The Free Terminal program

Shannon Andrade |

September 22, 2008

Ever hear the old phrase "Nothing is for free?" Every day we are given "free" offers from numerous fast food chains, restaurants, and more. Now think back to whether you've ever heard the phrase "Buy none, get one." Or, "Free small coffee, no purchase required." Doesn't happen too often, does it?

While researching merchant account services providers and equipment you must certainly have seen offers for free terminal deals. But before you walk into a trap, ask yourself the following questions:

What is the contract or termination fee? Always ask for the schedule of fees and the program guide to make sure that neither the provider nor the back end processor has a contract or termination fee. When you're locked into a contract, you might be paying for that "free" credit card terminal with increased rates every three months or a surprise "added" annual fee. Merchant Warehouse has no contract or termination fee, which means that A) We have every incentive to keep you happy and processing with us for a very long time, and B) We can't arbitrarily raise our rates or provide lousy customer support, since it is so easy for you to leave us.

What kind of terminal are they giving me for "free"?  Our site is a good point of reference for you. Since we buy all of our equipment wholesale, we can offer credit card terminals at guaranteed lowest prices. So, if you are a new business being promised a "free" terminal that is worth hundreds of dollars on our website, that should raise a red flag. If you own a fine dining establishment, would you run a promotion where you're giving away free lobster tail and filet mignon?

What happens if the terminal breaks? If you read the terms and conditions, you may find a hidden clause that states if the terminal breaks you have to wait weeks while it's being repaired. Merchant Warehouse's free terminal program includes overnight replacement insurance. If you drop the terminal, spill something on it, or it's struck by lightning, we overnight you a replacement, no questions asked.

What is the condition of the equipment you are purchasing?
Is it new or used? Merchant Warehouse only sends out new units for our free terminal program that are programmed and tested in house before it gets to your door.

So remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it is. Make sure you are getting the best package deal, because when you think about it, if you walk into a car dealership and try to get something for free or with no strings attached, you're likely to end up with a piece of junk that breaks down on the highway.

Shannon Andrade - Account Executive