Merchant Maverick
Reviews
Ratings
Comparisons

In-Depth Reviews of Merchant Services and Software Questions?
Email Us
rss-badge
23Apr/14126

Square Review

Merchant Maverick's Rating: (3.5 out of 5)
three-and-one-half-stars

Last Updated: April 23rd, 2014

Logo:
square-logo

About Our Ratings | Leave Your ReviewNeed Help Choosing?

Overview:

With over 2,000,000 users and more than $8 billion in annual payment processing, Square has become a heavyweight in the world of point of sale and credit card processing. Square was started in February of 2009 by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter. Over the course of five years, Square made a name for itself by creating a product that allows virtually anyone to accept credit card payments using their personal mobile device--a truly groundbreaking advance for businesses and individuals alike. A major $25 million dollar investment by Starbucks in late 2012 further upped Square's street cred and has prompted competition from big-name companies like Intuit, PayPal, and PayAnywhere.

Square has a shockingly simple setup process: create an account by providing some basic contact information to verify your identity; download the app onto your iPad, iPhone or Android device; connect your bank account to the app; and then just wait for your free credit card swipe to arrive in the mail. Once the little plastic card reader arrives you plug it into the headphone jack of your mobile device and, just like that, you're ready for immediate payment processing. Square has zero setup cost, which is a huge part of its attraction.

Unfortunately Square's widespread attraction comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that Square is innovative in a lot of ways. The Square Register POS app has a smooth and intuitive interface that a five year old could figure out. Square Wallet, a creative consumer-end payment app, allows customers to access a merchant directory with all Square businesses in their current location. When customers visit Square businesses they can earn rewards and complete digital punch cards as they order and pay for their purchases with the Wallet app. These forward thinking developments along with several other creative software features are what Square has going for it.

The bad news is that (as we all know) initial attraction isn't enough to sustain a relationship long term: you've got to have a solid foundation if there's any chance of survival. This is the point where Square starts to take a nose dive. When you sign up for a Square account you're signing up for more than a point of sale system--Square facilitates all the payment processing too, powered by Chase Paymentech. It's a package deal. While Square's anyone-can-accept-credit-card-payments philosophy seems great, it has some hidden costs. The main issue is that without any credit checks and limited merchant underwriting, Square is taking on a higher level of risk than more traditional payment processors. Square is notorious for mitigating this additional risk in ways that hurt merchants--primarily by placing excessive holds on funds and accounts that appear suspicious. "Suspicious" can be anything from fraudulent customer chargebacks to an unusually high monthly average or sale.

Both the Better Business Bureau and Ripoff Report are overrun with Square merchants who  have some variation on the story of, "Square placed a hold on thousands of dollars in sales and even though I provided evidence that the sales were legitimate I haven't been able to access the funds in months and no one from support will respond to my inquiries." Square is also notorious for having bottom of the barrel support: there is no direct phone line and all inquiries must be funneled through either email or Twitter with less-than-great odds of a satisfactory response.

After an extensive review process my conclusion is that, despite its popularity, Square is only a useful point of sale software and payment processing option for a certain set of businesses. It could be a potential headache for others. You may want to check out some of our higher rated mobile processors like Flint.

Read on for a breakdown of Square's specs and features and decide for yourself whether it might be the right solution for your business.

Date Established:

February 2009

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Domain Name(s):

www.square.com

Pricing/Fees and Rates:

Technically Square is free. The Square Register app is free and so is the credit card reader. They make a profit through credit card processing fees. Square offers a fixed-price processing rate with no additional monthly or annual fees. While they had a short-lived monthly option of $275 with 0% swiped transaction fees (among other stipulations), Square stopped offering this fee structure to new customers on November 8th, 2013. All accounts currently using this pricing option will revert to the standard fixed-rate structure on January 2nd, 2014.

The only pricing option offered by Square is:

Non-negotiable. No interchange-plus pricing (sorry), no tiered pricing either (phew). Of course this sort of rate structure reduces overall cost transparency, since you don't get to see the actual interchange/assessment fees charged to the processor. That said, they make up for this in my book by having absolutely no additional fees. On the Square site, you'll see that there are no fees for:

  • Activation
  • Early termination
  • Interchange
  • Chargebacks
  • Cash payments
  • Refunds
  • Inactivity
  • PCI compliance

Additionally, you won't see any monthly minimums, statement fees, inactivity fees, address verification fees, batches fees, application fees... so on and so forth.

Square recently made another step in the right direction by eliminating its cap on keyed-in payments. You used to have any keyed payments processed over $2,002 each week held for 30 days. Now you won't have to keep track of this or worry about not having access to your funds if you make a big sale. Good job Square! (But remember, they can still hold your funds in a reserve account if they see transactions as high-risk.)

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

Square has an ideal setup here, way better than the processing industry standard (which is 3 years, auto-renewing, and carries an average of $400 in early termination fees). With Square, you can close your account at anytime with no penalties, no fees, and no hidden stipulations. You don't even have to give any notice. Do, however, make sure all of your pending transactions have cleared, as they will be cancelled when you close your account. Square also reserves the right to hold any funds in a reserve account even after you close your account with them to cover any possible chargebacks or additional expenses.

This is a true month-to-month arrangement, giving you complete freedom. Needless to say, I really like this aspect of Square! Want to take a look at their merchant agreement to verify this yourself? Check it out here.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

For me, Square does very, very well in this category. Everything they say in their advertising checks out, and they don't use any wacky sales gimmicks. Their "free" reader is actually free, and they really don't charge any additional fees. They could definitely state more information about account holds, why they happen and how to avoid them, though. This is the biggest complaint from merchants using Square, and surely the company is aware of this. Not disclosing this in plain sight as a possibility definitely equals a lack of transparency. They do make it pretty clear that no phone-based support exists, although many merchant still complain about this.

Aside from that, however, I couldn't ask for more from Square. All fees, rates, and important information appear in their sales copy, and just about everything else you could ever want to know about processing with Square appears in detail within their extensive Help Center.

Web-Based or Locally-Installed:

Square runs off of a web/cloud based app. All of your shop data is stored in cloud servers and wirelessly transmitted to your devices.

Specific Industry:

Square is probably best matched to retail businesses, but it can be tailored to almost any setup that requires a checkout or mobile payment processing. Square can be used for boutiques, grocery stores, book shops, festivals, craft fairs, hair salons, spas...and so on and so forth. It would also work for therapists, independent contractors, taxi drivers, handymen, and locksmiths. In terms of the service industry, Square has recently added several software updates to accommodate the service industry, including the ability to edit orders, use a barcode scanner, and create product modifiers. While some small cafes, food trucks and pop-up stands are already using Square, it's likely that Square will try to move into a new market by adding more restaurant-friendly options.

Specific Size of Business:

Square is definitely best for small businesses. Square can be used with multiple devices as long as all devices are logged into the same account. Square can also handle multiple business accounts on the same card reader and mobile device. At this point you can't connect your Square account across multiple locations.

Ease of Use:

After creating a "demo" shop with a couple different categories and products, I tested how long it took me to get familiar with the Square interface. I had the whole thing down in under an hour and was impressed by its smooth, intuitive layout. There's no doubt that Square is doing okay in the looks department. One interesting thing about the interface is that you can manage the app in different ways. For my demo I downloaded the app onto my iPad and then added all of the categories and products by logging into my Square account on my laptop web browser. All of the inventory additions created on my laptop were quickly synced to the iPad. Square also allows you to add and manage inventory items directly on the iPad, which is not the case for a lot of other cloud POS software.

Because Square is compatible with so many devices it interacts with them in different ways. For example, the iPad can display product categories, while the iPhone cannot. Several Android devices are only able to accept manual credit card entries while others have trouble displaying the app correctly. Square has a "devices with known issues" article to inform you of potential compatibility difficulties with your device. The other hardware issue to be wary of is the plastic credit card swipe. I came across many reviews written by merchants who explained how they sometimes have to swipe a card multiple times to get it to work, which is a count against ease of use.

Aside from being aware of device-specific issues, I found Square very easy to use. Creating categories, products, discounts, product modifiers, and tax brackets was simple. I was a fan of the favorites category that allows you to keep up to 125 popular products on a virtual "shelf" for quick checkout access. With the flip of a switch you can add your business profile to Square's GPS Merchant Directory. You can also add specific products that customers can order from their phone using the Square Wallet app. I would have liked to see an import/export inventory option on the web-browser back end, but it's probably not a big issue for most small businesses with a manageable inventory.

A final note on ease of use is regarding Square's recent update to the checkout process for businesses with the tip option enabled. In the past, after swiping their credit card, customers were prompted to a page with a virtual signature pad and the option to leave a tip. Square has divided this process into three parts: first the credit card is swiped, then the customer is directed to the page with the option for a tip, and finally they are asked to sign for their purchase. iTunes is full of frustrated merchants who say they feel the new approach is confusing and makes customers feel like they're obligated to leave a tip.

Overall, Square gets great marks for its aesthetic design and intuitive layout and a lower score on hardware and interactive features like the credit card swipe and the tip options.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

The Square Register and Square Wallet apps will run on most Apple iOS devices with 5.0 or higher and Google Android devices with 2.2 or higher. Square states that their apps may work on some Android tablets but it does not officially support them or guarantee compatibility. Also Square cannot take payments on laptops or computers, although a back end dashboard area can be accessed from any computer with a web browser and WiFi connection.

Another thing to note is that merchants using smartphones to process payments will not be able to connect to a receipt printer, cash drawer, or barcode scanner. All peripheral hardware setups need to be paired with an iPad. Square offers two "Business in a Box" bundles that include basic hardware for getting started. I'll go over these bundles as well as the other hardware compatible with Square.

  • Bundles - Square offers the "Paperless" Business in a Box bundle which assumes you'll be sending customers digital receipts (eliminating the need for printers). The Paperless package includes Square card readers, a Heckler design iPad stand, and an APG Vasario 1616 cash drawer. It costs $249. The "Printing" Business in a Box bundle includes everything you need to print receipts, kitchen orders, and sales reports directly from your iPad. It comes with Square card readers, a Heckler design iPad stand, an APG Vasario 1616 cash drawer and a Star Micronics TSP143L Receipt Printer. The Printing bundle totals $499.
  • Receipt Printers - Square is compatible with the Star TSP 143 LAN printer and the Star TSP 650 with Ethernet interface printer. These run approximately $220 and $285 respectively.
  • Kitchen Ticket Printers - Wirelessly print kitchen tickets with the Star SP742 ML printer, which will cost you around $250.
  • Cash Drawers - Square works with Vasario models 1416 and 1616. These are both approximately $100.
  • Barcode Scanners - Scan products into an order with the Bluetooth Socket Mobile 7Ci. You can pick one up for about $250.
  • iPad Stand - iPad stands are important both for protecting your devices and for allowing easy customer access with swivels and rotating frames. Prices really vary according to the model but you can estimate spending $150-$200 per stand.

Product Features:

Despite Square’s reputation for terrible support and questionable fraud prevention policies, it clearly has some things going for it with over 2,000,000 users and counting. There’s no doubt that Square has brought some major innovations to the point of sale industry. Because of its huge network of merchants, Square has the leverage to explore some creative marketing approaches that are inaccessible to smaller POS companies. I’m going to briefly cover some of the most interesting features (if you want a full feature breakdown you can find it here).

One of Square’s most groundbreaking features is Square Wallet, the free customer–end app that offers benefits to both customers and business owners. Square Wallet acts as a sort of virtual wallet that can be used at businesses that run on Square. When a customer downloads Square Wallet onto her phone she is prompted to enter her credit card information, which is then stored in the app. Wallet tracks her current location and shows her all the local businesses that use Square. She can add Merchant Cards from her favorite businesses (sort of like a virtual business card) to her Wallet account and use them to order and pay for items ahead of time. Once she reaches the counter all she has to do is give her name—the transaction is already finished and paid for. Square markets this as “hands-free” checkout.

Square has some other clever features built into Wallet. Customers can buy and send gift cards directly from their Merchant Cards on Wallet. Gift card recipients have the option to redeem the cards with their Square Wallet and Apple Passbook accounts or by printing them out. Square Wallet customers can also earn rewards with digital punch cards that track visits and purchases. Regular customers can earn "regular" status indicated by a blue ribbon on their receipt. Square merchants can offer first-time visitor incentives and deals through Wallet. All of these marketing avenues offer business owners creative ways of attracting business and encouraging loyal customers.

Some reviews on iTunes mention difficulties with bugs, errors and crashes and when something goes wrong with the app it can hold up lines and frustrate customers. When it works, Wallet is an amazing concept that has the potential to be another industry game changer. The more businesses that adopt Square, the more powerful Square Wallet will be as a marketing tool.

I also want to briefly mention Square's Mobile Staff option because it's a feature I haven't seen other POS systems offer. Mobile Staff works on the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod touch and supported Android mobile devices and it allows staff members to accept payments on your behalf. You can send an invite to staff members which then prompts them to create a Square account that is linked to your Square Register account. Any transactions they process are directly deposited into your account. Privacy is built into the Mobile Staff option--staff members can't access your Square account, financial data, or payments accepted by other staff members.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

Square does not offer an API and has no integrations or add-ons through third party developers.

Compatible Credit Card Processors:

As mentioned above, when you open an account with Square you are agreeing to run your transactions through their payment processor, which is how they turn a profit on a free product (the Square Register app). Square is actually an aggregator, meaning they bundle the various pieces of payment processing and offer it to Square merchants at their 2.75%/transaction rate. Chase Paymentech processes Square transactions and JP Morgan Chase is Paymentech's acquiring bank.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Support is Square's weakest service by far. Support is only available via email and Twitter. I found hundreds of complaints from Square merchants who were trying to resolve issues (often regarding thousands of dollars of frozen revenue) without being able to speak to a real human being or receive a satisfactory response via email. If you comb the Square website you won't be able to find a phone number or a direct email address. In my opinion, this is a huge red flag.

I will say that Square does have one of the best Help Centers I've seen. There are dozens and dozens of well-written, well-organized articles covering every aspect of Square's features. Any questions I had relating to the actual setup and use of Square were answered with a quick search in the Help Center. Chances are you won't need much help from Square support to get your business up and running.  The problem arises when you encounter a financial issue relating to holds, freezes or chargebacks. It's enormously frustrating to attempt to resolve these issues via an email support system that is not known for being reliable or timely.

Below is a list of the resources that Square does offer:

  • Contact Us Form - This online Contact Us form is the primary avenue for direct communication with Square support.
  • Help Center - Read up on all Square features in the Help Center.
  • Twitter - Square has a very active Twitter feed with over 120,000 followers.
  • Youtube - The Square Youtube page has both promotional videos and a series of instructional shorts.
  • Facebook - Square's Facebook highlights a lot of Square merchants and news articles about Square. Open posts by Facebook users are not allowed on Square's Facebook page (they do allow comments on items that they post).

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

A quick Google search will produce way more feedback on Square then you could ever hope to read. They have a B+ with the BBB despite having 936 complaints filed in the past three years as of this update, with about half of those (450, to be exact) filed in the past 12 months alone. That is a truly enormous number of complaints. Here is a summary of the most common complaints:

  • Terrible Support - This is the number one complaint lodged against Square. Some Square merchants even go so far as to suggest that Square is a "scam" because of their appalling track record of processing funds that have been placed on hold. Square support indicates that they will respond to email inquiries within 24 hours. The time frame is sometimes closer to 2-3 days according to a slew of frustrated merchant reports.
  • Issues with Deposits - Difficulty with inaccessible funds is a close second in the complaints department. Square's aggressive fraud prevention tactics have put many small businesses in a position where they can't access their income because their transactions have raised a general red flag for any number of reasons.
  • Crashes and Bugs - The Square interface isn't perfect. Numerous Square merchants report that they regularly have to reboot after crashes. Other common issues include malfunctioning credit card swipes and occasional bugs.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

Square has been a really good POS solution for some business owners. Here's what happy merchants are saying:

  • Accessibility - Square is literally accessible to almost anyone. This is a count in its favor even though there are some potentially risky trade offs for the easy access. Small business owners that lack startup capital or good credit will definitely be interested in Square's service.
  • Good Design - The Square Register app is truly one of the best designed payment processing apps out there, especially with the recent addition of features geared towards the restaurant industry.
  • Innovative - Square is one of the pack leaders in the point of sale industry and they don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Their innovative approach continues to develop services that are transforming the way that merchants and customers engage at the checkout counter and beyond.

Final Verdict:

I have a mixed feelings about Square. If I were a small business owner I would really do my homework before jumping on the Square bandwagon. Square clearly has some distinct advantages because of its sheer size and the groundbreaking developments available with Square Wallet and the Merchant Directory. The question is whether the benefits are worth the potential risks. I would personally be very hesitant to place my income in the hands of a company that has no phone number or direct line of communication. Would you deposit your money in a bank with no customer service representatives? Clearly Square is trying to keep their costs down by limiting support, but it seems a bit absurd for a company of this size to handle all inquiries through email and Twitter. Square's reputation for holding funds is another huge issue that shouldn't be taken lightly.

Square might be a good option for small businesses that have a low sales volume or sporadic sales. It's perfect for garage sales or small trade shows. It may also be a good solution for mobile businesses or individuals like massage therapists and independent consultants. Beyond that I'd recommend seriously investigating how Square stacks up against other POS systems out there. The cloud based POS market has expanded tremendously over the last five years, as has the mobile processing market, and Square has a lot of serious contenders from both recent startups and industry giants like PayPal.

Overall conclusion? Check Square out, but proceed with caution. You may want to consider your other options for mobile processing.

The following two tabs change content below.

Tom DeSimone

Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.

Latest posts by Tom DeSimone (see all)

Comments (126) Trackbacks (0)
Comment Rules: Don't forget to read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.
  1. STAY AWAY FROM SQUARE! I was using Square for over a year and now today they send me a email stating they have to close my account. Got my money and are going to hold it for 90 days till they release it. I didn’t make the Customer wait 90 days for him to get his truck fixed.

    SQUARE SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    RATE —-100%

    • Not Rated
    • Been doing business with square for over 2 years. I do about $10000 a month I transactions . Never caused any issues for them . One small refund and that’s it. Sent me email today that they have to close my account immediately and hold my reserve of $4000 for 120 to 180 days. Said I was high risk business. 2 years of multiple transactions and no problems and all the sudden I am high risk. Holding my $4000 for 6 months . Stay away from square. I am not flyby night . Been in business for 10 years. I rent tv s and furniture.

      • Not Rated
  2. I love square. For a small business like mine that does 99% of its business off line its perfect. Set up took some time for approvals but I was OK with that. I’ve also never had a problem with payments. I was a bit concerned that they use twitter for support but for the 2 minor problems I’ve had, it was fine. I was able to connect a printer barcode scanner and cash drawer and love that with a flip of a switch I can sell that item online with their market place or copy some side to my web site and sell it there. My only complaint is setting the shipping for the market. They say they are working on a shipping calculator so I can wait. There is no way I could get all the square offers for less money some where else. I am very grateful.

    • 55555
  3. ABSOLUTELY NOT! Customer service is a BIG DEAL to me and Square has NONE. I spent three days emailing back and forth with Square over an issue that probably could have been resolved in a few seconds over the phone. After an EXHAUSTIVE search, I found 2 phone numbers for Square. Both numbers were just a recording, directing you to email them. Even when I REQUESTED a phone call, I was denied. Myself and the merchant in question sent a final entail plee to Square. A response didn’t come until EIGHT HOURS LATER! To add insult to injury, the email STILL didn’t address the issue. Good concept, but NO THANK YOU TO SQUARE!

    • 11111
  4. I gave Square a try because I wanted to sell my novel online, and I wanted a simple payment gateway that would accept credit cards. Square bills itself as a site where customers can purchase your products either from their computers, PDA, iPhone, etc. This was perfect I thought.

    However, using Square proved very cumbersome. Here’s what found:

    —Signing in to Square was often a nightmare. Often I would go to the sign in screen, enter the correct info, only to have it kicked back as incorrect. I went over this several times, to make sure I’d entered the correct information. It still kicked it back as incorrect. Eventually, it let me in, but the fact this happened was very significant. This is a site that will be holding my money. Can I trust a site that has problems just signing in?

    —I went to my profile screen and tried to upload a photo. The photo file was not overly large, and I’ve placed the same photo on other sites, easily. When I tried to upload the photo, the “save” button remained grayed out and it would never save. That is, until I went to the bottom of the page just for the heck of it (to see what would happen), and changed one of the profile page colors. Then the “save” button darkened and I found I could hit “save.” Thing is, I didn’t really want to change the colors, I just did it to see if it would make something happen. And it did. And that’s bizarre. I shouldn’t have to go change a stupid color just to make a “save” button work. That’s just inane. BTW, the photo still did not upload.

    —I went to the link marked forms. This page would not load, the little circle-timer icon just kept swirling. It locked up the page and I had to shut down the program and restart it. Like I said before, I shouldn’t have to do that. Square’s technology should be able to handle any computer, any technology. And my computer is a popular brand, and I keep it updated. I found that I had to go back and reset my browser to get back into the site. Then the problem still occurred.

    —In the above example, I also found on a couple of occasions that if I hit the “back” button on my browser, in order to get out of the page, it would sign me out of the system and take me right back to the sign-in screen. Then I had to sign in all over again, and encountered the sign-in problems again (see above).

    —Customer service. Contacted Square about one of the above issues. The did not respond.

    Suggestions for Square:
    —Get your technology straight, please. You guys have a great idea. Run with.

    —Have a screen where I, the merchant, can set up what my shopping cart/checkout screen will look like for the customer. Also, since this is an online business, make it so that my street address does not appear.

    —Make it so I can upload a simple JPEG and have it save. Without having to push any other buttons.

    —I just want to accept payments from anyone, anywhere, using any kind of device. Note that I didn’t say that I would be using those devices. What’s important to me is that the customer be able to send payment (via credit card, ACH or bank account) via their own computers or devices. That’s it. It’s convenient for them, and it’s convenient for me. Please make this happen.

    • Not Rated
  5. Square are a bunch of crooks. Do not use them… the entire internet comments on how they take your money and you don’t get it…
    there is NO customer service person that you can access!!!

    Hello Attorney General of the State of California where are you?????

    • Not Rated
  6. I will tell EVERYONE I KNOW how horrible Square is! I had a customer request what Square calls a “chargeback” in the amount of $602.97. The company didn’t even ask me about it. They chose to deduct the amount from my checking account! Does this mean that if a customer gets a burr up their butt that they can just lie to Square and automatically get a refund? I have tried calling them, filling out Cancel Account requests, e-mail…..you name it! Square is a crooked company and should be removed from all types of business!

    • Not Rated
    • Hi Karen,

      Chargebacks are extremely frustrating and not always fair. Buyers can, and sometimes do, abuse the chargeback system. While Square could absolutely do a better job of helping to arbitrate chargebacks, this is a problem that you’ll come across no matter which processor you choose. If you’re interested in more information about chargebacks and what you can do to prevent them and fight them, check out this article. Also, if you’re interested in working with a credit processor that offers better customer service than Square, you should take a look at our higher rated processors via this chart. If you’re only interested in mobile processors, then check out this one instead. Best of luck.

      • Not Rated
  7. I am so upset just really feel like getting the law involved bc i have not recieved any deposits since december from the square card reader company and now my bills are being affect bc of that and iam a salon owner been waiting on a response but no email

    • Not Rated
  8. Who can I use besides square that has a portable swiper for my phone or iPad..I’m also experiencing issues with the square and after reading all these awful reviews am getting really nervous. My bank offers their own type of “square” system but there seemed to be a lot more fees involved..but now I’m thinking it might be worth it! Because there actually is someone to call..I can’t believe someone with some authority hasn’t taken on the Square!..shame on the BBB!

    • Not Rated
    • Hi Darcy,

      I’d recommend you check out our Mobile Payments comparison chart to see the best options out there. Many of them offer phone-based customer service and no monthly fees. Square may be the most popular provider, but that definitely doesn’t make them the best! Thanks for reading.

      • Not Rated
  9. This is a warning to anyone and everyone that is using square or considering using square for merchant services. Please be advised that square is holding $12,000 for transactions that were done in the normal course of our daily business. We processed a transaction for $12,000, the client picked up their merchandise and signed for the merchandise. Square has decided to hold this money even though there are no disputes. After numerous calls and emails, all representatives of square state that they can do whatever they want. According to [Name Removed], the last representative I have spoken to, they dont consider this stealing, really ?!? I am seriously considering a class action suit against square. Please advise if any other companies have run into this situation.

    Stuart Scheinman
    Managing Director, Movie Star News
    702-210-6208

    • 11111
    • Iam really thinking about doing the same thing

      • Not Rated
    • Squareup.com allowed a chargeback be done by a customer for 865.00, they disputed 560.00 of the money and awarded it back to the customer and I am still waiting on the remaining amount that is owed back to me. I worked very hard for that money and I sent numerous emails explaining the situation and I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you can not speak with a live person regarding matters with your money. That should be illegal how they run their website. I am about to send them another email regarding this matter since they have not bothered to respond back to a few others I sent. I am ready to get away from them and go with my bank to process credit card transactions for the business. It has been a nightmare with them and I wish I never went with them in the first place.

      • Not Rated
    • So I have used square since December. I typically do like 5 charges a week
      As a personal trainer it was nice for my clients. I recently opened a gym
      And we were in the process of setting up auto bill for the eft and it did not
      Go through in time to bill march through that system. So I billed each person
      Individual which was like 85-90 transactions. And now they have cancelled my
      Account w them after I sent them all info they requested. And they have put
      A 90 day hold on my funds. It is $$1720.00. There reason was that
      I was a high risk business and that there is nothing more they can do.
      Since my claim is closed I can no longer get then on the phone. I am really
      In a bad place now because that is the money I expected to use towards rent.
      So I will never use square again. And would advise everyone else the same

      • Not Rated
  10. My Dealings With Square Support. Start From Bottom To Top.

    Unfortunately our return and refund policy are aligned with VISA’s return and refund policy. Which is any return or refund is to be credited back to it’s original form of payment. I’m unable to issue a return or a refund to a customer who’s payment is not in my possession. Simply put, I can’t return something I don’t have. I do not want those funds to be deposited into my account, because those funds do not belong to me, they belong to my customer. So if you are unable to provide me with a reason to relay back to my customer to excuse you from your choice of response, then I will be withdrawing my involvement in this transaction. I will inform my customer it is no longer in my hands and will be providing my customer your company’s name Square Inc, so that this dispute may be resolved directly between the involved parties; my client and Square Inc. My client will be contacting you directly and your failure to respond or resolve this matter may or may not result in law enforcement recovering missing/stolen funds.

    By the way, you should not assume that people will understand your intention to retain funds, or refusal to return funds for the reason of being unable to. It is an unprofessional response, not to mention your failure to provide a viable solution to resolve a problem that’s a direct result of your dysfunction.

    Sent from my iPad

    On Jan 23, 2014, at 10:34 AM, Square Support Team wrote:

    Hi Thuan,

    Thanks for writing back. We are unable to process this refund, and the funds currently in your account will be held for 90 days before being released to your linked bank account.

    If you are able, you may refund your customer outside of Square and then receive the funds in 90 days. Alternatively, you may wait 90 days to receive the deposit.

    Thank you for understanding.

    Crystal
    Square Account Services
    Accepting internet and phone orders? Please take a minute to review leading merchant practices when accepting internet and phone orders.

    thuanqyen
    JAN 23, 2014 | 06:18PM PST
    That’s hilarious. What is square doing hiring high schoolers? Jesus, that’s okay, I’ll give you another chance, here’s a hint: please refer to the original inquiry at the bottom of the e-mail, and for one million dollars… Is that your final answer?

    Whatever your answer is I would like to take a moment to educate you by providing you an example you can relate to. So Olivia, you owe your friend Griffin money, your too busy so you ask your other friend Dawn to help you return the money. Along the way, Dawn decides she has more important things to do and runs her own errands and forgets about returning your money to Griffin for you. Griffin finally calls you and asks when you will paying him back, You tell him not to worry and that Dawn should be arriving shortly to pay him back on your behalf. The next day you meetup with Dawn and she totally forgot to complete your errand. You ask her if she has returned the money to Griffin for you and she replies oh noooo I was unable to because you didn’t give me enough money to pay him back completely so I didn’t meet him up. Then Dawn tops that off with a, you should probably pay him back yourself with your money and walks off minding her own business without returning the money to you. So Olivia, what would you do in this situation? Obviously you can’t pay Griffin back the money that’s in Dawn’s possession can you?

    Ordinary Guy,
    Thuan
    Hello,

    Thanks for writing in. I took a look at your account and see that we were unable to process this refund due to insufficient funds in your linked bank account.

    If you would still like to refund this payment, you must do so via an alternate payment method, such as cash or check. If you issue a refund outside of Square, we recommend providing your customer a receipt and keeping a copy for your records.

    Please let me know if you have additional questions.

    Olivia
    Square Account Services
    Accepting internet and phone orders? Please take a minute to review leading merchant practices when accepting internet and phone orders.

    Hello,

    Thanks for writing in. I’ve gone ahead and forwarded your email to our Support team. A team member will reach out to you shortly.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Roxie
    Square Account Services
    Accepting internet and phone orders? Please take a minute to review leading merchant practices when accepting internet and phone orders.

    thuanqyen
    JAN 22, 2014 | 02:24AM PST
    Original message
    Hi just to make sure I prevent you from successfully stealing my customers money, I’ve been informed that I must notify you of any situation changes and in the event you do not return my clients money would you please provide some sort of reason my client needs to initiate a chargeback and is unable to recover their funds
    For your reference this is Case #: 2659903

    • 11111
  11. I am a happy Square Customer, and accept the 2.75 as a cost of doing business. My concern is their lack of customer service and their equipment. I am on my third earphone jack reader. I purchased the square stand since the price dropped to $99. I purchased 2 from Staples, 1 from Best Buy, and now one directly from the company. All four have the same issue. The charger is not charging the unit thus making the unit useless. I have written to customer service at least 4 times, because you cannot talk to a human being. They have to know of this issue and are still allowing folks to buy the product and go through the return process. My intentions is to help someone else avoid the issue. The Square Stand (Squarestand) is a bust.

    Irv Donaldson –
    any one can feel free to contact me or get my number from my website to call me concerning this matter.

    • Not Rated
    • Irv, were you ever able to get a response from Square? I am on my second square stand and am wondering if I should just call it quits. I was able to get my 2nd one to power up for a minute but had to disconnect it to set up the counter the right way and now nothing.

      • Not Rated
  12. Don’t run your business with people who don’t know how to run theirs. Zero customer service along with unintuitive, confusing interfaces. Competitors offer customer service along with lower fees.

    • Not Rated
  13. I used my daughters phone to do a transaction and forgot to log out so all her transactions went into my account.We didn’t keep track so how do we find out which phone did transaction because it was all going into my account.

    • Not Rated
  14. We may lose our biggest client because we chose Square Up to process our credit cards.

    Don’t do it, or look for someone else before it’s too late for you, and you experience something like this:

    …So our 10-year-old LLC started using Square Up back in April 2013 when we saw their funds delivery turnaround time and easy mobile app access, and everything seemed to be going well at a pace of ~$6,000 per month in transactions, until…

    …one of our clients needed ~$12,000 in equipment yesterday (December 4) to recover from a fire that has shut their business down until this equipment is replaced, and after approving the transactions where they intended to hold the funds could be held for three days even if we decided to reverse the charges, SquareUp sent us a permanent cancellation email with no explanation.

    Even after visiting the help section of their site, which was only a single point of contact in the form of a help request web page, and explaining our situation with a customer that they had been capturing funds from previously, they simply resent their original communication.

    I don’t know how we are going to get out of the horrible situation that they have put us in, but looking completely unprofessional is just the tip of the iceberg with our client.

    Be smart, and find someone else with a smartphone app to process your cc transactions.

    They didn’t pull this trick on us until we had already processed three transactions totaling ~$12,000 and unless you are able to function without an entire day’s number of transactions, plus the time to find another processor, I would strongly recommend anyone who sees all these frustrated people take a warning.

    …it’s definitely not worth the risk.

    • 11111
  15. Squareup.com … They sure do provide an aesthetic service… but customer support is nothing more than a few canned responses that get you nowhere. I’ve processed over $10k with square, all swiped transactions, then before payout time, my account gets frozen and obviously they don’t provide any reason except for high risk activity. So after my account is frozen, I receive a nice followup e-mail which clearly says that my funds will be held for 180 days… if I don’t want to wait that time I may issue refunds and have the customer pay some other method. So I decide that theres no way I can survive waiting out 180 days, and I log in and hit issue refund for about half of my transactions, around 5k worth of refunds. I check back in a few days later to look at the refunds status and all of them were rejected… I mean is that even allowed ?!? I send them an e-mail asking them what’s going on with that… and their response is simply “sorry, we do not support refunds to prepaid cards when a tip has been added.” Nothing in their terms or website says anything about refund limitations of this nature except that they aren’t able to do partial refunds. So I become more than a little upset because I haven’t received any alternative solutions except to tell me customers that I can’t issue a refund… and the fastest way to get your money back is to file a chargeback with your card issuer. Can you believe that? They freeze my money, and when I tried to refund it, they freeze my money and don’t allow me to even return the money. So, due to my experience, I’d say that square is a scam.. sure feels like they scammed me outta business real good. But I applaud their skills in setting up a company that profits from stealing from other people, that’s definitely not something easy to achieve. BYW, their square wallet has a lot of security flaws, of you make payments with square wallet, those payments can be disputed and charged bacl easily and the merchant won’t be able to do much because they didn’t capture a signature for that “swiped” transaction. And square wallet.. you can choose any name you like and attach any card and it doesnt matter because as long as your picture pops up.. its valid payment. God, I really want to take down square a couple notches, and I think I might.

    • 22222
  16. Nothing could be worse than Square. Very often — like over half the time — Square reports that I’ve received a payment and then, a few days later, refunds the money to the sender because “there was a problem” — with no explanation of what the problem is. I know it’s not lack of funds, because I’ve tried making payments to myself from accounts that I know are good, and the same thing happens. It is impossible to get any kind of explanation from Square about why some payments survive and others are reversed. Meanwhile, I am in the position of telling people I’ve received their money — and then, two days later, having to ask them to try paying again. The frustration I’ve experienced, and the incredible amount of time I’ve been forced to waste, and Square’s total non-responsiveness, add up to the strongest possible recommendation to stay as far away from these people as you possibly can.

    • Not Rated
  17. Please call the FTC and file a complaint 1-877-382-4357, press 1, then 1 then 3 and you’ll get a live person. They need to have many complaints to find a “trend” and then they will sue them. Everyone needs to file a complaint.

    • Not Rated
  18. We’ve used Square since it became available. Honestly, we’ve never had a single issue with it, other than occasional reboots of the system (which might not actually be a Square issue) or wearing out a card reader (which is free and they replace within a few days – and I learned to order multiples when reordering). So, for the better part of 4+ years…it’s been a boon for our business. We typically swipe 15K+ per month. We’ve never had a dispute, chargeback or funds hold. And our funds have always been promptly deposited. As for me….I’m a diehard Square supporter and recommend it freely and often.

    • Not Rated
  19. All the negative comments I am a small business owner and my customers luv the convenience!! I had my square since early June 2013 and have not had a single issue!! I have made thousands of dollars to 60 dollars of transactions and so far it has been a very easy way to do business!!And I have never had money held for any amount of time other then the usual day to credit my account!!! Maybe all the complainers should get a regular credit card machine and give up the handy little square!!

    • Not Rated
  20. Shay Mun: I have the exact story but for the amount. Square is a rip-off! They want to hold funds for 90 days. The robot wrote to me (you can’t talk to a human being) an said I could refund the last transaction. So I went to my client (looking like a fool) and made the refund. Now I wait….. while Square has the funds and plays games.

    DO NOT USE SQUARE!! THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF COMPLAINTS BUT THEY STILL HAVE A B+ RATING WITH BBB. eVEN THOUGH THEY WILL RESPOND TO BBB. GO FIGURE – SOMETHING IS GOING ON HERE.

    • Not Rated
    • Bob, did you get this resolved? if so, how?

      • Not Rated
      • Has anyone’s money ever been released or does anyone know how to get there money released? They’ve been holding my husband’s funds for almost 30 days now and stated that we have to wait for 90. He’s a mechanic and also sells cars, of course his transactions are going to be a bit on the high side. Even had the client attempting to contact square to verify proof of payment and so on… No customer service… This sucks.

        • Not Rated
  21. I’ve been reading all the reviews that have been posted about lost of funds, time waiting for funds and chargebacks, and I can’t say it’s square all by itself. I have personally ran in just the last year alone over $130k in sales and haven’t had but only one small issue. Which was I went over my limit. I sent them a nice email and in less than 2 days my limit was raised and I was back to business. They deposit my funds into my bank of america account the following business day minus their fee and all is well. If your getting chargebacks that means YOUR customer has fought the charge. So why not ask yourself what did you do wrong? Did you trust someone very shady or maybe didn’t explain all the items you were selling properly? I’ve done over a quarter million dollars in sales and almost a half of it was through square without ridiculous incident like everyone here.on top of it all not one of my customers has had a problem or an issue paying the 2.75% fee for me to process their credit card! From what I’m reading and all the complaints it sounds like your all looking for a perfect transaction in a non perfect world. Get over blaming everybody and fix what’s going wrong with yourself and your business actions.

    • Not Rated
  22. CROOKS ! a donor donated $2200.00 to help a family in need,, now the family didnt get the money ! donor out his $2200.00 we cant get the money, and weve been canceled….. noone answers phone , emails are a joke too ! may GOD GET THESE CROOKS ! one day they will see the piper….. what can we do next ?

    • Not Rated
  23. I used Square for personal and business reasons. I had been using Square faithfully for about 2 years. I recently did a transaction for a $1500 payment. I had all of the necessary documentation, Government Issued papers, Copy of the invoice and contact information from the insurance company issuing the payment, along with 3 different copies of my PRIVATE bank account statements. Square then told me my account was “High-Risk”. and they permanently shut down my account and told me I would have to wait 90 days to receive my $1500, after they used it and did whatever with it and gave me no Interest for holdig and using my funds. If you have Square get out while you can. Intuit too. Go With paypal. These Companies are crooks.

    • 11111
    • Square did the same thing to me as well. And there no way to grt in contact with them. They are crooks fully. Thia should be illegal

      • Not Rated
    • something similar recently occured to a local business owner and she is trying to get it resolved. has yours been resolved?

      • Not Rated
  24. I have a question. Can a staff member used my Square reader to swipe/deposit funds into another account that is not my business account?

    • Not Rated
    • I believe it is possible. This will happen from a staff that has totally planned this through. He or she will come to work with a smartphone ready to do “damage”. All that needs to be done is switch the square reader.

      However, if the staff is using your hardware i.e Ipad and printer then it might not be possible. Because he or she must have access to your square password and bank account in order to re-route the payment.

      This is an important question that the Square people needs to address.

      • Not Rated
  25. Square sounded really good for my new business, so I got it. I didn’t realize that there is no way to speak to a live person. You can only contact them by email.

    I first used Square on February 19, 2013, and had no refunds, charge backs or other issues. As my business is growing steadily, I applied for an increase to the keyed in limit for transactions on August 1, 2013. On August 02, 2013 I was informed that my account had been judged to be “high risk” and my account had been closed. In addition, they were going to hold my transaction of $1060.94 for 90 days.

    I accept that they have the right to terminate for any or no reason as that is in the user agreement. However, I do NOT accept that they can hold my money for 90 days without prior notice. There is nothing in the user agreement that mentions a holding period of 90 days for ANY reason, I have never had a refund, dispute or chargeback and this was a repeat customer that charged with them many times.

    The BBB was no help. Square sent them the same generic email that they sent me twice and the case was closed.

    If you are considering using Square do yourself a favor and visit this website where over 1,000 people have reported similar problems. I sure wish I had.

    • Not Rated
    • They have a contract. With the credit card companies. To hold your money in case the customer defaults on the credit card. Then they refund the money back to credit card company ny . If your buisiness is big e ough then they give you the money and if they default they take it from your account. Win win for square inc. Not fair to those of us that work hard for our money.ey. All legal itsi in there long drawn out contract. Turned tnem in to. the state attorney generals office. Haven’t. heard back yet.

      • Not Rated
  26. Yes they are a rip off. They like to deactivate accounts when you complain. I contacted texas attorney generals office and the bbb. We will all have to get together and file class action suit. They have over 5000 dollars of mine since august 2013. Said they would release it in mid december of this year. Not holding my breath they said they would release it on september 7th. 2013 didn’t happen. Then they shut my account off, but they keep all your bank account info. If you get your money get new bank account. They are fraudulent, and we must set an example of them. Will be contacting an attorney that likes class action suits here and wins a ton.

    • Not Rated
  27. Lets cut the words to a minimum. DO NOT do business with this company!
    You will get burned! The best I can tell is they are actually criminal. I can’t believe they are getting away with withholding and stealing money. Amazing!

    • Not Rated
  28. first time i did receive my money 2th day. it was 8 monts ago. recently i couldnt get my money. i went to the bank they said they cant do anything. than i start checking all the other payments made by square doesnt show in my account.i called customers they said it was pulled from their account. in this case i dont know what to do. i decide not the use square any more. i am hoping they depozit my money that i worked so hard.

    • Not Rated
  29. I used square up for the first time in July and my funds of over 1600 is held up and they deactivated my account. I have no other choice but to hire a lawyer .

    • Not Rated
  30. Ii used my square at a convention,processing numerous charges. I had no Internet so I resigned myself to manual entry. I didn’t know it at the time but square requires you to obtain a zip code as well as the usual info. My question to square was/is…….how can I enter charges without the zip. Is it even possible. Every time I get a generic answer telling me what I already know, that I need a zip code. POS company.

    • Not Rated
  31. I sign up with square in May I got the first payment that came into this company. Then a payment of over a thousand dollars went in to my account with Square, that was on May 31. I can not get that money because their want post it to my account. In June Square deactivate my account. We all need to call in a lawyer. This company sound like a scam. The Phone # don’t work, don’t answer E-mail.
    Some one is getting all our money. JUST NOT FAIR

    • Not Rated
    • I am having the same problem.

      • Not Rated
    • Square said there was a chargeback for $900, kept it for 30 days, settled the dispute for my customer, took the money, despite swiped card, signature, description of merchandise taken, their email address for receipt. All of this without any verifiable information from customer or American Express. I rate the F, for fraud

      • 11111
  32. Everything worked fine except getting money in my account the verification time takes forever and i want my money asap!

    • Not Rated
  33. Worst service ever. No 800 number, and you have to constantly try communicating via email for anyone’s attention. Go with a competitor. Anyone, but Square.

    • Not Rated
  34. Ok, I provided Square a “not so nice” message on the website. I also immediately applied online for credit increase, providing my business license, contractor licenses and copy of the invoice I ran the initial $7k for on a Sunday night. Within 24 hours I have an email response that my application was reviewed and approved up to $10k per week for cards NOT run through the reader (I have no idea why the customers card wouldn’t read, but we had to manually enter). Funds previously to be held for 30-days, are released and will be in my bank account within 1-2 business days. Apparently they are trying very hard to increase the reviews to a more positive note.

    • Not Rated

Leave a comment

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

Rating:

No trackbacks yet.