Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Seeking feedback on Costco/Elavon

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  • Jan 16th, 2018 3:48 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 3, 2007
34 posts
1 upvote
Ottawa

Seeking feedback on Costco/Elavon

I do a Google search of Costco/Elavon and read few bad comments about it.

For example:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complain ... 96430.html

http://costco.pissedconsumer.com/elavon ... 59166.html

But I also found good comments of Elavon.

So, if you are currently using Elavon for your customer's credit/debit card payment method, can you please provide your feedback for this topic?

I just want a single topic to talk about Elavon (via Costco) for my consideration.

Thanks in advance.
53 replies
Member
User avatar
Mar 14, 2005
453 posts
Edmonton, AB
I use Costco/Elavon and I'm pretty satisfied with everything. Granted, they are the only merchant provider I have used, so I can't really compare, but I haven't had any problems.

Basically just complete the application over the phone, they send you a box of equipment. They will include a training call to help you set it up and train you on its functionality.

After that its pretty much just use it and collect the money. I also did some quick research about them before signing up, and it seems their rates are really good. I think it was like 1.7% for swiped transactions, and 2.2% for non-swiped (ie. telephone orders) or something like that. I've heard that the non-swiped rate is not that great, but we don't do that many non-swipe transactions, so its not a big deal for us.
Newbie
Apr 11, 2007
19 posts
1 upvote
We've been using Elavon as Costco members (Executive) for close to a year now. Before that we were using Global Payments (GP).

All our transactions are non-swipe.

We use the Virtual Merchant software from Elavon and I really like it. Keeps track of everything for us. It also allows us to make charges if we're on the road or on holiday, so long as there's an internet connection.

The rate diff between Elavon and GP and GP's service (or lack thereof; see below) was what sent us away from GP. Also, with Elavon, we don't get charged different rates depending on which card is used, which used to irritate me no end with GP.

When I was debating switching to Elavon, their sales person said that I would not ever be charged any extra fees. So far that has been true.

I get real live voices when I need support from Elavon (which is rarely needed now). With GP, I had an assigned sales person, all I would get was his voice mail, but he would never return my calls. The only way I got any service from GP was to somehow get a hold of another sales person and absolutely freak out about the lack of response I was getting from this slug that was assigned to me. One sales person actually said to just phone her when I had requests and to not bother with my sales person. That eased the pain thereafter. Nonetheless, I had the calendar marked for when the contract with GP would expire, and I ended it the first chance I got.

But the most important thing is the bottom line. With Elavon I've cut my merchant fees by approximately 50% compared to those with GP. For me, the numbers in my bank account don't lie.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 3, 2007
34 posts
1 upvote
Ottawa
I called Costco/Elavon 1-800 number to ask for the rate and other details. I wasn't impressed with the agent (a lady) who answered my call. I had to ask each question myself and she won't volunteer to give me any extra information.

Later on, when I asked about the $125 cancellation fee for the 2-year contract term, she told me that there wasn't any hidden charges and only $125. I told her that I heard about the terminal charges for the remaining months in the contract, she then told me to hold the line. About 5 minutes later, she told me that she would send me the contract via email and the terminal charges for the remaining months after cancellation may apply. She told me to read the contract myself. However, I haven't received her contract copy.

I now worry about their customer service once I have signed up with Elavon. The reason I want to change to other company is because of the current company's poor service and higher transaction rate. I don't want to go through the same thing again.
Member
Sep 10, 2008
436 posts
74 upvotes
Ottawa
I just picked up the pamphlet for this at Costco. Do you guys think this would be the cheapest service available for a business that would probably only process 3 - 5 transactions per month?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 16, 2007
6811 posts
572 upvotes
stellar11 wrote: I just picked up the pamphlet for this at Costco. Do you guys think this would be the cheapest service available for a business that would probably only process 3 - 5 transactions per month?
What is the average transaction?

You certainly want something like a virtual terminal (not swiped) to avoid the rental fees.

Maybe even something like paypal payments pro or something. Depending on your transaction size the fixed costs could be worse than your %'es
Member
Sep 10, 2008
436 posts
74 upvotes
Ottawa
matdwyer wrote: What is the average transaction?

You certainly want something like a virtual terminal (not swiped) to avoid the rental fees.

Maybe even something like paypal payments pro or something. Depending on your transaction size the fixed costs could be worse than your %'es
Our transactions are anywhere from $200 to $1000. Thanks for your advice!
Jr. Member
Feb 21, 2008
187 posts
2 upvotes
Costco Elavon Canada has HORRRRRIBLE customer service.


After reading the merchant thread on RFD, I decided to signup with Elavon Merchant Services. At the beginning it was really good, I called in just to inquire because I am strictly online business and do online transactions, everything seemed good so I decided I would apply and told her to call me back in a week as I need to apply for a Costco Executive account (it waives some monthly fees *statement fees and I already have a normal costco card so why not upgrade).

A week goes by and she calls me as she promised, sends me all the necessary paperwork, I fill everything out and send it back. This is where shits hit the fan, after I send it back I hear no response for a week (I sent numerous emails and tried calling her and even left a voicemail) but nothing. Finally the next week she replies and says she is sorry she had been busy on the online chat services :confused: for a week? Okay but whatever.. so she finally looks over the application and everything is fine, now is step 2) more application forms to fill out. After reviewing the application forms of step 2 I now see the rates for processing has GONE UP... She sent me a info package by fax stating rates of 1.64% or 1.99%, but on this application form rates are now at 2.82% which are pretty high as many many companies charge that rate like Moneris so why would it benefit me to use Elevaon. So I asked her, and again after a few days she finally replies and states it is because we are in Canada the rates are higher... (so because I am in Canada I get screwed on rates?), then I told her to call me so we can discuss. She says she will call me in 5-10 minutes as she is again on online chat and is busy, she never ends up calling and a few days go by she returns the email saying she is sorry again. So finally got the chance to speak to her again and I tell her most of my business is dealt in the US and will be taking payment from US credit cards, can I be charged the cheaper rate? She says she has to talk to her manager and will get back to me, another week goes by and nothing. I email her finally fed up saying either call me back to set this up or please cancel the application, then she calls me and tells me she forwarded my concerns to another person. That person calls me the same day on my cellphone and I told her to call the office, she says okay.. but she never calls back.

So at this point, this is just ridiculous service with Elavon, guess they are not interested in new business, and I have no idea why they charge a extra percent and more because we are in Canada.

That is my experience with them and we haven't even got it set up, however I am sure once it is setup there should be no issues, but this customer service has stopped me from using them.
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
34 upvotes
Montr
boosted wrote: Costco Elavon Canada has HORRRRRIBLE customer service.


After reading the merchant thread on RFD, I decided to signup with Elavon Merchant Services. At the beginning it was really good, I called in just to inquire because I am strictly online business and do online transactions, everything seemed good so I decided I would apply and told her to call me back in a week as I need to apply for a Costco Executive account (it waives some monthly fees *statement fees and I already have a normal costco card so why not upgrade).
When you called them, did you call Elavon or Costco? Because Elavon is the service provider, Costco is the re-seller.
There are other re-sellers providing Elavon's service but at more expensive costs. Elavon (formerly known as NOVA) has a reputation for having awful customer service, but if you get their service through Costco, you'd be dealing with Costco's people not Elavon's.
Jr. Member
Feb 21, 2008
187 posts
2 upvotes
Sean,


Good point, I am assuming it is direct from Elavon.com as the email address is something@elavon.com

I don't think Costco has their own department to handle their reseller service of Elavon as when I go to Costco and call Costco, it all redirects you to call Elavon's number.


Thanks
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
34 upvotes
Montr
boosted wrote: Sean,


Good point, I am assuming it is direct from Elavon.com as the email address is something@elavon.com

I don't think Costco has their own department to handle their reseller service of Elavon as when I go to Costco and call Costco, it all redirects you to call Elavon's number.


Thanks
I truly hope they do. I plan on getting Costco's services and I know Elavon's customer service sucks :( So I was hoping I could bypass that by going by Costco.
Newbie
Mar 23, 2010
1 posts
Please beware... dealing with customer service with Elavon Costco is a complete nightmare... very friendly, but seriously incompetent. I spent 7.5 hours on the phone with tech support trouble shooting any possible angle, waited a week for a new pin pad terminal to be sent as they originally thought it was a faulty pin pad only to be told that the virtual merchant does not accept chip cards, as they do not have the level 3 security software supplied. Be prepared to be bounced from one department to the next, facing 20 minute hold times each time, repeating your concerns over again to the same person that was not listening, only to discover that you were sold a product that never would have functioned in Canada. The sales people are no help after you sign, they bounce you to software support, and now I've been bounced back to the sales person, awaiting her response. I sure hope they do the right thing and cancel my contract without charging me. What a complete waste of time.
Newbie
Apr 8, 2010
3 posts
Vancouver
I used Elavon for 2 years. In the begining seems no problem but all of sudden and they suspended my account and withdrew all money from my bank account. I have no chargeback or any fraudulent record. They did not provide you any reason and you have no way to appeal. They only say they have all the right to do so becasue of the contract. If you want your business bankrupt without any reason, Elavon is possible the best way.

There were at least 2 articles from Businessweek in April and June 2009 about how Elavon and another big processor First Data seizing cash from merchants without any reason and/or prior notice. They are not only targeting small business but also business with million in sales. Certainly more complaints about Elavon in www.complaintsboard.com, www.complaintsboard.com, www.epinions.com etc even facebook. Most common patten is they withhold your money in the merchant account and then go into your bank account to withdraw hugh amount of funds, and provide no reason. It is even more likely to happen if you business grow and making more sales.

Elavon's customer service is absolutely horrible and if you're only looking into how much money you can save from the merchant rate, you are making the a very big mistake for your business.

Stay away from Elavon. :mad:
Member
Dec 28, 2002
277 posts
6 upvotes
I'm surprised to read a few bad reviews... I've been with them for almost 4 years (when it was Nova before Elavon) and I'm very happy with their service. The rates are low, the money is in my account early the following business day, and whenever I've called them with any issue they helped me right away. I would recommend them to everyone still in spite of reading the posts above.

UPDATE: I had to call them again this week to ship them back a machine (didn't need it anymore) and get some settings changed on my current machine. It took about 5 min. to get to a CSR and she helped me get everything done in a few minutes. These guys are great.
Newbie
Apr 25, 2010
1 posts
washington
i was very optimistic Elavon would save me money by switching merchant accounts. however, after the first month, i could see it was costing me $100 to $200 more per month and it didn't get any better. when we asked why the interest rate was so much, they said it was because of the type of credit and debit cards we were processing. they said to try putting each of the accounts demographics in the system, which we did. barely made a dent. still way more than we were paying before. and we have recurrent billings each month as well. you'd think it would be cheap and easy. i still can't understand why they lied to us about costing less when we specifically shared with them the type of cards and amounts we were talking about. so we went back to PINNACLE and i couldn't be happier. better rates, nicer people and better service. i believe it's the first time Costco has disappointed me with their business partners. obviously, i wouldn't recommend them.

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