OT : Not Strictly Legal Query : Credit Card Check


A

Alan Molesworth

I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
card.
The assistant swiped the card and from what she said a message had
came up on the screen asking that the card be verified by telephone
with the bank. She took the card and went off to the customer service
desk to phone the bank (or their agent) The guy seemed slightly
embarrassed - another assistant said "Don't worry - this is a random
check which happens every so often.
The amount of the bill was £3.84 !!!

Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
I would have been tempted to say - get lost - can I have my card back.
Would Tesco have returned the card?
 
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T

tim\(yet another new home\)

Alan Molesworth said:
I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
card.
The assistant swiped the card and from what she said a message had
came up on the screen asking that the card be verified by telephone
with the bank. She took the card and went off to the customer service
desk to phone the bank (or their agent) The guy seemed slightly
embarrassed - another assistant said "Don't worry - this is a random
check which happens every so often.
The amount of the bill was £3.84 !!!

Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
I would have been tempted to say - get lost - can I have my card back.
Would Tesco have returned the card?
Probably not, There's a cash bonus paid to the finder [1] if
there is a problem with the card and presumably this phone
call has a greater chance of resulting in the cash being paid
out than random chance.

[1] At least, there used to be.

tim
 
G

Guest

Alan Molesworth said:
I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
card.
The assistant swiped the card and from what she said a message had
came up on the screen asking that the card be verified by telephone
with the bank. She took the card and went off to the customer service
desk to phone the bank (or their agent) The guy seemed slightly
embarrassed - another assistant said "Don't worry - this is a random
check which happens every so often.
The amount of the bill was £3.84 !!!

Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
I would have been tempted to say - get lost - can I have my card back.
Would Tesco have returned the card?
Probably not, There's a cash bonus paid to the finder [1] if
there is a problem with the card and presumably this phone
call has a greater chance of resulting in the cash being paid
out than random chance.

[1] At least, there used to be.

tim
Just as a matter of interest - why did you change the subject?
 
B

Bystander

I used to work in a business that took a lot of buyer-not-present card
transactions, and we had a floor limit, above which we had to authorise the
card. A few times each year the floor limit was lowered to zero for a few
days, just to try to catch any dodgy cards that were being used for multiple
small transactions.
 
M

Mogga

I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
card.
The assistant swiped the card and from what she said a message had
came up on the screen asking that the card be verified by telephone
with the bank. She took the card and went off to the customer service
Took the card away? Out of sight? Isn't that what we're told not to
ever let happen?
 
P

peterwn

Took the card away? Out of sight? Isn't that what we're told not to
ever let happen?
In such a case the customer should be escorted to the phone as well so
the customer does not let the card out of his or her sight.

Complain to your card issuer about what happened.
 
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E

Eric Jones

peterwn said:
In such a case the customer should be escorted to the phone as well so
the customer does not let the card out of his or her sight.

Complain to your card issuer about what happened.
Remember that the card is the property of the credit card company (it is
never YOUR card) and if the telephone conversation had resulted in the store
being told not to return the card to the customer it would have been
retained.
 
S

Steve Firth

Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
As both a punter and a retailer, yes they are. Usually it's not quite
random, though it may appear to be so to a checkout assistant. It's often
triggered by an unusual pattern of spending. So recently we had a card
payment that we had to refer, because the customer had been on a spending
spree. This was at an exhibition in London, so lots of exhibitors, lots of
opportunities to spend.

The CC company became suspicious because the merchant accounts taking
payment were from diverse addresses around the UK, all Mobile POS
connections were from the same cell in Islington, and customers don't
usually do 12 card transactions with a dozen vendors within the same cell,
within a few minutes.

So we have to refer to the card issue and get an authorisation code. Often
the card is blocked, which causes further embarrassment to the customer,
since they assume it's blocked because they have spent too much money.

It happens to me regularly, every damn time I drive across Europe. The card
companies think it odd that someone should buy petrol in the UK, France,
Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland on the same day.
 
B

Bert

Alan Molesworth said:
I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
card.
The assistant swiped the card and from what she said a message had
came up on the screen asking that the card be verified by telephone
with the bank. She took the card and went off to the customer service
desk to phone the bank (or their agent) The guy seemed slightly
embarrassed - another assistant said "Don't worry - this is a random
check which happens every so often.
The amount of the bill was £3.84 !!!

Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
I would have been tempted to say - get lost - can I have my card back.
Would Tesco have returned the card?
We once had this happen on the cross-channel ferry from Dover to Calais
while buying our duty frees.
 
P

peterwn

Eric said:
Remember that the card is the property of the credit card company (it is
never YOUR card) and if the telephone conversation had resulted in the store
being told not to return the card to the customer it would have been
retained.
Agreed. However if a retailer ever 'retains' a customer's credit card
at the apparent behest of the issuing bank, the customer should
immediately report this to his or her issuing bank and get the card
cancelled. This avoids the possibility of a dishonest retailer
'stealing' a card by falsely claiming he or she was asked to take it
and then misusing it. AFAIK at least where I am, a card 'swallowed' by
an ATM is immediately 'cancelled' to avoid the possibility of misuse by
those who fill or service the machines.
 
P

Peter Crosland

I was in Tesco today - the guy in front of me was paying by credit
Took the card away? Out of sight? Isn't that what we're told not to
ever let happen?
Yes they are. How would you feel if your stolen card had been detected and
Tesco ignored the instruction to check it? The fraud systems are there for
your benefit as well. Try putting your brain in gear before being bloody
minded.

Peter Crosland
 
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B

Bystander

The card remains the property of the issuing bank, so they are perfectly
entitled to ask Tesco to keep it.
 
J

Jim Ley

As both a punter and a retailer, yes they are. Usually it's not quite
random, though it may appear to be so to a checkout assistant. It's often
triggered by an unusual pattern of spending. So recently we had a card
payment that we had to refer, because the customer had been on a spending
spree. This was at an exhibition in London, so lots of exhibitors, lots of
opportunities to spend.
The one time it happened to me, they wanted to talk to me to check it
was me in possession of the card (they asked for home address...) if
they'd've explained why I'd been called it would've saved them a few
grand.

I'd come up for the check because immediately before my transaction, a
cloned card was being used elsewhere, if they'd explained that rather
than saying "random" the cloned card would've been picked up sooner.

Jim.
 
J

Joe Soap

The one time it happened to me, they wanted to talk to me to check it
was me in possession of the card (they asked for home address...) if
they'd've explained why I'd been called it would've saved them a few
grand.
I had a check request a few years back, foe a large amount, >#1000. After
requesting address details on the phone, it went something like:
What is your phone number?
You don't know my phone number.
Oh yes we do. What is it please?
12345678910.
That is not the number we have on record.
I TOLD you you didn't know it.
We need more checks then.
Sod it, keep the card. I'll use a different one.
Sorry sir, no need to do that. We'll OK it. Bye.
 
R

Richard Oliver

Eric said:
Remember that the card is the property of the credit card company (it is
never YOUR card)
But you are obliged in the terms and conditions to take care of it. I
would not be happy handing it over in such circumstances and would want
the opportunity to accompany the sales assistant.
and if the telephone conversation had resulted in the store
being told not to return the card to the customer it would have been
retained.
And the store could put me on the phone to confirm that action was being
taken. Doesn't that make sense?
 
N

Nigel

Yes they are. How would you feel if your stolen card had been detected and
Tesco ignored the instruction to check it? The fraud systems are there for
your benefit as well. Try putting your brain in gear before being bloody
minded.
Interesting - you are the only person to suggest that they carry out
such checks at random - can you back this up. Others have suggested
unusual spending patterns which I could believe; random I can't, so
please supply some evidence or personal experience.
 
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N

nightjar

....
Are retailers asked to carry out such checks at random?
Odd checks, for no obvious reason, do happen. It is also not unusual to get
a day when every use of a particular type of card has to be verified, no
matter the amount. It can get quite tedious at times.
I would have been tempted to say - get lost - can I have my card back.
Would Tesco have returned the card?
The retailer is advised to retain the card until after the verification, but
not if that might put staff at risk.

Colin Bignell
 
M

Michael Swift

Nigel said:
Interesting - you are the only person to suggest that they carry out
such checks at random - can you back this up. Others have suggested
unusual spending patterns which I could believe; random I can't, so
please supply some evidence or personal experience.
I've never had a card checked but did have payment refused when I used
my Barclaycard Visa to pay a large deposit on a new bathroom, it was a
bit embarrassing talking to the suppliers who couldn't get their money.

I had to ring Barclaycard to get it processed, while in one way I'm
happy to see them being careful with my money I was a bit miffed they
didn't contact me to see if the charge was genuine.

Mike
 
C

chuckles_the_scary_clown

Steve said:
As both a punter and a retailer, yes they are. Usually it's not quite
random, though it may appear to be so to a checkout assistant. It's often
triggered by an unusual pattern of spending.
Or computer error as in my case.

I purchased some fuel at my local Tesco at one of the "pay at the pump"
units...........I inserted my card and waited for the "enter pin"
request but received a curt "card retained, please contact card
issuer".

Which I did, there and then on my mobile. I received the usual
assurances, "nothing wrong with your account sir, your balance is
healthy, we've not authorised any stop on your card".

So I ended up talking to the petrol station manager and received the
usual "well the computer wouldn't retain your card unless there was a
problem, no we can't open the machine and give you it back sir".

They just passed the buck between each other for a few days before
blaming a computer error.

I closed my account, switched banks and won't use Tesco again.
 
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P

PeteM

Bystander said:
The card remains the property of the issuing bank, so they are perfectly
entitled to ask Tesco to keep it.
Doubtless, but the cardholder has no knowledge of any agreements between
the retailer and the bank, so he cannot be expected to fulfil them.
However he *does* have an agreement with the bank which requires him to
take care not to lose the card. Clearly he should act in accordance with
the agreements he himself has made and not those that may or may not
exist between other parties.
 

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