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Since I generally meet my clients at the home I'm inspecting I don't take credit cards. I have only gotten one bad check in 14 years, and have resisted taking credit cards since I haven't lost but maybe 2 potential jobs in 3 years due to that. But recently I have been revisiting the choice to not take cards. The proliferation of services that allow you to take credit card payments via a smart phone with about a 3% fee seems somewhat attractive for cases where clients won't be there at the inspection. I would still not mention that I would take a card unless the potential client insists on it.

It seems that Square is the 800 pound gorilla in this market, but they have horrible customer service issues according to everything that I have read online. PayAnywhere seems to be a reasonable alternative, and there are a few others. What do you guys think? Who do you use, and if you take cards, do you quote different fees for doing so?

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Satisfied customers don't go online to say so; complainers do. Internet "review" of this type are near worthless.

I have had nothing but excellent service with Square from day one. Their iPad "cash register" is just about perfect for dinks like me, although most of the time I use the phone.

I resisted until Square; they're at 2.75% for card swipes, 3.75% for phone ins. It's only a minor sting, alleviated by knowing the money's already there.

People want miles, you gotta take plastic nowadays; it's near unavoidable if you don't want to appear a putz.

It's actually not bad; jack your prices by twice the card fee to take out the sting. Actually, jack them a lot, period; it's really busy again and people are anxious to book, not talk.

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I take plastic and don't charge extra. Haven't had a problem yet with square - 2.75%. Not very popular but I suspect the public will take the bait, experience the convenience and start expecting them. I'll be ready.

Marc

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Been thinking about the square thing but since I'm still using a flip phone I guess I won't be doing that until iPhone9 or thereabouts. Guess I could use my wife's smart phone but I don't know how. She had the guy at the counter in the phone store set the whole thing up in Korean before she brought it home; I don't even know how to answer the damned thing when it's making noise. [:-boggled

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Flip phone? It's time, O...

Get a cheap smartphone, get a Galaxy, a cheap iPhone, it doesn't matter. The new Blackberrie's are awesome, but I don't know if they do Square.

Why? The thing works great. You're like the friends who come over and say, "Mike, when the hell are you going to get a new TV?" I ask 'em what's wrong with this one. They're all like, "Gee, it's a dinosaur! Look how big the damned thing is. Don't you want a smaller one?" I'm like, "This one works fine. It cost me nearly $5k when I bought it 15 years ago, why should I replace it as long as the picture is good? Wanna go upstairs and see the one I bought in 1991?"

They don't get it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Texting. Initially, I couldn't do it, now I can't do without it.

Email.

Maps; ditch the Garmin.

Timer, compass, cc's, clinometer, document scanner, q card reader, etc.......

Honest, it makes life easier, not harder.

What's a tv?

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RE: Square - I've not heard of any complaints from friends who have been using it and many vendors at fairs/markets that happen love it as well.

I keep it in reserve and use when necessary as the majority of my clients pay via check or cash.

Ditto what Kurt said: Only the complainers post ... seldom hear from the majority who are satisfied users. I had two contacts with their cust svc group when I first got my Square and they were excellent to deal with.

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I use paypal. They have a card reader that attaches to the phone, just like square. The reason I went with paypal is because I already had an account set up. I also have a paypal link on my website so out of state customers that I never meet can just pay online.

Other then having the paypal link on my website I don't advertise I take credit cards, but if somone ask or they forgot their check book... it makes life easy.

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Been using Square (iPhone) for some time now and its awesome. No issues whatsoever. Swipe or enter CC info today and its in my account tomorrow. No brainer. IMHO 2.75 % is worth the price of admission. I would prefer all my clients pay with a CC. No trips to the bank and no checks to keep up with.

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I have been taking Square now for about a year and like the other have had exactly one issue where I go an error and double charged my client. I was able to refund the money quickly however once the mistake was noticed and my client was extremely thankful. Other than that one glitch Square has been great.

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So, I was using Square for quite a while and then met a guy that was pushing a product called Vantive. Same card swipe on the phone, but, instead of paying the 2.75% it is 1.7%. Hits the bank account next day and their customer service is spot on.(Only called once, but it was a good experience)

I am not sure if my rep can help you guys, but, if your interested, email me(robjones@southsoundinspection.com), I will give you his contact info.

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I'll bet close to 90% of my clients pay with plastic. They are buying a house and need all the cash they can get. If they do pull out a check book, it's a 3% bonus for me.

I am a diehard flip phoner too, so I dial in the info when I get home and pay the charges.

My Motorola flip phone has the extra large battery that is never dead and it works in places where people tell me there's no cell service. I can take calls 20 miles from the nearest tower. Don't even need to pull out the antenna. [:)]

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So, I was using Square for quite a while and then met a guy that was pushing a product called Vantive. Same card swipe on the phone, but, instead of paying the 2.75% it is 1.7%. Hits the bank account next day and their customer service is spot on.(Only called once, but it was a good experience)

I am not sure if my rep can help you guys, but, if your interested, email me(robjones@southsoundinspection.com), I will give you his contact info.

I've heard about Vantive; they're not as well financed as Square, but if they hang around long enough, they will set the standard, and rates will come down again. Square is going to force Chase etc. to play; Vantive may force Square to do the same.

There's another service out there that charges a flat rate $1 for transactions of any sort, but the big VISA entities (Chase, etc.), don't play. Yet.

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I had exactly one problem with Square over the last couple of years I have been using it. It was my fault and was resolved quickly by their customer service. The great thing is you never need customer service. It just works. No pain, no contracts, no hassling to get out of a contract. My old processing companies just killed the goose that laid the golden egg. I'll never go back to anything less even it it is a bit cheaper.

Go to their web site before you buy a phone and see if they support it.

I was a died in the wool flip phone user and specifically bought an Android smart phone a few years ago just because it was supported by Square and I could not get an Iphone on Sprint. I've not been disappointed and now totally rely on my phone for everything. But I do keep a backup flip phone in my truck just in case. I have never needed it.

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I take credit cards but discourage it. When asked, I tell them I would rather not. I already have the job so how they pay has never been an issue and how they pay is already established before I meet them at the job.

I was not going to get a new phone until my old flip brick broke. About a year ago I dropped it off a roof and it landed on a sidewalk and was fine. A couple months ago I dropped it on another roof and it slid down and landed in a gutter filled with water. It was fine. It finally started getting kooky a couple weeks ago so I now own an android and I'm still getting used to it. But I like it.

Lots to learn.

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I'm pretty hard on phones.My flip phone is a ruggedized model and I have some kind of shell on it that protects it even more. It's outlasted every other phone I've ever had (Watch, not that I've said that I'll have jinxed it and it will crap out tomorrow.).

Those smart phones look awful fragile with those big screens. Not sure they'd survive banging around in my pocket with my keys, the occasional tool, change, flashlights and me crawling around on top of them. My camera is two years old and looks like it's been used as a sanding block.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Like any tool, you have to take care of it.

Pry bar? Toss it anywhere. Sharp chisels? Should be in their own case.

You have to think of your phone as a mini-computer, which it is. Get a better case, one with a cover. Don't smash it. Pay attention.

I guarantee if you stick with it for a couple weeks, you'll wonder what the hell you were thinking when you said you don't need it.

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I used to be a diehard bar phone fan, until I tried a smart phone. Wondered what the hell I waited so long for.

Of course, due to the rugged use, I keep my I-Phone 4S in a ruggedized Otterbox Defender case. Carry it on a belt clip.

Kurt is right. They're not phones anymore. They're computers that make phone calls in addition to a whole bunch of other stuff.

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It's actually not bad; jack your prices by twice the card fee to take out the sting.

That's a great idea that works for me. I get extra money from the increase plus what I save with the 0% interest associated with cash and checks. Until I get push back from clients I'm not going the C.C. route. It has to do with the numbers associated with what I currently bring in and what they would be if I accepted card payments. So for now my Square reader has a very lonely existence.

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