Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Chip & signature cards - Currys are plonkers

OK, I have a chip'n'signature card. i.e. has a chip in it so that it can be properly verified as present and not a clone, but takes a signature not a PIN when you buy stuff.

I like it because I am happier saying to the bank "show me the signature" if ever there is a dispute. It is harder to copy my signature than see and remember my PIN. And it is not what any fraudster would expect so less likely to be targeted. All in all better security for me.

Most places are slightly puzzled but cope. Occasionally they have to figure out where the printer is to get it to print the bit I sign. But generally fine. Rail ticket machines just issue tickets - no questions asked :-)

Currys/PC-World were just dicks - they said they have to have a PIN. It was not until I expressed concern that surely this would give them problems with Disability Discrimination Act (chip & signature cards being usually issued for disabled people) that they made some effort.

Bear in mind that their till said "get customer to sign, check signature". They just had to so what it said.

So their first idea is phone for authorisation. But that is only for paper vouchers and their bank would not do it. They refused to authorise saying they had to use the chip.

So then they try the transax or whatever system they use to check cheques and the like and got no joy.

So eventually they decided that taking copies of ID would be OK.

Then they put it through and I sign. They don't bother to actually check the signature, or take copies of ID on the signature side.

All this to buy half a dozen iPads. What hassle.

1 comment:

  1. I was with you until "half a dozen iPads".

    So what's that, two-and-a-half grand? It's hardly a trivial amount, so I can understand them getting in a bit of a tizzy. I'm sure you've got a use for six iPads, but most folk don't, and I suppose it could look a bit suspicious.

    Back in the early 90s, I used to have two separate cards from NatWest. One was a cheque guarantee card, the other was an ATM card. All because I didn't want Switch.

    As time went by, I got more and more refusals for the cheque card, mostly because sales staff had never seen them, and didn't believe they were genuine. They didn't have the latest corporate branding; rather plain-looking in fact. Every now and then, a zingy new card would arrive, and I'd have to go through the whole process of requesting the alternative cards again. I gave up eventually.

    I still enjoy spending five-pound coins, though.

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