Confirm? Yes/No.

Theft is prevalent nowadays: stolen credit cards, identity theft, online scamming, you name it. You have to watch your back, and today's systems have built-in checks for you to confirm and have a chance to deny / dispute any transactions before they're cast in stone.

When you're at the supermarket and paying by credit card, they run up your groceries on the till. Beep-beep-beep as the produce flies by, carefully weighed on the scale with the bar code reader, and your eyes are glued to the scrolling screen to make sure they don't pull a fast one on you. And, of course, to check that you're getting that member's special discounted club price for those items, which is the whole reason you drag that thick club card with you which is no good for anything else other than getting you that second 4L tub of ice cream for $2 less.

swipe here, with your card oriented in the exact opposite way of how you do it the first timeYou get a total on the screen, and you swipe your credit card through the reader. (Note that your card never has to leave your own hands, eliminating the opportunity of crooked clerks making a second imprint to duplicate it.)

Processing, please wait ...

You carefully put your card back in your wallet/purse and the total comes up on the little LCD.

$15.23. Confirm? Yes / No.

This is (obviously) to make sure that the number they plan to charge on your card is the same as you saw flashing up on their colour monitor, so you don't have $15.23 in groceries and have them charge you $105.23 on the card instead with the clerk pocketing $90.

But before you've even had a chance to look at the number and process that it's right -- heck, even if you have agreed that the price is right, you're still looking for the YES button, because it's usually had the word worn off it and you have to guess at the button only because it's next to the NO. And it doesn't help that they don't make it green and red for YES and NO -- they're grey like everything else on the keypad. And the green button is ENTER, which doesn't register as a YES.

I mean, what's the point of letting me check it, if they're not going to let me check it easily?? Anyway, before you've had any opportunity to work through any of these things, the impatient 99 Ranch clerk reaches across the machine and presses YES for you.

... and that's when I got really mad. Everything that happened was a blur, Your Honour.


Anonymous said...

Although I hate carrying cash around with me, it might just be easier (and safer), hu? I actually had 2 "episodes" with my debit card. The first was at Safeway where I bought, like $3 of groceries, but the machine 'hiccupped' and ran the amount twice. I figured it's no big deal - I probably deserve it for drinking those Snapples while shopping and putting em back on the shelf. =) But, the second time was as Arco when I ran my card inside while some dude paid at the outside booth - for the same pump. I told the stupid dude inside and he said it would be fine. Well - I ended up getting $60 worth of gas that day!! That sucked! I disputed it with the dude for a few weeks and he just gave me $30 back out of his pocket. Oh well. I still hate carrying cash with me.

Anonymous said...

I can never keep track of watching them scan in stuff b/c I don't remember the prices I thought the items would be anyway. =P ~ miscmusings