Shops and Pin Numbers - Should they do that??

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Di, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    My hubby has just tried to use his switch card in a well known superstore and the check out girl told him his pin number was blocked. He said "Hmm strange". She said "Well you've typed your pin number wrong 3 times so you've blocked it". He said "Nope, I've not had my card out of my wallet at all today". At which point, she produced a slip, asked him to sign and let him walk out the door. I remember this happening to me some time back and being quite upset by it then too!

    OK, it's very nice that the check out lady thinks you've got an honest face and you can actually take your shopping home with you BUT shouldn't she have confiscated the card?

    Surely if she's faced with a "pin blocked" message, telling her a wrong pin code has been entered 3 times her options should be:

    • Call supervisor (who would have authority to confiscate card if necessary)
    • Call bank (if possible) and confirm customers ID
    • Ask customer for further proof of ID
    She did none of these things.

    May be it was small amount of less than £20 that was being charged, but doesn't producing a slip to sign following a blocked pin code make a complete mockery of the system?
  2. Sellers_Bird

    Sellers_Bird Active Member

    The till tells you and gives you the number to ring to authorise if the card is suspicious... but she should have asked him for another form of ID to check his signature against. If all 3 matched then there's no problem :D
  3. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I used to work in a supermarket and we would never encourage that. In cases such as this we wouldn't confiscate the card, we would just advise the customer to contact their bank and have it unlocked and then ask for another method of payment. Sometimes a card would ask for further authorisation in which case we would ring a special company but if they blocked their PIN we would never offer them the option of signing their name
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - that's correct ... the till operator or supervisor phones their merchant bank to get in touch with the customer's bank card payment referral team to positively validate the customer and manually authorise the payment. If the card is blacklisted then it may be retained by the retailer to return to the bank. Although it generally seen as a last resort to confiscate the card, if the circumstances warrant it's retention, i.e., suspected fraud at point of sale, it might be taken.
    - if the PIN number is locked, the customer can go to an ATM with PIN services and unlock it. Otherwise, phone the bank and get an operator to do it. The PIN should be reset immediately.
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    OK, maybe the confiscating the card is the last option if fraud is suspected, but SOME checks should be done. In this case and in the case when this happened to me, there was nothing done to verify ownership of the card.
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I understand the need for retailers to confiscate cards, but I would feel very hard done by if it came to that with any of my cards. I would not give it to them easily.
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    Maybe not, but as I said, as a last resort if they suspect fraud. But would you feel your money is secure if someone were able to take your card, type the pin number incorrectly 3 times, then be offered a slip to sign to pay without any other checks taking place?
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - usually retailers just decline the purchase and leave it at that! One wee thing to remember that most banks allow 3 attempts of your PIN number in one day (the system will automatically unlock/reset the number overnight). A PIN reminder should be sent out at that time too. The responsibility was switched from the banks to the retailers with respect to managing card payments since Chip and PIN was introduced.

    This site was set up prior to the launch of Chip and PIN and is a useful place for bankers and customers.
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    What was laid out for retailers with respect to card use I have added below ...

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    So, with all this information ... the till operator was in breach of security regulations. Sack her!
  11. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    It is not possible to "by pass" chip and pin on all cards, especially if there is a genuine problem with your card. I've found that the till will prompt you through the stages, and if there is a genuine problem with your card you cannot put it to signature, and will have to call a supervisor to go any further with the transaction so it was probably just a dodgy chip and pin machine? You've got to reme,ber that the machines are processing on average at least 50 transactions per hour so its not that superising that chip and pin will go down every so often!

    Did you actually check your card in the hole in the wall afterwards to prove it was actually fine?! Just before you all go about sacking check out supervisors because of system error!
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Aaaaaaah! But the assistant allowed Di's hubby to sign for the goods without doing any security checks.

  13. Di

    Di Active Member

    Yes, the card was checked in a hole in the wall immediately after, but that's not the point I'm getting at here. There WAS a problem, ok, it may have been a system error this time. But does the check out operator know that? She told Steve the error was because he'd entered the incorrect number 3 times or more and then without any further checks as to identity, let him sign a slip and make the purchase. That's the issue here. Someone COULD have stolen his card, or any card for that matter, failed the pin check and scribbled a signature and away they go.
  14. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Our tills will not process a transaction if there is a problem with the card, you can try to do it manually and it wont go through, so if the card really was blocked the transaction could not have been processed, through chip and pin or signature.

    The chip and pin machine was probably having a dodgy moment, which is why the card went through as normal on signature.

    what i meant was did Di's hubby actually make any attempt to see if his card did work anywhere else that day?! Or did he just assume that he was incapable of entering his pin number correctly three times and his card actually was blocked?!
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    well ... (first post)

  16. Di

    Di Active Member

    This was the first time he'd used his card. First of all she told him his pin was blocked because he'd entered his number wrong three times. He'd not yet entered any number, which he told her. Then she told him he must have entered wrong somewhere else. He said he hadn't used the card all day. Taking no further measure to ensure the card wasn't nicked, she produced a slip for him to sign and that was that. He then went outside, and got £10 from the hole in the wall with no problem whatsoever.
  17. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    hmmm! think we could just go round in circles!

    it does kind of make you wonder how you all coped before chip and pin?! I mean no other security checks were really followed apart from checking your signature against the signature on your card?!
  18. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Thats exactly what I was thinking Kelly! We didn't ring the bank every five minutes to see if everyone was who they said they are... so we aren't going to start now!

    As far I know, in Sainsburys, if someones card is blocked before they come in the store.... the computer doesn't tell us anything and just spurts out a slip for them to sign... if it gets blocked whilst they are in the store... it says 'card blocked' or something similar and then spurts out a slip to sign.
  19. Di

    Di Active Member

    With the signatures, I've been asked to re-sign because I'd scribbled too quick and they reckoned it didn't match and I've been asked to show something else with a signature on it. Fair enough. Circles or not, my point still remains the lass told him the pin was blocked, took a signature and that was that. Chip and pin was put in place for added security so when a pin number fails, for any reason, surely some sort of back up check, more than just a quick signature, should be made? Yes, he did sign the slip, I don't know whether she actually checked the signature or not, can't ask right now, :rolleyes: .
  20. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    It just looks like a blip in the system, after all, it's not perfect! I know the store I used to work in, the system on occasion would say "retain card" this was only on confirmed dodgy cards, otherwise, there was no need to ask for other ID, all we had to do was ask for an alternative form of payment. Company policy at the time.

    However, some ******* managed to use my card no less than 5 times a fortnight after my card had been cancelled - how can that make sense?

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