Are Handepay/Merchant Rentals ripping off small businesses?

credit-cardsBack in September of 2009 I signed up for a credit card machine with Handepay which the salesman said would be for a term of three years. Last week, I decided that the time had come to terminate the contract since the iZettle card payment system is a much better mechanism for my business. Today I received a letter from Merchant Rentals demanding the sum of £1153.30 to cancel the contract!

I rang Merchant Rentals to ask why it is that there is such a huge charge for the termination and was told this:

The Handepay contract is for a MINIMUM of 36 months, but you have to give them 12 months notice of cancellation. Since 12 months notice was not issued, the contract then automatically extends for another 24 months.

So, because I didn’t issue a cancellation in October 2011, the contract automatically extended to October 2015. However, because I didn’t cancel in October 2013, the contract is further extended to 2016! Needless to say, the polite salesman who sold me the contract neglected to mention this little nugget of information!

To me, this seems to be a dirty, underhand way of doing business.

What I also don’t understand is why it is that they should demand £1153.30 when I write and tell them that I want to terminate my contract – why didn’t they say “Oh, your contract doesn’t expire until October 2016, we’ll cancel it then?”

Upon challenging the charges, Merchant Rentals – they reduced the cancellation period to 9 months and the fee to a little over £320. The nice lady on the phone said that it was Handepay’s contract that stipulated the terms and not Merchant Rentals. When I pointed out that both Merchant Rentals and Handepay have the same address, she confirmed that they do but that they are totally different companies.

I thought it was interesting to note that one of the directors for Handepay is a gentleman by the name of Mr Andrew MacAuley whilst Merchant Rentals have a director by the name of Mr Simon MacAuley. Additionally, former Handepay director Mr Michael Christopher Prendergast is currently listed as one of the two directors of Merchant Rentals. It almost seems like a family affair.

I personally feel that such a contract is immoral and unjustifiable.

Comments 129

  1. Post

    I posted about this on and had a reply from Handepay within ten minutes. It reads:

    Our sales staff guide customers through every aspect of what they are signing up for before any contract is agreed. The 12-month notice period is no longer in use by Handepay and customers now need only give three months notice before terminating a contract. We will look into the details of your contract in full, but in the meantime if you would like to contact us, please email

    This raises the question “If the cancellation period is now three months, why did I just have to pay for nine?”

    1. Hi
      I would just like to say that Handipay conned me into a Five Year Contract 4 and half years ago. I rang them last April and told them I would not be re-newing my contract and she said I had to do this in writing I did this and rang them up today to confirm everything well surprise surprise they did not receive the letter and have now told me that I am rolled on to another 2 year contract UMBELIEVABLE I am a small business too, How can they do this legally ????

      1. Post

        I feel your pain. I am guessing that your mistake was not sending the letter by Recorded Delivery, so they can quite legally play the old “it must have gone missing in the post” game. All I can suggest is that you put it in writing now, send it via recorded or special delivery, then argue the toss with them over the contract.

        My argument is that as soon as I wrote and told them I wanted to cancel the contract, they immediately raised an invoice for the whole of the extended period, but cancelled the service. This means that I am paying for services not provided, which seems immoral. Still, I guess that shows my naivety in thinking that businesses should have morals.

      2. you only have to give one months notice in writing to cancel, they tried all this with me, just send them it in writing get another terminal from some one else and then tell them to come and collect the old one, they have not been to collect it but have sent me a bill for £651.00 for the terminal they dont want

      1. Hi guys,
        I have been caught out similarly with Merchant Rentals and Handepay after trading with them for 5 years. However, after writing to them and challenging the agreement (politely), they have written back to me with a compromise agreement for a reduced settlement payment of £255 if paid within 7 days instead of the 36 months in the contract.
        Still a bad deal, but appears as though the least painful solution. In future I will read that small print a little more closely!

    2. I would like to add my comments. BEWARE OF HANDEPAY/MERCHANT RENTALS. READ your contract very very carefully and ideally take your business elsewhere.
      I would suggest any small business go elsewhere. I have had to pay 5 years worth of fees to this company and I have never received the equipment at all! They took me to court because I refused to pay for equipment and a service that had never been delivered…THEY WON!.
      This is because their contract is clever…it says that ‘in delivery of equipment etc…time is not of the essence’….essentially meaning that they don’t have to deliver their equipment in any particular time frame.

      My business requires a debit card machine. They bungled the delivery of such several times…and it never did arrive. I moved to world pay who arranged everything within 24 hours and I have never looked back.

      My argument was that Handepay/MerchantRentals service did not meet the industry norm…they still won and I have had to pay 5 years rental! They get away without providing any service or any equipment or anything at all while I pay their court fees too! Unbelievable!

  2. I have also been caught out today, but we were told by the representative that we wouldn’t have this trouble if we went with Streamline and Handepay and took him at his word. We had a 4 year contract and this comes to an end in January 2014. But how are you to know that you are going to go under. To keep the business going we have put in our pensions of £30,000this year, had to sell our house and now been told by Handepay that we owe £720. I will be looking at my contract and seeing a solicitor for miss selling this product to me as my husband was with me when the representative came in to the shop.

  3. I have received a letter today after cancelling my agreement to say that as I didn’t renew my contract in January I was automatically signed up for a extended contract of 24 months and owe £376.72 my machine is an ingenico 15100 which is so old, and if haven’t been offered anew machine by Handypay, they are rip off merchants.

    1. Post

      I don’t understand how customers are supposed to serve notice that they wish for the contract to be terminated. As soon as anyone notifies Handepay, they are faced with a termination bill and the service is cut-off.

  4. Hi everyone
    I am in pain with merchant rental now, just went to court with them today. The judge asked me to fire a defend application to the court within 14 days. Can someone advice me what to write in defend form, what argument can I put?

  5. Hi. Last week a letter demanding £600 received from Merchant Rentals dated 19th Nov 14 landed on my doorstep. the letter claimed that my terminal; had not been returned to them. I rang them and spoke to woman called Linda (and only that). I explained I had proof id returned the terminal and she looked through her records and agreed. she stated that the letter sent was just a ‘standard letter’. She stated I still owed them £600. I was confused and stated they could take me to court. today a court letter arrives and it states that I had a 5yr contract with them. I looked back at my contract and sure enough it states the written numerals ’60’. since cancelling my contract with Handepay and Wordpay/streamline back in June 14 I thought everything was sorted. I even had a refund of £110 from Worldpay for over payment. I thought everything was sorted. I was a new very small business and never would have knowing taken out a 5yr contract. I was under the understanding it was for 2yrs but didn’t check the small print. Lovely sales rep, even got another local business to sign with them…how wrong I was. Conned and nothing I can do about it but warn all other businesses not to trust Handepay and Merchant Rentals who seem to be in bed with each other. Appalling behaviour. I will fight my corner in court but know I haven’t got a leg to stand on. I will however be raising my concerns with the financial ombudsman! I am lucky if I used their terminal twice a month and it wasn’t making any economical sense keeping it!

  6. I have the same thing here–took out two machines for four years—when I wanted out of the contract after 3 years Handepay did the ‘nothing to do with me guv’ see Merchant Rentals–These sent me a bill for 700 and then told me they were doing me a favour by not extending the contract for another two years–big bunch of ripoff artists using the 1974 consumer credit Act loopholes on third party procurement. Also the DTI says that these extension periods are wrong and illegal–They clearly set up ‘two’ companies to circumnavigate the Act–My advice if you live far away from them is issue a claim against them in the small claims court and file for jurisdiction–they have to send representatives and the judge may see them as harassing you–anyway all it costs you in a small court fee but it’s costly to them.

    1. hi dear sir/ madam
      its regarding a contract we signed with the above company under the understanding we would be in a contract for 2 years and they would clear our money in a day which at the time was 3 working days. as you know we have been under 2 lockdowns and throughout these periods we did not open our shop and no transaction went through the machine, We signed in January 2019 and about a month ago i asked the company to cancel my contract and take their machine back, unsurprisingly they refused and are demanding us to either pay the rest of contract or fulfil the remaining time. i am a sole trader and do not know my rights regarding these type of contracts. I would really appreciate your advice .

      1. Post

        Hi Mohammed. Thank you for posting your experiences with these companies. I am sorry to hear that you are in an all too familiar place. As you will have seen, some people have been moderately successful in standing up to MRL although it seems to be a very stressful thing to do. If I read your comment correctly, you signed a two-year contract in January 2019, so that would expire at the end of this year. I don’t think that there’s a great deal that you can do to get out of the contract early without paying them.

        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


        1. hi dear sir/ madam ok Simon thanks for your reply and i will put this down to another experience and a lesson.
          its regarding a contract we signed with the above company under the understanding we would be in a contract for 2 years and they would clear our money in a day which at the time was 3 working days. as you know we have been under 2 lockdowns and throughout these periods we did not open our shop and no transaction went through the machine, We signed in January 2019 and about a month ago i asked the company to cancel my contract and take their machine back, unsurprisingly they refused and are demanding us to either pay the rest of contract or fulfil the remaining time. i am a sole trader and do not know my rights regarding these type of contracts. I would really appreciate your advice .

  7. Hi, i was misold a terminal from Handepay , the machine never worked as we couldnt get a signal so i cancelled the contract but merchant rentals are now demanding £600, i dont want to pay this as my arguement is it never worked because of the signal issue but they was saying its not their fault, but i shouldnt have been sold it in the first place as they knew we was in a red zone, they are now threatenig to take me to court so i have written to the financial ombudsman but they are not intrested, can anyone help

  8. Please note after another ombudsman ruling if you have seen out the minimum term of your contract and wish to terminate they have no power to roll the contract over and make you pay–just take the case to the ombudsman and you will NOT have to pay.

    Ref: DRN5046352 is just one of a few saying they should NOT be rolling over contracts.

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  9. i have just received a court notice to pay over £600 within 14 days. I was assure by my new provider that this would not happen and that its empty threats. Obviously not! I terminated my contract a year early and genuinely did not receive a letter about having to cancel the two extra years a year earlier. They sent it after I cancelled! No reasoning with them. This is August 2015 and they are still saying you have to give a years notice to me. I now have added court costs. Beware of Handipay, a truly terrible company ripping off those that cannot pay..

  10. Ive had a handepay machine now for 6 years. I started with a 3 year contract that would have ended 3 years ago. However, about 3 and a half years ago Streamline contacted me to say the machine I had was too old and the banks couldn’t use it any longer. As my contract was not up I had no choice but to have a new one and they said it had to be for 48 months. I was told I would receive the new machine from merchant rental in about a week. 6 MONTHS LATER ! I received it but now they saying my 48 month contract does not finish until April 2017 when in fact I signed it in October 2012. I wanted to send a cancellation letter next month to give a years notice as I can’t afford it anymore as a struggling sole trader. It seems to me they made up the rubbish about the bank not being able to accept the old machine just to draw me into another long contract and to add salt into the wound didn’t send it for 6 months so that they could get an extra 6 months payments!! Any advise?

    1. Post

      My advice,and don’t forget I am not a lawyer!, would be to write to them and cancel the contract as of the anniversary of the contract. I don’t see how they can enforce the additional 6 months if they opted not to send the terminal in a timely manner.


  11. both myself and my partner took out 12 month agreements or so we thought turned out it was 5 years . the very nice lady pulled out the agreement and said sign hear. trusting her we did. later the terminal arrived. only 1 in every 10 transactions went through. we contacted the rep for handepay they told us to contact sister company merchant rentals ( passed about ) so we decided we no longer wanted a service that was no fit for purpose. several months later we both receive giant bills from court for almost 3000 each. rather than just a cancelation fee , no option was giving to cancel they charge for the entire contract length. I tried for months via email to sort this out and the attitude was ridicules they just didn’t want to know. so we now have these ccj’s for money we don’t owe. WELL good luck at getting that handepay. I would rather go bust then give you a penny —- shaun —–

  12. FYI
    Any typical merchant rentals contract that goes back at least a year will typically contain 3 things that are questionable legally.
    1) It will have an excessive cancellation clause of 12 months

    2) It will then have a roll over if you have not cancelled 12 months before the end of your contract which commits you to 2 more years.

    BOTH these clauses fly in the face of the 2010 Office of Fair trading Guidelines which clearly state in section 8 the following:

    8.1 A clause which states how long a contract has to run is likely to be among its most important ‘core’ terms24 If a lesser term in small print can be used, relying on customer inertia, to extend the contract period beyond what the consumer would normally expect, it is not a core term, and is liable to be considered unfair.OFT advice on unfair termination agreements:

    8.2 Particular suspicion attaches to a term in a contract for a fixed period
    which, if early notice to cancel is not given, automatically commits the
    consumer to a renewed fixed term.

    8.3 The OFT considers that an over-long cancellation notice term may also be
    unfair in a contract which continues indefinitely rather than for a fixed
    term. Consumers entering such contracts normally expect to be able to end
    it a reasonable time after they decide they no longer want or can no longer
    afford what is provided under it. If they are required to make a cancellation
    decision too far ahead of time, they are liable either to forget to do so when
    they need to, or wrongly to anticipate their future needs

    Anyone who has had Merchant Rentals bill them after their fixed term has finished need only go to the Ombudsman to get them to back down–There are a number of adjudications where people have won but as the Ombudsman only decides on individual cases and does not set precedents the unmoral scum continue to flout these guidelines.

    In court I would argue you could make a strong case for having the contract annulled as unfar if it contains these clauses.

    3) A MR contract is set up deliberately to deny you your rights of 18 month cancellation under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. This is because Handepay (who you almost certainly thought you had the contract with) asks (MR who are sat in the same offices) to select the machine. MR then goes to Spire or some other party to get you the machines.
    By setting up this smokescreen they claim section 101 subsection (7) (b) ii:

    ‘The goods are selected by the hirer, and acquired by the owner for the purpose of the agreement at the request of the hirer by any other person other than the owner’s associate’

    This is legally more complicated. In court it could come down to a judge deciding who selected the goods–Handepay and MR are ‘associated’ that is easy to prove–Certainly they have set out the ‘selection’ of the goods deliberately to try to stop you exercising your right to cancel.

    If you think that 90% of businesses are never going to cancel 12 months before as it is impossible to work out revenues, tech changes etc it means that MR are sending nearly everyone who wants to get out of their contracts huge bills.

    These bills are often a starting point for negotiation and businesses who get a £1000 bill will gladly pay £300 to get rid of these F######s—those who know no better stay with them as they can’t afford to leave or pay up to avoid court.

    A few of us stand up to them–the tip of the iceberg to what amounts to a multi-million scam that the Ombudsman, FCA do not seem to be interested in.

    1. I have today received a demand for £603.10 from Handepay, to be paid by 1/1/2016 otherwise they will revise the figure.
      I took my original agreement out in November 2011 for 48months. They, without notification re-newed this until November 2017.
      I have contact the Financial Ombudsman today and they are wtiting to Handepay on my behalf. I advise anyone else with this issue to do the same.

  13. One thing becoming increasingly clear is that they have another scam– DO NOT post anything back to them that is not signed for. They then claim that the machine has never been recieved.
    There must be so many of these machines knocking around in the postal serivice it’s a joke.
    I have a list of a number of people this has happened to. Any court receiving this list would be very interested to see just how many of these machines go ‘missing’.
    It’s a lot.
    Anyone they have pulled this stunt on please post on here your company name or write to me and I will furnish the list.
    They read this site BTW so here’s a message.
    Your time has finally come f@@@@ers

    1. Hi. I have just found a ccj from merchant rentals on my credit file. I closed my business down 18months ago and have never heard anything from them till now!!!! All the equipment was returned to them so have no idea why i owe £470. Do I ignore the ccj or what? I need help.


      1. Post

        Hi Linda

        I am sorry to hear your tale of woe. I am no legal expert, but I fear that ignoring the CCJ won’t be helpful. Were you a sole trader or a limited company? I think that the best course of action would be to speak with either a solicitor or Citizen’s Advice.


  14. Hi all.
    Just another victim to add to the list.
    I have just sold my company and so contacted my provider (Payzone UK Ltd) to cancel my machine as clearly no use for it now,only to be told I had signed for 60 months and that the agreement didn’t finish until January 2018!
    I am being hit with a bill of £500 for rental charge remaining plus £120 termination charge plus £120 collection charge. (I could put it in a taxi to them for less!!!)
    It seems they are able to operate outside the CCA 1974 by being a club to which we become ‘members’.
    It would be great to hear from anyone who has successfully taken these cowboys to task and how this was achieved to either get their bill reduced or just simply ignored the threats!
    Most of us in business just want to do the right thing but these guys are a different kettle of fish!

  15. Give one months notice
    Make formal complaint to Merchant Rentals – they have to respond within 28 days
    If they do not concede, complain to Financial Ombudsman on basis that extended notice period is onerous and wasn’t specifically explained/highlighted at the time.
    Ombudsman will award to you, as they have on many occassions and twice for me

  16. After winning our court case against Merchant Renatals last week we have put together a website in order to help other in the same or similar circumstances. We are helping another local business who is also falling foul of their underhand tactics. MERCHANTRENTALSCOURTCASE.COM

    1. Hi Liz

      I am counter-suing Merchant Rentals. Are you able to send me your case details?

      Kind Regards

      Julian Milton

    1. Post
    2. Hi Liz, your website seems to be out of action now?

      I am being faced with not being able to cancel my payzone even though it was mis-sold – The salesman spoke of a “one-off charge” when actually he meant a MONTHLY charge.
      However, my mistake for not fully reading the contract and failed to realise I had signed up to the 12 month contract.

      The unit rarely works and has caused me embarrassment thus far. It looks like I will have to stick it out – ending up paying £300 for the year on a service that I could be paying far less for – and more reliably.

      I don’t know what to do – I feel sick every time I look at the thing.

      1. Post
      1. Post
  17. After Liz and Jon’s great news it has also led me to think that anyone who has already paid this company could now go direct to the small claims court (you can do this online) and claim any monies paid above three month’s notice back.
    This is a simple process and using the precedent set by this judgement if you were a sole trader you were covered by the 1974 Act and should have been allowed to leave your contract with three month’s notice–anything paid above that amount should now be refunded to you.
    It’s very easy to do and very cheap–just go here:

  18. Further to the Merchant Rentals vs RE Harrison Court case, we have now been told that Merchant Rentals have appointed new solicitors who are asking for permission to appeal the case in the small claims court. At this stage we have no more information.

  19. I am coming to the end of my 2 year contract in December 2015 so wrote to them on 16 th November 15 to cancel my streamline card reader They have sent me a letter stating a 12 mth extension period or I can pay £330.85 now or it wont cancel until 10th nov 16 well n truly p*** off with this .

  20. After reading the above I rang Handepay to confirm when I would need to terminate my 2yr contract with them.
    They want 3 months notice in writing that you wish to terminate the contract on the anniversary date, but you can submit this any time up to the 3 months period.. Also, as my payments go through WorldPay I need to give them 1 months notice.
    My contract ends on 2nd June 2016 so I would need to submit a written cancellation letter before 2nd March 2016. I then need to call Handepay on 2nd May 2016 to get an email address to enable me to advise Worldpay that I will not be renewing my contract also.
    I hope this snippet of information and the periods of termination required help other customers of Handepay / Merchant Rentals.

  21. Hi, different company here (first data merchant services, as well known at VLS, Paytek, first payment services…..!!!) Salesman sold me the contract in my own home, I am a small ltd company. (Just me and my wife) We explained we have never had a terminal before and wasn’t sure how much we would use it so didn’t want to have a long contract. He said it was only 12 or 18months and we could give 30 days noticed he was a nice chap and had a good chat with him and felt comfortable. We did sign a form but we are 100% sure it didn’t state 48months as I know for sure we wouldn’t have signed or agreed to that length of term. Low and behold, we have come to cancel after 18months and they are demanding over £1000 to cancel. They have produced an email with a very sketchy looking form which clearly has been doctored and scanned a few times with my signature and 48 months minimum term in nice big text. I have told them I will fight this in court but they are adamant they are passing it on to a debt collectors. If anyone could help or advise on what I should do it would be much appreciated. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hello Lawerence

      have you had any success i am with the same firm first payment sole trader was told by the agent maximum term is 18 under the cca act 1974 but turns out it does not apply to them since they only provide a service. They provide the terminal supposedly ” free of charge” but they do run a credit check and take money upfront for their services.

  22. Have found this site after speaking with Merchant Rentals this afternoon – and discovering that we have ‘automatically’ been signed up for a further two years.
    To say we’re p****d off is an understatement.
    To add insult to injury they inform me that they could reduce my rental payments by £9 per month, with a new reader – if I sign up for another three year contract. So we’re paying over the odds for an old machine! These people are outrageous!!
    Tomorrow we will be setting ourselves up with an alternative card reader followed by adding our comments to the , writing to Merchant Rentals to cancel, the Ombudsman to log our case, parcelling up our Card Reader for registered post return and broadcasting information about this company as far as we can reach.
    NOT what I wanted to be doing!

  23. Thank you for all your help and advice. I am currently in dispute with merchant rentals and have sort legal advice. I am putting a case together which is based on missold contracts. I have found your information very useful and I am sure it will help me fight these people.
    I will post on the outcome.

  24. I have had my contract “automatically renewed” and Handepay and Merchant Rentals are playing the “it’s not us, it’s the other guy” game, even though we all know that they are the same people, in the same office, with the same directors and shareholders!
    So, I was thrilled to find this resource. Unfortunately, it seems that the Merchant Rentals Court Case website is inactive. Has it been taken down?

  25. Post

    Hi Rebecca,

    Sorry to hear that you’ve also fallen foul of the Handepay/Merchant Rentals auto-rollover clause.

    I’d noticed that the court case website is down. I can only assume that the originators of that site were persuaded to remove it – either through inducement or threat.

  26. On behalf of my wife who has a small Hair Salon. She signed upto a 4 year contract with Transax (Now FIS Payments Ltd.) in Feb 2011. As she was due to retire she did not renew the contract but contined with the use of service. Last week she emailed notice to cease service in one month as new owners had their own service. She had a reply stating an automatic four year renewal clause came into force (small print on original contrcat) and she had another three years to the end of it. Attached was a bill for £1377 + Vat if she wished to continue with cancellation. We will fight this.

  27. Just a quick comment about giving notice on contracts. Even with national utilities companies etc., I always issue a cancellation letter for the apprpriate date AS SOON AS I SIGN UP. Always send by recorded delivery.
    There is generally no time too early to issue a notice of cancellation. It is very rare for anyone to rollover a contract and still have the best terms going.

    For the last few years we have been with Daisy communications for our telephones and always get a better deal on renewal. Now paying less than we did 6 years ago!

    So cancel immediately for the anniversary date. This way you are always covered and can re-negotiate or move contracts with confidence.


  28. I have had the same problem with Handypay but thanks to the comments on this blog after an initial demand for £400 plus I sent a letter to the Ombudsman and am now out of the contract. So many thanks to all

  29. I had a sales rep come into the hairdressing salon I had. I closed the business a year ago and I’m still paying them! Everyone else I had a a couple of months and a cancellation. I have kept the machine but I want to take this matter further as I feel this is wrong. I have contacted them and they have told me to put everything into writing by email. Can anyone help me? Do I have a leg to stand on? Surly this is unfair? I can even had my car back if I can’t afford to pay for it.

  30. Yes Handepay/merchant rentals have rolled me with the missed 12 mths notice period. Sent email to wrong email address (misspelling..doh!) and the hard copy letter version never arrived ( not sent recorded! .doh again)
    ..Now looking at another 3 years contract.
    From what I’m reading …if you close your business then you still have to pay the rental.?
    The only good news on the case, I’ve heard is that whilst they are receiving the rental..they are no longer receiving the commission % on sales as they no longer work alongside World pay! and until I agree to sign another piece of paper to “upgrade ” my terminal they miss out on those commissions from their new aquirer
    it shouldn’t be like this, I shouldn’t be pleased that they are losing out on commission. Nor should I feel pleasure in advising other businesses not to use them ..But it’s the only satisfaction I can get. …So far I’ve only managed to put 3 businesses off so far, one with 5 outlets!.lol

    But I’ve still got 3 years of contract- 1 year (missed termination ) plus the 2 years rolled over, To keep Recommending people NOT to use them! and I network quite a bit ?

    Handepay/merchant rentals… if you have the pleasure of reading this. What is the total number of businesses that you think I can put off in the next 3 years…answers on a postcard. .lol.?

    Would it be insightful to suggest all rolled over businesses do the same? probably. I won’t ?

  31. I have entered a court case for something similar. Do you know of anyone else who has suffered at the hands of this company… I need all the evidence I can to support this case and I intend to invit the press on the day.

  32. My dealings with these scam merchants started way back in around 2011, and concluded in January 2014 – here are the details:-
    I suffered a similar fate with regard to Handepay/Merchant Rentals, which went to the Small Claims Court. Before I submitted my defence, however, I did a bit of digging and it’s amazing what you can find out when you put your mind to it! You may find the following information useful and indeed it has served me well! Just ensure that you return the terminal, and chances are, they won’t pursue the matter further!

    Despite the fact that Merchant Rentals attempt to distance themselves from Handepay, it would appear not only do they share a common address, but also two founding directors, namely A. J. Peake and M. C. Prendergast.
    Indeed it would appear from accounts held at Companies House from Merchant Rentals April 2012 accounts:-
    • Page 17, note 13:-
    “the unlisted investment relates to a holding by the company of 408,184 cumulative Preference shares in Handepay Ltd. A related company. “

    • Page 23 note 25 paragraph 2:-
    “The company recharged costs to Handepay, a company in which A.J. Peake, M.C. Prendergast, and K.L. Adlam are shareholders to the value of £82,208.

    Merchant Rentals annual return at 6 June 2013, has the same registered office as Handepay.
    • Page 2:-
    M.C. Prendergast is Company Secretary of Merchant Rentals and K.L. Adlam is a director of Merchant Rentals. M.C. Prendergast owns 23,750 Ordinary D shares in Handepay.

    • Page 6:-
    Simon Macauley d.o.b 17.11.57 is a director of Merchant Rentals, and Andrew Macauley d.o.b 12.03.64 is a director of Handepay and holds 120,000 B ordinary shares in Handepay. It is not unreasonable to assume that these two are connected.

    • Page 7:-
    AJ Peake is a director of Merchant Rentals and also owns 12471 Ordinary C shares and 55442 Ordinary D shares in Handepay.

    Handepay Annual Return 17 July 2013 has the same registered office as Merchant Rentals.
    The Merchant Rentals April 2012 accounts:-
    • Page 17 note 13:-
    “The unlisted investment relates to a holding by the company (Merchant Rentals)of 408,184 cumulative Preference shares in Handepay Ltd. A related company. “

    • Page 23 note 25 paragraph 2:-
    “The company recharged costs to Handepay, a company in which A.J. Peake, M.C. Prendergast, and K.L. Adlam are shareholders to the value of £82,208.”

    • A.J. Peake owns 12,471 Ordinary C shares in Handepay and 55,442 Ordinary D shares in Handepay and is a director of Merchant Rentals.

    • M.C. Prendergast owns 23750 Ordinary D shares in Handepay and is Company Secretary of Merchant Rentals.

    • Andrew Macauley d.o.b 12.03.64 is a director of Handepay and holds 120,000 B Ordinary shares in Handepay. Simon Macauley d.o.b 17.11.57 is a director of Merchant Rentals. It is not unreasonable to assume that these two are connected.

    One might make a fair deduction that some of the shareholdings in Handepay changed between April 2012 and June 2013 But at the time the Defendant signed the contract with the claimant on the 1at March 2010, it is believed that 3 of the directors of Merchant Rentals were also directors of Handepay and that there was a considerable shareholding overlap.
    These two companies were at the time of the contract not completely separate independent companies and it is believed that even now there are close shareholding links and director links. Thus it is submitted that the statement by the claimant that :-
    • “Merchant Rentals Limited, is a third party asset lease finance company, Hypercom/Spire is the supplier of the equipment, Streamline Merchant Services (World Pay) are an acquiring bank (for the processing of funds through a terminal and credited in to a bank account) and Handepay Limited is an independent sales organisation, that arrange merchant facilities for businesses. None of the companies are connected in any way and are completely separate entities” cannot be wholly accurate.

    Good Luck!

  33. Did you know the highest paid director in Merchant Rentals was paid £1,090,000 in the year ended 30 April 2015, and £1,100,000 in the previous year, representing around 25% of turnover respectfully. Moreover, a major shareholder in the company is Charter Capital Ltd, a company registered in Anguilla (British Virgin Islands). The company is run & owned by Graham Crabtree & Simon Macualey ( based in St Maarten – Dutch V.I). Graham Crabtree has been linked to a number of “pump & dump” share offers. Simply type in ” Graham Crabtree – Anguilla – The Streetsweeper” and you will get the links. All of the readers of this blog might gain some comfort in the knowledge that Charter Capital Ltd had some CAN $6,000,000 in the National Bank of Anguilla when it went bust a few years ago, and is now in the bankruptcy courts of New York (southern Manhatten District). So is money being being sent offshore by Merchant Rentals to avoid taxes? Who knows. But I can say Mr Andrew Peake has been a busy boy buying up a great deal of property to redevelop them over the last few years which has required a multi-million pound budget. He must have a very supportive bank manager. Oh and both Peake(and wife) and Predergast are the beneficial owners of the Merchant Rentals / Handepay property. I do love digging around companies and directors that really don’t give a F*** about others. The law and Inland Revenue will catch up with them, it’s just a matter of time.

    On a more salient point Merchant Rentals new contracts have been amended to a 3 month notice period and a twelve month max rollover. This is probably as a result of them applying to be a member of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and being bound by their code of conduct. Argue you cases on the basis that you should only be on a twelve month rollover, and threaten complaints to the FCA or Financial Ombudsman. And if they issue legal proceedings from the Northampton Small Claims Court (the cheap way to issue proceedings) ensure you deal with the paperwork and get the hearing location changed to your local County Court. This will ensure that they will have to travel, incur costs, and waste their time.

    I will be back!

  34. I was looking to go with handepay for my B&B to start taking credit cards after reading about them on here I think I will stick to cash it seems it will be cheaper if I miss a couple of guests who want to pay by credit card they normally find the cash from somewhere

    1. Post

      Hi Kevin,

      Take a look at devices like the iZettle which provides contactless/chip and pin card services that’ll work with IOS and Android devices. They cost around £60 and there’s no monthly charge for using them – they just take a percentage of each transaction. We’ve been using them for a couple of years now and they are brilliant.


  35. Post

    It is interesting to note that it appears that Merchant Rentals/Handepay are reading and taking note of this thread. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had people get in touch with me after they’d posted comments on here explaining their interactions with the companies. Shortly afterwards it looks as though they are receiving revised settlement offers from MR/HP but only on the condition that they contact me and get me to remove their contribution to the thread. From the message that was left on my answerphone this afternoon, it looks as though the settlement is dependant upon the comment removal.

    This strikes me as being a kind of censorship – “We’ll only change our offer if you remove all evidence that you’ve had a problem.” This is because the more people who comment on here, the more it indicates that the company is behaving badly. None of the posts that have been made on here are litigious as long as they only contain facts. There have been comments made that are clearly inflammatory, one particular one that claimed to be made by an employee of Handepay. However, since I couldn’t verify the source of the email, I decided it was prudent not to publish it.

    I know from the dozens of people I’ve spoken with over this that this thread is a useful resource to those that are battling with these companies. In future, posts will only be removed from here if there is a legal requirement so to do.

  36. I joined Transax/ Elevon last December and was told by the rep that I wasn’t bound to a contract and could leave at any time. This it turns out isn’t the case as I have just been informed that I am in a contract until Dec 2019.
    Interestingly the very friendly rep only communicated with me via text or mobile with no email so since upgrading my phone I don’t have a contact number for him. He also guaranteed that he would automatically renew my PCI each year which it turns out isn’t the case.
    I no longer have the shop as it was putting me in to major debt and now work from home. I assumed I could change my card terminal supplier if ~I wanted to but it seems not the case. I would also like to point out that I was approached by another rep from a different company promising the same deal whereby I wouldn’t be bound to a contract. It seems that they all try to lure retailers in to the same trap.
    Does anybody have any advice?

  37. I stupidly have got myself involved with handipay. I had the reps come to my place of business and convince me into something other than a complete nightmare. I have since closed the two shops with two seperate terminals and sent of a letter of cancellation. My response has been a generated bill for terminals no longer in use or needed. Coming to the pricey sum of over £1200. When the reps sat with me they never told me what I should expect if my business was to close. I was told to send a cancellation letter and I could relieve myself of any further charges etc. They want a good name by defrauding customers of money they haven’t got. This is not going to stop here handipay. I have an excellent solicitor, brilliant media resources. One of which works for a national paper, please please please watch this space. This thread is very usefull with all of its nuggets of information. Very handi lol. I can raise many points that would make interesting reading in court. For which I’m really looking forward to. Point 1, the mis information I was told upon signing agreement. Point 2, the fact that I have several emails from different people mis informing me and leading me into a financial debt. This is simply disgusting how I’m being treated. This is definately not the way to get yourself noticed handi pay and merchant rentals.

  38. One of the best thing I can say I did today was to have wondered into this site and I dare say big thanks you to all the contributors. I managed to read every comment from beginning to the last and it seems to me that this merchant rentals company have been out there causing untold havoc on so many honest hardworking small business owners without any hindrance from the authorities.
    I bought a very small business from an elderly man barely 2 months ago and as at the time of taking over, the former owner declared that the Merchant rentals terminal has never worked and he had had to cancel the contract. To all my surprise less than 2 weeks after taking over the business, Merchant rentals sent in a Bailiff who came in with all sorts of threats and abject bullying forcing the former owner to pay £500 leaving a balance of another £1800+ for him to pay in two installments within two weeks. The irony of this is that they are targeting the fledgling business and its old equipment. I went to the local county court to seek an injunction to stop the bailiff agents of the Merchant rentals to desist from further attempts to take over the company’s equipment but failed. The whole case has now pushed me to the brink of packing it all up and potentially losing all the substantial money I recently spent in buying the business. Its so distressing what companies like this Merchant Rentals are doing to destroy lives of so many decent and hard working citizens. it seems they have been getting away with this for far too long.

  39. We have been involved with Merchant Rentals/Handepay since 2010 with a 5 year contract, like many of you we wrote to them in June 2015 giving notice to be told we had been rolled in to another 2 year contract as we were outside of the 12 months notice period. We have now issued again notice to them as not only is the terminal so old the charges are most expensive and non competitive. We have since been advised that we would need to pay them £272 if we wish to cancel sooner as the extra 2 year contract ends September 2017. We have no intention in paying this and feel that the companies have lifted our leg for far too long. Thank you all for the above information as this has helped in writing our response letter.

  40. For those who feel they relied upon the representations, advice, and knowledge provided by Handepay ltd when they in fact contracted with Merchant Rentals Ltd there follows some facts to prove the two legal entities are related, and that Handepay Ltd is the agent of Merchant Rentals Ltd. These facts are important as if you can prove you relied on what Handepay ltd said or did you can hold Merchant Rentals Ltd liable for the actions of Handepay:-

    1. Mr Andrew Peake is a director and major shareholder of both companies. Check out his Linkedin page as well as Handepays’ own website news. You will see him referred to as the the MD of Handepay. This means he has significant control over both entities.

    2. The business premises which both entities occupy (Westway Park – orignally three sererate units, but now one unti)) is beneficially owned by Mr Andrew Peake, Helen Lord (partner/wife of Peake), and Mr M. Prendargast (source:- Land Registry). The premises are rented to Merchant Rentals, via a lease agreement, and they pay the whole rent. Merchant Rentals pay the business rates (source:- St Helens non domestic rates register ref: 2G090472000MR. I wish a non related benefactor would pay my rent and rates.

    3. The premises are open planned, meaning Merchant Rentals & Handepay share everything (Source:

    4. Why would Merchant Rentals spend £94,887 on web-site development in the year ended 30 April 2015 and capitalise it in its own accounts, when the site was developed for Handepay(source:- Companies House and

  41. In relation to my earlier comments I would like to add that the following legal cases are highly relevant to any proceedings relating to Merchant Rentals Ltd:-

    Purnell Secretarial Services Ltd & Another v Lease Management Services Ltd 1994 (Court of Appeal)
    C.F.Asset Finance Ltd v Okonji + 2014 (Court of Appeal)

    Use the free site to locate the cases and review the judgements.

    The first case reflects the trade practises used by Merchant Rentals, c/o Handepay to “entrap” customers into an unfair contract. Read the whole case as it is relevant to you.

    In the second case go to paragraph 20-23 which comments on “agency”.

    I hope this helps.

    I will be back!

  42. Hi, I have just read your post, I have had a machine for 6years. I too wrote a letter of cancellation to say I didn’t want the machine anymore but they have said they didn’t receive it. They sent me court letters, I didn’t reply in time before the court date so I received a letter saying that they wanted over 1000 pounds in the courts rule.
    I wrote back to explain I wasn’t in the wrong, I shouldn’t have to pay this money , the letter got sent back to me with advice to contact a solicitor, I have now just received a high court notice of inforcement letter to say I must pay 1146.66 with in one week or they will send debt collectors to take away my goods. I really don’t know what I can do now. I am so stressed with this horrid situation. ? Could you please give me some advice, if you are able too.

    1. Post

      I am truly sorry to hear about your problems with these companies. You are not the first person to say that the companies have conveniently “not received” letters of termination. I know it is a bit late for you, but I recommend that everyone who communicates with the companies via post should do so via Special Delivery so that the letters have to be signed-for.

      I fear that you are now in a position where you’ve little option other than to pay what they are demanding if it is set out in a court document, but I would also recommend that you seek legal advice too.

      Sorry I can’t be much more help.


  43. I have today received the dredded court letter asking me if I’m trying against the claim. I’m well and truly going to try against this company who have conned me well and truly. The update so far. I sent the cancellation letter to the relevant office. All received. Got sent a early termination fee of over £2000. So court letter I received. Now I’m challenging the fee. Any tips, advice or direction I should be going in my first instance. Please help this would be greatful

  44. Apologies firstly for contacting you, but I have fallen foul of handepays contract, they have pursued a money claim order against for an unfair extension of contract, I need submit a defence to put my case forward in dealing with this matter could you please advise so I can take stop this ruthless firm in bullying me.

  45. Would just like to say thank you to everyone for there feed back on handepay,we have just had one of there reps in, and made appointment after reading this advise i am now cancelling this. thanks everyone

  46. I really wish I had read this before I signed up with them. I am in the middle of an argument with them although I have just realised today that it is unlikely to get me anywhere as I made the mistake of not reading the small print. My only defence is that I had no idea companies could still get away with this kind of underhandedness. The bill for the moment isn’t as big as those mentioned on here but is a lot of money to me having just lost my business.
    I can only hope that getting the word out there will in some way stop them from doing this to others.
    Just off to find any sites that I can leave bad reviews on! 🙂

    1. Post

      The author of the above comment has reached an agreement with the companies but it is dependent upon the removal of the comment from this site. I am not sure that they can actually make an offer that is dependant upon the actions of a non-related third party.

  47. Hi Simon

    I have had an account with Merchant rentals/Handepay since 2012 last year they virtually forced me into having a contactless machine even though I objected they said that it was necessary. After been cajuled by the salmon I agreed now I find my business is struggling and have given notice to my landlord that I wish to end his contract in september, no props there. However Handepay inform me that I willow between £450-£500 for the remainder of the contract even though a main reason for closure is arthritis and ill health I can barely pick up a bottle of milk. Any advice you could give me would be greatly fully appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Colin Thornton

  48. We ( a company) signed a new contract with Merchant Rentals (MR) in September 2015, upgrading to a contactless Spires SPC50 terminal. We had many problems with it, and it was replaced twice in December alone.

    We rescinded the contract with MR in January on the basis that they had supplied terminals not fit for purpose, and that we had lost total faith in Handepay. Needles to say all MR wanted was the outstanding rentals, and Handepay refused to compensate us for the thousands of pounds we lost in sales.

    MR sued us, and we counter sued for lost profits. The hearing was held on 30 March this year, in Bury St Edmunds County Court. The judge agreed with us that we had the right to rescind the contract, and MR’s claim was dismissed. The defence was based under the statutory rights in The Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982. He agreed that Handepay had supplied goods not fir for purpose, and that we had relied upon them for their skill and judgement. I am happy to provide details of our case and defence (email:-

    We did not win our counter claim. The hurdles to prove agency between MR & Handepay, and MR’s exclusion clauses, ensured that we ran out of time in connecting all the evidence and mounting the case (it was an all day hearing – with a trial bundle of some 350 pages). We did not agree with the judge, but it wasn’t feasible to appeal to the High Court, given the relatively small claim, and the related costs of appeal.

    However, we have decided to take action against Handepay and Spires Payments (the terminal manufacturer) for negligence. Has anyone else had a Spires SPC50 Terminal and encountered any problems? Please let me know, as we need as much evidence as possible. In the court hearing Fiona Lyons (Manager at Handepay), stated that of all their 22,000 customers we were the only one she was aware of ever having a problem with the SPC50. Hard to believe!

  49. Good Morning All.
    My husband ran a small caravan accessories shop. He was with World Pay when a Handepay Rep came in and said he could save him money. Now here’s the thing. My husband has Primary Progressive MS, is in a wheelchair and doesn’t process information very well. The Rep took advantage of this and completed the paperwork for him and had my husband sign saying as he believed the Rep could save him lots of money. No fees if you dont use the machine etc. The Rep even returned a second time with a further form saying he forgot to get him to sign this , just sign here and unfortunately my husband did. The first I knew of things going wrong was court letters to Home. We completed to have the case reassigned to a more local court but paperwork was returned saying completed incorrectly and now too late to submit. Now my husband believes he deals with Handepay, unaware of Merchant Rentals. Both parties have been unhelpful when I have tried to resolve. Rep has admitted he knows Alan’s situation and he completed the paperwork for him. Even stated he was unaware of product and service he should have offered Alan ( pay as you go instead of contract as Alan has Seasonal business) unfortunately we have now received high court letter and have to deal with bailiff. I tried calling their office to be told unless we can pay the full amount we have to deal with the bailiff direct with an arrangement to pay. My husband has become very poorly with it all. Stress makes is MS deteriorate. We have had to make the dining room into a bedroom as he can not up the stairs and is really unable to deal with the situation. He is a vulnerable man and we are scared of what will happen next. We have an appointment with Citizen Advice tomorrow, but any advice anyone can give?
    Thanks for your time reading

    1. Post

      I am so sorry to hear your dealings with this pair of companies – as you’ll have seen from this thread you are far from alone in your experience.

      I am afraid that there’s not a lot that I can say to help but perhaps Citizens’ Advice may be able to.

      Over recent months I have noticed an apparent change in the way that the companies respond to complaints. I’ve had several people get in touch to say that they’ve received a revised offer of settlement after they’ve posted their grievance on here.

      All I can do is wish you the best of luck and hope that your husband’s health improves.

      – Simon

  50. I have fallen foul too – not of the roll over clause as this seems to have disappeared – but that they want over £700 for the outstanding term of the contract. I took on the tenancy of a pub with my partner and she passed away from cancer a month after we signed the contract. I was not in my right mind when I segned – we were all over the place emotionally as she had just had her diagnosis, and we were being stupidly optimistic. They are not willing to even negotiate a reduced fee. They are not a nice bunch #heartless

  51. I’m so sorry for all the people who have had to endure unnecessary stress caused by handepay/merchant rentals!

    I too have fallen foul to the roll over clause! Why this is still allowed to happen is beyond me.

    I was also mis-sold this service as the gentleman I was dealing with told me to make sure I spent at least £10 a month via card transactions as the minimum amount I would be charged was £10 and if for whatever reason I hadn’t taken any card payments then I should purchase something myself to the value of £10 that way I wouldn’t lose out!! WHAT I hear you say! Exactly. Un be known to me (and him by the sounds of it) he was talking about £10 worth of charges, now either I am completely gormless or even he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about!
    Anyhow I’ve been hit by the ole cancellation fee as I failed to notify them years before I even thought about renting a machine that I would at some point want to cancel.
    I hope the guys at the head of the very expensive table they sit at are extremely pleased with themselves as they continue to cause havoc with people’s lives!!

    I will never trust… well, probably any company of this kind again!

    1. There seems to be allot of us falling into there hands maybe we should start something up and try and put a stop to them doing this write to a few mp’s or RIP of Brittan they need to be stopped

  52. Hello,
    I planned to join handipay, they sent me 2 contracts by email, i signed one in error, however, in the past 3 days i have had 16 calls from them and an email saying that i signed the legaly binding document and will be charged for the terminal i have nt recieved, i admit i felt pressurised with all the calls but the rep seekmed really nice and helpful. Since i ve had all these calls and the last email i felt i had had enough
    I emailed back saying they are bordering on harassment and i felt too pressurised by their tactics and said i wanted to cancel during the cooling off period clause,
    I also called and spoke to a rep today who said the dalls were because they were concerned that id signed the legal part of the document and didnt want me to be charged. I responded saying that there was a special offer with no rent until jan so how can i be charged.
    The initial rep also said hed void old agreement and send the new ones together, so i said if they are void how can they be legal, if they record their calls they will no last agreement was voided,
    I feel so stressed i ve just opened up as a sole trader and i dont know what to do, female rep said she d call me tom first thing to see if she can help… i wont be holding my breath!
    Any advice will be appreciated.

    1. Post

      If the Rep did void the contract then I don’t see how they can hold you to it. If the rep didn’t void it, and you can prove that the rep claimed they did, then I also don’t see how they can hold you to a contract since you can prove they are lying to you.

      If the contract has a cooling-off period then, personally, I would exercise it.

      I don’t know what line of business you are in, but it might be worth looking at taking card processing from PayPal, Square or iZettle.

      I use the latter and, whilst their percentage is higher than Handipay/Merchant Rentals, there’s no monthly fee and no contract. For the volume of card sales we take, we are far better off using iZettle.

  53. Hi, they said there is no cooling off period and as it has been signed it is legally binding.. i have a small cafe/ coffee shop , the agreement i signed is non cancellable, so i guess im stuck.
    I did read that if application was done from a distance there is a cooking off period, i may need to get legal advice
    Thank you for responding

  54. I to am fighting them they rolled me over, i did not know until i phoned up that was last year, and they were trying to get me to sign another contract i do not think so they said i needed a new machine because mine was out of date if you want to give me a new machine you can send me one but i am not signing up again with you. anyway this year i had a rep come in from another company and said i only have to give them a months notice so i did and told them when my last payment would be then they added 2 months on to that but i closed every thing down now from 400 its gone to 500 if i do not pay up they are going to take me to court
    any advice on this

  55. I have just received Cout papers fron Handepay/Merchant Rentals. claiming £723.00 which I propose to defend. A rep from Handpay came to my shop in October 2015, offer me very good rates to replace my existing card machine, I was even offered a financial inducement to do so, ie part payment of any fees incurred from my existing supplier. I informed the rep. ( name available) i was in the middle of a two year lease on the shop, and could not take out a contract for more than a year, he informed me Handepay/Merchant rentals do contracts for one/two/ three years and he could do a one year contract for me. The rate offered were good. the paperwork was drawn up very quickly, I signed on the understanding it was a one year contarct as discussd with the rep. Ther was no mentioned off cooling off periods, cancellation times etc( I also have written confirmation this one / two / three contracts are available from Handepay/Merchant Rentals.) I decided not to renew the shop lease the following year due to failing health. When I notified Handepay /Merchant Rentals I wanted to cancel / not renew the contract. Shock horror, I found I was on a 4 year contract. How fooloish of me not to read the contratc after the rep had obtained a signature, I was given the impression I was signing a one year contract, ( Handepay/Merchant rentals have confirmed in writing they offer these contract..) Its time this company was stopped from ripping off small buisness and make their contact more transparant . Avoid this company at all cost Any advice.

  56. Simon – this is a great thread you’ve started which seems to have helped a lot of small businesses. We were interested in the court cases which were brought under s101 (7) where the defence is “the goods were specifically selected for the hirer from a 3rd party” therefore the 18 month get out does not apply. Some of the posts mention this but there doesn’t seem to be any record of the verdict in these cases. Does anyone know what the outcome was ?

    We run a proce comparison website for card terminals/merchant accounts, etc and get a lot of emails from small businesses facing large penalties in early termination situations. Your website is a great source of information from people in similar circumstances.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Post

      Thanks Stephen. It is strange how things go. The blog post was originally meant as a warning to others who might not read the contract fully and end up making the same mistake I did. Over the years it has become apparent that I wasn’t alone in making the mistake of believing what I was being told by the salesperson.

      1. Simon – is there any public record of the court cases where MErchant Rentals were challenged on their CCA 2101 (7) defence. We had thought the court found in the merchant’s favour but Merchant Rentals appealed and we do not know what the appeal verdict was. Anyone ?

        1. Post
  57. Had the misfortune of signing up ..greed got the better of me plus the sales people at handy pay are experienced at lying and concealing important information example.. telling customers about the no cooling of period, four year contract .
    Used the terminal for three days results were over 100 rejected transactions, upset customers as terminal rejected payments when in fact it was accepting had to refund well over 1000 pounds and give away the same value in free food.
    Called the help desk several times a day but no luck, now stuck with a bill for £1100 to cancel.
    Absolutely a rip of company AVOID…
    Please do not be taken in by the promise of saving money, sales people are lying pigs they promise this and that and deliver DOG POOO

  58. As I am in the same position as pretty much everyone else here having just suffered a Merchant rentals automatic roll over period and have cancelled my contract but they expect me to carry on paying for “future rental” on a machine that will not be in use . I would ask if anyone could please let me have the contact details for the ombudsman?. Because although I cancelled in writing signed and attatched to emails I am now also being chased by Worldpay too.

  59. Hello Kevin would this be under the consumer credit act of 1974 please. I have signed up to a contract of 48 months out of which 6 months have passed does that mean I should be paying for 18-6 = 12 months and not 48-6 =42 months in penalty.

    I signed up for 48 months in may the agent for the told me when questioned about termination emailed me that their rates for rental processing etc will remain same as long as I am with them all sole traders can exit their contract after 18 months. This is the law which governs consumers under the ‘credit consumer act of 1974’.

    Unfortunately there is no paperwork on this from their side as they did not follow up the t&c to me during renewal they did promise new terminal which never arrived.I have been using the old one since 2012

    Great forum hopefully Kevin or someone reading this forum can assist.


  60. Could you recommend a good card payment company? iZettle looks great but the fees are high especially as I am selling high-value items (above £5k).

    1. Post
  61. Post

    Yesterday I received an email from someone who had posted on here about their problems with Handepay/Merchant Rentals.

    The contributor had originally signed up but changed their minds before the completion of the paperwork, or the installation of the card machine but faced an exit fee of £1300. After posting on here and on TrustPilot the contributor received an offer of a reduced exit fee of £300 with the proviso that all negative reviews be removed.

  62. Hello I was hoping to assist and in the process clarify for someone who has searched for card terminal contracts. I came across an analysis / explanation of the The Consumer Credit Act 1974. My understanding is as sole traders your maximum contract would be 18 months as long as the following are met amount of credit provided is less then £25,000. A natural person; an unincorporated association; or a partnership comprising three partners or fewer, where not all the partners are bodies corporate, (“small partnerships”).

    And more importantly it is not possible to exclude the contract as long as the above criteria are met. So if you have come here as self employed i was hoping for clarification on this as even the get out clause of hiring the terminal seems not permitted.

    i would place a link but not sure if its allowed or not the analysis of the act has been done by a law firm and explained well.

    1. Hi Simon, thank you taking the trouble to host this site.

      If only we had found these comments before signing up with Handepay/Merchant Rentals/EVO. They are now demanding the payment of 48 months rental, despite blocking the delivery of the terminal, and communicating with them to say that we were mis-sold.

      The rep (name available) visited our premises in August 2017 and offered to save our company a lot of money, hey it seemed too good to be true! and also offered financial insentives to cancel our existing contract. At no time did he explain that we would be dealing with three separate companies; Handepay, Merchant Rentals and EVO Payments, the cancellation procedure or terms of the contract were not mentioned verbally. We were currently using Worldpay and have stayed with them.
      When trying to contact the rep after realising that we would be dealing with three companies rather than one, the answer phone message gave the option of EVO or WORLDPAY our current supplier! All leaflets left regarding the service mention Handepay only. At no point in his visits did he explain that he was also acting for our current provider.
      We contacted Handepay to explain that we felt we had been mis-sold the package and wanted to cancel. We also cancelled the delivery of the terminal.
      No services have been provided by any of the companies, but they are claiming that we are still liable for 48 months rental for the terminal over £800 and other costs.
      The response to our last email to Merchant Rentals reads; ‘Handepay are the sales organisation who originally sold you your existing agreement and Merchant Rentals Ltd are a third-party asset lease finance company; therefore we do not have access to the discussions and correspondence between yourselves and Handepay. ( both companies trade from the same address)
      Under NO circumstances would we recommend using these people, having read the other comments we regret ever signing anything with them.
      We would be very keen to join any group trying to fight the actions of these guys.

  63. After not hearing anything for months they have taken me to court from a on line one which i can send a counter claim i had no letter or phone call to say they were going to do this my business is not open i closed it down i am looking after my mother and i am on a pension now so these people really do not care
    And if anyone is thinking of going with them do not you will regret it we need tell everyone I am going to look for more blogs we see what the court has to say

  64. I agree with all of the above comments. Merchant Rentals Limited are threatening to commence legal proceedings against my company for just under £9k. They are using all of the same lines as above e.g. “MRL are a third party asset lease finance company, Handepay Limited is an independent sales organisation… common ownership does not establish agency etc”. Absolute nonsense – MRL and Handepay entirely misrepresent (negligently, if not frauduently) the commercial set up to its customers. A court should look behind the wording of the contract to determine the true working relationship between the parties.

    I would simply re-iterate that you should not do business with Handepay and/or MRL.

  65. Dear Zac,

    Please do post on TrustPilot. I do not believe that the 5 star gushing reviews on Trust Pilot are genuine. You’ll find (as I did) a negative review is followed by a torrent of 5 star reviews within a couple hours.

    Re the lying sales person, MRL will claim that Handepay are a separate entity to MRL and Handepay are not their agents, therefore you can’t rely upon Handepay’s representations. I am sure your lawyers will refer to the issue of ostensible and actual implied authority to evidence the obvious agency relationship between the two companies.

    Good luck with it. I would be very interested in the breakdown/ legal docs etc.

  66. I would like to comment on how you may defend certain claims MR might pursue against you, using UK law:-

    1. Terminating your contract with MR if you are a sole trader or partnership of less than 4

    For these purposes you are defined as an individual under s.1 Consumer Credti Act 2006, and therfore have the right to terminate the contract under s.101 Consumer Credit Act 1974. BUT you are not able to terminate before the first 18 months without being liable for those 18 months worth of payments. But if you signed a 48 month contract that will still save you 30 payments. The terminal was provided by Handepay whom are an “associate” of MR, so they can not get out of this provision.
    If you do wish to terminate make sure you do it in writing before MR start imposing charges etc. If you do this your are not obliged to pay these “fees” as you have terminated the contract and no longer liable under the terms. Also MR may think twice before pursuing you if they are only likely to get 18 months or less of payments. Legal /admin costs etc may outweigh the benefit.

    “1Definition of ‘individual’
    In section 189(1) of the 1974 Act (definitions) for the definition of “individual” substitute—
    ““individual” includes—
    (a)a partnership consisting of two or three persons not all of whom are bodies corporate; and
    (b)an unincorporated body of persons which does not consist entirely of bodies corporate and is not a partnership;”.”

    The Law:-

    “101 Right to terminate hire agreement.
    (1)The hirer under a regulated consumer hire agreement is entitled to terminate the agreement by giving notice to any person entitled or authorised to receive the sums payable under the agreement.
    (2)Termination of an agreement under subsection (1) does not affect any liability under the agreement which has accrued before the termination.
    (3)A notice under subsection (1) shall not expire earlier than eighteen months after the making of the agreement, but apart from that the minimum period of notice to be given under subsection (1), unless the agreement provides for a shorter period, is as follows.
    (4)If the agreement provides for the making of payments by the hirer to the owner at equal intervals, the minimum period of notice is the length of one interval or three months, whichever is less.
    (5)If the agreement provides for the making of such payments at differing intervals, the minimum period of notice is the length of the shortest interval or three months, whichever is less.
    (6)In any other case, the minimum period of notice is three months.
    (7)This section does not apply to—
    (a)any agreement which provides for the making by the hirer of payments which in total (and without breach of the agreement) exceed [F1£1,500] in any year, or
    (b)any agreement where—
    (i)goods are bailed or (in Scotland) hired to the hirer for the purposes of a business carried on by him, or the hirer holds himself out as requiring the goods for those purposes, and
    (ii)the goods are selected by the hirer, and acquired by the owner for the purposes of the agreement at the request of the hirer from any person other than the owner’s associate, or”

    “184 Associates.
    [F1(1)A person is an associate of an individual if that person is—
    (a)the individual’s husband or wife or civil partner,
    (b)a relative of—
    (i)the individual, or
    (ii)the individual’s husband or wife or civil partner, or
    (c)the husband or wife or civil partner of a relative of—
    (i)the individual, or
    (ii)the individual’s husband or wife or civil partner.]
    (2)A person is an associate of any person with whom he is in partnership, and of the husband or wife [F2or civil partner] or a relative of any individual with whom he is in partnership.
    (3)A body corporate is an associate of another body corporate—
    (a)if the same person is a controller of both, or a person is a controller of one and persons who are his associates, or he and persons who are his associates, are controllers of the other; or
    (b)if a group of two or more persons is a controller of each company, and the groups either consist of the same persons or could be regarded as consisting of the same persons by treating (in one or more cases) a member of either group as replaced by a person of whom he is an associate.
    (4)A body corporate is an associate of another person if that person is a controller of it or if that person and persons who are his associates together are controllers of it.”

    A detailed search on Companies House (free) will point you to the fact that Andrew Peake, Michael Prendergast and Charter Capital Ltd (registered offshore in Anguilla) are all associated and control both MR & HP .

    2. Wishing to cancel the contract because the terminal you have or had replaced keeps failing and losing you money.

    If this is the case then again write to MR adivsing them that you wish to cancel the contract because the terminal is unfit for purpose. The law that allows this for both individauls and companies is:

    2(i).(a) The contract is covered by the Sale of Goods and Services Act (SGSA) 1982 s6(1) as a “contract for the hire of goods”, and CC uphold their right to rescind the contract of hire under s10A(1)(a) of the same Act for a major breach of an implied condition as to the fitness of the goods supplied.
    2(i)(b) CC claim that under the SGSA 1982 S9(2)(4)(b) & (5) MR have an implied duty to ensure the bailed goods were “reasonably fit for purpose” and of “satisfactory quality”. MR are under a strict liability to supply such goods regardless of fault or not.
    2(i)(c) CC refer to the SGSA 1982 s.18 (3)(a)(c)(d)(e) as to the requirements of the quality of goods. CC uphold the goods bailed did not meet the requirements as the goods were not:- (a) fit for purpose, (c)free from minor defects, (d) safe and (e) durable.
    2(i)(d) CC made clear to HP when it contracted that it wanted to upgrade to a contactless credit/debit card terminal and relied upon the skill and judgment of HP to supply such goods reasonably fit for purpose. It is for MR to show this to be unreasonable or untrue to defeat the grounds of the defence.””

    This was how I phrased the defence that won in the county court, but do look at the law. HP acts as a broker in the contract of supply of the terminal. The reference to CC is my company name abreviated.

    Need any more info please email me at These are my comments, and not any opinion that you should rely upon. I disclaim all responsibility and I am not legally qualified.

    1. Both my son and I recently took up contracts with Handepay for our two businesses – the very helpful salesman assured us both that although it was a 48 month contract there was no termination fee or costs to be incurred should we close our respective businesses. This was something that was important to us both, as these are uncertain times. My son even pointed out the 48 months on the contract to him and was told that he was only tied in for a year. Because everything that we were told was simply verbal and not in writing it would appear that there’s very little we can do. I know that we should read the small print, but when you do that but are continually reassured by the salesman that you won’t incur costs if you do have to close your business, it’s easy to believe them. Another selling point was not having to renew the compliance, that it would be done automatically, but I see that somebody else on here has posted that it won’t be. My son and I both feel that we have been mis-sold, but there is very little we can do about it…………

    2. Sounds good BUT even a one director/owner of a Ltd Company can’t use the rights of the Consumer Credit Act. There’s a Parliamentary appraisal of this situation ongoing for the impact of unfair trading practices on small businesses which may well sort this out sometime in the future.
      In the meantime remember that any court action for breach of contract would rely on your defence having to show that there was misrepresentation of some sort. Believe me, there are lots of avenues you can go down to get to the right court result.

      County Court is based on Balance of Probability and even verbal misrepresentation is catered for. Do your homework on the various ways that misrepresentation led you to believe something that wasn’t part of the contract. Even failing to give the full details of a spoken condition would be within the definition of misrepresentation.
      I was sued for £10500 in similar circumstances and came out of court having been awarded £3506.24 which included various costs and a punitive award of £2000 for the claimant’s vexatious and unreasonable behaviour.

  67. I want to terminate my contract with Merchant Rentals, I only have one terminal and have had it for quite a few years now. But now I am worried by all the comments I read. So its not as simple as giving a months notice then?

    1. Post

      I am sorry to say that it may not be as simple as you might like. When I went to cancel, I found that the contract had automatically extended. Your best bet is to issue a termination letter immediately.


  68. I’m going to throw an even more insidious spanner in the works now…

    I run a small design company and have had a recent enquiry for an e-commerce website. The proposal was accepted, however, at the point of making a deposit the client said “her broker won’t allow her to us PayPal” (!) and a bank transfer was out of the question as the client only has a credit card.

    When a asked how the client intended to pay the required deposit they sent me a link to the Handepay signup and said they would stand the monthly terminal rental charges for the 1st year.

    Obviously, I tactfully told them to “f**k right off”. I almost certain after reading a little about Handepay (never heard of them prior) that this is someone on commission trying to tie me into a nightmare contract.

  69. Hi there, got exactly the same with Payzone today. Couldn’t believe it, apparently my contract auto renews- not just keeps rolling over month after month which the rep told me at the time of the contract signing. Dirty company this lot, would not give them my business again. Is there any honest companies out there?

    1. Post

      I have little faith in any of the major card machine suppliers: once bitten, twice shy. I made the switch to using iZettle and Square, since they don’t have a fixed contract and no monthly fees. Of course, they do charge a higher percentage, but for us they work well and make financial sense.

  70. Merchant Rentals have not sent me a VAT invoice since 2/10/2018 but are still taking a direct debit every month until contract ends in January 2021. Is this legal or not in accordance with VAT regulations?

  71. I just found this website after doing a google search, now my question of anybody can help me is; as a sole director of a small Ltd Company is there anyway I can get out of my stupidly long contract with Handepay that has its minimum term still another 11 months away. I was certainly not made aware of this at the time by telephone conversation, but then how many of us read the small print in the contract! A mistake never to be made again, Handepay just is not financially beneficial to my compan venture.

  72. Post

    Hi John,

    Sorry to hear you made the same mistake as I did in not reading the (incredibly) small print in the contract. I was in the same position as you being the sole director of a limited company. They only way out of the contract as I could see it was to dissolve the company and face all of the issues that would incur. For me, that was too much hassle and it was easier just to pay their exit fee.

    Sorry I couldn’t help.


  73. Dear John,

    Our family company was sued by Merchant Rentals Limited (MRL) for over three years rental payments for terminals which had become useless to us through no fault of our own. We were customers of MRL for 6.5 years although we, like many, thought we had contracted with Handepay. We entered into the contract in good faith (as most genuine business people do) and relied upon the representations of Handepay re the termination provisions (ie no cancellation charges).

    Unfortunately, we lost due to the exceptionally onerous (albeit illegible) terms of the contract, MRL’s £1000 / day 1986 call barrister (against me, an unrepresented party) and MRL’s assertions that it had nothing to do with Handepay (hence we could not rely upon Handepay’s representations)!

    However, MRL did end up paying £13k in legal fees (considerably more than their claim against us) so the only real winners were their solicitors. The Judge also referred to MRL’s “mercenary” actions, its “sharp” business practice and he stated that he was “concerned to see sums being pursued by the Claimant [ie MRL] that were plainly unrecoverable with no concession made as to this until trial. It gives the impression of a party seeing what it can get away with, rather than pursuing its genuine loss.”

    If you do end up having to pay the remainder of the contract, make sure you check the amounts claimed are correct. MRL tried to claim VAT on future sums owed equal to an overcharge of over £1,000 (future losses fall outside the scope of VAT), it had incorrectly charged 2% interest on the VAT element, it had added on various incorrect and admitted over charges eg £24 for each of the 22 arrears letters which had not been sent ie £528 overcharge, 11 “indemnity charges” at £25 each (£275 overcharge) along with additional months’ rentals which were not due. MRL had grossly inflated the claimed amount by thousands of pounds- this was acknowledged by the Court and these amounts were deducted.

    Just for your information, MRL made a settlement offer to us subject to us removing comments from this site (they seem to hate this site!!), a ridiculous “gagging” provision preventing us from commenting on social media and waiving any claims against Handepay (even though MRL claims the companies are unconnected)- I would not agree to this as a matter of principle.

    Hope this helps and good luck with it all!

    1. Post

      Dear Claire,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with MRL – particularly the bit about them ‘erroneously’ charging VAT and for letters that were not sent. I also admire your stance on not being gagged. So many people have asked me to remove comments that they have made on this thread as removal was made a stipulation as part of a settlement.

      You are quite right about when you say that it is the lawyers who win. I wonder if there isn’t any connection between MRL and the firm of lawyers in the same way as there isn’t between MRL and Handepay?

      Thanks again for the update. Keep safe and stay well.


  74. Hi i am a sole trader and the contract i signed up was for 1 year no rental fees, no early termintion or cancellation. When i discovered a direct debit setup i found suspicoius and cancel the direct debit. Afterwards when i contacted the card processors they told me i have signed up for 4 year contract and i am liable to pay them more than £5000. The card processesor are going to make a claim against the contract as i signed. But i have not signed the one contract they claim. I doubt the salesperson who came to me has switched the contract. I do not have any proof expect the agent was handling the phone as seen in the video and my wife who was present at the scene also seen in video.

  75. Hi. I was a sole trader l, my business was shut during lockdown but still had to pay MR. It never picked up after lockdown and subsequently folded. MR now want to be paid £690 for the remainder of the 4yr contract that I had no idea I was signed up for. In effect your rental for the terminal is over £1500. If you buy the terminal it costs £300- £400. Dick Turpin has got nothing on this lot. Steer clear of Merchant Rentals.

  76. I am having the same problems with them. I have tried to come out for the last three years and they keep telling me i have to pay a settlement fee of the same or another years contract in which then they will find another way of keeping me in. I feel angry resentful and feel that i am not going to pay it. However how else can i get rid of them.

    Can they really do anything other than threaten us?


  77. Thanks for this forum. In brief, my story is that I had a 4yr contract with handspan/worldpay that expired in 2019.
    We continued with the service until received a better solution from Clocer (and a more modern payment solution too…).
    I took Clover on and cancelled handepay…then hey Ho – you guessed it – problems.
    First they said I hadn’t cancelled! The n I had to pay for another 12 months.
    But when they showed me the signed contract ending in 2019 I told them that the 12 month rollover isn’t on the contract.
    They then tried “as a gesture of good faith” that they would charge me 6 months.
    So I told them that I will pay for 2 months line rental (£40.80) take it or leave it. If they want more to take it further.

    The reply was “I have spoken to my manager and will accept the £40 to terminate the contract”. And to take payment machine to recycling centre.

    So, they do try it on . Found out that they are one of the more expensive providers around now too so worth shopping around for deals. Avoid anything that links to worldpay,


  78. I have today received a settlement figure from this company, and like others was assured by the rep that no charges would occur if ending the agreement early. I have 20 months left of a 48 month contract, they want £515.45 early settlement, if i keep the damn thing till the full 48 months it will cost me £527.80, as i am retiring it is not something i plan to do and will challenge their figure, pore rip off from start to finish.

  79. You’ll be pleased to know industry changes have been put in place and 18 month agreement then 30 day rolling are the longest businesses can offer. I work in the industry and it’s a much fairer arrangement for business owners.

  80. Have received our first correspondence since 2019 (small court letter) threatening court proceedings for £800 and a 2%charge for every month of our contract not paid.
    We signed up for our card terminal but changed our minds and called back to cancel within the 24 hour window.
    We were told to put this in writing scan and email this back to them which we did, the lady on the phone also said the order wasn’t processed yet,
    Then 2 weeks later we were told that there would be a charge of £800 for the card terminal as they order it from a third party provider, we then said that we had cancelled before the order was processed and handed the card machine back un opened, we also stated we are within the law of a cooling off period.
    The reply was that is void with businesses and only valid with the consumer.
    All nonsense.
    Everything on the court letter is lies and we have the emails to prove it all.
    Seeking legal advice tomorrow.
    Can I ask if this has affected anyone’s credit?
    I’m furious.

    1. Post

      Hi Sarah,

      Sorry to hear of your experience with Handepay and Merchant Rentals. I’d really hoped that this blog post would start to quieten down with the apparent change in contracts that someone else commented on a short while ago.

      My advice would be to speak with a lawyer: never take legal advice from a random blog post like mine. They will be able to tell you if it will affect your credit score. I suspect that will depend on your trading status. If you are a limited company, I think you will be unaffected.

      I hope things get sorted soon.


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