Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

How embarrassment!

A couple of days ago, I got my hair cut (no, that's not why I'm embarrassed). I only get my hair cut about once a year, so when I get it cut, I tend to go somewhere good - which usually means somewhere that costs (in this case $80). If I was to get it trimmed, I might go somewhere cheaper, but for a style cut, I'm prepared to pay the money to get a cut that sits right.

Anyway, the point of my tale is that my card wouldn't scan through their machine. I had been having some trouble with it, so I had ordered a new one, but it wasn't due to come in until the next day. So I just tell them, "you can just punch in the numbers if it isn't scanning properly", which they do, but it turns out that it wouldn't go through for this particular salon - there's a stop that's been put on manual entry.

This causes me a major problem. I don't get paid until tonight. Each fortnight most of my wage gets put straight into a savings account which I can't access instantly (for good reason - I have no willpower otherwise). I pay for everything on credit card and then pull the money from the savings account to pay for the credit card each month. So this means that I have less than $20 in my account and I have about $50 on me (ie less than the cost of the haircut).

And of course, this is a service industry. It's not like I can give the haircut back and buy it another time. I was so embarrassed. This is a first for me - I've never not been able to pay for something before.

We sort it out. They keep my driver's licence and I promise to go back the next day when my card has come in. All things considered, they were very nice about it. But then, I guess the problem was partially theirs since they didn't have a back-up mechanism for when cards wouldn't scan (which I know happens all the time).

So anyway, the next day I grab the card from the bank and go back to pay and get my licence back. And so the story has a happy ending.

But I'm chatting to the guy at the salon as he's putting through the sale, and apparently he was told that they can't do manual entry because it's fraud! Now this just doesn't make any sense - the machines have the capability for manual entry, the big stores like Woolies and Coles can do it, and anyway, how is this any different from internet purchases and payments? It's more secure than that actually, because they are still getting my signature. And they've seen my driver's licence. So it's not like there's any doubt that it's me. It just seems perfectly ridiculous to me. But there you go.

Oh, and I'm very happy with the cut.

Listening to: Tylea and the Imaginary Music Score - eponymous


Blogger Diana Gallagher said...

Maybe fraud is a poor term for him to use, but the main issue is that you don't need the card to do it, so it's more a wait...hang on...using someone elses numbers to pay for something. Uh, that's fraud isn't it?!
Perhaps he should have just said it's a card security issue, and then I wouldn't be so confused, even though I wasn't even there :)

12:43 pm  
Blogger OLS said...

Di - it's only fraud if you intentionally use someone else's numbers to pay for something. But I wasn't even worried about the words used. I just can't see the difference between manually punching the numbers into the machine when the card won't swipe, and using the card to pay for stuff over the net. They STILL get better credit card security because they (a) see the card and the name it's issued in; and (b) I still have to sign the receipt.

I just don't get it.


12:52 pm  

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