Square Review

1,363 Replies

Credit Card Processors
Square Logo
Category Breakdown
Sales & Marketing rated A
Costs & Contract rated B plus
Complaints & Service rated C
BBB Rating rated C

Square Rating

"B" Credit Card Processor Rating


Square Overview

Square Logo

Square Logo

Unlike most Square reviews (squareup.com & square.com), this Square Up review primarily covers the topics that matter to most merchants and small business owners rather than Square’s technology. Square is often called “Square up” or “Squareup” because of the domain that Square uses for its website; however, the official name for this company is “Square.” For the purposes of this review, the names will be used interchangeably.

Founded in February of 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who is also the founder of Twitter.com, Square has seen tremendous growth in a very short amount of time. Much of the company’s success can be attributed to the fact that Square has ingeniously broken the mold of credit card processing by removing the traditional barriers-to-entry that restricted processing services to actual businesses and brings credit card acceptance to the individual, or essentially anyone and everyone.

Signing up for the company’s payment processing service is simple: iPhone, iPad, and Android users simply fill out a quick form, download the Square app, and then await the arrival of the Square up reader in the mail. They can also purchase the reader at several nationwide retailers. The Square credit card reader plugs into the headphone jack of the phone or tablet, thereby making it a mobile credit card terminal. In fact, Square’s model has been so successful that it has inspired numerous clones from both big name competitors and fledgling startups.

Other Square Services

Since the launch of its card reader and mobile app, Square has rolled out several other payment services for both business and personal use.

Square RegisterSquare Register is a point-of-sale (POS) system that provides extra features not included in the company’s mobile app, including analytics, sales reporting, staff management, and a customizable item library. The service, which is free to download and optimized for the iPad, also allows merchants to set up loyalty programs and send digital receipts.

Shopping cart with a mouseSquare Market is an online store directory for Square merchants. Merchants with an existing Square account can create an online profile for their store within the Square marketplace for free. They may then sell their products through the Square market for the usual rate of 2.75% per transaction.

Square CashSquare Cash is a direct peer-to-peer cash transfer service that is linked to a user’s debit card. Square Cash sends payments via email and smartphone and allows for free transfers of funds between users. The service is not targeted at business owners, but they may use it to make payments outside of a business setting.

merchant cash advanceSquare Capital is a merchant cash advance program that can be activated from the dashboard in the Square Register. Square Capital allows merchants to receive a large upfront cash amount and then pay that total back to Square over time with a fixed percentage of their daily credit card sales.

Square has also recently launched an order-ahead app called Square Order, an online invoicing feature called Square Invoices, an online scheduler called Square Appointments, and an offline processing mode that enables merchants to capture payments even when their internet is down.

Sales & Marketing | A-

Key Points – Sales & Marketing
Uses independent resellers? No
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? No

Square differs greatly from traditional credit card processors in terms of how it markets and sells its service. Where most merchant account providers utilize poorly trained outside independent agents who are focused on setting high fees in exchange for big commissions, Square relies mostly on online marketing and partnerships with retailers and cell phone service providers, most notably partnering with Starbucks in 2012. Nearly all of Square’s customers sign up directly through the homepage of the company’s website or by purchasing a reader at a store with a mail-in rebate covering 100% of the cost. Square has also benefited from an enormous amount of online buzz and word-of-mouth promotion.

Square markets its pricing with a straightforward and easy-to-understand message (covered later in this review); however, the company fails to mention anything about its account cancellation and risk mitigation policies in its marketing materials and advertising placements. These policies have been reported to cause significant problems for many merchants, and some have even complained of large financial losses. Due to the importance of these policies, and the fact that Square allows merchants to run transactions that may trigger account cancellation without any prior warning, many merchants have complained of misleading marketing by the company. Hence, we have lowered Square’s grade in this section to a “A-” rating.

Square Marketing Example

Costs & Contract | B+

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swipe rate: 2.75%
Key-in rate: 3.5% + $0.15
Termination fee: None
Monthly minimum: None

The Good

One of the most appealing aspects of Square is that, unlike traditional credit card processors, Square credit card processing has only one fee: the processing fee of the transaction. There are no other fees that are typical of credit card processing, such as activation fees, monthly fees, gateway fees, PCI Compliance fees, downgrade fees, and early termination fees. Square has no additional monthly fees whatsoever as well as no monthly minimum processing fees or requirements.

Square now offers a single pricing option for all merchants: pay a flat rate of 2.75% for swiped transactions and 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction. The company formerly offered a plan that included a flat monthly fee of $275 and 0% on swiped transactions up to $250,000 in processing per year, but this plan was discontinuted as of February 2014.

Although the company’s transaction rate is higher than the “Qualified” rate of most traditional merchant accounts, it is comparable to the “Mid-Qualified” and “Non-Qualified” downgrade surcharges that about 80% of most transactions experience with a traditional merchant account anyway. The rate is, however, much more expensive than a competitive Interchange Pass-through rate pricing plan.

The Not-So-Good

Square does not verify the credit history of its customers prior to approving an account, so it sets a few limitations to avoid potential losses to fraud.

Square states that there is no limit to the amount of money that can be accepted per transaction or per month through its service – which is only partially true. Instead of setting processing limitations and denying transactions once a user reaches a limit (a tactic used by most other providers), the company relies on other methods to mitigate potential losses due to fraud. These methods allow merchants to accept an “unlimited” single transaction amount as well as “unlimited” monthly sales volumes, but with a catch.

Until November 2013, Square placed holds on funds of card-not-present sales for 30 days if more than $2,002 was charged within any rolling seven-day period. This meant that if merchants keyed in $2,100 in sales within a seven-day period (either in a single transaction or in multiple transactions), the extra $98 ($2,100 – $2,002 = $98) would be held by Square for 30 days. This policy generated a lot confusion among users because Square did not provide any warning before the $2,002 limit was reached. Square now claims that merchants can process transactions of any type and any size without having to worry about a processing limit, but this claim is not entirely accurate.

Top Rated Mobile Processing Apps (iPhone, Android, etc.)
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The primary tactic Square currently uses to limit fraud is much less transparent than its previous rolling reserve policy and is the reason for the company’s low score in this section. Square appears to rely on undisclosed algorithmic “risk factors” to place automatic holds on transactions that it deems suspicious. The system appears to flag a high number of legitimate transactions and can cause serious problems for some merchants. Numerous complaints have surfaced that Square has randomly and without explanation, or notification, placed lengthy holds (exceeding 30 days) on their funds – even with swiped transactions. When a transaction is flagged, Square will either contact the merchant to obtain additional information about the merchant or the transaction, or it will simply deactivate the user’s account. This deactivation allows Square to publicly claim that it does not hold its merchants’ funds because the withheld funds technically belong to “deactivated”Square merchants rather than “active” Square merchants.Square’s policies regarding fund holding and risk mitigation are very murky and make the service quite risky for higher volume merchants. It appears that the company needs to do a much better job of educating merchants about the types of transactions that could result in account deactivation. This includes issuing a warning prior to letting them run transactions that will be held, notifying when transactions have been held, and communicating with the merchant through the hold process.In most respects, Square has very favorable pricing and contract terms for merchants. It has a simple signup process, no monthly fees or long-term contracts, and easy-to-understand pricing. However, sudden account deactivation can greatly impact a merchant’s operations, so the grade for this section will not quite enter “A” territory until Square improves its risk mitigation system.

Service & Complaints | C

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: Over 1,300
Live customer support? Active merchants only
Most common complaint: Fund holds

Another area that Square comes up short in this review is in its customer service. For a company that has only been around for a few years, Square is racking up a lot of complaints (over 1,300 in just our comment section below). The majority of the complaints fall into three areas: virtually nonexistent phone support, misunderstanding and nondisclosure of its former $2,002 card-not-present deposit hold policy, and reports of random fund holding or account deactivation exceeding 30 days with no explanation or communication from Square.

The company appears to rely too heavily on customer service provided by email, its support forum, and social media. This is a big drawback for many business owners, especially for those who are not willing to wait for a response through email, Twitter, or other social media channels. The company does have a newly launched customer support phone number (855-700-6000) that operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT, but merchants must request and receive a code from this webpage in order to actually reach a representative. Phone support codes are only provided to active Square merchants, meaning that any Square user who has had his or her account deactivated will still be unable to reach the company by phone. It is our position that deactivated merchants are the merchants who have the greatest need for phone support, so this customer support line is only a minor step forward for Square.

Regardless of how they contacted the company, merchants are reporting wait times of several days before getting a response from Square. Numerous users have also reported that Square has failed to respond to their support requests entirely. For many reviewers, it seems inexcusable for a financial services company this large to not have readily available live support for all of its users.

Square could greatly improve its rating in this section by allowing all merchants to access its customer support phone line and by better communicating its hold policies.

BBB Report | C*

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 663
Billing/collection: 411
Advertising/sales: 41
Guarantee/warranty: 2
Delivery: 51

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting an “A” rating for Square despite 1,168 complaints filed in the last 36 months. This complaint total is up from 812 complaints as of our January 2014 update and 603 complaints as of our July 2013 update, and has skyrocketed from just a few dozen complaints since we first published this review in April of 2011. Surprisingly, the BBB has also raised Square’s grade from a “B+” in July of 2013 to an “A” despite the rising complaint volume.

Of the complaint total, 663 are regarding problems with service, 411 with billing and collection disputes, 51 with delivery problems, 41 with advertising and sales issues, and two due to a guarantee or warranty issue. Additionally, the report goes on to say that there are three types of common complaints: delays in deposit times, long funding holds ranging from 30-90 days, and difficulty reaching any type of customer support or getting issues escalated to a higher-ranking representative. Square has responded by quoting its Terms of Use policies and referring to the help section of its website. The company has successfully resolved 981 complaints, but 187 complainants reported they were not satisfied with the company’s response.

Due to the company’s high complaint count, rapid growth, and short time in business, we have adjusted its rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review. To learn more about about why we adjust BBB ratings for our scoring purposes, please see our Rating Criteria.

Bottom Line


Square Review

Rated 3.2 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Updated on 2015-01-01

Square is definitely on the right track with providing an easy credit card processing solution with no long-term commitments and no monthly fees. The service is proving to have some major drawbacks for higher volume merchants, though, because of murky fund holding policies and poor customer support. It appears that Square is best suited for individuals who have an occasional need to accept a credit card payment, such as babysitters and flea market vendors. The service does not appear to suit very well merchants that either have a high volume of credit card sales or that sell high-ticket items.

* Denotes CPO-adjusted BBB score

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1,363 comments

  1. Pete Abele

    This is my fifth year using square, not one problem. However, I follow the rules, and I read the disclosures. In fact they have called me. I can’t believe all the people who use the system incorrectly and have a problem with the company when it goes wrong. Truly they should be on a cash transaction system only. Please people remember, it’s protecting your customers against fraud, not you! The iPad POS system is Equal to systems you could pay thousands to set-up and a monthly fee after that, and you can get it for free. For the businesses that have not fully investigated Square, and read all disclosures first, it’s a lesson learned. I have recommended Square to customers an local businesses and no complaints.

    1. Teresa

      Either you are a ringer or you have been unusually lucky. Either way I simply don’t believe your story. If this is such a reputable company, why don’t they have customer service number like Paypal or Intuit? Don’t you find it a bit strange that a financial company (which by the way, is not governed by banking laws) has no way for its customers to contact them? Do you really think that all of these stories are from people that don’t know how to do business. That’s ridiculous. This company is a fraud! And by the way, can you explain why they pay back money they withhold in monthly installments? If they held the money they should pay it back in one lump sum back to the account it was held from. Seems like a case of borrowing from Peter to Pay Paul. They are just moving money around and it’s catching up with them.

      Richard Branson is a big investor in this company so I think that people should start boycotting Virgin products to make themselves heard.

      Another problem is that people are finding out that they can buy anything from a merchant that uses Square and they can dispute it with no investigation. The money is just automatically deducted from the merchants account with no notice, no resolution (remember there is no phone # to call) Merchant is just out of luck. I refuse to do business with a merchant that uses Square because I won’t give them on red penny of mine. A lot of people are also doing the same!

      If anyone is considering this company, save yourself the money and the inevitable heartache by using truly reputable companies. there are so many options out there that are less expensive and really user friendly. t will be the best thing you can do for yourself and your business.

  2. James Sagerser

    I’ve been with the Square about 2 years now. Here’s the good and the bad; It was a little frustrating when we first started due to the Square holding on to our funds with the larger purchases. We rent cabins in Alaska and occasionally we would get a larger deposit of $2,000 plus and, per their policy, would withhold our funds up to 30 days. Secondly, it was also frustrating not to have a live person we could call for questions or issues. The good part, and it’s very good, is the Square did eventually remedy the withholding by raising our limit so it’s no longer an issue. Secondly, we have had only has one dispute in the 2 years which was eventually handled by a live phone call to a representative at the square. This call was easily arranged by email to start with a request to speak to a live person. Our account was assigned a code and given a toll free number to call. I gave the person the code when I called and was immediately transferred to a person who found a solution to the problem (double billing by the customers bank) and fixed it in one day. In 2 years, the Square has been extremely accurate with our account and deposits our funds in our account within a business day or two. The fee schedule is strait forward with none of the aggravating tier levels that other card processing companies use to constantly abuse you resulting in elevated, unexpected fees. This is a great company if you play by their rules; ask for an increase in your limits when they get to know you and go through their channels when you need to talk to someone. If you can wrap your mind around those 2 issues, you’ll be really please with the Square.

    1. Kimberly

      James,

      I have been battling them for almost two years. I have complaints filed with all the BBBs known to me including San Francisco, Kim is the vp there. She knows my story first hand. My complaint with the FTC had gone investigated and the Attorney General of Ohio (my home) and California are useless. They claim they can not help because wet are not consumers, we are small businesses. My class action suit is not allowed because square had a clause in their contact staying they can not be sued by a group and Amy complaints had to be tough arbitration via emails and you know how that goes. In October 2014 I was charged and found guilty of a felony 3 because square never released thousands of dollars die to my business and my customers filed charges through the Attorney General. I had to file bankruptcy, lost my career of 22 years and currently on give years strict probation. Not so much of a ticket and now I have to be in my home by 9, report every day to my probation officer and nit even a glass of wine with dinner. I’m 48, been hospitalized twice, unable to find employment with the felony record. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ve tried everything to have them held responsible and nothing had worked.

  3. M.N.

    My corporation was opened in 2001. Never had any complaint as we only charge after our service was finished and accepted by clients. I used Square for 2 years when I receive an email that they got a complaint. I found out from the amount who the client was and I called them. They never complained. They felt so bad that they sent a certified letter to Square and went to their bank to make sure the founds are released to Square. The founds were at Square. They could not reach anybody on the phone.I could not reach anybody on the phone. Nobody picks up the phones at Square. My clients sent a certified and notarized letter to Square to release the founds to me. Nothing happened. On 4/2012 Square wrote:”We are committed to responding by the next business day, so you will hear back from us soon. We take all matters regarding your funds very seriously, and with your cooperation we anticipate a quick resolution of your case. ” This was in the spring of 2012.After all these I received an email from Square that they cancel my account ” Your business is a prohibited business, as defined by Section 6 of the Square Seller Agreement. Therefore, Square cannot accept payments related to your business. ” I am a business analyst working with algorithms. What is prohibited on that? Our business has a 14 year A+ reputation. We pick up the phone when clients call, not like Square. Now 1/2015 I received back from Square the $300. Over two years of investigation needed for them to determine that the notarized letter of my client was original. This company SHOULD BE INVESTIGATE. They make you comfortable and they hit you when you do not expect. A business attorney advice us to close our bank account and open in a new bank as he was representing other clients where substantial amounts disappeared from their accounts. Be aware. A good business is not afraid to talk-to customers. Call them. You will see with your own eyes. There are other reputable companies providing the same services who pick up the phone. Do you really need the 100+ hours headache as I had, for no reason?

    1. Mary

      I am so very nervous to get the Square after reading all these reviews , I don’t know what to do. My husband is a master plumber we own our plumbing business,I handle the calls and he does the work, It is only my husband and I , Small bus. I also checked EMS + that had lots of bad reviews. So any input would be greatly appreciated. Some reviews I have read on this site say there fine , but there are more negative then positive.

      1. Rick

        Both Intuit and PayPal have similar systems that work very well and they have excellent customer service. Stay away from Square if you do not want problems.

    2. Bill

      Mary, I am a small home remodeling contractor. I use the square for a year then DEC of 2013 I had a client say she was out of money and did I take credit cards? I said sure not having any problems in the past. However this transaction was $6000.00 dollars I was not aware that they had a $2400.00 limit! They froze it 2 weeks before Christmas! It was 2 months of Hell after that. They have no customer service it was emails and they wanted bank statements, tax id,licenses ext… I gave it all to them and they still would not release funds! I finally had my customer call her credit card company that had been charged and dispute it. I ended up going bankrupt 3/3/14 over these con artist! DON’T USE THEM EVER! PLEASE!

      1. Mary

        Thank you for your response, We are not going with the square . I had my husband read all of these reviews also. We are going to look into pay pal, intuit, Iam not sure about these either. We will look into it.

  4. Sam

    WOW!!! I thought Square sounded like a great service to access CC for customer convenience. I was trying to set up account, but wanted to talk with someone – COULD NOT locate a telephone number and I had to sign in to access contact …. STILL NO TELEPHONE NUMBER! Then did a search and found this site.

    So sorry to read these horrible business nightmares! Instead of making it easier for Small and Independent Businesses – they are exploiting them!

    Changing T&C AFTER they have your accounts, personal information and data is fraud. Report them to your BBB and State / Province Consumer & Corporate Departments.

    Thank you for your sharing your heartwrenching stories I truly hope each of you gets your money ASAP.

  5. Ramzi Kanso

    Absolutely the worst customer service and company I have dealt with. You should be aware that once you are set up, they can (at random) hold your money for up to 90 days (they do not disclose that during “the easy” sign up process).

    I guess they figured a way to squeeze more than the 3% by holding my money.

    To my surprise they wanted me to send them so much documentation including my CHECKING ACCOUNT statements!!! unbelievable! I am not applying for a mortgage here, and I already did the $1 process that should have proven to them that the checking account is legit and exists. I sent SQUARE my IRS filing / EIN for the Business and the renters lease to prove to them that the transaction is payment from one of my renters and I get back a rejection and they are going to hold my $1900 for 90 days! really! they must be desperate to make extra interest income by holding my renter’s money for 90 days! NICE!!! This is crooked dealing.

  6. Rob Graham

    I charged $35,000 over 60 days with my advertising agency. I have a large monthly bill and figured this would be a way to extend my payments during the tight times. Well into the charging, my advertising agency started getting NSFs. Upon checking the deposit account, it was determined that the Square had stopped making payments that had been no problem before.

    The agency had no notice from the Square that there were any problems. There were no pop-ups stating that verification information was necessary to process. Nothing at all. It wasn’t until both of us called Customer Service through MY SQUARE ACCOUNT that we could even talk to a human being. They promised that it would be the addressed urgently. They did not give us a direct phone number to speak with a representative. They did not allow us to be transferred. They would not give us a direct email.

    It is now almost five days later. Over $35,000 is “deferred” meaning that my ad agency cannot pay its bills. I can’t do a charge back because that will only hurt the agency’s rating AND it will not free up my cards to pay while the matter is in dispute.

    I am planning on filing a class action lawsuit in the next few days. I have no doubt in my mind — since my cards have all been charged, that Square is depositing these funds and making interest in the interim while causing damage to my advertising company, giving me a black eye and causing NSF’s to accumulate. Enough is enough!

  7. Kim

    My mother has a bail bond service. She used square until square found out she was a bonding agent.Square told her that was not the type of business they wanted to be connected to. I thought money was money.

  8. Amanda S

    I use Square daily in my main business. I have as mall salon space that I remt, and the majority of my clients pay with a card. I’ve had it since June and all has been wonderful.
    I also sell Scentsy and had done a vendor show in November. I created a new square account with a different email address so that I could differentiate. Plus, my Scentsy money goes into my personal account vs my business account. I only had 1 person pay with a card. Went through, fine, no big deal. It was roughly $11. I never got the deposit. Then earlier this month I had a customer make a purchase and I tried to use my Scentsy square account to charge her card. No go. I log into my account and it said my account needs to be activated before I can accept payments. Weird. Finally yesterday I get around to contacting them, and this is the response I got today:
    Hello Amanda,

    Thanks for writing in. We understand that it can be frustrating to have your account deactivated. Unfortunately, our review concluded that we cannot support any Square accounts for you or your business.

    You will need to find a different processor if you want to continue accepting credit cards.

    ​Thank you for understanding.

    Square
    Square Account Services​

  9. diamon

    I would like to speak to a person regarding my settings.

    They do not have a contact other than 415-375-3176 which I had to search for . . ..

    DO NOT use SQUARE. The customer support is non-existent.

  10. burn

    I am an owner of a tattoo shop and we use square services..
    Square decided to deactivating our account for no reason…I got an email saying. “Our Account Services team reviewed your account and found a pattern of transactions associated with high-risk activity.” ?????

    they do not have any number to reach, just by a stupid email form that they never reply to it.. my money got frozen and I can’t access…
    any solution?

  11. Ben Cerise

    I’ve been using, and happy with square for quite some time now. However, they’ve been withholding a payment of mine for 7 days. They claim they need me to provide information and documentation about my business before they transfer future payments. They want a detailed description of the services I provide and how I advertise. (I’m a building contractor). Really? How I advertise? How does not knowing how I advertise (among other things they’re requesting) give them grounds to withhold funds? They may as well be asking for the color of my underwear. None of their business and my advertising has nothing to do with services they provide. In their text boxes I copied and pasted the same thing in each one “I’m going to talk to a lawyer about your company withholding payments for services I’ve rendered.”. Hope they get with the program.

    1. Bill

      Ben, I am building contractor that had used them for a year. They blind sided me and
      held $8600.00 2 weeks before Christmas 12/6/13. It left me broke! I could never reach a rep and
      when i finally got a email response I had to send all my business info tax id,bank statements
      on and on!!!!!!! I finally had to call my customer and have them reverse charges. That worked on one but not the other. I never got paid and it finally led me to bankruptcy 3/3/14
      WORST COMPANY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL GO TO MY GRAVE MAKING SURE ALL KNOW THE TRUTH!
      Thanks!
      WTL Home Improvement.

  12. C Cmpton

    HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE! my first 4 transactions were with the same customer so they froze my account and held a $2000 sale because they needed “additional information”. This hurt my business. We are small and that’s a lot to have “held” for no good reason. Once this deposit is finally released I will NOT be doing business with them anymore

  13. Jim Sagerser

    The Square seems to be a reliable service provider from processing cards however was ZERO help resolving a payment dispute although I had a signed receipt and email from the customer acknowledging the transaction. This “dispute took 6 months! Don’t believe their “we’re on your side” propaganda. Would rate their customer service a strong “F”.

  14. Todd Sherman

    I would like to inform everyone that…..90 days to the day……I DID RECEIVE MY 6113.00 from Square that they were holding. Maybe it was my letter of demand or what…..I don’t know. I wish everyone luck in getting their $ back. It was a terrible nightmare for me and my business. They put me in a severe financial bind for 3 months, I know that. Their questionable, (to say the least), business practices SHOULD be investigated by the U.S. attorney general. I was lucky! I had several thousand dollars in reserve to fall back on, to cover my expenses, but MANY other small businesses DON’T! I highly….HIGHLY, recommend NOT using this company for credit card transactions!

  15. George

    When I first started using Square I thought it was great having the ability to accept credit cards for goods and services rendered. I own an AV installation company. For the first while, it worked well. I swiped cards and a couple of days later, the money was in my account. The transactions were typically $1,000 to $5,000. Then all of a sudden a day after accepting a couple of payments, I received an email asking for more information about my business as there had been suspicious activity on my account. They asked for my tax number, a scan of some government forms relating to my business, a link to my linked in profile and a copy of the past two invoices and my relationship to my client. They had the completed forms within a few hours of receiving their email. The following day, I receive a notice that my account had been terminated. To quote the email “We’re sorry to inform you that we are deactivating your account. Our Account Services team reviewed your account and found a pattern of transactions associated with high-risk activity”

    And yes, my money would be held for 3 months.

    The hold is not what bothers me. Other than being treated like a criminal, the lack of professionalism I experienced from this company is astounding. As others have mentioned, you cannot call in to speak to a human being. I’ve invested significant time and energy in setting this up, linking my banking information, creating invoices and advertising to my clients that I accept credit cards.

    Whether this is acceptable under their terms and conditions is besides the point. The fact that they can treat business owners in this manner is appalling.

    I urge anyone setting up a small business to seriously think twice about using Square Register. As someone who does everything by the book to all of a sudden be denied a service I have paid good money to without explanation, is beyond me. Luckily my business can go on without the use of Square. However, many other businesses would be in shambles if this happened to them.

    I also urge Square Register to come out with a guide on how to avoid this happening to other businesses. Had I known that a particular transaction type or amount would be deemed high risk, I definitely would have avoided it.

    And finally, don’t waste any more of my time asking me to fill out forms and send government documents proving I am who I say I am when you have no intention of reinstating my account. I complied in a timely manner and there could be no doubt I proved myself in these documents.

    CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  16. Brenda

    Square reported my 2012 taxes as personal taxes and not business taxes. I emailed them 8/13/14 several times and called them. Except for once there is no response to emails. They don’t answer calls, they hang up. Just now I was speaking to RYAN Ryan who said he was getting in touch with the tax team and he basically COULD NOT HELP ME . He said he didn’t know when they would get back to me. DOES SQUARE even HAVE A TAX TEAM?
    They are simply not doing anything for me. What can I do to solve this MAJOR dilemma?

  17. Mark

    The problem that nobody knows about is that the almighty Uncle Sam has implemented new policies, and all credit card processors have to oblige. Uncle Sam has told the CC processors that THEY (square) are responsible for policing and monitoring ALL the transactions to make sure that everything is on the up and up. too many prostitutes, drug deals, terrorist etc. That’s fine, but Square has ABSOLUTLY NO RIGHT to hold my funds (which they did) and tell me that I cannot have my money until I provide them with a copy of my LLC along WITH my LLC tax ID# and copies of the invoices. WTF! That’s blackmail, and there was NO email or contact telling me that there was a change of policy. Square is beyond unprofessional, and a complete waste of anybody’s time.

    1. James

      funny, I am set up as an L.L.C. I use that monogram in my company name. Therefore if asked by square to produce these documents I would gladly comply along with a federal tax ID # and an associated invoice. I think that type of security prevents fraud and will also protect me as a vendor. I have never been asked nor have I had funds held. My business is large ticket items and I think the 2.75% is a bit pricy and wish it could be lowered some. I can, with other company’s, pay a monthly fee and swipe charge then get a lower rate But In a service business such as mine I would only use it maybe 10 times a year at best so the monthly fee would not benefit me. I am using this type of service only to oblige a small client group that would prefer to get a mileage perk as most people requesting my service typically budget for it.

  18. Rick Hinton

    No service! Cannot call them! Answer by email in about 72 hrs. Cannot speak to anyone! Beware, they have all your personal information.

  19. Patty Dills

    I like the ease of Square-up, but am thinking of dropping it because I cannot get any help or information. I’ve tried everything! I want to buy an inventory system from them, but can’t.

    1. Kimberly

      I beg of you not to deal with his company. I have been in busy for 22 years and all of a sudden they withhdrew thousands from by business accounts and deactivated it. Never returned the clients money to the card holder they “held it in a fund” that no one has access to. My clients eventually filled theft charges against me and I was convicted of a Felon 3 on October 1, 2014. Not even one thing on my record.

  20. Kim Toney

    Our company has been using Square since its inception. We initially had a problem with the $2K limit on sales but Square’s Customer Support department responded immediately to my request for assistance and negated that limitation since the majority of our customers are not present at the time of the Square transaction.
    The fees charged are much less than what we were formerly paying and the money is deposited into our checking account the day after a sale is made – a vast improvement over our former method of accepting credit cards.

    I have recommended Square to dozens of people and have yet to hear a single complaint.

    Square is easy-to-use, reliable, fair, fast and has favorable rates.

    I will continue to recommend Square!

    1. Cork

      Kim – I was so like you at one time. During the 5 years I was with Square, I processed tens of thousands of dollars with them. The first day I used them I processed over $10,000 in credit card transactions and did receive a communication from them asking a few questions, I answered the questions, and received the OK from them to continue using their service. Then one day, I went to log in to prepare for our next show, and found out that not only had my account been disabled, but (after FINALLY being able to contact customer service by email) my account had been permanently suspended. I received NO notice, NO warning, NO email, NO communication from them what so ever. In fact, to this day, I am still receiving mailings from them, proposing that I upgrade my account and purchase their register. Their reasoning for suspending me – and I’ll quote “I was in violation of their terms by running an illegal business.” Funny thing is, the IRS doesn’t consider my business illegal, the State of Oklahoma doesn’t consider my business illegal and the State of Texas doesn’t consider my business illegal. In asking how square has come to the conclusion that I’m running an illegal business, all get from them is NOTHING, no response, no explanation, no nothing. I do consider myself one of the lucky ones, because at the time they suspended my account, was during our off season, and I had no transactions or funds pending, therefore there were no funds the Square could seize or hold. Kim, I do hope things continue to go well for you, and had I not gotten the screw from Square, I would probably be on your bandwagon – but don’t be surprised if one day…….then we can say…we told you so!!

  21. Christine

    I have been using square for my business for years and love it I am in process of switching to their scheduling site. If I don’t use it I don’t pay its awesome.

  22. amgtimepieces INC

    Sqare is Biggest joke of a company!….we did over ton of deal in paypal without any problem,, but we just accept few thousand from our customer though sqare ,,sqare will hold the money and ask we refund the payment to our customer in 1 months later,,how can we take back our item then????…sqare wasnt professional for any company…totally not recommend.

  23. Dee

    We are looking to use Square to collect payments at the door for our HS reunion. This is a one time thing, with transactions processed as some walk through the door on a saturday evening of the event if they did not pre-purchase. This is not a business venture. Does anyone know how long they take to release the money to our bank account? We have to pay the venue and am wondering if Square holds your money for 5-7 days which could affect our final payment to the venue once the walk-in traffic is assessed.

    1. randy

      do not count on your money for 90 days, small purchases can be considered drug deals and they hold your money. use anybody else, square sucks.

    2. Les Kitchings

      I have been using them for several years without a problem. The first time was for my Band, We had a large New Years Party and had to collect at the door. All of our money was in my account the next day, so I had the money to pay for our venue.
      This worked out so well that I now use them at my business for day to day payments.

  24. Murphy

    I have been using square for years and have not had a problem. I wanted to talk to customer service today about a client with a double charge and cant seem to get a real person without a code and the system isn’t allowing me to get a code. I am an active client. Totally hacked off right now.

  25. darrylthebookie

    I tried to use the square at a craft show. $130 for new phone. $10 a month extra on my Verizon bill. I was really hoping, really hoping to make some of my money back at the show. but… the square didn’t work. All my work, planning, money etc. and the square didn’t work. And guess what? NO customer service. None. If you get a square plan on taking cash. Because you will be alone with no help.

  26. Bob wilson

    Square blows use anybody else, customers support if you found them was rude and of no help with any problems. USE SOMEONE ELSE.

  27. Leila Scutt

    I am a jewelry designer and I receive most of my orders over the phone after people have seen my work. My business is based onnthe word of mouth. I am small and I can easily go two months without a sale but when I do have a sale the sale amount can run between $300 to over $2000. My work is handmade. I had usually processed orders of $300 without problems but all of a sudden when I had 2 transactions after a month selling nothing Square put a 45 day hold on the totality of my sale. They then asked me for information such as invoices and purchase order. I am a very small business. I processed the sales and all that matters to me is that the customer has the funds as most of them are referrals. Despite all the information provided to square they deactivated my account and put a 45 day hold on the funds. Impossible to reach them by phone. The only option I was given was to reimburse the customer but what do I do when the customer is already in possession of the merchandise? For a simple and small business like mine Square has been a disaster!

  28. KD Bar Trucking

    Rude, rude, rude, not to mention extremely unprofessional! I waited on hold for 21 minutes only to be hung up on by the customer service rep. Called back to complain about being hung up on to be put on hold for another 30 minutes. The rep refused to put a supervisor on the phone and hung up again. I will never do business with them again. I’m canceling my account with them and will be telling everyone I can about this horrid experience!

  29. Tom

    My wife and I own a craft business and most of our business is done on weekends. I was doing one of my biggest festivals of the season and my square stopped working. I tried finding a number to call square for help. One of my fellow vendors had a phone number for them and gave it to me. Well they are closed on weekends. Thankfully Sunday square started working again, but I lost a lot of sales on Saturday thanks to square. I called the number on Monday but unless you email them and get some kind of authorization number you have to key in you cannot talk to anyone. I dropped them that day. I switched to pay pal and am waiting for the free reader to arrive in the mail. Fingers crossed that they will be better. At least they have 24 hour support for those of us that sell on the weekends. Also I found out that square does not allow gun or gun accessory sales. Another fellow vendor I know makes hand crafted leather holsters and because they are considered gun accesories therefore she cannot sell them using square. She said she found that out after she created her products list in her account. She received and email from square quoting their policy. They did not shut off her account but they warned her that they would for violating their policies. She canceled her account after that.

  30. Mark Litrico

    I have been using square for my small contracting business for about 4 years. Their deposit schedule was no problem and all was good. In late September 2014 I ran a customers credit card for $100. After a week with no deposit into my account, I contacted square and they wanted further information to verify I had a legitimate business. (There was never a warning of change of policy, they accepted the funds from my customer and would not give them to me until I provided the required information. They held my money “hostage”) I filled out the form with my business name and company tax ID # and attempted to submit it, but it would not submit because they also “required” an image of my LLC with my tax documentation AND an image the invoice! That’s none of their business! They accused me of being high risk and deactivated my account.

  31. Todd Sherman

    60 MINUTES or 20/20 needs to do a story and expose these criminals. They closed my account with $6,113 in it. My business does transactions between $3-$5,000. I sell pellet stoves. (heating appliances). They were pretty “SLICK” about it though. First they took their fees at 3.5%. Swiping the card NEVER worked at 2.75%, so I always had to key punch in at the higher rate. THEN…..when I saw 2 transactions had not cleared….they sent me an E-Mail , LITTERALLY 2 minutes before they closed, and AFTER the transactions had been put in, saying they needed to “UPDATE” my account with more information. I needed to fax them a copy of my DBA….a customer invoice…..and 3 recent bank statements tied to my checking account. After ALL this was sent I confirmed that they received the information. Through a phone conversation to verify this….(along with a passcode #)….They said it was going to be reviewed and my funds should be available that evening. less than a half hour later my account was closed with $6,113 in it! I explained to “VICTOR”, that I was at one of my distributers to give them a check for $8,000, and needed the funds cleared. NOW I have to cover that amount of money by the end of the week. SO…..money from MY transactions has been sitting in THIER ACCOUNT….MY MONEY FROM SALES OF PRODUCT…..until THEY decide to release it to me in 90 days! Now I cannot even get ahold of them for the passcode they gave me no longer works. What are they doing with all this money they are SCAMMING out of people and holding ?? These people are KILLING small business owners with these tactics. The US Attorney General should put a stop to this NOW!!!!!!!!!! NO investigation is needed…….Just read some of these reviews. These “PONZI” scammers should be IN JAIL!

  32. Amanda Payne

    Worst customer service .They are holding a large sum of money they say for 90 days after complying with all their request.They have shut down my account with no comunication. I will do every thing in my power, that other people do not come subjected to letting this company steal there money. I am reporting them to every agency and contacting my attorney.Worst service ever.

  33. Jason

    Please…. this article ends by saying Square is best for babysitters or flea market vendors? I’ve owned a café for 2 years now and started with Square. It has been great and I haven’t had any issues really. And I have owned a place prior using a traditional merchant services provider….which I hated. This article read great but ended like its sponsored by the other guys….biased in some way.

    1. Connie Crowley

      Of course you have not had any issues. If there were to be an issue, Square simply deactivates your account with no warning or explanation and freezes all pending deposits for 90 days. If you had a customer question a charge from your business, a traditional merchant would contact you, notify you of possible chargeback and hold of funds, inform you which transaction is in question. Square gives absolutely no information “for security purposes”. There is also no phone communication. Once you are deactivated and request to speak to a representative the following message is emailed: “As previously stated, phone support is only available for customers with an active Square account.” This way, Square does not have to deal with any investigation or attempt to clean up any issue. You will likely never learn which customer had an inquiry and never be able to recover your funds.

      Another reason many have apparently been deactivated is a surge in charges. If you were to hold a special event and had an unusual number of transactions for your business, you are susceptible to being deactivated and having the funds held for 90 days. This may not even be the first time for such an event in your 2 years, there is simply no continuity of business.

      Do you really believe you can operate your business forever without ever needing customer phone support? The passcode they gave you when they requested information will be expired. This is simply bad business. Please beware.

      1. KPL

        Square now has phone support. Just spent 40 mins on the phone going thru a whole laundry list of questions. She stated they recognized the need for phone support and are staffing call centers in NY & Calif. Got GREAT service!!!

        1. Connie Crowley

          Apparently Square does not have phone support for those of us attempting to recover our funds. I emailed another request to speak to a representative today when I saw this post and received with the same reply:

          “As previously stated, phone support is only available for customers with an active Square account.

          We apologize for any inconvenience, but our decision is final.”

          I don’t Square has a customer service phone line. They are still using the same pass code formula only available for those who have not yet been deactivated.

    2. Donna

      Jason, I am beginning to think you may be correct in this site being fueled by others competing with Square. I have been in business for 25 years and have used the “other guys” and paid huge fees for credit cards. I have a window treatment business and move larger sums of money and have been using Square for over 2 years. I have run as much as $10,000 at 1 transaction before and as long as you know the rules with square and have set up the requirements I think all is good. I had money held only once but that was the very begining because I exceeded the manual entry limit (which is in the agreement), I contacted Square by email and had the limit raised and no questions asked within 2 days. I have never had an amount questioned by a customer so I don’t know how that would be handled but I do use a sweep account for all transactions. Once a payment is in this account I transfer it to another account so that there is only $100.00 in that account at any time, this is just safe. I have had to refund a customers payment and it was handled great by Square- no problems. I think it is a matter of establishing your company with a history with Square. I have begun using the invoice by email with them and my clients that are out of town can enter their credit card info in Squares’ site and pay a bill and I am charged the swiped rate-GREAT feature. I am very happy with the lower processing fees with Square! I hope I never have to change.

      1. James

        Donna, I can assure you that I am not in competition with square, nor would I care to be. Like you, I had used other merchant accounts in the past, paid high fees, monthly fees, yearly fees, and was excited at the ease and affordability of square. With three years under my belt with them, and at times over $20,000 a day in charge transactions, with never a charge back or question, you would have thought I was in good standing with them, but I guess they had other ideas and not only did they deactivate my account without ANY notice what so ever, they actually accused me and I can quote “of running an illegal business.” To top it all off, square is still sending me emails and advertisements in the mail, urging me to purchase their Square Register. And get this, the postcards they send, have NO return address on them, or phone number what so ever. I too had blinders on while I was using them and like the saying goes, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees…………

      2. Laura Puckett

        I assure you these are NOT posted by competitors. Thousands of small business owners have been devastated by this company. Myself included. They froze over $70,000 in charges and held funds over a year for NO reason.

      3. Bill

        Beware ! Just when you get comfortable with them they change the rules! I am a good business
        man. I have have been in business for 26 years after they put a hold on $8600.00 I went
        through every hoop they demanded. Contractor licencing proof,3 bank statement,state tax id #,
        contracts with clients on & on. I never was able to speak with anyone! Actually I believe you
        could possibly be one of the many people they hire for for damage management.
        THEY ARE A BAD COMPANY! STOLE MONEY FROM MY FAMILY 5 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!
        CANT EVEN GO INTO THERE OFFICE TO COMPLAIN ,THEY HAVE SECURITY THROUGH YOU OUT!
        LOST MY BUSINESS DUE TO THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Good Day :-)

  34. Capt Turk

    Tried to sign on the phone app for square. It will not let me setup the account with out giving them full access to the microphone, camera, pictures, everything on the phone. WTF is wrong with these people?? I would NEVER give ANYONE full access to my phone, computer, or anything else.

    The money spent on that thing is just money down the drain.

    My personal rating of them is a big fat F!!

  35. Jennifer

    Instead of filing withe BBB, people need to start filing complaints to the FTC. They can open an investigation and start getting to the bottom of this crooked company. No business should have to wait 90 days for a credit card transaction to go through. If that is the case there would be a lot of businesses hurting and closing. A company with no phone number is a huge red flag, but you don’t know until you need to call someone.

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