This is yet another example of the shit that absolutely shocked me during my brief stint in retail. Rules are there for a reason. So are laws. Identity theft is a very real problem. It isn’t just the consumer’s problem. It’s also the problem of every company that gets duped by a fake ID and then stuck with the bill when the customer screams fraud. And yet…..there apparently exists a world where people have nothing to fear and have never been victimized. The procedure is simple. When the customer hands over the credit card, you ask for ID. The process takes about a minute for sales associates to verify that the card user and the ID match.
A young woman came running up to the jewelry counter, out-of-breath. She slid an umbrella and a pair of shoes across the counter.
“Will this be all for you,” I asked?
“Yes,” she huffed and puffed. “I’m also in a hurry.”
Of course you are.
“That will be $253. Would you like to put this on your store credit card?”
“No,” she passed a different credit card along the counter along with her driver’s license. Except that it wasn’t her driver’s license it belonged to a gentleman, her husband, perhaps. The name on the credit card, however, matched the name on the driver’s license.
I scrunched my forehead, “Um….this doesn’t look like you.”
“That’s because it’s my husband,” she chuckled.
I rolled my lips inward, chewing on my next words. “Where is he?”
“Out in the car. Can you please hurry?”
“The things is I can’t accept this credit card unless your husband is present.”
“Why? I gave you his driver’s license.”
“Yes. But….he still has to be here. The license doesn’t do any good.”
“Are you serious?” Oh how I love the sound of agitation brewing.
“Unfortunately. Is there another form of payment you would like to make?”
“No. I want to use this card.”
“Can you have your husband come into the store?”
“No! He’s in the car with my sleeping baby! What’s the problem?”
“I have to verify the user of the card.”
“I’m the user!” She began violently tearing through her purse until she pulled out a tiny wallet. From there her driver’s license magically appeared on the counter.
“Here. This is my license and as you can see, my last name is the same last name is my husband’s. So please, charge the card!”
Yeah. See the thing is I woke up late today and was in such a hurry to get to work on time that I forgot to take my stupid pill. With out it, I’m unable to buy your load of bull shit.
I shook my head.
“It’s for your protection and his. I cannot accept this card unless he is present.”
She must have really wanted those shoes because she stormed out of the store and the next thing I know, her husband was in my face.
“Do you have any idea how insulting this is.” he asked?
It’s all right. I’ve been working in customer service long enough that I’m pretty much used to be insulted on a daily basis. In fact, I think it’s part of my job description.
“What gives you the right to suggest that my wife is a thief?”
Oh. That wasn’t an apology. Hell, maybe I did take my stupid pill today. I forget.
“Sir, it’s for her protection and hers. There are some people out there that will take advantage of the system.”
He shook his head and held his hand up to stop me. “I don’t want to hear. Just charge the card.”
I finished the sale and he went on his way. What can I say? It was just another stellar day for retail.