Credit Cards

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Zapheod
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Credit Cards

Postby Zapheod » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

There once was a time in the bygone days of yor when if you used a credit card the sales person would ask for the credit card and compare the signature on the back to the signature on the receipt. Now not only must I swipe my own credit card but the signature is stored electronically.

In an act of a)social defiance b) personal amusement and c) security testing I have stopped writing anything remotely like a signature. It began as a simple smily face and has progressed to faces with hair, nose, etc.. Most recently I have begun writing "this is not a signature" and have never once had any problems.

I can't imagine I am alone in this so please share a) anything you do with similar tools or b) things you do to thwart ramp security technology that, in fact, makes life less secure for all of us.

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mazzilliu
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby mazzilliu » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:15 pm UTC

there used to be an article floating somewhere on the internets about this guy that realized the same thing and started writing all sorts of outrageous things as his signature. then he tried to buy 3 giant TVs and signed "NOT AUTHORIZED" and the sales people didnt fall for it.

personally i just scribble some loops or a line or whatever because it also amuses me that they don't check the signature. your signature doesn't even really have to look like your name even when they're checking it, so long as it looks mostly the same every time(i suggest against making it obviously look like someone else's name).
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby villadelfia » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:44 pm UTC


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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Fossa » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

I was a cashier for two and a half years. I checked.

Occasionally I'd come across people who had written some variation of "Check ID" in place of a signature on their card. I always did, and whenever I did people were always shocked. Most, it seemed, had forgotten that they'd written that on their card since no one had ever carded them before.

From a cashier's perspective:

1) In training I was never actually told to check and compare the signatures, I just did it because I figured I should.
2) It slows you down which frustrates everyone.
3) It tends to irritate some of the customers (I guess they felt slighted?)
4) It tends to irritate the next person in line.

Aware of all this, I leave the back of my card blank. I refuse to support the myth that its a valid security measure.

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Sebeka2
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Sebeka2 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:07 pm UTC

mazzilliu wrote:there used to be an article floating somewhere on the internets about this guy that realized the same thing and started writing all sorts of outrageous things as his signature. then he tried to buy 3 giant TVs and signed "NOT AUTHORIZED" and the sales people didnt fall for it.

Madeline L'Engle supposedly did this with checks. She'd sign "Charlotte Bronte" or whoever she felt like impersonating that day.
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Endless Mike
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:41 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:Aware of all this, I leave the back of my card blank. I refuse to support the myth that its a valid security measure.

Most (all?) cards state that they are not valid without a signature. Not that many do, but they can deny you the use of your card if it's not signed. I agree that it's not valid security, but it's not like an unsigned card is somehow MORE secure except that some unlucky thief may run into a merchant who denies them the use of your card.

Of course, of the three cards I keep on me, only one has a signature you can even see. One has been completely worn off (and the card is good for three more years although I really should replace it since it seems like half of the machines out there can't even read it), and the last is extremely faded.

Also, when I was a cashier, we WERE trained to check every signature, and to be extra careful with American Expresses, to the point that we actually had to make an impression of them when we got one. It's no mystery why KMart lines are always the slowest.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Ramses IV » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

villadelfia wrote:This one: http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/


LOL! Those things are so funny. Hehehe.

Usually, I just sign my name. But sometimes I draw a bunch of overlapping and looping circles. Because, you know, it looks cool.

...Well, that's what I would do, if I used checks or credit cards.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Alomax » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

Technically you could dispute the charges on those oddly-signed receipts and probably succeed. Except for the fact that they will probably notice you account has a history of funny signatures.
The signature on the card (if you read the fine print on the back) is not really there for comparison, it's there as a form of agreement. You are agreeing by signing that card to comply with the rules of the contract. (ie, you have to pay them back) The signature on the receipt constitutes an acknowledgment that you have approved the charges.

Signature wrote:–noun
1. a person's name, or a mark representing it, as signed personally or by deputy, as in subscribing a letter or other document.

If you want to have your "mark" be a pair of stick figures, that's your business, and nobody can argue with you. I guess they might have issue with you signing it differently every time you use it, but not how you sign it.

I got into a heated debate with a coworker once over if having "See ID" on the back was ok. They argued that it wasn't a signature and therefore, by the rules of the CC company, was not a valid card yet. I argued that any mark can be a signature as long as it was consistent. I think we ended up agreeing to disagree.

BTW I "forge" customer signatures all the time. :p Where I work I know most of the customers by name, and when they're in the middle of a TF2 match they don't want to wait around for those extra seconds. So when the machine is done processing their $2 to $15 transaction I just scribble something and stick it in the drawer. The only way this would become an issue is if they disputed the charges, in which case the CC company would probably have a handwriting analyst scope it out. In 5 years of doing this at various places, I have only had one charge be rejected by the bank. It was a $6 charge (lol) and the person had written, very clearly, "Boobs".
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Fossa » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

I know the card isn't valid until I sign it. Hasn't stopped me from using it as is for the past 4 years. I'm not saying its magically more secure, just that I refuse to take part in a worthless imitation of a security measure to begin with.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Ramses IV » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:04 am UTC

villadelfia wrote:This one: http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/


Oh my god! I just finished reading all the VISA Stories and the one about Michael Jackson's Credit Card. Had me honestly loling.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby kgirlfae » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:30 am UTC

As a retail clerk I guess I'm one of the oddballs.

I check every card against the signature, and if it doesn't match I ask for ID. If the card isn't signed I ask for ID, verify the name matches the card and the picture matches the person, then hand them a pen and let them know the smart move is to sign the card (I had my card stolen and the guy signed over my very faded signature with a sharpie. Because the signature matched the card he got past someone doing the "checking the signature" gig - this is why I always sign my cards now and always with sharpie). Finally, if it says anything like "Check ID" I always do. Mine says that and it really bugs me how few people actually check.

In general responses to these measures are pleasant. Most customers are happy we're taking measures to keep things safe, and the ones that aren't are usually asses to begin with.

Once and only once have I had someone throw a total hover the top fit because their card wasn't signed and they refused to provide ID. I watched them go into another store across the hall from us in the mall and use their card no problem. Talking to the clerk a few weeks later, surprise surprise the charge was disputed ($100 loss for that store) because it was stolen.

So the advice I usually give people, both working in retail and having had my card stolen:

- Sign your card! Not everyone checks, but the clerk that does could save you some serious stolen charges. And if you don't sign your card, someone who steals it can very very easily thus bypassing the verification of the signature.
- Sign your card in fine point sharpie - it's usually the longest lasting pen.
- Put "CID" or the more polite "Please ask for ID" on the card next to your signature. This way it is valid from the signed legality of the agreement, and even if just one clerk checks, the same goes as before - that could put an end to your stolen card being used.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Sandry » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:33 am UTC

Y'know how many places the slip you're signing will have your name printed out beneath the line? One of the local music/comic book stores around here has "CUSTOMER SIGNATURE" print out on every slip. I've asked two different cashiers there if they've ever had someone give it to them signed "Customer Signature", and apparently no dice.

Then again, I guess I'm not doing it either, so I clearly should be the change I want to see in the world </use of cliched, retarded fridge magnet in entirely inappropriate circumstances>.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby hestia » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

I am required to check at work. It usually comes in the form of we have to type the last for digits of a Visa and the security number for AMEX so you just take a look at the signature then. When they sign the pad it shows up on my monitor and I can approve or disapprove of it. If there is no signature I always check ID. I have wondered though if different stores might not have all of these measures because whenever I am at the grocery store they never ask for my card and my signature goes through without any interaction by the cashier. Perhaps I should try writing something silly and see if it makes a difference.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby The Hyphenator » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:11 am UTC

villadelfia wrote:This one: http://www.zug.com/pranks/credit/

Beat me to it.

I'd never have the guts to pull anything like that off, though. There'd still be the suspicion that they might actually check it, this time.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby J Spade » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:28 am UTC

msfayzer wrote:because whenever I am at the grocery store they never ask for my card and my signature goes through without any interaction by the cashier.


"I just stole a credit card, dude? What should we blow someone's money on?"
"Groceries! :D"
"Totally!"

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:54 am UTC

Fossa wrote:1) In training I was never actually told to check and compare the signatures, I just did it because I figured I should.

Most (I know Visa, American Express, and Mastercard.. probably Discover as well) Credit Card Companies have, as part of their agreement with the company in question, a clause that states that the store will not ask for ID if the card is signed, but to compare signatures and, if they don't match to the cashier's satisfaction, if I'm remembering correctly the proper protocol is that the entire transaction is to be voided.

Which is stupid if you ask me, but it's something like that. Imma look up the contracts.

*edit* Okay, from Visa's website..
4. Match the numbers. Check the embossed number on the card against the four digits of the account number displayed on the terminal.
5. Request a signature. Have the cardholder sign the transaction receipt.
6. Check the signature. Be sure that the signature on the card matches the one the transaction receipt.

If you suspect fraud, immediately make a Code 10 call to your voice authorization center.

So.. lemme get this straight, Mr. Visa who can't respond back but I'm addressing just to make a point.... I, the Cashier, who's gone through exactly 0.00000 hours of handwriting analysis training am supposed to run the card when it's signed, compare signatures and.. if in my opinion as an untrained layperson, the signatures don't match, I'm supposed to make a phonecall. While the customer is standing there like a dumbass. And the line is getting longer behind them because it's Christmas. And as far as the customer can tell, the transaction went off without a hitch, so I've got to make up a reason to call in, I guess. Or am I supposed to let them go on their merry way and call the company while the rest of the people in line glare at me because I'm not ringing out the next person?

Or do you expect me to ring out the next people while I'm dealing with Authorization Hell?

Yeah, I'll just ask for an ID, kthnx.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby hestia » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:48 am UTC

J Spade wrote:
msfayzer wrote:because whenever I am at the grocery store they never ask for my card and my signature goes through without any interaction by the cashier.


"I just stole a credit card, dude? What should we blow someone's money on?"
"Groceries! :D"
"Totally!"


Price of food is going up, you never know :lol:
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby MoonBuggy » Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:05 pm UTC

Just because it hasn't been mentioned yet: in the UK they've replaced signatures with PINs. It's not perfect, but it does strike me as being a little better than signatures, especially since your PIN isn't written helpfully on the back of the card ready for when someone steals it.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby hipp5 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

For some reason my credit card hasn't been asking for a signature lately. The receipts come out with no signature line.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby 3fj » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

As a cashier, im told to check signatures on things that are swiped, not chip and pin. If you know the pin and its not your card, good for you. Why try and "trick" a cashier, when you could loot their card at a machine? The 4.95 meal they ordered is not the worst of your problems.

And i check properly when it is signed. So its all good.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby EdB » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:12 pm UTC

Used to have very long hair and a beard long enough that hairs exited the bottom of a fist wrapped around it and under my chin. Quite the hairy fellow eh? So my credit cards all had a signature AND said "check ID". No one ever did. On a whim I shaved my chin and cut my hair back to "military recruit" length. Then went overseas for 4 months with my job. Still no one checked my ID. Finally back home I did a bit of shopping at one of the big box stores and finally a cashier actually looked at the back of the card, and actually asked to see my ID. hmmm... So I gave her my "hairy guy" license and waited. She said "you got a haircut but the same glasses - yeah it's you".

Only one card of three is used in the tubes. If it's not online it's not going to be lost due to some dumbass store not keeping it under wraps. I don't even check statements online. Not credit cards, not banks, not even utility bills. Nothing! Money and the interweb simply don't mix ... or rather they mix up too much. I also cut 'em up when they feel old and when the balance is greater than two thirds my limit. I figure it's time to pay that one down, and I also know any new charges are false, so reviewing those statements is pretty easy. Eventually if I want to use the card again I call 'em up and say I need a new one so I can treat myself to expensive stuff. (Next card that makes it to zero will be canceled, so that'll further reduce my risk of fraudulent activity. No cards means no card fraud right?)

Oh and when you go to cancel a card do not let them tell you that you can re-activate it. CANCEL means CANCEL and if they don't get it immediately tell them to escalate to the next level because they are an idiot. There is always a next level above whoever answers the phone, so escalate and do not accept a condition where re-activation is possible.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Mercurius » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:30 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:Just because it hasn't been mentioned yet: in the UK they've replaced signatures with PINs. It's not perfect, but it does strike me as being a little better than signatures, especially since your PIN isn't written helpfully on the back of the card ready for when someone steals it.


Yes, I much prefer the chip and pin technology, though to be really useful it needs to be longer, and include letters. When I worked in a store, that made life so much easier. Since some people had old or incompatible cards, I would occasionally have to check the signature, but because it was such a rare thing, I was sure to do it properly. But otherwise its a "can you please enter your pin sir/madam?" and keeping the transaction receipts in case the coppers ever do come around.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby kgirlfae » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

msfayzer wrote:Price of food is going up, you never know :lol:



Actually, I learned a few years back the way thieves test whether or not a stolen card has been reported is to use it at a gas station or a supermarket, for low dollar amount purchases. If it refuses to authorize they know to give up on the card. This is why when many people buy a tank of gas before going to the mall to spend their life savings on a new wardrobe, they tend to find their card won't authorize. Apparently "Gas and then shopping" is flagged as suspicious behavior.

As a thief, this has the added benefit of getting you a free tank of very expensive gas.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Delbin » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:03 pm UTC

msfayzer wrote:"Groceries! :D"
"Totally!"

If I were to steal a card, I'd totally get groceries. $100 for a couple weeks of food is a bit much.

hipp5 wrote:For some reason my credit card hasn't been asking for a signature lately. The receipts come out with no signature line.

Some food places don't ask for them for purchases under $10. Yesterday I was surprised when I wasn't asked for a card for a $25 purchase.

EdB wrote: Eventually if I want to use the card again I call 'em up and say I need a new one so I can treat myself to expensive stuff. (Next card that makes it to zero will be canceled, so that'll further reduce my risk of fraudulent activity. No cards means no card fraud right?)

It might reduce your risk, but it also hurts your credit rating. Something like 15% of your credit score is the difference between your available credit and your used credit. It also shortens your credit history which is another factor they consider.

I personally check when it says check ID. Otherwise the people already have accounts and I just have to match names up.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby hipp5 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:21 am UTC

Delbin wrote:
hipp5 wrote:For some reason my credit card hasn't been asking for a signature lately. The receipts come out with no signature line.

Some food places don't ask for them for purchases under $10. Yesterday I was surprised when I wasn't asked for a card for a $25 purchase.


It's actually been at the grocery store for ~$35 purchases.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby mazzilliu » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:39 am UTC

at every fast food place i can remember, they never ask for a signature with a credit card. i think that's mostly because their food is worthless in the first place and even if they were ripped off regularly they wouldn't care. back when i worked at a grocery store they were pretty paranoid about people stealing the steaks, because that was the most valuable thing the place sold. most of the time stuff got stolen because people put them in their pants and walked out, though. V :roll: V
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby benjhuey » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:48 am UTC

hipp5 wrote:
Delbin wrote:
hipp5 wrote:For some reason my credit card hasn't been asking for a signature lately. The receipts come out with no signature line.

Some food places don't ask for them for purchases under $10. Yesterday I was surprised when I wasn't asked for a card for a $25 purchase.

It's actually been at the grocery store for ~$35 purchases.

My grocery store very recently stopped taking signatures for anything under $25. I've never checked anyone's signature anyway nor have I had anyone check mine (but I rarely use credit).
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby crowey » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

Mercurius wrote:
MoonBuggy wrote:Just because it hasn't been mentioned yet: in the UK they've replaced signatures with PINs. It's not perfect, but it does strike me as being a little better than signatures, especially since your PIN isn't written helpfully on the back of the card ready for when someone steals it.


Yes, I much prefer the chip and pin technology, though to be really useful it needs to be longer, and include letters. When I worked in a store, that made life so much easier. Since some people had old or incompatible cards, I would occasionally have to check the signature, but because it was such a rare thing, I was sure to do it properly. But otherwise its a "can you please enter your pin sir/madam?" and keeping the transaction receipts in case the coppers ever do come around.


I like it too, my signature is woefully inconsitant and the cashiers always seem to check....
On the down side, chip and PIN moves the fraud responsibility from the seller to the card holder. Now if someone uses your card you must have given them your PIN first so it's your fault, before they could have just faked your signature so it was the seller's fault for not IDing.

or something like that.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby MoonBuggy » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

Although they might claim that it moves the burden of responsibility, the banking code by which they are bound disagrees. The banks still have to prove negligence on your part, not the other way around, and the simple fact that your PIN has somehow found it's way into someone else's hands is not proof in itself.

They'd like people to think otherwise, for obvious reasons, but luckily it's not up to them on this one :)
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby crowey » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

Surely that your PIN is in someone else's hands does prove negligence, since you shouldn't tell anyone or write it down and keep it with your card. So someone finding out your PIN is only going to happen if you're negligent.... :?

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby MoonBuggy » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

That's operating on the assumption that both the PIN pads in shops and the computer systems used by the banks are 100% secure, and that assumption is unfounded. More secure than a signature? Almost certainly, and I think it's a positive step, but there are demonstrated attacks against the machines. Admittedly I certainly wouldn't like to be the one going up against a bank in a case like this, even with the facts completely on my side, but I thought it was worth pointing out that it's not as clear cut as the companies might imply.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Random832 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

Fossa wrote:Occasionally I'd come across people who had written some variation of "Check ID" in place of a signature on their card. I always did, and whenever I did people were always shocked. Most, it seemed, had forgotten that they'd written that on their card since no one had ever carded them before.


Some merchant agreements don't allow checking ID even if the card says check ID on the back.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby 3fj » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:17 pm UTC

After a brief search, and finding no "LOLZ i owe teh universe moneys!!!11" thread (note: not the actual search criteria) i can only assume its acceptable to discuss any debit you've ran up on a credit card here too (feel free to correct/berate/throw things at me if im wrong):

So being a student, and this being bonnie Scotland, i get paid £500 (only 1/2 of which i have to pay back) per month to go to uni with. Unfortunately, i also have rent to pay when im not studying, and so i've gathered quite an amount for someone who isn't 18 yet. I owe the university £405 for rent, my flatmate £90 for groceries, and soon (£300 - fair chunk of wages) to pay for my current rent/utillites. Bring on the first credit card, 1 week after i turn 18. Yay!
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby MoonBuggy » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

3fj wrote:So being a student, and this being bonnie Scotland, i get paid £500 (only 1/2 of which i have to pay back) per month to go to uni with.

Did I ever mention that I hate you :evil:
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby 0.0 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

My friend back in highschool (12 years ago) wrote "check ID" on the signature line of his credit card. One time while checking out at a Walmart, the clerk would not accept his card because it didn't have a signature on it. He argued for awhile, but SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT A CARD WITH NO SIGNATURE. We left.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

3fj wrote:So being a student, and this being bonnie Scotland, and me coming from anywhere in the world except england i get paid £500 (only 1/2 of which i have to pay back) per month to go to uni with.


fix'd for more full truth.

As for fastfood being worthless, I'd totally raid a mcdonalds in a devatation: the food does not go off.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Awia » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:
3fj wrote:So being a student, and this being bonnie Scotland, and me coming from anywhere in the world except england i get paid £500 (only 1/2 of which i have to pay back) per month to go to uni with.


fix'd for more full truth.

As for fastfood being worthless, I'd totally raid a mcdonalds in a devatation: the food does not go off.


I do not recommend raiding a Mcdonalds in a zombie invasion, you cannot escape zombies if you are fat, you would just provide more nourishment for them.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:28 pm UTC

Well obviously it's not the only place I'd raid, but for longevity of foodstuffs, it'd certainly be considered.
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Re: Credit Cards

Postby 3fj » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:33 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:As for fastfood being worthless, I'd totally raid a mcdonalds in a devatation: the food does not taste off.

Fix'd for full truth :twisted:

Nah, but Srsly, check your Apple pies when you get them. No number on the spot on the wee tabs = possibly been left for all day/switched boxes after it should have been thrown out.

Also, be aware that whilst the food is never off (in the sense that it should probably new grow mold before cooked); it may be left for longer than necessarily means it's hot/good.

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Re: Credit Cards

Postby Philwelch » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:59 am UTC

I use the signature line to write commentary about the service. Like, even when it's a paper receipt.

No one's ever stopped me.

(BTW: The next shop that asks to see my ID is getting their ass reported to Mastercard.)
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