credit card signatures (again)

Ok, I did a search on the boards, and I came up with a few topics, but none matched what I’m trying to find out. I got in a heated argument with a customer the other night, and I took her card anyway.

Customer comes up, pays for order with a card, which she hands to me (In drive-thru, I have to swipe it myself.) I make a comment about how she should sign the back of her card because it just says “Ask for ID.” She comes back with: “No, it’s perfectly valid. Call the credit card company and ask.” I say “Do we look like a CC company? Not only are we able to refuse you service for any reason, doing so for a valid reason like this happens more often than you think.” By this point, I’d already processed it, so it really didn’t matter.

My question is: Is writing “Ask for ID” really valid? I can’t picture that being someone’s signature. :stuck_out_tongue:

I can, of course refuse them service, right? (Unless they sign their sig in the box, lol) I’m not too worried about a manager overturning this. I can convince all of them but the store manager of anything. )

My 2nd question, and I’m pretty sure I’m right on this: If it’s not signed at all, then I know for sure that I certainly CAN and should refuse them service, unless they sign it right there, correct?

I’m not sure about the legalities of it… I’m pretty sure that you’re right that you have the right to refuse any particular form of payment you like, but I’m not sure that you ‘should’ refuse that particular credit card.

I’ve heard of the ‘ask for id’ in the signature space. The idea, as I’ve heard it, is that if you sign the card you’re making cure that anyone who steals your credit card also has a sample of the signature in order to forge it on register slips.
On the other hand, if you mark that, then hopefully anybody who looks at the back of the credit card when you give it to them (and is willing to,) will ask you to present your driver’s license to identify yourself. As long as the merchant is willing to do this, it seems to make sense to me.

That’s my $0.02 on the subject.

It says right on the back of the card NOT VALID UNLESS SIGNED. What part of that phrase is confusing?

Unless the cardholder’s name is “Ask for ID” then writing “Ask for ID” in the signature space means that the cardholder has made the card invalid.

Othrs have commented in other threads that some card issuers state in the merchant’s agreement that the merchant is not permitted to ask for additional ID. Not having reviewed a merchant agreement I have no first-hand knowledge of the truth of that statement.

Dimwitted customers will continue to write “Ask for ID” on their cards as long as merchants continue to accept them.

Let’s say that I steal your unsigned credit card and attempt to make a purchase with it. The clerk looks at the back and sees that it is unsigned. Would you want the clerk to accept the card after I signed your name to it in my handwriting directly in front of him/her? One reason for having the signature on the card is so that clerks can compare the signature on the card to the signature on the receipt that you sign in their presence. It makes no sense to allow someone to sign an unsigned card in front of you and then run the purchase on it.

Which is why the cardholder is required to report a lost or stolen card ASAP so that the issuer can deactivate the existing card. It doesn’t matter if the thief has your signature if the issuer has deactivated the card.

None of it, to me, anyway. I find it funny, though, that I’ve had mine for at least 6 months now, never signed it, and never once have I run into a problem with it. Especially funny, considering it’s in my mom’s name (I’m not 18). I don’t think I look much like a Lori.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is exactly the point I try to get across to people. I’ve wanted to punch my cow-orkers in the face for trying to contradict me there.

From Visa’s web site

Instead of arguing with a customer like that, take her card, and then ask to see her ID. Then make her give you a second form of ID. Then tell her that you’re going to have to run some checks on it, and ask her to pull forward into the “waiting for my food” area. Then make her wait. And wait some more. And wait some more. Twenty minutes ought to do the trick. :wink:

It is the accepted procedure in this situation to request a valid photo ID (this is usually one of only two circumstances under which the merchant agreement allows the merchant to request ID), ask them to sign the card in your presence, and compare the signature on the ID with the signature on the card. The merchant agreement will also allow the merchant to request ID if it appears the signature on the sales slip does not match the one on the card.

What about when the signature wears off from repeated swiping?
Not that I overuse mine or anything, just asking.

Mine says “please see id” and has my signature.

Problem solved. Reminds the clerk to check for ID, but is still valid with my pretty little 'ol name on it.

You should contact your issuing bank and request a replacement. I’ve also seen many people who cover the signature strip with cellophane tape to protect it, and this seems like a sensible idea to me.

Most of these answers are soooo twentieth century. In how many places today does an employee actually touch your debit/credit card? Most businesses now either let/require you to do your own card swipe or a machine gobbles it up, reads it, and spits it back out.

For the record, I’ve never signed my credit cards and have never had it questioned over a period of a lot of years of usage. Why give a thief a copy of my signature?

Two reasons. One is because if you leave the card unsigned, a thief needs merely to sign his own version there, and the signature on the sales slip will then match automatically. The other is that if the card issuer determines that this is, in fact, what happened you will be held liable for ALL fradulent transactions.

Oh, no (Og, I’m hijacking my own thread.)

And on the subject where the cc company prints your picture and signature on the front of the card, and leaves the same little box on the back, with the same “not valid unless signed here” or whatever, and they still have it unsigned, I get to turn them down, right?

I hope so. IME, they’ve been the snootiest “I’m better than you because you are the one doing MY work, you subservient bastard!” type. They also seem to know better than me in that they “don’t have to sign the back; it’s signed on the front.”

(I disagree.)

The signature on the back of my credit card is a line. I sign everything with a line, mostly because I cannot sign my name legibly anyways and therefore less embarrassing for me. From my experience not to many people look at the back of the card these days to compare the signatures. Also, if anybody hassled me about my line signature I would admittedly demand the manager, or else swipe my card back and walk out; I despise being hassled by customer service industry.

You know, these acceptance procedures and policies are in place for your protection. People like you, who give workers in the retail industry a hard time when they try to enforce them, are one of the prime reasons that CC fraud is so rampant. And guess what? You’re paying for it, in the form of higher finance charges. Have a nice day.

I have always found the signature portion hokey anyways. It is so easy to mimick a signature close enough for the merchant to accept the card, that it is nearth worthless. A picture ID on the card, like some CC companies are doing now, makes much more sense to me to prevent unauthorized usage – without invading privacy like a finger print or something.

Well, I suppose I could go and put my name on it, then. (“It” is a credit/debit/ATM card.) I’ve been writing “ask to see photo i.d.” on the back for several years and absolutely nobody who swipes the card seems to mind.

I believe there is a federal law that limits your liability to $50, and that you have no liability at all if you immediately contact the issuer.