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Thread: Echo?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Arrow Echo?

    We presently use 2CheckOut.com, but have been taking a look at ECHO (www.echo-inc.com). We really like their rates, as it seems that it is the cheapest we can possibly find, yet still being somewhat well known.

    However, we called them and asked some questions. We want to know what people think about these responses.

    1. They only accept businesses in the US. This is OK, we're in the US.
    2. They will accept international transactions, however, disclaim that they are not liable for them. - What does this mean? Does this mean that I just may not get my hosting fees in the case of fraud? I assume that I can live with this as we do have steps to prevent this in place.
    3. Charges can not occur less frequently then monthly, however can be more frequent. In other words, quarterly and annual billing are not allowed, but if you need to charge an extra charge within a month, you can do so. - This is OK for the most part.
    4. American Express costs an additional 3.50% per transcation, and Discover costs an additional 2.97%+$0.08 transaction fee per transaction with a $25 setup fee - I've seen this a couple times before, is this normal? In the end, the rates would still be simular to what we're paying now.

    Basically what it comes down to is we'd like these issues to be better, but also need a inexpensive solution. The solution we have now is very frustrating as our billing system and 2CheckOut do not integrate. And, 2CheckOut has a lot more limitations. The biggest being that you have to cancel a recurring order and have the customer resubmit credit card information in order to make any changes to the ammount -- a pain since 50% of my customers switch to a dedicated IP within the first month. Other 2CO limitations include: they're a third party processor-their name on customers cc statement, have to go to their order pages, expensive rates for all credit card types, does not process checks

    At $99 setup and $19.95 per month, I know of no other merchant provider as cheap that includes a complete solution. (This is gateway and merchant account together.)

    Opinions/Suggestions?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Yes, AMEX and Discover have different rates, those rates are controlled by AMEX and Discover themselves. So unfortinuately it is more costly to accept Amex and Discover than it is to just accept visa and mc
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    305
    I use ECHO and recommend them.

    To address your concerns:

    1. As you are in the US, I don't see the issue. It would take a lot for them to be international.

    2. I got the same response when I asked this question, and wasn't clear on it myself. I, however, have been charging all kinds of cards from Canada, Hong Kong, China, France, the UK, etc., and have had no problems. I think they just mean: better make sure they're not fraud cards, because you're on your own, kiddo.

    3. This is the major drawback with ECHO; however they do allow one-time fees (for web design contracts, etc.) and they make an exception for the annual charges for domain registration. The no quarterly/annual billing thing is actually not ECHO's rule, but an agreement they made with MasterCard/Visa in exchange for good rates (as I understand it). It cuts back on problems with clients wanting refunds/chargebacks three months down a year-long contract.

    4. AmEx and Discover run things differently than MC/Visa, and the inflated fees have nothing to do with ECHO and are universal. I myself haven't contracted to be a merchant with either one yet, but I assure you that you will find the increased fees for these cards anywhere you go. That's why fewer merchants take these cards (have you noticed everyone takes MC/Visa but not necessarily AmEx/Discover?).

    Again, I do recommend their services; their charges are unbeatable and I haven't had any problems with them.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2001
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    256
    I would also highly recommend them as our experience with them has been great.
    Old man of the hosting world..

  5. #5
    Don't forget some limits with Echo.

    Monthly billing only! (except domain name registration I assume)... other than that it's great

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    New England
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    RE: Question #2
    My guess would be that if there's an international charge that fraudulent, or any kind of chargeback, or anything at all, they will just debit it from your account without an effort to resolve the issue. They do not want to take any responsibility for it, whatsoever. So, don't expect them to be too helpful if there's ever any problem with an international order.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    305
    Don't forget some limits with Echo.

    Monthly billing only! (except domain name registration I assume)... other than that it's great
    Yes, discussed twice already

  8. #8
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    Nov 2001
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    USA
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    Lurleene and others,

    1. Do they have online account management features similar to paysystems (revecom) where we can get reports, see the approval status, etc.?

    2. Do they have a redirection feature so we can write scripts to redirect curstomers upon ordering a product/service and add the funds automatically to their account (confirmation will be done later)?

    quarterly and annual billing are not allowed
    For the annual payment (not billing) what if the customer is notified and then the customer makes a payment by coming back to our site? In otherwords, we don't bill them but they make the payment.

    I am however not sure how the quarterly payment issue could be taken care of (though it is something that I donot have to worry about currently).

    AMEX and Discover have always been a problem with regards to their rates (they used to be a lot higher 4-5% a couple of years ago) and hence most merchants don't accept them. It is painful to see those AMEX commercials where they promote themselves as "small business friendly". With regards to Discover - it has always been a mistery.

    thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    305
    1. They have a simple online "transaction review" where you can see what you've charged (or had declined, etc.) in the last 30 (or fewer) days. And they send paper statements monthly.

    2. I don't know if ECHO provides a shopping cart, but we don't use theirs (we have our own). Payments are not processed real-time, and this is a good thing cuts down on fraud. I always go over my orders and make sure they check out before charging them. Less hassle that way, also cheaper, and our ratings as a merchant will stay good.

    3. You can't bill or charge annually (or quarterly) regardless of whether the customer initiates the charge. You can only charge monthly fees, one-time fees, or annual domain registration (and domains are the only exception to the monthly/one-time rules).

  10. #10
    well, nowadays Amex is really small business friendly! They offer merchant account for a flat fee of $5 per month unless you process thousands(over 20k yearly I believe, but not sure, check out with their sales rep). Yes, $5 a flat fee, no % or anything!

  11. #11
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    With Echo, do you get your company name on the Credit Card statements?

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by apollo
    well, nowadays Amex is really small business friendly! They offer merchant account for a flat fee of $5 per month unless you process thousands(over 20k yearly I believe, but not sure, check out with their sales rep). Yes, $5 a flat fee, no % or anything!
    Yep, I was about to post the same thing. Except it's up to $5k in twelve consecutive months (or so the agreement reads). Then it "may" change to a discount rate of 3.3% + xx pennies per transaction (I don't know how many pennies). Not cheap, but not supporting Amex (and Disc) would be more expensive in lost sales, IMO.
    Alex Llera
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  13. #13
    Yes, with Echo you get your own real merchat account and thus, your own business name on your client credit card statements

  14. #14
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    One thing that isnt clear from the web site(s) is how they handle funds transfer. ie Once your money is in your merchant account with them how do you get access to it? Do they provide checks, debit card and/or credit card in your company name? How much is their transfer fees to move your money to another bank?

    Thanks,
    Myros
    http://www.neuralhq.com

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by myros
    One thing that isnt clear from the web site(s) is how they handle funds transfer. ie Once your money is in your merchant account with them how do you get access to it? Do they provide checks, debit card and/or credit card in your company name? How much is their transfer fees to move your money to another bank?

    Thanks,
    Myros
    http://www.neuralhq.com
    Well ECHO also sets you up with a bank account (First Regional Bank) , you can get checks from the bank, I think it is $19.99 for 50 checks or something. The money is in your account within 48 hours if processed via credit card. As far as their transfer fees, call them, as I am not sure. But if you order checks, then you really don't have to worry about the transfer fees, because you can just write a check.

    -Steven
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  16. #16
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    People still use checks these days? So I guess it's not a 'real' merchant account they give you, didnt think so. Still it looks like a fairly good service they do offer.

    Myros
    http://www.neuralhq.com

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by myros
    People still use checks these days? So I guess it's not a 'real' merchant account they give you, didnt think so. Still it looks like a fairly good service they do offer.

    Myros
    I don't understand what you are implying, as this is a real merchant account. Just because they provide you with checks you are saying it isn't a real merchant account?

    -Steven
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  18. #18
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    Yeah, what would you expect with the rates they provide? They do have a few policies most "real merchant accounts" don't have, but for $20.00 a month I wouldn't complain too much.

    Maybe they should implant a computer chip in your hand . Anyhoo, you can just print out your own checks also, I do this and it is quite cheap.

    What software do you guys use for Echo BTW? When I used them a year ago there was NO software with integration (that actually provided recurring/batch billing).
    A well-reasoned assumption is very close to fact.
    - Adorno

  19. #19
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    can someone please explain why they think that ECHO is not a real merchant account, and what basis are they using to substantiate their claim? ECHO IS a real merchant account.

    -Steven
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  20. #20
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    I said that they had a few policies that are unlike other providers. For example: No quarterly/annual billing (domains are an exception).

    I never said that they weren't a real merchant account, like I said, I use to use them .
    A well-reasoned assumption is very close to fact.
    - Adorno

  21. #21
    Originally posted by comphosting
    I said that they had a few policies that are unlike other providers. For example: No quarterly/annual billing (domains are an exception).
    Can you point me to this policy at ECHO? I charge my customers whatever I want, whenever I want, for whatever period I want: monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually. I have not encountered any restrictions -- and frankly, I have no idea how ECHO would even know what period these card charges cover.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  22. #22
    Originally posted by comphosting
    What software do you guys use for Echo BTW? When I used them a year ago there was NO software with integration (that actually provided recurring/batch billing).
    You can do everything you want online through their site. If you want to automate, go to:

    http://www.openecho.com/

    You can also find lots of cart software that has ECHO integration. We wrote our own from scratch.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  23. #23
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    I've never heard of a merchant account that DIDN'T have checks. How do you get the money out? Osmosis?

  24. #24
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    Sorry didnt mean to offend the echo fans

    I guess it depends what you would expect from a merchant account. As was stated ECHO doesnt offer "merchant accounts" they setup an account for you at a 3rd party bank and transfer your money there for free. Which for their prices is a pretty good deal of course.
    Ive come to expect things like online banking/bill pay, debit cards, credit cards etc ..all the stuff that comes with a 'real' merchant account. I havent used a check in over 2 years.
    I guess real wasnt a very good word to use there ..maybe 'regular' 'full service' or something like that, that better? Course the fees are a lot higher for those regular ones so like I said for what they DO offer it looks like a pretty good deal.

    Myros
    http://www.neuralhq.com

  25. #25
    Lurleene:

    You can get merchant accounts without checks. Some will deposit your funds into your existing business bank account rather than an account at the sponsoring bank. However, you will find that these accounts are more costly than ECHO. ECHO is able to keep costs low because, in part, the sponsoring bank (1st Regional) has been established to support ECHO merchants. 1st Regional exists to handle ECHO accounts -- and there are a WHOLE lot of ECHO accounts, I mean a WHOLE lot...
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  26. #26
    Originally posted by myros
    As was stated ECHO doesnt offer "merchant accounts"
    Yes they do.

    I'm not affiliated with ECHO in any way other than as a very happy client, but I will tell you that you can ask ECHO to deposit the funds in your regular business banking account if you like. However, expect to pay more for that (like these so-called "real" merchant accounts).

    ECHO provides real merchant accounts. They also provide real low prices, real good service, and real value.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by hostpath.com


    Can you point me to this policy at ECHO? I charge my customers whatever I want, whenever I want, for whatever period I want: monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually. I have not encountered any restrictions -- and frankly, I have no idea how ECHO would even know what period these card charges cover.
    I just signed up with them and I had to fax them a signed statement stating I would only bill my customers monthly. So, your saying they've never checked your site? Well thats great, because I have several clients that like annual billing.

  28. #28
    Originally posted by dogslife
    I just signed up with them and I had to fax them a signed statement stating I would only bill my customers monthly. So, your saying they've never checked your site? Well thats great, because I have several clients that like annual billing.
    We didn't have to sign any agreement of that nature.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

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