Case Studies

Tampa Bay Ponds and Rocks Ends Fee Frustration by Using CardFellow

by Ben Dwyer

In 20+ years of running his landscaping and pond business, George Ruiz had seen it all when it comes to credit card processing. High rates? Check. Negotiating lower pricing only to see it rise again? Check. Good reviews that seemed questionable? Check.

What he hadn’t seen was low pricing that stays low, with excellent customer service.

Enter CardFellow.

Starting a Business

More than two decades ago, George started out mowing lawns with a lawnmower he hauled around in the back of his beat up car. That turned into providing landscaping services, then pond installation, and finally retailing pond supplies. He eventually sold the landscaping part of the business, but kept the stone and pond supplies store going.

Tampa Bay Ponds and Rocks CardFellow

Today, customers come from all over Florida, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles, to shop at Tampa Bay Pond and Rocks and take in the beautiful displays.

Frustrations with Processing

Like many small business owners, George found credit card processing to be confusing and frustrating. The rates changed frequently, sales reps didn’t explain costs, and it was a constant battle to keep pricing down. In more than 20 years of business, he switched processors several times, chasing the elusive lower rates. “I would negotiate a good price, then they’d raise it,” George explains. Negotiate again, raise it again. Negotiate, raise. This back and forth led him to seek out processing where rates wouldn’t increase every year.

Searching for a Processor

With a goal of finding a processor that wouldn’t increase his rates all the time, George began his search. Like many business owners, he went online for advice and spent time reading reviews. But something seemed off – George suspected that the reviews he read may not be authentic. He was wary and continued to research.

He was right to be skeptical. Even if the reviews George found were 100% legitimate and written by the processor’s current or former clients, reviews in the processing world aren’t as beneficial as they are for some other services. In fact, credit card processor reviews are an easy way to fall into the wrong solution for your needs.

Since processors set pricing and terms individually for each business, you won’t get the same rates or deal as the person reviewing the processor.

Finding CardFellow

Fortunately, George wasn’t swayed by reviews. He heard about CardFellow, and checked out our website, spending time carefully reading through the information we provide. He found out that CardFellow is not a processor, but helps businesses find the right processing solution. In addition to a blog full of educational articles about how processing works, he learned that CardFellow runs a marketplace where businesses can get real quotes from different processors. And since the quotes in CardFellow’s marketplace come from processors that sign a legal agreement with CardFellow, he would get protections not available when choosing a processor in the open market. That includes CardFellow’s rate guard, preventing processors from raising their rates over time.

He liked what he read, but still had some reservations.

“You always do [have concerns] when you start anything related to a merchant processor company,” George explains. “You think that CardFellow could be in bed with the processors and will recommend only those processors that are more profitable to them, regardless of what is best for the customer.”

But what George found is that CardFellow is committed to transparency and works for clients. After all, happy clients are the only way that CardFellow earns money. We answered all of George’s questions, explained how processing fees really work, and promised to be there to help every step of the way.

So George chose a processor through the CardFellow marketplace.

The result? He saved $9,000 per year in processing fees and has the benefit of the CardFellow rate guard to protect him from the price increases that have plagued him for years. “We used to pay an average processing rate of 2.6%. Now we’re paying almost a point less and that is a lot of savings.”

Still Going Strong

It was about a year and a half ago that George switched to a processor he found through CardFellow, and he couldn’t be happier with the decision. “CardFellow is orientated to look after the customer,” he says. “Yes, they received a commission from the processor they recommended, but they don’t recommend just anyone.”

Knowing that he has great pricing with a rate guard also makes it easier for George to turn away the endless sales reps that cold call or stop by his business. “Every small business gets tons of calls, at least 1 or 2 a day,” George says about processor sales reps. “They’re ‘in the area,’ and say they want to ‘stop by and check a statement.’  Sometimes they just show up. No appointment. Usually I don’t have the time and I don’t want to waste the time.” Thanks to CardFellow, he doesn’t have to.

“And CardFellow has been honest. It’s good to work with companies that are honest. A good rate, but also helping you to be sure it stays a good rate, and that they go over the statements. ”

To businesses considering CardFellow, George says, “Give it a try, there nothing to lose. Get a quote from CardFellow and see what you get. Compare it with your existing processor. You won’t regret it.”

Ready to join George in getting the best possible pricing for credit card processing? Fill out our free, no obligation 2-minute business profile. Start here.

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