back to article Square-shaped hole in workers' wallets after payment system fails at peak tip time

Square's payment system malfunctioned over the weekend for several hours, a glitch that cost workers at affected businesses a meaningful portion of their earnings during the most lucrative day of the week. The company's status page at IsSquareUp.com tells the clinical part of the story. There were multiple service issues on …

  1. ecofeco Silver badge

    I never get tired of saying it

    So how's that cloud thing working for ya?

    1. LosD

      Re: I never get tired of saying it

      Great, thank you. Saved millions over the years.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Great, thank you. Saved millions over the years.

        You are talking about the tips right?

      2. EarthDog

        Re: I never get tired of saying it

        "Great, thank you. Saved millions over the years."

        Got metrics to prove it?

    2. FILE_ID.DIZ Bronze badge

      Re: I never get tired of saying it

      I am unaware of a single case where the issuing bank owns the credit card network who in turn owns the acquirer who in turn owns the merchant.

      Acquirers (and payment facilitators like Square) have outages from time to time, both large scale and small scale... although the small scale outages are probably becoming harder to find simply because "hard line" connections back to the acquirer aren't used much any more and instead the transaction data flows over internet to the acquirer's gateway.

      Issuing banks have outages as well. Credit card networks are probably the most resilient of all the parts that make transactions possible.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: I never get tired of saying it

        Everything you just named is the cloud.

        What was your point?

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I never get tired of saying it

      This isn't a "cloud" problem so much as a "payment processor" problem. Even if Square hosted their equipment in their own data center, this issue might well have arisen, since it sounds like the issue was bad code. Might as well ask "How's that electronic payment processing thing working out for you?" On balance, I suspect it's working out great, which is why it's so ubiquitous (barring the inevitable commentards who I'm sure will come in to twat on about how they've only ever carried cash ever since the Great Visa Outage of '88).

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: I never get tired of saying it

        Processes by digital transmission over complex networks using other computers not owned by just one person or company is not the cloud.

        Got it. The parrot is not deceased.

        Carry on. Carry on.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: I never get tired of saying it

          So your argument is that anything transmitted electronically is The Cloud? Got it. Everything electronic is The Cloud now. Carry on. Carry on.

  2. seven of five Silver badge

    This:

    "We need those tips to live man!"

    is just wrong. Ethically, not factually.

    1. cosymart
      Big Brother

      High time companies paid their staff a decent wage and this fudal payment system was outlawed.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Here is an idea for the US.

    Make it illegal for tips to form part of the wages, so the companies actually pay their fucking staff.

  4. Santa from Exeter

    Tipping

    I actually experienced the US tipping policy directly.

    When in Boston, a group of us went for a Chinese meal, the food was okay (if a little lukewarm) but the service was absolutely dire (possibly leading to the food temperature).

    Being aware of the tipping situation in the US, we duly left a tip (which we wouldn't have in the UK as they really didn't deserve one) of 10%, only to have the Manager chase after us shouting "You didn't tip enough, my staff need to live" to which we replied, "Then pay them enough to give decent service!"

    A tip should be exactly that, a recognition of good service, *not* part of the wages.

    1. FILE_ID.DIZ Bronze badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Tipping

      Federal law requires that an employer "make up" the any "lost" wages between the tipped wage and the minimum wage of $7.25/hr. Federal tipped wage is $2.13/hour

      For example, if a tipped employee works for 10 hours (just to keep the maths easy), their tipped wage for that period will be $21.30. If their tips do not exceed $51.20 (72.50 - 21.30), then the employer is required to pay the difference.

      That is federal law, which is the floor for wages in the US. Many states exceed federal law, in both terms of minimum wage and tipped wage.

      So, to your point - most likely that manager was running out because they knew they were going to have to come up with the difference... especially of the place was slow or they had too many people working.

      My better half used to like working a few off-shifts bartending each month to keep her skills up. I'd audit her paystubs from time to time (it's the accountant in me that causes this disease) and tell her that her employer is shorting her - in that they were not making up the difference.

      She chose not to push the issue for fear of retaliation, plus it was honestly a negligible amount given the trivial amount of hours she worked there - usually just a few dollars. However, the payroll provider is a massive company and I have to assume that all tipped employees at that employer are being given that same shaft that my better half was given. It is possible that the other full time employees are getting shafted harder, although my better half wasn't working prime-time shifts.

      And if this massive payroll company allows one employer to flaunt wage laws, I have to image they allow everyone else to do so as well. Two decades ago it was much easier to weasel around this law because credit/debit cards didn't make up as much of the transactions as it does today, which means there's a proper paper trail.

  5. Tron Bronze badge

    US: Third world economy.

    The US minimum wage is pathetically low with a reliance on charity in the form of tips. Staff are not performing seals. Pay them a decent wage.

    Much prefer Japan, where tips are taboo. You will not be asked for any and none will be expected of you there. You pay your exact fare to a taxi driver and get change. A tip free nation where high standards of service are expected as the default.

  6. EarthDog

    We're sorry

    Square says. Very very sorry. So very sorry. You have our sympathies. SO we're sorry. Saddend, yes we are also saddened. Very saddened.. SO we are sorry. SO very sorry.

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