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Signing the back of a credit card...double-edged sword?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dome Vongvises, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Well, since Visa issues the card, I'd listen to them rather than some random customer who in all likelihood has no clue what they're talking about.

    Part of being a credit card user is methodically checking your statement every month to ensure that all the charges are really yours. If not, there are procedures in place to challenge them. It is not up to the cashiers at Big Box Retailer #23 to act as your advocate and fraud crusader.

    The credit card companies screw the merchants at every conceivable opportunity through their exhorbitent fees and unreasonable chargebacks (per BobV's post above). I'm amazed that retailers still accept the cards, though if people weren't allowed to spend themselves into debt, consumer spending in this country would take a freefall.
     
  2. LanieParker

    LanieParker Supporting Actor

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    Not only do I have See I.D on the back of my card I only use my AMEX which has my picture on it. I don't get upset when I am asked to see my ID. I mean it's for protection. The nice thing about my AMEX is that with the picture they dont' ask me to see ID.
     
  3. Raasean Asaad

    Raasean Asaad Supporting Actor

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    I once used my BofA credit card which has my picture on it and they asked to see my ID anyway. I said my picture is on the card and they said they needed another ID as well. This coupled with being followed (not so subtly) and questioning was I making the right purchase, that being such a large one. After they verified who I was and the purchase was approved I promptly "changed my mind" and had them void the entire purchase.

    I don't mind showing my ID, but I never let the cashier take physical possesion of it, I simply don't let go of it or remove it from my billfold.
     
  4. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I don't disagree with the vigilance part, and with online checking of accounts it shouldn't be a problem. But the CC companies are not the only ones involved. It's the issuing financial institutions as well.
     
  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    The good old "why bother?" argument. [​IMG]
     
  6. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I do this mainly at the same store, where I shop 1-2 times a week. It's inconvenient to show my ID each and every time I show up, even when they know me by name. So I complain, and they stop the policy. Makes it easier for next time.

    And really, the last thing I need is some 18 year old telling me what the corporate merchant contract dictates. It's really amusing when the higher-ups at various corporations thank me for reporting individual stores. I don't do it for the benefits, but I will say the benefits have been very nice. And I would find it extremely humerous if the company like Best Buy lost their ability to take Visa or Mastercard, all because some holiday-season cashier thinks its their personal responsibility to "prevent" fraud (as if it made any different anyway). But that's why the corporate offices make the decisions, the people who know the contracts inside and out, not people at the lowest level.
     
  7. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    And quite frankly, you're correct. A lot of 18 year olds don't educate themselves on what policy really is. But there's a vast difference between knowing the policy and what to do about it.

    If I followed Merchant agreement to the exact letter, I'd have much more customer dissatisfaction (of course, the soap box retort would be don't get a credit card). I'd have to make every person with no signature sign their card with an I.D. present and make folks with invalid signatures (there goes the whole Egyptian alphabet theory) sign their credit cards for me. So in the end, I guess I'm picking my poison.

    But I would also like to put in addition that "corporate" isn't exactly the brightest collective of people either.

    There is the issue of fake I.D.'s. Again, I'm stating I can do what I can because that's a barrel of monkeys in which I have no resources to combat. The old Kentucky state licenses were easy to fake, but I'm still waiting to hear on the new ones. I've been told by cops how to spot fake I.D.'s but I don't have the recollection nor the ability to spot one with much confidence.

    If I said fuck it to everything instead of putting in a little effort, I'd be sitting at the house hiding with mommy and daddy right now.
     
  8. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually got a "Mom & Pop" store in such a jam that Visa / Mastercard terminated their agreement and ordered them to remove all Visa / Mastercard logo's from the premise. I found out that they then signed up with a 3rd part processing company and got THAT relationship canned. It stemmed from a transaction that the merchand DEMANDED that I conduct using my Visa Check Card as an atm and use my PIN instead of processing it as a credit transaction. I won, he lost. I know he was trying to cut the processing fee, but he went about it the wrong way, and violated the merchant agreement.
     
  9. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    And endangering your ability to take Visa / Mastercard. How big of an impact would it be if that happened???
     
  10. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Doing your job includes abiding by the merchant agreement you entered into of your own accord. If you choose not to abide by it, you should terminate the agreement and not accept credit cards.
     
  11. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I think that part of the problem here is that the so called 'merchant agreement' needs to be revised. When it was drawn up they weren't thinking about card fraud getting as large as it is today.

    If a card is not signed, I'd have a pair of scissors handy and give it a good whack. They can explain to their bank that it was cut in half because they didn't sign it!

    I think it might help it you got a card and cut it to the same size as your driver licenses, and then cut out places where the picture and sig. would be. This way you wouldn't have to look at their address.

    I would also get a sign made up saying that you check ID's because if your store doesn't catch an illegal card then your store has to pay for it, and this will be reflected in higher prices the next time they come in to shop.

    Glenn
     
  12. Mike Wladyka

    Mike Wladyka Supporting Actor

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    Yes, their signature will match their signature, not yours. So when the credit card company comes looking for your signature, it will be completely different, since the thief has no idea what your real signature looks like.
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    What I hate is online merchants asking for the extra three digit code on the card "for my protection." If my card is stolen, the thief has the numbers. If I give out the numbers to every Tom, Dick and Harry, they have them too, and if their security is breached, so is mine. How much harder is it to run an extra three numbers on a bogus CC list?

    I can sympathise with merchants who take cards and carry all the burden if the card is fraudulent. Fraud is rampant, and all the credit card companies do is back charge the merchants, and collect their 18% interest from people who shouldn't be buying stuff in the first place.

    I don't have a problem showing ID if asked nicely.

    For those paranoid about their privacy, use cash. The credit card company knows where you've been, when, and what you bought. Who knows what they'll do with that information, sell it to the highest bidder most likely. As for not signing your card, it isn't valid without a signature, and you do run the risk of having illegal use with an invlaid signature. Hell, I can sign my name ten different ways, what's to stop me faking a sig on the card then claiming it was bogus?

    When you consider where this world is headed, I think DNA sampling and fingerprinting should be mandatory at birth. Anything you do you use your fingerprint for, no worries about identity theft, complete security. Criminals will already have their DNA and prints on file, so collecting evidence and convicting is a breeze. A great deterent.

    And if you think I'm joking about the finger printing, try crossing the border in the future. They already have pilot programs in place which will photograph you and take your prints when you go for that weekend jaunt in Mexico or at a couple of Canadian crossings.

    Say hi to Big Brother for me.
     
  14. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Can someone clarify if in fact the merchant is on the hook for items purchased fraudulently? It seems odd that Visa would require the merchant to pay a transaction fee (2% or so), require him not to look at anything but the signature, and then leave him exposed for the loss. (Especially if all procedures were followed and the sig looked good.)

    Plus, it is the CC companies, not the merchants, that have the huge fraud investigation departments.
     
  15. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I looked into a merchant account a few years ago. The issuing bank required a security deposit of $40,000 to cover chargebacks, although part of that was for non card purchases (internet/phone). Using PayPal (which is basically a borrowed merchant account) sellers have very little recourse unless they adhere to strict policies, such as only shipping to confirmed addresses, and using shipping methods with signatured deliveries (which is very prohibitive on smaller items).

    A bogus card is a bogus card, whether presented in person with a fake signature or presented over the net. Either way, the merchant is likely on the hook.
     
  16. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Dome,

    I think you're one of the few people in retail who cares about this [​IMG]. Half the time I just sign the slip by drawing a line. Nobody has ever cared. Stores don't want to take a chance losing a sale by harassing people about their signature or ID -- they stand to lose more through lost sales than credit card theft.



    Have you ever done this? I'd imagine most stores would fire you for such an action. When the card turns out to be valid, you'd have to explain to the credit card company why they had to overnight a new card to the customer. You'd also would forever lose sales from the person.
     
  17. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    we all know that the issue isnt how "hard" it is to present your ID. the issue is that you are being asked to do something you are not required to do, and you know it. it is nice that you care, but you don't have to. the risks have already been worked out long before you were hired. if they wanted your opinion on credit card agreements, you would not be at a register. just pick your battles carefully.

    CJ
     
  18. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Well, that's the point. The credit card companies (or in this case, Paypal) issues a policy that must be adhered to if the merchant wants compensation for fraudulent transactions. As we've discussed, asking for photo ID is not part of the policy, but other things are. The policy is already designed to help control fraud, yet not be too inconvenient for the customer. As it was originally designed, using a CC was supposed to be easier than writing a check. But if it took the same amount of hassle, then where's the incentive?

    The merchant has two choices: adhere to the policy and be compensated in the event of a fraudulent transaction or not adhere to the policy and be liable for the cost of the item.

    So surely the bigwigs have done some calculating and have decided that it is STILL in their best interest to not adhere to the strict policy. The merchant is merely playing the odds. However, because most transactions are legit, even if there's no signature, etc I imagine they STILL come out ahead, even after factoring fraudulant transactions.

    It's all a game. If it was only profitable to adhere to Visa/Mastercard's policy, you can bet the retailers would be doing a much better job of making sure it happens.
     
  19. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    I think this is the bottom line.
     
  20. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    It's more mental than inconvenience. When someone asks you for ID, they are raising doubts about your authenticity -- it's an insult. After "having and taking care of kids, studying for class, working hard on the job, being fiscally responsible, and making sushi," the last thing you want is to be told that you do not look trust worthy, that you may be a thief.
     

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