Of the more than 5,000 complaints about Square filed with the Better Business Bureau in the past three years, over 3,600 were in regard to problems with Square customer service. Here are some of the most common reasons cited by merchants and a few tips for picking a Square alternative that won’t land you right back in the same boat.
The Top 4 Reasons Merchants Are Unhappy with Square Customer Service
Here are the four most commonly reported issues merchants have when dealing with Square customer service.
1. Lack of Transparency During Merchant Account Holds
By far the biggest complaint merchants have about Square are the unpredictable and prolonged fund holds and account suspensions. In lieu of doing more thorough due diligence when onboarding merchants, Square instead prevents fraud by locking accounts or holding funds at the slightest hint of suspicious activity—even when that activity wouldn’t look suspicious to a payment processor who had taken the time to become more familiar with the merchant’s business.
While an account hold is annoying enough on its own, merchants who’ve dealt with one often complain of the long review times and the lack of information and guidance during the process. Holds are often placed immediately without prior notice and little explanation is given after the fact about why your funds are being held.
Meanwhile, the review process can take months and Square customer service doesn’t reach out with updates along the way so merchants are left in the dark or left scrambling to get in touch with a live customer service representative for answers.
If the account is ultimately deactivated, merchants are given little to no explanation why Square did so. For example, one reviewer posting on Square’s Better Business Bureau profile reported receiving an email after her account was deactivated that plainly refused to offer an explanation or an appeal process. She quotes the email notifying her of the account deactivation as follows:
“Our decision to deactivate your account is final. We understand that it can be frustrating to have your account deactivated. However, due to security concerns and the obligations of our agreements with card networks and other financial institutions, we cannot provide additional details.”
Other reviewers on Square’s BBB profile shared similar experiences of having their accounts deactivated without explanation or opportunity to appeal the decision.
2. Unrealistic Timelines and Delayed Response Times
A number of reviews and complaints from merchants note that Square customer service will often give customers a timeframe, like 24 hours or two business days, within which a customer service representative will respond to them only to miss that window by days, weeks, or even months.
For example, when an account is put on hold, the email often states that the review process will take 1-2 business days. The FAQ section of Square’s website also states that “the review process is set at one to two business days.” However, the BBB profile shows that hundreds of customers have experienced review times lasting weeks or months.
When accounts are deactivated, merchants say they typically receive an email saying funds will be held for a 90-day period. While the email typically provides a date when funds will be released, many BBB complaints say that they still haven’t received funds days or weeks after the stated release date.
3. It’s Almost Impossible to Talk to a Live a Person at Square
Square lists multiple support channels on its website but merchants report that most are automated and it’s difficult to get connected with a live person at Square. There is a support phone number on its website and it states that the number operates from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
However, merchants say that in order to get connected with an actual live agent, you have to request an access code through Square’s website. Moreover, you can only request that access code if you are a current, active account holder, meaning those who had their account deactivated without explanation have no way to reach a live person at Square for additional information.
4. Inaccurate or Conflicting Information
Many of the complaints and reviews submitted to BBB speak of customer service providing inaccurate or conflicting information. A complaint filed in November, for example, stated the following: “I called customer service and they reviewed it and said my account should be unlocked within the hour. Instead, I get an email 20 minutes later saying account has been deactivated.” Others report being given inaccurate information, such as notices of disputes or chargebacks when there are no records of either.
How to Pick a Square Alternative That’s Actually Better
Given the rising number of complaints about Square customer service, many merchants are now looking for Square alternatives that can offer better customer support and more transparency in fees, review processes, and other aspects of the service.
Unfortunately, other third-party payment processors that use a similar quick onboarding process come with similar unpredictable merchant account holds. The best option for your business depends on a lot of factors, including business type, size, and the specific payment services you need.
The dedicated merchant account offered by National Processing, for example, offers better rates that are calculated via a transparent method rather than the flat rate charged by Square and many other third-party payment processors. It also has more built-in features that are provided at no added cost, including 24/7 support.
While the application process is a little more intensive, the tradeoff is that you won’t have to deal with arbitrary and unexpected account holds once approved. Find out if National Processing pricing would save you money with this handy calculator.