Credit card processing company settles Idaho allegations

A credit-card processing company has agreed to pay more than $9,000 in restitution to six Idaho business owners who filed complaints, to settle allegations that it misled small Idaho businesses last year.

Private Client Payment Corp. sold lease agreements for credit-card processing terminals and equipment to small-business owners across the state.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced the settlement Tuesday.

In addition to paying the businesses, the company agreed to make changes including educating its sales representatives about Idaho’s consumer protection laws and to reimburse Wasden’s office for the costs of an investigation into its practices.

Wasden said Private Client Payment Corp. representatives approached small-business owners about replacing outdated credit card processing terminals. It required them to sign leases they could not cancel to get the new equipment.

Wasden said business owners complained that Private Client Payment Corp. representatives:

▪  Misrepresented the costs of the lease agreements.

▪  Made false promises about the ability to cancel the agreements.

▪  Did not provide copies of the signed lease agreements.

Wasden said the company allegedly failed to inform consumers that the lease agreements were actually with a company called MBF Leasing, a New York-based company, instead of with Private Client Payment Corp., which is in Washington state.

Private Client Payment Corp. representatives promised business owners they could buy the leased equipment for $1 when the agreements expired, but they did not have authority from MBF Leasing to change the terms of the agreements, Wasden said.