Chip and pin not enough at my local Blockbuster

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.

One thought on “Chip and pin not enough at my local Blockbuster

  1. Amazing. I submitted a customer query form at the blockbuster site earlier today complaining about the above.

    The area manager for the store concerned has just phoned me to apologise for the hassle and to advise me that he has only recently taken over the area, that he has contacted the store and found out that they have been doing this for a long time, and that he has instructed them to stop doing this on the grounds that as long as they get “pin verified” from the chip & pin system they are covered and do not need to do anything else. He asked me to let him know if there are any further problems.

    Phew! Customer service obviously reviewed my submission very quickly and forwarded to him and he has also followed up very quickly. Impressive.

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