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June 05 2012


I am an independent sales agent and I was responded to a job posting by Appstar Financial.  Like every conscientious and Internet savvy person I decided to do my own research of the company before accepting. What I found really shocked me – there were a group of reviews that claimed that Appstar Financial was a rip-off when I googled appstar financial scam.  I was horrified, to see the number of results, because in my mind no matter how attractive the position seems to be I do not want to be associated with a scam company.
However, after my initial shock I took a few more minutes to actually read some of the reviews and tried to understand what would have cause this flurry of posts about Appstar Financial. 

This is what I figured out, most of it is pretty obvious but I wanted to summarize it for you. 

Appstar financial is a credit card and Merchant Processor that provides credit, debit and other payment services for smaller retailers and e-commerce companies. 

I want to pay specific attention to who their clients are “smaller merchants” this could mean the Mexican Restaurant down the road, the nail salon or maybe the car repair place that you love.   The reason that this is important is because smaller merchants or mom-and-pop businesses typically need to shave costs and save money at every step of the game.  And the promise of credit card processing savings is an easy place for them to make more margin. 

Imagine if you can save $35 per month, that is over $400 saved each year on credit card processing – you would be pretty happy with that savings.  That is a big deal. 

However, mom-and-pop businesses typically don’t have a lot of time, nor do really read every single last line of the agreements that they sign.   It’s not because they don’t want to, but because spending time with a sales person means that they are not EARNING money in their businesses.   So it makes sense that some feel like there were “hidden fees” and have Appstar complaints as a result.   I am sure that what they are complaining about is there in black and white in their agreements, but it was not important enough at the time to figure out how munch the “cancellation fee” is going to be 24 months down the line. 

So on further investigations I noticed that the biggest complaints were that “the sales person did not tell me” or that “there was a cancellation policy”, now I don’t now about you but having been in sales for almost a decade – I have heard it all and most people when they are complaining or want to get out of a deal say that the sales person somehow lied or hid information.  I was not there, and I have no idea if this ever happened but with so many employees, it is bound to happen. There is no way for a company of Appstar Financials size not to have sales people that have gone rogue on one deal in their lifetime.  However right there on the Appstar site is a way to contact them by phone and email to discuss the particulars of the situation.  (I can’t tell you how many companies don’t have their phone numbers on their website!!!!  I am really happy that Appstar make it easy.)

I was hoping to find negative information about Appstar and their hiring process or even big groups of sales people complaining about the company.  But I searched Google and read some of the blog posts and I also went to the BBB site in San Diego.  It seems that they keep their sales team pretty happy and with an A+ rating they must also keep their customers happy from the BBB’s perspective.  Sure there are complaints, but they are all resolved.  Listen, if the BBB is cool with them and their sales people aren’t bitching then I really can’t complain about the opportunity.

I took the Job with Appstar Financial and I have been here for five weeks. And here is my report; overall I am pretty happy with the way things are working out.

As you can imaging the nagging feeling of thinking that Appstar is a scam sitting in the back of my head. The first few days were a bit of a pain because there was a six hour training and there is soooooo much information to process.  Most of it is about paperwork and how the sales process works, and to me it makes sense.  They book the appointments over the phone (these guys make a million calls per month! trying to get us appointments.  That is insane. But it works for me!  I don’t need to cold call any more…and it is better than my last job selling the Yellow Pages. ) Sorry, I went on a little bit of a tangent there.   

As I was saying Five weeks on the job, I sold a deal my second day and while there have been some appointments that were no shows, but I was able to get the appointment eventually and I went to the other businesses in the area.  It’s not easy money, and there is some driving to do. 

On my second week I had two appointments with one in the middle that were on different sides of town.  That sucked. But I sold one!
They make is super straightforward, I get the statement from the existing provider (this is sometimes a pain, because even though we ask them to have it ready – sometimes these business owners struggle to find it) and then I work with my manager and seeing what we can offer them based on their current rates, terms and fees.  Most merchants love the savings, but I can see how some people miss the details about the cancellation policies.  It is there in black and white, but I spend my time educating customers about the savings and not what will happen when they cancel.  I have no complaints for appstar, if you ask me.

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