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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs exp with Consumer Law issues
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I was searching online for a work from home job and got a phone

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I was searching online for a work from home job and got a phone call from a Credit Card Processing company who said they got my name from a list that they bought. The man said I could become a Merchant Agent and I would be the only agent for 75 miles of my area. I could send them business leads for Merchant Services getting a $500 commission for each business that buys a Credit Card Terminal and 1% of credit and debit card sales each month if they sign up. I was told I would need to be a licensed agent so I paid them $395 and they would do all the paper work for me. I never received any kind of documents showing my license. They set me up with a Merchant Website with an agent number connected to it then told me that they started a traffic campaign for it. I was told that in seven days I would get a call from a mentor to help me get started. I received the call and was asked how much would potentially like to make each month and I replied $3000-$5000 a month but if there was a possibility to make more I would strive for that. My "Mentor" told me that they can buy business leads from banks that they work with for $10 a lead then their sales team work try to convert the leads for Merchant Services. Again I would receive $500 dollars for each terminal and 1% of debit/credit sales. His suggestion was to use my credit cards to purchase these leads then asked for my credit card information, said he would call the card companies to verify the limits on each of them. He called back with a plan. He had draw out a diagram of a plan that he stated could make me close to $8800 in residual income each month. His plan was to buy 5500 leads. He said that they average 3-7% conversion rates on leads and that the industry was highly regulated so they needed to have at least a 3% conversion rate to keep their good standing with the banks they work with. His plan was based on a "worst case scenario of 3% conversion". 3% of 5500 leads for $55,000 would be 165 businesses, $500 for each card terminal equals $82,500 a $27,500 profit. I would then receive 1% of all the businesses credi/debit sales for the month at an average of $53 per business. I responded by saying that I could not afford to make the credit card payments on $55,000 and he told that in 90 days my cards would be paid off and on day 91 he would be calling me so I could thank him and ask to buy more leads. My life partner who was on the call also asked would I make enough money in 30 days to make the first card payments, the reply was it shouldn't be a problem but if not I could pay the first month and the second month should show results. I signed contracts after expressing alot of relunctance. My leads were put into my backoffice of my web page for me to see and I was given a campaign manager who calls me each week with updates on how the campaign is going. At the very beginning after the 3 day cancellation period I was informed that converting any leads could take 3-4 months, not all the businesses will need to buy a terminal, I would not receive any residual income for 30-60 days after businesses start service, not mentioned previously they offer small business loans for $50,000-$100,000 of which I would receive 2%, and that it's possible I would not make any money back but that's not very likely. I have been patient, made 2 months of card payments, getting ready to make my 3rd month. The 90 day mark is on Nov 20th, I haven't received any money and can barely make the next payment. I would like to beleive that with time money will come in but angry that I was lied to in the intial sales pitch. If I had been told the truth I would never have bought the leads knowing that I would not be able to make the payments for long. I have considered filing complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General of their state on day 91.
Is there information that the company would be required to supply me with to help me in anyway such as contact information of other agents who bought leads they claim to have to ask about they're results. Anything that could help. The company is in Az, I am in Pa.
Hello,

Thank you for the information. Can you tell me what the name of this company is and where or not you have checked yet with your State's (or Arizona's) Attorney General about complaints against this business?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The company name isXXXXX in Pheonix an branch of BBS Merchant Group Llc out Las Vegas. GG International out of Las Vegas looks like the parent company. I checked and Ebiz is in good standing.

Hello again and thank you for the additional information. Actually, this company has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau on a scale of A+ to F, with F being the worst. So, you might want to check out the nature of the complaints that the BBB has received on them. You can find that information at: http://www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/name/E-biz+Services+Llc/

This result really doesn't surprise me since what you described smacks of a work from home scam/scheme that is not what it appears to be. But, to directly answer your question, no, the company doesn't have to provide you with anything that is not in the contract you agreed to with them. That includes references, etc. However, if they are breaching the written agreement, then you would have a breach of contract action you could file suit on.

The bigger issue here is whether or not they are involved in fraud. That appears to be a possibility and therefore I would strongly urge you to file a complaint with your State's AG's Office, since that is where you live and the company is doing this questionable business via the internet. Your state's AG can contact the Arizona AG for assistance if they want. In addition, you can, and probably should, file a complaint with the FTC. You might review what the FTC says about work from home offers as well, by going to: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0175-work-home-businesses

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I mentioned to the company that they have an F rating with the BBB and they're reply was they do not want to pay the $12,000 to get a rating. The statements they made to me are not on the contract. They did supply me with a letter that states they will buy me more leads with on they're dime if they don't make a 3% conversion in 180 days.

Well, right there I can say that they are making misleading statements. There are many businesses that are rated A+, A, B, and definitely higher than an F, who are not members of the BBB, (meaning they don't pay anything for the ratings) so that statement was, at best, XXXXX XXXXX only need read what the complaints are, to see that they are not dissimilar to yours. I can't tell you what to do, and can only tell you what your options are and my experience is with companies like this, but I can tell you that to continue doing business with this company will put you in peril of losing more money.

When they breach the contract or you are satisfied that you have been defrauded of your money, then you have the options I mentioned, which is suit, and the complaints to the AG and FTC.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I contacted my credit cards companies a few days after I signed the contract told them what they told me and the said that I could dispute the charges, one for 90 days, another for 180 days and another 6 months. Would it be wise to call them again? Is there any way to print out this conversation?

I can't tell you what to do since we do not, and cannot have, an attorney-client relationship. But if you are facing a deadline to dispute the credit card payments to this company, you might want to consider doing so if you believe you have been defrauded. Because it is very difficult to get money back from these companies, even if they are found to have committed fraud. That said, the AG and the FTC can enter into settlement agreements with these companies where they agree to repay victims/customers in exchange for not being criminally prosecuted or fined a major amount of money. But you never know that will happen.

I am not a computer person, but you can generally print, either from your own operating system tools or, if you go to the first question in this thread if you look at the lower right hand side you will see a rectangle that says "share" with a + in it. If you click on the icon, one of the options is print.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I noticed on the FTC website that I can ask for a Earnings Claim Statement and by law they need to give it to me. Does that apply here.

Yes, if they have made such a statement. At this point though, I am not sure that I would tip my hand to them about what you plan to do (if you are going to file complaints.) There really is nothing they can produce that is going to be legitimate. But again, that is up to you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would it be wise to get an attorney to help me out?

If you have the money to do that, perhaps. But honestly, you are just as good, at this point, to file your complaints for free with the offices I mentioned and see what they can and will do first. Then if it looks like you are actually going to have to file suit, at that point, you would definitely need an attorney.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Last question, I have heard that you can get free legal aid in my state Pa. is that an option?


 

Only if you are indigent. Legal Aid and Legal Services, which are non-profit legal clinics, only serve the indigent population. Sometimes a local law school might have free clinics, but often they take only indigent clients as well. However, you can check with your local law schools to see if they do have a service you can use.
Marsha411JD and 6 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Marsha

You're welcome and best of luck to you.

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