I'm updating the Square discussion, as I am concerned about how it and the company performs over time. I talked to my current provider and they were (predictably) full of doom and gloom about the Square.

1. One thing he said was that the Square won't hold up, its ability to read cards is limited and it can take repeated swipes to get it to read a card.

2. He mentioned that the company won't protect in case of fraud. Any problems with stolen cards, charge backs, customer complaints, etc?

3. How is customer service if you are in a pickle at a show and need help?

4. And the final thing was will the rates stay the same, or now that the Square has so many sign-ups will the Square start upping the rates?

Right now its a shiny new thing & I am mighty tempted to get one, but my provider has been a good one and I don't want to throw him out until I know this Square really really works.


Since most of the replies on the other Square thread are from new Square users I wanted to see what people who have used it over several months & shows-over a year, now think of the Square and the company?


Any long time users out there?





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  • I love it. Used it for 2 yrs now, never have had a problem. When I was shoping for CC service, I had one processor get as far as sending me their contract. 5 pages of 5 pt type.... Not a DA-- thing in the contract benefitted me and it was never clear what I would pay on each individual transaction. And oh, I forgot about the reaming I would take if I wanted to take AMEX or Discover....OUCH!

    I started reading about fees and contract costs, equipment fees, knuckle buster form costs, monthly fees, statement fees, low-volume fees, early termination fees (OH MY GAWD!) and all the other little money makers that these card processors had tucked away in their contracts. It was plain that they had hoodwinked the art show business and that B/C it was still the least expensive service out there to use, people still were using it.... You know who you are, and I know you're reading this.

    So, I called them back up and asked why there were so many fees and contract clauses which were obviously going to eat into my proceeds. They kept saying they were the least expensive. So finally, I told them I was going with Square... They got really defensive and immediately started to diss this service.

    Oh, they wouldn't last in the business.... They would be raising fees..... you'd get burned.... they would start adding in additional costs, customers would reject the new technology as untrustworthy, and on and on and on.

    Finally, I told them that they did protest too much and that how they were trying to undermine this company's service told me that Square was the way to go. The traditional processors are going to be extinct in the next couple years as their miserable expensive contracts get terminated and people don't renew... , and they can no longer rent the same piece of equipment to a succession of people as the machines get older and older...., no longer sell supplies for the machines.... etc

    My Square reader quit one day... I called my wife and she did a quick cruise of the net and found I could get one at radio shack for 10 bucks..... I bought 2 just in case I lost one and have had no problems since then. I still do paper receipts for folks as these are my provenance/certificate of authenticity for them and nearly everyone I know likes that idea too.

    Attention Processor companies - adapt or die!

    I have only had one location where my reception/transmission was inadequate... It was this giant Faraday Cage of a gymnasium. The school had Wi Fi, but the booster organization didn't have access to it and couldn't get it turned on. Nobody had service, except for the person who set up their own little Wi-Fi hotspot... But that's the only time ever.. And, you could walk outside and get a signal.

    My phone is my reader is my internet connection is my e-mail and I get 2 gb data/month for one low price. I don't text unless necessary, so no extra cost there. I love my late model I-phone 3gs...

  • I found an even cheaper way to use the square if you don't already have an Iphone and don't feel like you need an Iphone.  I got the wifi only Ipad and then a wifi hotspot from http://www.internet-go.com/.  What is great about this combination is that you buy data refills that never expire as long as you use the device at least once a year.  500mb of data is $10 and it is cheaper if you buy larger quantities.  I used it at a fair  last weekend and it used around 1 mb per credit card transaction. That's only 2 cents each.  It would be as low as a penny if you bought the $45/4GB refill.

  • I used the square all summer. I worked great. I always have backup dongles though. Some work better than others. I also go a stow and go machine for places i might not have reception, I got a good rate on that too, a pay as you go deal. I used it once, because the square was being really slow. It ended up being a huge pain in the ass to find someone who had an old school land line to plug it into. It didn't work at my mom's house, nor my work line. By the time I got it to work, I had problems with 2 cards and ended up losing about $100.

    I'd much rather use the square any day.


  • Using the Square since the spring ... I can't say enough positive about it ... we haven't had any problems -- if you have to swipe more than once - so what -- you swipe it again.  We haven't had to use customer support.  Money is put into account immediately.  People are excited to sign on it -- if they've used it before and have put in email/text, it shows and says that a receipt will be sent.  There are no extra additional charges and/or crazy formulas.  It takes AmEx at the same rate.  I haven't lost it.  I give people a stylus to write with -- some use finger. 

    Life in the land of the Square ... awesome.

  • I've been using the Square for almost two years now. I have not had any issues with mine. I'm a techie to my heart so I love it! I haven't had to contact customer service at all. I make on average about 20-30 transactions per show since I also provide an additional small art item that sells well along side my paintings. The card reader requires a very swift swipe otherwise you will have to swipe again. I seem to have managed to master the swift swipe since I haven't had to do multiple swipes in a while. If the swipe doesn't work, manual entry is available. The fee is a bit higher because manual transactions carry a higher risk for fraud.

    I did manage to break one by separating the post from the top square but it still read cards for that show. The one that went through two wash and dry cycles became a bit dicey so I replaced it. I do carry two with me as insurance but haven't needed the back up. One of my friends says "load for bear but hope not to run into one." Yeah, I live in Texas!
  • I have used it at about 4 shows with very mixed results. I have 3 readers and use them when one goes down which has been often. The phone went into a color spinning wheel during tow transactions and I still got the sale vis phone calls the next day.I have had to swipe the cards many times to make them work-seem American express works best for me. I'm not yet sold as I have lines of customers and write paper recipts which goes faster, I still have a wireless nureit 8020 which stores and forwards, I have been using a mix and the square has not sold me yet to give up my nureit. tHE COST DIFFERANCE IS ABOUT 1% OVERALL.The nurit gives recipts pronto and will store and forward, I am going to try my go payment this weekend as the reader is better built. fees about the same.I'll post the results from my Tempe show.-it will get a workout.


  • I was surprised to see the Square readers on sale at Staples the other day for $9.99, but on the site (www.squareup.com) I found out that if you buy one they will refund the money to your Square account when you send them the redemption information. I love my Square. I would name my third child "Square" if I were to have one.

  • To get back to the original question- how does Square perform over time... I have used it happily for quite a while, but last July in the middle of a very busy day in Ann Arbor, the reader just gave out.  I don't know if it was the humidity or what, but I was pretty steamed.  Because I didn't have a spare (my bad!), I had to manually enter all the card numbers after that, and boy did that take up some precious time.  I also had to pay a higher rate to the credit card companies for this "privilege."  I emailed the Square help desk, and they kept sending me asinine information about watching their dumb video on how to swipe a card properly.  What I wanted to know was how to avoid the higher charge because of the reader failure.
    Two days later a guy came into my booth with information about PhoneSwipe.  It's basically the same thing as Square, but the reader is more substantial, and they have actual people you can talk to when you have a question or a problem (unlike Square).  They also have a lower rate per transaction.  So I signed up for their program, and though I have yet to use it, I have high hopes.  I also have an extra reader now from Square.. just in case.  And the guy from the PhoneSwipe company also answered my question about the higher rates that Square was charging me.  Apparently the charge is generated from Visa, MC, etc., and the processing company has no say in it.  That's all I needed to know from Square, but they saw fit to send me a link to their "how-to" video several times instead of telling me that.  Customer service is not their strong point. 

    • I know the original question was for "long time" users, but I sure have appreciated all the comments, since I'm a "new" user. Used my Square for the first time this last Labor Day weekend for a show in Kernville, California. Was delighted with it except when service wasn't available, apparently because of the large amount of visitors in the area. But it was intermittent. I will definately look into getting a "back-up". Hadn't thought about that.

       I also, had customers signing with their finger (hadn't thought about that either) but now I have a stylus.

      After speaking to my CPA about it, she mentioned Intuit has a card reader too and when you make a sale it can go directly to your Quicken Books. Also, the rate is 2.7 intead of the 2.75 at Square.


  • The customer called me today--thank goodness--so I was able to issue her a full refund and then rerun the transaction with the manual method for the correct amount since she gave me all her numbers over the phone.  Like Pat Falk mentioned, I wasn't able to do the refund through the cell phone without inputting her card number again.  (Thought it would work, since the cc number seemed to be greyed out in the box but it wouldn't "go" until I typed it in again.  Another weakness in the Square system, if you ask me.) 

    Happy to report that the customer wasn't irate, just concerned and--finally--relieved.  She was sympathetic, having done something like that herself once.

    In all other aspects, Square has been wonderful.

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