View Full Version : Oh, and by the way . . . we can't accept cards.

10-30-2006, 05:46 PM
This was my own personal experience with a restaurant in my town (serves breakfast all day and rhymes with MyBop? Yeah, that one!).

My friend (friend 1) lost her mother to cancer about 5 years ago, so on the anniversary I decided to do something nice for her. We did a balloon release in the intermural field by my apt and went out for dinner at the restaurant of her choice, "MyBop." Our other friend (friend 2) went with us.

We all talked about the deaths in our families and how we dealt with them and then we just joked around and had a grand old time. Friend 1 said she was glad we did all of this and that it was the first time since her mom's death that she didn't feel alone on the anniversary.

Granted, what happened next didn't make the experience unbearable and horrible, but it sure threw a monkeywrench in the "good times" works.

We're ready to pay for our food and get out of there. I hand the lady my debit card. Her face falls.

Server: "I'm sorry, we can't accept cards of any kind today."
Me: " . . . Excuse me?"
Server: "Our card machine has been down because of the weather." (Tornado watch/warning in 3 counties)
Me: (Thinking "it sure would have been nice to know this BEFORE we decided to eat here!" but I'm trying not to be an SC) "Can you just take down my card information? I don't have any cash on me."
Server: *Looking at me like I'm crazy* "Uh . . . hang on, let me ask."

At this point my friends and I are looking at each other like we can't believe what's going on. We just want to go home and get out of the threatening weather.

Server: "No, we had to stop doing it manually."
Me: :wtf::cry: "Ok, well . . . if I had known then I would have brought cash. I don't have anything else."
Server: "Let me get my manager."

Manager comes over.

Manager: "You don't have anything else?
Me: "Sure don't. I guess if I have to I can go across the street and get money." (There is a Kroger on the other side of the street)
Manager: "Yeah, do that!"

So I leave Friend 2 there as collateral and go with Friend 1 across the street. I have to buy something to get money out, so I buy a pack of gum that I don't want and head back to MyBop.

We pay and I figure I should say something to the manager about this because this was really unacceptable. So, shaking as I had never done anything like this before and didn't want to come off as an SC, I tell the manager that this was an unacceptable inconvenience and that we should have been notified about the card situation. (I was also secretly hoping for some kind of compensation for my trouble in the form of a gift card or coupons. :devil: Didn't happen. Oh well.)

She assures me that they are telling customers and that we should have been told when we were seated. We describe the hostess to her and she assures us she will talk to her about it. As we leave I see her speaking to the hostess. Hopefully it didn't happen again.

Like I said, this wasn't a "the sky is falling down" situation, but it sure put a damper on the good mood that had been set in light of the circumstances.

IT Grunt
10-30-2006, 06:08 PM
I agree, at the very least they should have had a sign on the door saying that they can not accept cards due to equipment difficulties. Although many would have ignored it, at least it would have warned those who do read them. :D

10-30-2006, 06:20 PM
That sucks. I understand it happening, but still. I would have done the same thing.

Just said, I don't have a problem getting the cash, but I was never informed of this.

10-30-2006, 06:42 PM
I had something like that happen at the local diner once, but it wasn't their fault. There was a brief power outage, but it didn't happen until after we had gotten there, and already had our food. In fact, I don't think they even knew their machine got screwed up until they tried to run my card.

Fortunately, the manager knew we ate there frequently, and they'd we'd be back sooner or later, and just took down our information and let us pay next time, which I did. The manager actually seemed surprised that I paid. Apparently, he'd forgotten all about it, because he had to search for awhile to find out where he had written down our information.

11-03-2006, 04:14 AM
I once ate at a restaurant in Tennessee that as a general policy did not accept cards. The stupid thing is that although this was stated clearly on the windows alongside the door, it was stated in relatively small, plain white lettering that's VERY easy to miss.

I had to dash down the street to find an ATM while my gf waited at the table.

11-03-2006, 06:58 AM
I've gone to a couple places that doesn't accept credit or debit cards. One of the places is like a place that has breakfast, lunch, coffee, ice cream, and water ice. The other is an expensive Greek restaurant that I enjoy going to. In those cases, I check to make sure I have enough cash on me and I also check to see if I need to break a bill to get change for the tip.;)

11-03-2006, 07:11 AM
You guys should see the grief I go through because my store is cash only. There is a sign on the door and one on the counter too. No, they don't see them. What makes it bad for me is that I have to do a ton of voids because they don't want to use our ATM. I get bitched at, told to get with the times, you name it. Nothing I can do. I just work there.

11-04-2006, 05:02 AM
As far as I know (at least here in Alaska) any place that accepts credit cards as payment is required by law to have one of those hand machines in case of power outages.

And as for the manager.. maybe if they knew they were having a problem.. how about posting a sign at the front door and at the hostess station.. yes I know most people don't read signs but as a backup in case the hostess or the server forgot to mention the problem.

11-06-2006, 12:01 AM
At least if you actually have a sign up, you have some recourse when people get narky. In retail, it is not enough to simply cover your arse - you have to armour plate it.

Not that the OP was narky, not at all. She handled it much better than most would have. :)

11-06-2006, 12:25 AM
That does suck, but I agree that a sign posted at the door or in a front window would have been a good idea.

My favorite burger joint (a local place called What-A-Burger) doesn't take cards or checks at all. Cash only. So, anytime my mom and I plan to go there, we have to stop by the bank and get cash from the ATM (luckily, Walk-All-Over-You has a branch not far at the shopping center where my home store is.)

I did, however, run into a problem where the credit card machine wasn't working right at the PH I used to go to. But then, everyone knew me and it wasn't hard to find me at all (I worked at the WD right across the parking lot) and I made it back over there on my way home (after getting cash from the debit card machine at the store) to pay for my lunch.

11-06-2006, 01:02 AM
We had that happen at a Waffle House. There were no signs anywhere that they only accepted cash, so we just assumed they took credit/debit cards. It was our first time eating there.

My husband had to give them his information while he ran to an ATM, since their ATM was down.

We told them that it would help if they had sign on their door or even on their menu.

11-06-2006, 01:11 AM
DGoddess, What-A-Burger isn't local . . .we have 'em here and they have some terrific burgers. Love that BBQ Cheddar Burger. *drools* And they just advertized a new chicken sandwich with bacon, peppercorn ranch dressing, and pepperjack cheese. Oh. Em. Gee.