some reason, but that's not very common. Support isn't that great, but for $10 a month I don't expect too much. There are cheaper options out there. They gave me a 1-877 number, and I think I have unlimited incoming/outgoing faxes. I don't have to have a dedicated fax line, and I save on toner/paper. I have a fax machine as a backup to fax on one of my main phone lines, but I think I've used it like twice in 6 years.
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gamechanger wrote:
Aug 13th, 2014 12:54 pm
Yes, but if you choose this route, you have other considerations, such as Warranty / terminal replacement. For something as crucial as your processing terminal, you NEED to have the ability to have the terminal fixed, and fixed quickly if it goes down. Depending on which private provider you work with, this may or may not be the case. And, if they do provide a warranty / replacement solution, it will typically cost you an additional $10 / month. Add this to the statement fees, etc, and you are at $20 / month. For pricing in that range (I can provide the full solution for under $30), you can rent a terminal, no capital outlay, and have peace of mind, knowing that your terminal will be replaced, and that you don't have to worry when new technology, inevitably arrives.
Any decent provider will ensure you get a replacement within 24 hours. The better ones will not charge you.
For "new technology" - this is a catch thrown in by companies that provide rental only. The only "change in technology" that happened in the last 20 years or so is the introduction of the chip cards. Providers I sold for at the time (and still sell for) made sure all terminals - purchased or leased - were replaced free of charge, regardless of how long the merchants were with them. There wasn't even a shipping charge for it. The next technological advance may be where a fingerprint or retinal scan will be required and that will take many years. The implementation of the chip card system took what - 10 years?

So no, if you deal with a good provider, rental is not the better option - unless you decide to change providers within 3 years or so.
Cristian.
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Feb 18, 2014
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Cristian_01 wrote:
Aug 13th, 2014 9:35 pm
Any decent provider will ensure you get a replacement within 24 hours. The better ones will not charge you.
For "new technology" - this is a catch thrown in by companies that provide rental only. The only "change in technology" that happened in the last 20 years or so is the introduction of the chip cards. Providers I sold for at the time (and still sell for) made sure all terminals - purchased or leased - were replaced free of charge, regardless of how long the merchants were with them. There wasn't even a shipping charge for it. The next technological advance may be where a fingerprint or retinal scan will be required and that will take many years. The implementation of the chip card system took what - 10 years?

So no, if you deal with a good provider, rental is not the better option - unless you decide to change providers within 3 years or so.
Cristian.
So, if they are not charging for shipping, and not charging for the replacement of a terminal that was purchased outright (and the sales rep made most of the profit), how are they paying for these hard costs? They are either losing money, or have hidden fees that are covering these costs...

As for "no new technology", take a look at the Ingenico line. 10 years ago, their countertop terminal was the elite 510 with the en-crypt 150 pin pad. Obsolete. Then, they moved to the i5300. Obsolete. Once IP became available, the i5310. Obsolete. From there, the i5100 dual mode. No longer in production, and servicing of these units is being phased out. Now, the latest and greatest is the Ingenico Telium line. New features / technology include an integrated contactless solution (tap and go) Awesome terminals...for right now. Give it a few years, and they too will be obsolete. Same can be said about wireless, both Bluetooth and GPRS. Once again, how is a private processing company (ISO / MSP) supposed to pay for this new hardware and upgrade the client for free?

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