Alberta couple square off against payment system Square after losing out on $3,300 in sales

Click to play video: 'Alberta seniors say Square payment system left them out thousands of dollars'
Alberta seniors say Square payment system left them out thousands of dollars
WATCH ABOVE: It’s billed as a fast, painless and secure payment system, but Square is coming under fire. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, an Alberta couple say it has cost them business. – Nov 30, 2022

An Alberta couple is calling out a popular payment system after it says it lost out on thousands of dollars in sales.

Cochrane seniors Allen and Judy Kalas told Global News they believe dozens of payments were processed incorrectly by Square Canada, a service that helps small businesses process credit card payments.

The end result was a $3,300 loss to them, they said.

“It’s a lot of money and we’re retirees,” Allen Kalas said.

The couple, who owns True North Stained Glass Design and Fused North Stained Glass, said the mistakes started at a Christmas market event in neighbouring Bragg Creek back on Nov. 18.

Kalas said the market was busy, and they made more than 100 sales. But days later, after receiving the receipts from Square, he said the amounts didn’t add up.

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Kalas said he called the company to find out where the missing money was, and was surprised to hear the answer.

“He says, ‘You obviously hit cash sale and that’s why it went through like that,’ and I said, ‘No, my wife always hits debit and credit. This is the way we’ve always done it.'”

Kalas added the company representative told him he was very sorry, but added, “There’s nothing we can do for you.”

Allen Kalas with Square payment machine. Tomasia DaSilva

Kalas maintained they did nothing wrong on their end, pointing to several receipts from Square that he believes show a discrepancy in how the payments were received and processed.

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Square, known for its white, cube-shaped card readers, turning them into electronic sales terminals, maintains it was user error, and it will not refund any money.

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“In addition to recording and processing card payments, Square allows sellers to track cash, cheques, third-party gift cards and other types of payments to keep all records in one place,” a statement from Square Canada said.

“In this situation, the seller accidentally selected other tender types, rather than credit card, when accepting payments.”

“In these cases, Square functions only as an organizational tool and does not process any funds,” the company added.

It suggested the couple reach out to customers who bought their items and ask them for the money instead. But Kalas said Square wasn’t able to provide him with any further information.

“He said, ‘Oh, well we don’t collect that data,’” Kalas said he was told. “There’s no way I can contact them if I don’t know who they are.”

Allen Kalas hopes customers will come forward who were not charged. Tomasia DaSilva


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The couple has been able to reach out to some of their repeat customers. But Kalas noted they still have no way of getting a hold of the ones they don’t know.

He is hoping anyone who purchased an item at the Christmas market will check their credit card statements, and if they weren’t charged, they will contact them to make a payment.

“We spend hours in our studio. We’re in there six to eight hours a day,” he said.

“We enjoy doing the art, but I don’t really enjoy doing it just to give it away.”

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