Signal: How outage turned into outrage for Square

Twitter users were quick to voice their dissatisfaction with Square's service and the way it was handled

Robert Prendergast September 18 2023

Building trust with customers can be much like going up a hill and coming down a mountain. It takes a long time to build a good reputation, but one mistake can lead a brand or individual to come crashing down. For Square, 14 years of trust building saw significant damage in just 14 hours.

What had become a reliable payment method for businesses all over the world has now seen irreversible consequences to its reputation due to the ongoing outages preventing its users from charging cards or managing inventory.

The issue, which also affected Square’s other service Cash App, was amplified by Square’s social media presence. The company Twitter page for Square insisted, on more than one occasion, that the issue had been resolved. Yet, it persisted. This is false hope being met with many negative responses from those who were suffering as a result of the problems.

The social media reaction to the disruption perhaps proves an uncomfortable truth for payment providers, that they are under a one-strike policy, with this being the first issue many Square users have encountered, albeit a rather large one. The situation became increasingly worse as Square appeared to dig itself into a deeper hole. One Twitter user was sceptical of how genuine Square’s apology for poor communication during the issues, revealing this apology coming from a ‘no reply’ email address. Others were quick to announce their transition to another payment service.

While Twitter, and social media as a whole, is often the battleground of any inconvenience, whether it be on a global political scale or to a minor disagreement regarding events on television, it is a clear reflection of the way people feel. In this case, the feeling is of resentment towards Square, which will now be forever imprinted on the internet.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.

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