Hands Off My Swiper!

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After a recent visit to a local retail store, I launched into a common rant of mine.  I really tried to stifle it, but at last said to my captive automobile audience, “You know I’m trying not to say anything about that transaction, right?”  Which, I realize, negates any claim to stifling it.  He did, and dutifully sat back to listen to me spout off.

First, a disclaimer:  I understand the many reasons why you, my cashier, commit these crimes to my sense of good customer service.  You:

  • think I’m stupid
  • are busy
  • are very familiar with the workings of your area
  • are impatient
  • are on auto-pilot
  • have a long line
  • know I am in a hurry
  • think I don’t understand how a card swiper works because when I was born electricity hadn’t yet been invented

If I have missed any of your flawed motivations, feel free to enlighten me.  I do understand you think you are providing exemplary customer service.  I applaud your misdirected efforts.  I strive only to shed some light on your faulty reasoning.

Now here’s the problem:

  1. See that little credit card-swiper machine?  It is facing ME for a reason.  It is a tool for ME, the customer.
  2. Do not direct me to choose credit.  If I choose debit, feel free to warn me that it might not work, but please do not tell me definitively that it isn’t going to work.  You have been wrong before.  My card works about 99% of the time as a debit card.  For the cards that work 5% of the time, those customers STILL have the right to press debit.  Why?  See point #1.
  3. Do not tell me to hit “yes” when it asks if I accept the total.  I already know you agree with the total.  Computers have been wrong before, items have been incorrectly priced, and customers have been surprised by the total.   It is asking ME if I think the total is correct.  How do I know?  See point #1.
  4. Don’t watch me type in my PIN number.  That makes me feel terribly uncomfortable.  I actually had one cashier say, “Is your PIN really XXXX?”  I interrupted him with a big “SSHHHhhhhssss!”  Yes, and thank you for broadcasting that.  Apparently it was a meaningful number to him.  If you were supposed to know my number, the machine would face you, and I would have to recite the number out loud, but . . . see point #1.
  5. Under no circumstances should you EVER push a button on the swiper machine for me.  That is akin to reaching over the ATM and pushing buttons while I am logged in.  Once I have swiped my card, that machine is linked to my account. Pushing a button on there ought to be ILLEGAL!  If you have any doubts about this reasoning, please refer to my point #1.
  6. Do not read the questions to me unless I tell you I am illiterate or cannot see them.  I know you know them by heart.  This does not impress me.  If you want to impress me, look me in the eye, tell me thank you, pick up the bag and place it in my hand before looking at the next customer.  But that is another post . . .
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About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

11 responses to “Hands Off My Swiper!

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