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Rine
08-14-2006, 06:58 AM
Okay, I wasn't sure where exactly to post this or how to title the post, but anyway...I need some thoughts about a situation I experienced yesterday.

My store has store credit cards. Yesterday I'm working and another cashier calls me. There's a lady at her cashwrap that has a piece of paper with a credit card number written on it, along with the expiration date. The customer told her that it wasn't her card--it was her grandmother's. Cashier wants to know if she should take it and I tell her "no!" Cashier recognized the number as being one of our store Mastercards. Okay. So, I tell the cashier to ask the customer if she's an authorized user on the account and the customer is not. I go down to the cashwrap and I tell the customer that, you know, if the card holder isn't here, we shouldn't take the card.

Customer gets snotty with me and tells me that "we've done it before, many times." She said she can call her grandmother and verify it. But I'm uncomfortable doing this, since it's just as easy to get someone to pretend to be "grandmother." I don't know; maybe I overreacted. But I told her that I wouldn't accept the credit card without the card holder present. Seems logical to me. So I ask if she'd like to speak with a manager to see what they say and she declines. The entire time, the customer was very rude with us even though we were trying to help her out.

Anyway, after customer leaves in a huff, I talked to LP about it and explained what happened and he said that was right to decline the transaction. I call the other cashwrap to tell them to not take the written account number, but it's too late and apparently they had a manager approve it.

This bothers me very much as I would be upset if someone had my store credit card number and expiration date and was able to use it. Even if they called and had it "verified." Because if they managed to steal my credit card information, what's to stop them from picking up my driver's license number or social security number? (Those two things were used to verify the card over the phone. Manager called grandmother, etc.)

The manager that approved it later told me that as long as we can "verify" it, we can accept the store credit card. But like I said in the previous paragraph, how can you really verify the card of someone not physically there?

But now that I think about it, this sort of thing happens whenever we take phone orders (meaning, we just look up the store credit card with a SS number and verify it with a driver's license), so I'm not sure what to think or whose advice to go on...security or the manager's?

So, what do you guys think? Was it okay to accept the written account number and expiration date? Mind you, if it had been a third party credit card, we wouldn't accept it at all, but since it's a store Mastercard, there apparently is some lee way. Whatever. Thanks. :)

(I keep having a thought though--if she has used her grandma's card so much, then why doesn't she just have grannie add her as an authorized user and she can get a card it her name? Customers are weird. :confused:)

BrightEyedKitty
08-14-2006, 01:13 PM
I had a kid do the same thing, his parents went out of town and left him the credit card number and expiration written on a piece of paper. When he called to place the order, he asked if he could use it. I told him I'd allow it if he brought his ID.

As far as I'm concerned, that way 1. I don't lose a legitimate sale, and 2. If he did end up stealing the card number, now the cops will know who he is and where to find him. :D

strawbabies
08-14-2006, 02:34 PM
Rine, I think you did absolutely the right thing. It would've been your butt on the line if Granny for some reason decided that purchase on her card was not okay with her.

Becks
08-14-2006, 03:31 PM
Rine, you were absolutely correct in what you did. You made good points, too.

Erin
08-14-2006, 07:11 PM
When my cousin was in college, she had roommates that had taken her store credit card for Best Buy. (my cousin has heart problems, and was in and out of the hospital during college, so she didnt notice the theft right away)

These roommates ended up buying several computers, t.v.'s, stereo systems, and game systems before my cousin and my aunt noticed. For some reason Best Buy refused to believe it wasnt my cousin, and since she hadnt reported it stolen immediately, she was responsible for the charges. These girls had the card for months before it was noticed, and when the bills came in the mail, they hid it so my cousin wouldnt figure it out. It wasnt until Best Buy sent the bill to a collections agency that it was discovered.

My aunt ended up paying nearly $10,000 for the roommates spending spree, and my cousin ended up with a suspicious nature when it comes to friends and roommates.

I'm really hoping karma beats those roommates of my cousin's with a very large stick.

These girls also got a hold of my cousin's debit card that was only to be used for school related purchases. They memorized the numbers and used it to order pizzas, and other stuff. They really need karma to kick them in the ass.

wagegoth
08-15-2006, 05:15 AM
My aunt ended up paying nearly $10,000 for the roommates spending spree, and my cousin ended up with a suspicious nature when it comes to friends and roommates.

This is exactly why Rine did the right thing. Even if the manager did talk to the grandmother, the grandmother could deny it later, and, because the store approved it, they would be out the chargeback.

Frankly, Best Buy had no right to push your cousin on that. The roommates could be charged federally for stealing her mail. That's a felony. Depending on how long ago it was, they could still be charged. It would be good leverage to get money out of them.

Many times people pay bills because they're afraid of the black mark on their credit, but with your cousin's health history, and Best Buy's failure to confirm ID when accepting the card (especially after the bill had not been paid for months), it was really Best Buy's problem.

This is why paying a decent lawyer for a couple of hours of their time can pay off big in the long run. The proper letter on a lawyer's letterhead to the right person can do wonders.

It would have cost Best Buy a lot more money to take your cousin to court for that amount of money after they paid their lawyer and representative to appear. That's why they bullied a sick girl and her stressed-out mother.

JourneyofThought
08-15-2006, 10:46 PM
Rine - I worked for the same chain you do (I can tell by the words your using ) for five years as a cashier. Im not sure if you want everyone to know who it is, so I wont say it.

The offical company policy is that you are not take it. The only thing the customer can do is get the orginal cardholder to call the credit card company and get them to add the customer as an authorized user. It can be done immediately, and then you can search by that customer's SSN and there name will come up as a user on the account. Then you put in the License info, etc.

However, the reality seems to be that the policy varies by store. At the store I worked at, it seemed to change daily - some days people would get away with it, sometimes they wouldnt. But, atleast as far as policy goes, the store isnt supposed to take it in that situation.

But then again, for our company, since when did policy _ever_ matter?

(by the way, first post, yay me)

alphaboi
08-16-2006, 02:50 AM
I can't believe that there are really stores that'll allow customers to just write their card# on a piece of paper for a face-to-face transaction. I didn't even know it was legal! Not that I haven't had people try to do just that.

Erin
08-16-2006, 02:54 AM
That's why they bullied a sick girl and her stressed-out mother.

I think my aunt and my cousin were just so happy that my cousin was alive that they went ahead and paid the bill. My aunt is one of those people who doesnt want to get anyone mad at her. My cousin was also going thru a lot of crap at the time. Her dad had died several years before, her ex-boyfriend was stalking her and beating her (she finally got away from him) and then her heart was having all sorts of problems. I think my aunt and cousin just took it as a lesson learned. They cancelled most of my cousin's credit cards, and my cousin got rid of her "friends", and she's now totally paranoid about trusting people.

stormtreader
08-16-2006, 08:46 AM
I think i would have marched in there and smashed it all up as well - she paid for it, right? I dont think they should get to keep the stuff that they basically stole from her :mad:

Rine
08-18-2006, 04:58 AM
The offical company policy is that you are not take it. The only thing the customer can do is get the orginal cardholder to call the credit card company and get them to add the customer as an authorized user. It can be done immediately, and then you can search by that customer's SSN and there name will come up as a user on the account. Then you put in the License info, etc.

I knew it! Ugh, that makes me so mad. I tried talking to the manager that authorized the transaction that we probably shouldn't take the transaction, but she told me, "well, company policy says...blah blah." Company policy doesn't make sense then!

And you are right, seems like our policies change every day and no one really cares.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your thoughts. I'm glad that I wasn't just being paranoid. :lol: