Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Didn't My Credit Card Work?

Over half of our customers use credit cards to buy their stuff. Many times those credit cards will decline.

The register will only tell us the most basic reasons it declined, such as 'insufficient funds' or something like that.

Why is it that when a customer's credit card declines, they demand to know the exact reason it declined?

Once a card declines, I hear many of these phrases from customers:

"What's wrong with your machine?"
"But I just deposited $100 in there earlier!"
"Declined? No, that's impossible. Try it again."
"There's nothing wrong with my card, you must have done something wrong."

And my personal favorite:

"Give me my card back, you don't know what you're doing."

Sometimes we even get a message on the screen that says for us to destroy the card, which usually means it was reported lost or stolen. Whenever it tells me to destroy the card, the customer that has it always looks like a hardened criminal, so I end up just giving it back to them to avoid me getting kicked in the throat.

As for everyone else, I don't know why your card doesn't work. My register doesn't give me your daily bank statement every time I run it. Don't give me a problem about it, just leave quietly, call your bank and find out yourself what's wrong with your card. Maybe you bought too much midget porn and didn't realize it.


  1. When I worked billing in a medical office I too saw many credit cards declined. I usually felt bad having to tell them.

    Say hello to your 100th follower. Glad to have found you. Love the blog.

  2. Once when I worked at a mens clothing store I had to keep a credit card. If I recall, they paid me $50 or something like that. Anyway, I was scared to death to tell the customer!

  3. I've never had to deal with that before - it would be so scary! Especially if they looked like they could drop kick you in the throat or enjoy midget porn... I wouldn't want to do it either.

  4. ::snort::

    all I can see is midget bet you get a lot of hits for terms like that!


    It makes me giggle!

  5. midget that cracked me up. The machine at the store I work at sometimes has a glitch in it and will frequently say my card is invalid. Drives me nuts but I swipe it again and it's fine. I've never had to keep a customers card, I would probably be afraid of their reaction.

  6. The new debit cards from TD Bank are HORRIBLE. Many of them do not swipe and we're not allowed to type it in manually. I feel really bad when a customer tries to pay and it won't go through and they will have to scrounge up cash at the ATM or use a credit card or something. Its definitely not their fault, it's the freakin' bank for having such shitty cards. I hate that particular bank.

    Food stamps drive me crazy though as most of the time my customers won't say..."oh, I only have $60 left" and I run the card for the whole transaction balance...and of course it'll be declined. It's not a huge deal, it's easy to find out their actual balance but the whole process has to be done again.

  7. LOL.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  8. OMGosh.....Midget Porn? You're freakin' hilarious...... I absolutely LOVE your posts!

  9. Sometimes it can be something weird and the customer has no clue (honestly) why the card is declined. Case in point, a few years ago, I had gotten a new credit card. I set it aside, didn't use it for a couple months. Then one day I went out to the mall. Bought $20 of stuff in store 1, $15 in store 2... get to store 3 and the purchase is $75. CARD DECLINED.WTF? This card had a $2000 limit, I'd spent under $50 up to this transaction. I am MORTIFIED but quietly take my card and exit store. Call CC company. They tell me that they froze card for "unusual activity". Ummm, ok. I told them I was AT THE MALL and could they please remedy the situation because I was planning on being at the mall for the balance of the day. No Problem, says the CC company. I waited a few minutes, went back to the store where my card had been declined, had a laugh with the nice clerk who'd been assisting me (and who had kindly held my loot, figuring I'd be back)... the card was tried again, authorized just fine and I went on with my day.

    It's my suspicion that the people who get MAD about it know damn well why their card has been declined. Or maybe I'm just way more mellow than most people.

  10. I once stood trapped for what felt like an hour behind a woman who didn't understand that her card didn't work because she hadn't activated it yet. It still had the 'Activate me' sticker on it. And as you know, you have to call from home...the cashier patiently explained to her why it wouldn't work three times and then said, exasperated, "YOU JUST NEED TO GO AWAY NOW. GO NOW."

  11. That's happened to me before. But it was really because the bank was being a shithead and for some unknown reason lost my payment to the credit card and I had to call them about 10 times before it was fixed. I always look at my credit card balance/debit card balance before I go out to buy things and make a mental note of how much I've spent.



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