I got somewhat annoyed with Blockbuster the other day. I have recently acquired a Playstation 3 (free with hotel points earned from suffering living away from home for work so much) and was keen to get some Blue-ray disks (the winning high-definition format from the latest format war).
When I came to pay, I had spent over £100, I used a Visa debit card (I know that for anything over £100 it can be better to pay with a credit card but I was not worried about this purchase).
Once the pin machine told me to remove my card, I popped it back into my wallet but then the sales guy asked for it back so he could run it through an old-fashion credit-card imprint machine. I was not happy about this – wasn’t this what the banks did not like (all those copies floating around)? The sales guy promised that I was not going to be charged a second time. They just needed it for security. "Company policy" he said.
I asked to speak to the manager. She told me the same. The only option they gave me was to either allow them to do this or to take a refund and leave the store. They advised that it was for security purposes to prove that I had come into the shop. I pointed out that my entering of the pin number rather than them doing a CNP (Customer Not Present) transaction was sufficient proof of my being there. I asked "isn’t the whole point of chip and pin" to help improve security of transactions? [Before I get the usual ranting emails, I am a techie – I know the problems with chip and pin.]
More strikingly, they refused alternative forms of identification such as my driving license and even my passport.
As I wanted the items and was off-colour and could not face hunting down a cash machine, I gave in and handed them my card but only after a) getting an assurance that they kept these secure in a locked office and shredded them in a few weeks time and b) writing on all copies that the transaction was null and void.
Must write to the head office and complain though.