Retail stores Informative - Don't Blame the Workers!

Review by 43631 on 2007-12-01
This Christmas, when you go out to the mall or other retails stores, if your credit card/debit card gets rejected, Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT blame the cashier/manager. Customers seem to think that cashiers had a little button they press to deny a credit or debit card or something. The problem is NOT with the store, it is with YOUR BANK. So when you go out shopping, please keep this in mind and do not blame the store worker's, as we have no control over credit cards accepting/rejections.
Comments:39 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-02-03
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-01:
Alley, I agree with you.

Your card could be rejected because of an excessive/unusual spending pattern, insufficient funds, or simply because you accidentally left it in your pocket while you were washing clothes.

Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-01:
Obviously you've had a few of these recently from customers. Ever notice they seem to blame everyone but themselves? Certainly, a quirk happens every now and again but when that credit card is rejected for the second time in a matter of minutes that should tell the consumer he's not getting any more free purchases for the day.
Posted by MRM on 2007-12-01:
I've never had my credit card rejected even with frequent use. Thanks for providing your readers with tips, AlleyS!
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-01:
I expect it's because you pay your bills MRM.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
Nice to hear a cashier's point of view.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-01:
I don't think Alley is a cashier Pirate. Consumers just need some reminding that their spending habits and ignoring the balance on their credit cards will catch up with them and not to blame the store if their card is rejected.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
As a former cashier, who knows what it is like to have to deal with customers who like to blame their mistakes on store employees, I agree with this post 100%! If customers want to know who's to blame for their card being rejected, then they should go look in the nearest mirror. It's their own fault if they're over their limit!

I am proud to vote your review very helpful! :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
NH, I believe you're wrong.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
MRM, get a lot of cash back bonus's from eating all them jelly donuts and that is the reason his card works.

AlleyS, very helpful tip and I agree 100% as well. (VH)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
Alley, great post and info to know this time of year!
Posted by D. on 2007-12-01:
I agree with Alley...the cashiers go through enough during CHRISTMAS season without getting jumped on for something that isn't their fault. I want to add, don't blame them if the scanner doesn't pick up the sale price...it's just as irritating to them as it is the customer.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
I don't understand the disrespect here, AlleyS. I was merely pointing out that you're a cashier? Too bad you don't work at the Walmart I shop at - they have very few cashiers there.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-12-01:
Alley, good post and reminder! VH!
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-01:
You meant it in a very condescending manner Pirate. What exactly do you do for a living?
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-12-01:
Nohandle, he just thinks he's better than everyone else. His main goal in life is to earn stars on here. What does that tell you?
Posted by MRM on 2007-12-01:
Its every man for himself. Isnt that how it works in this world?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
NH, as always you're wrong and only in here to stir the pot. Go away and switch nics or something.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-12-01:
I'll be happy to Pirate if only you'll tell me how and the last time I checked this was Alley's turf not yours.
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-01:
I've had my card rejected once. And that was because I left it in my pocket when I washed my jeans and it went through the dryer. Apparently it demagnetized the strip on the back causing it not to work. Still it was embarrassing. But either way it was my fault because I put it through the dryer.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
MRM, that only applies when there are jelly donuts involved.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-01:
Principissa, don't blame the dryer! Appliances aren't ALWAYS at fault!
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-01:
I said it was my fault. I'm the dee dee dee that left my card in my pants. :)
Posted by Starlord on 2007-12-01:
Our local Wal*Mart has rejected my wife's card a number of times, which makes it an inconvenience for us. The problem is with the card readers at a couple of the checkout stations, and it took us a while to find out which ones reject her card and which ones don't. They keep saying they will get them serviced or replaced, but they haven't yet.
Posted by Mario The Great on 2007-12-01:
Here's a trick for some folks. If you swipe your card and it fails to work, grab a plastic bag from the checker, put your card in it and swipe it with the plastic bag around it. I have no clue as to why it works, but it does. As far as Wal-Mart goes, not much to say there. I shop there all the time and for the first time in years, I wrote a check. They politely declined it as the previous check I had written was NSF. After a little bit of research, the last check I wrote to Wal-Mart was for $38.72 in 1992. Yeah, about that. I didn't pay it then and I certainly won't now. My debit card is my lifesaver. :)
Posted by chow on 2007-12-02:
The card reader or the manegtic stripe occasionally do not work as it suppose to, or the bank can make mistake in their transaction system, i agree that it is not right to blame the rejection on those low paying cashiers, unfortunately, not all the c.c owners are reasonable people.
Posted by shawnp80 on 2007-12-03:
Word up!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-03:
I believe those "low paid cashiers" as you refer to make a decent amount of money but either way that is no call to imply that they are a lower form of life because they don't make millions or something. Chow, that was not nice!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-03:
Agreed with Alley & Lidman. That comment was totally uncalled for.
Posted by SilverWngs71 on 2007-12-04:
As someone who works in Customer Service, I would ask that others remember when you call in to a company to voice a complaint, the person on the other end of the line is doing their job. You may not like what is being said, however this person has guidelines that they have to go by. Yelling,screaming and using very unladylike or Gentlemen language is only going to make the call taker, want to do Nothing to assist. Also, remember it's the Holidays' and they are just as stressed out as you.

As for the post, I voted Very Helpful!!

Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year!!
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-12-15:
Yoke, that isn't true. When I worked retail there were many who couldn't hack it and either quit or were fired.

You should get over yourself because you aren't better than anyone else no matter what they do for a living.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-15:
Well said Brenda. 16 helpful votes on this post will back you up.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2007-12-15:
Thank you Superbowl :)
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-12-15:
Ask anyone in retail if the customer really is always right. Ask anyone in retail if the customer EVER is right.
Posted by my02cents on 2008-01-02:
Actually I did have an incident recently with a store rejecting my good credit card. It turned out to be a problem with the store's card reading machine. No, not the sales associate per se (although had she been trained a little better she may have avoided using that station altogether and previously flagged it as needing repair), but not the banks fault either.

When my card was rejected I was totally shocked. I have never had a rejection, EVER. I thought that perhaps the card had been compromised in some way so I called the company right there in front of the sales associate. Luckily there was no one in line behind me.

I reached my credit card company quickly and they confirmed that the card was working just fine, and we verified that there were no unauthorized charges. So, we ended the conversation with the card still active.

The sales associate said that she had been having difficulty with that reader for some time and tried putting a plastic bag over the card before sliding it through the reader again. While I have seen that work successfully on other occasions, sadly it didn't work this time. A line began to form behind me so I broke out another card.

Just so my conscience would be clear, we tried my card in a reader at an adjacent cashier station. Worked just fine there.

I was still very embarassed by the whole situation. The one really positive thing is that the sales associate apoligized profusely for the store's bad credit card reading machine.

They aren't built to last forever. It's just magnetics and electronics. Chances are fairly high that from time to time you will run up against a credit card reader that fails.
Posted by JnEjewelry on 2008-01-08:
Good post, i used to work in a retail store and have been in line behind SCREAMING customers because their card or check isnt going through. I think some customers are just so stupid and have nothing better to do than to go out and bother sales people because they know they dont usually get nasty back. I cant wait for them to meet that sales person that just doesnt care...
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-09:
JnEjewelry, back in my retail days, I was guilty of being less than courteous to a customer more than once if they were a jerk to me. The usual reaction was a jaw drop, followed by them high tailing it out of there with their tail between their legs. Then again, I had a service manager who hated the place even more than I did & just did not give a crap. I know not every retail employee is that lucky. :(
Posted by Enigma on 2008-01-17:
I did not see it mentioned that most cards have a preset spending limit (usually around $300, even debit). When I was a cashier this was the most common problem at Christmas. The second most common problem was people going to multiple stores and using the same card in a short period of time. The card company may automatically flag it as "suspicious". This is done for the customers protection, and usually a quick call to the 800 number on the back will fix the problem. Most stores can suspend a transaction until the customer is able to contact their bank/credit card company so that the cashier can take the next people in line, and when its fixed - all they have to do is pay. I never made them get back in line, and other customers were understanding when it was explained politely. In fact, everyone always was generally understanding when I was polite and willing to take the time to explain that we're all looking out for their best interest.
If they don't understand and continue to rant, odds are they KNOW why the card isn't going through, and will storm off at some point without their packages (or the alternative, they go to make the call and just never come back).
I think my point is to be polite. And would it kill you to smile? Its not the customers fault you've been on your feet for the last 6 hours. Not all of us are going to make your life miserable, give us the benefit of the doubt. I think you'll find the more people you smile at, the more people will smile back. I realize thats a cliche, but you're the one who has to deal with these people... they're going to react to you.

Sorry, I think that was about 12 cents.
Posted by MrUnlucky on 2008-01-27:
AHHH! I'm loving all this positive for cashiers. I've been doing it the last 2 years and have never found a more empathetic bunch.. WHERE ARE YOU GUYS?! =0)
I've never had problems with being declined, per se. I have had peoples cards be rejected, but it's usually because of an invalid pin being entered. I just tell them to re-swipe their cards and try carefully re-entering the pin.. Works like a charm. Thanks again for the support!!!

Posted by chow on 2008-02-03:
I have never say or mean "low form of life". you are saying it, not me, remember that. You must have a horrible way of guessing the meaning of sentence or words.

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