Fewer Consumers Write Personal Checks, Fewer Retailers Accept Them

Reader broncobiker sent us the photo at left, wondering whether check acceptance policies might be getting a little out of hand. But checks have so much potential for fraud, and so few shoppers use them, that many merchants have just stopped accepting them entirely.

Diesel, True Religion, Ed Hardy and Lululemon Athletica are among a growing list of stores that don’t accept personal checks.

Gap Inc. has tested the idea. Austin-based Whole Foods Market is trying it out at a few stores in California and Arizona. The organic grocer hasn’t come to any conclusions yet, a spokeswoman said.

Check fraud is a costly problem for the retail industry, and stores just don’t see many shoppers pulling out a checkbook anymore.

Predictably, the use of checks increases with age. Only 0.3 percent of shoppers between ages 18-24 predict that they will write any checks to retailers this holiday season, while 9.8 percent of senior citizens (people over 65) plan to.

Do you still use checks when shopping? Do you still write personal checks at all?

Personal checks becoming currency of holidays past [Dallas Morning News] (Thanks, Geoff!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Bunnyhat says:

    I’ve had the same box of checks since I first opened my account when I was 18 years old. I’m now 25.

    The only thing I write checks for is rent once a month. Everything else I can pay either through bill pay with my bank or direct deposit.

    I was also a manager at a video rental store for 5 years. We had very few checks and until we stopped taking them about 20% of checks ended up being returned.

    • Tim says:

      @Bunnyhat: I don’t even write checks for rent anymore. Most banks will send a paper check to a biller if they don’t have EFT set up. So I just set it up like any other bill, and my bank mails them a check a few days before the date.

      • antisane says:

        @TCama: @Bunnyhat: My bank (credit union) gives bank checks (AKA cashier checks) for free if the total is over $500, so I just use those to pay my rent (and no need to worry about when it will clear).

      • WraithSama says:

        @TCama:
        My apartment complex actually accepts rent payments online via their website. I still write checks for my car payment because I like getting a physical receipt for it when I make payment (and refuse to pay their “convenience fee” for paying with plastic), and nothing else.

    • coffeeculture says:

      @Bunnyhat: Same here…it’s the same box from when I was 18, and I’m 26 now. The only reason I bought another box was for the design.

      They do come in handy randomly…like paying your friends for sharing online purchases to get free shipping or Costco, but I’ve switched to online transfers w/ BofA for that. Much easier.

      I actually have to put some thought as to what goes on a check, haha…as a cashier at B&N, I used to like getting checks purely because it broke up the monotony of swiping the card, plus I’d get to see cool designs and their driver’s license. That provided much entertainment for me!

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @Bunnyhat: i’ve had my account since i was 15… now 22, and i’ve only used 10 or so checks.

  2. hills says:

    Very rarely use checks – only when someone needs to be paid on the spot & they either don’t take credit cards, or I don’t want them to lose $ with cc fees (recent examples include home inspection, cleaning girl, escrow…). Otherwise, online billpay is the way to go.

  3. Stephen Colon says:

    I still use checks for personal debts to friends (going halfs on a purchase, buying lots of tickets with one payer for the group rate, etc.) and for one-time debts to organizations that don’t take credit cards (school sports fees, etc.), but that’s about it. The only reason I use checks for those things is the fact that I tend to loose large amounts of cash after I take money out of an ATM so I carry very minimal cash with me. The idea of my routing/account numbers floating around doesn’t make me too happy, and checks are just plain inconvenient. When the plastic will suffice, why not?

    • ShadowFalls says:

      @Stephen Colon:

      I am about the same. Checks are just way too insecure. All the information needed to draft money from your account or get checks made is right on the check itself… Not saying credit cards are perfectly secure, but there are methods in which could address those issues.

  4. roguemarvel says:

    The only reason I don’t still have my original box of checks from when I opened my account is because I’ve moved and gotten married, I rarely write checks.

    I worked at a privately owned toy store for over a year and when I was leaving they just stopped taking checks because of fraud and bounced check (luck a lot of people with bounced checks would come in and pay after a phone call, but it was a hassle). They had already stopped taking travelers checks because they got burned really bad once.

    At a national chain that I work we still take checks but they very rarely are accepted by our check system especially anything over $100. I have told customers that while i will take and try to process their checks it would probably be better to pay with a card because there is a good chance it will not go threw. I also tell my coworkers to make sure they give them the card with the number for our check system and don’t tell them to call the bank if there is an issue. As a former bank CSR I hated those calls.

  5. diasdiem says:

    I only pay my rent and my car payment with a personal check. Honestly, I’d pay my rent with a credit card, but they charge $10 convenience fees for that, and my rewards program doesn’t offset that enough to make it worth my while.

    • sven.kirk says:

      @diasdiem: Same here. But I don’t even wright them myself anymore. I get my CU to wright and send it for me. Much (ok, a little) safer than dropping a hand written in the mail.

    • DH405 says:

      @diasdiem: You should report your landlord for that fee. The merchant agreement makes such fees a violation.

      • NYGuy1976 says:

        @DH405: There is actually a way around that. You can’t charge more for using credit, but you can give a discount for paying cash. It is pretty much the same thing and gas stations do it all the time.

        • diasdiem says:

          @NYGuy1976: No, the apartment complex’s online form says it’s a convenience fee, that shows up as “shipping” on the receipt. I suppose I could report them, but I wouldn’t want to risk it coming back on me. Don’t shit where you eat.

          • treimel says:

            @diasdiem:

            Report them–there is no way for it to come back to you, unless you tell them yourself. The CC companies know that people will be reluctant to report these miscreants if it’s not kept strictly confidential.

      • Powerlurker says:

        @DH405:

        Actually, it appears that you can charge “convenience fees” for certain credit cards, but there are requirements that must be met: [www.merchantcouncil.org]

    • yevarechecha says:

      @diasdiem: Yup. My complex charges fees for debit/credit cards and I think also online autobilling. But I haven’t investigated that last one fully because I’m not giving them any kind of link to my bank account in the first place so it’s a moot point.

      I write one check a month, for rent. Everything else I pay by credit card.

    • Kuchen says:

      @diasdiem: I write checks for rent, and occasionally for small personal things, like repaying a coworker if a bunch of us order lunch at work and pay on one order. I think all of my professional license renewals I can do online now, as far as I recall. My apartment just set up online rent payment. I’m considering it, but we had that at our last apartment, and ended up getting billed after we moved out even though we triple-checked with them that that wouldn’t happen. I don’t think I’ve ever written a check to a retailer.

  6. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I only pay bills by check … I was at a retailer today that no longer takes checks because of fraud.

  7. morganlh85 says:

    I haven’t used a check to pay for something at a store in YEARS.

    I really only use checks to pay my rent or other bills that I need to mail. But still very rarely.

  8. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    Let’s see: A check has your name, address, routing code, account number and signature.

    Why would anyone give a check to anyone for anything anymore?

  9. diasdiem says:

    There are people who still write checks, and they’re always right in front of my at the grocery checkout line.

    • Tim says:

      @diasdiem: +1

    • AcceleratedDragon says:

      @diasdiem:

      You must live in Florida…just like me.

      And they NEVER have the common decency to to fill out before hand:
      1) Today’s date
      2) name of the store

      Nope they always wait until the after the cashier gives them the total.

      • Benguin says:

        @AcceleratedDragon: Yeah, that’s the weird thing. It would be excusable if, like most of us, you never use checks and wasn’t familiar with the procedure. But these people apparently pay everything by check yet are surprised every single time.

      • brycer says:

        @AcceleratedDragon:

        I work at a grocery store in Australia and our cheque (yes, that’s a -que ending on cheque) system automatically prints the date, name of the store, sale amount and on the back prints a form for the customer’s details.

        I’d say there are probably about 3 regular customers who use cheques.

        • secret_curse says:

          @brycer: Yes, most large retailers here in the States have the ability to print everything on the check so the customer just has to sign. Unfortunately, it seems that the people that want to slow everything down by using a check and not getting it prepared while the cashier is ringing them up tend to “not trust the machines.” It makes no sense to me because the cashier will let you verify that the printer filled out the check correctly before making you sign it, but I’ve heard several people mumble about not being able to trust the computers while slowly filling out a check.

    • Blufyor says:

      @diasdiem: @diasdiem: Plus, about half the time, that same person wants to get the store savings club discount on every item, but doesn’t realize she needs to actually have the card on her person to use it, so her & the cashier go through a whole song-and-dance over it. And THEN it’s time to pay with a check.

      (Not fun to wait behind when you’ve got a bunch of perishables you don’t want to thaw out)

    • plutonyum says:

      My thought exactly. You know who still uses checks? The person in front of you in line.

  10. bohemian says:

    I write 2-3 paper checks a month. Two are for groceries because go to the grocery store in the morning the same day that payroll hits the bank and our bank doesn’t always have accounts updated by 8am. I only write a third check if house payment is due right after payday since doing an online bill pay from our other bank takes about 3-5 days to get it there.

    I don’t even have paper checks for one of our checking accounts and can’t remember what year I bought the box of checks I am using.

  11. Etoiles says:

    I use my checks for (1) completing new Direct Deposit requests, and (2) we used 3 of them for the wedding (cake and photographer. Everyone else took plastic).

    The last time I worked retail was 2005-2006. I was at GameStop for 8 months and not once did a single customer try to pay with a check. I didn’t even realize it at the time until I thought about how many I’d had to process in my CVS days (1998 – 2001). I never learned how to process a check there, either, so I’m glad no-one asked!

  12. Charity Froggenhall says:

    Our condo association is the only bill we pay by check. (The association won’t allow credit cards.) I never carry a checkbook around with me.

  13. oldgraygeek says:

    I opened my business checking account in 2004. I’m still only halfway through the 300 free checks they gave me back then. For a while, I only paid one monthly bill and my annual mercantile license fees with checks; then both started accepting online payments.
    The last paper check I wrote went out months ago, and I have no idea how long it will be before I write another one.

    Just in case, though, I have a business check and a personal check in my wallet…

  14. boobookitt says:

    The only people I know who write checks (except for rent) are my parents. Who, incidentally, just had a bank statement stolen out of their mailbox and used to make fake checks with their account and routing number. The name put on them was different but that didn’t stop the bank from honoring over a thousand dollars in fraudulent charges.

  15. 48crash says:

    I think the only checks I’ve written in the past couple of years have been to handymen. Other than that, using my bank’s bill-pay website has worked out fine. And we use cards or cash for everything else.

  16. BCK says:

    When I opened my BOA account 3 years ago they didn’t even bothering offering me checks, and the woman couldn’t remember the last person to request them. Check cards have pretty much replaced checks

  17. boomerang86 says:

    I just ordered my first box of checks from the credit union since opening our joint checking account… OVER SIX YEARS AGO. Our primary doctor doesn’t take plastic, that’s the only vendor we write a check to regularly… everyone else takes plastic.

    At work, we see very few checks. Personal checks for small amounts bounce about 15-20% of the time. We write them a letter demanding payment and threatening legal action; only about 10% of those actually pay up.

  18. AgentTuttle says:

    Now if we can just get them to reject pennies.

  19. twophrasebark says:

    Checks are quaint.

    • IMoriarty says:

      @twophrasebark: I’ve written a grand total of *eight* checks in my entire life (according to records), and none in the last three years. It’s a bad system, and I can’t wait for it to die – the security risks are bad, processing is slow, and they’re increasingly becoming less accepted.

      ~I

  20. dragonwerx says:

    (Ahem) As a new business owner, I take plastic only because I’d lose sales if I didn’t. Right now, it’s costing me 10% of my sales to process the orders each month. Because I’m a new business the volume isn’t there to offset the fees.

    THIS IS NOT PERMISSION FOR YOU TO USE A CREDIT CARD!

    For the customers who have paid in cash or check: Thank You Very Much!

    Right now, every dime helps or hurts far beyond the apparent effect. If that doesn’t make sense, then I’ll bet you are not a small business owner.

    Please, use cash, or give me a check.

    It is really surprising that there are some venues where when someone steals from you it’s not with a worthless check…they are holding a gun to your face. Give me a check, please.

    This is from your local jewelry repair shop.

    • StanTheManDean says:

      @dragonwerx:

      Keep your chin up.

      And remember, your local DA’s bad check division will HAPPILY collect any bad checks written to your business.

    • htowninsomniac says:

      @dragonwerx: Offer a 5 percent discount to people who pay cash.

    • FLConsumer says:

      @dragonwerx: Find a better credit card processor. You shouldn’t be paying anywhere near THAT level of a surcharge even if you’re working in a shady field of business.

      • StanTheManDean says:

        @FLConsumer:

        The jewelry business, such as dragonwrex, is classified as having a high rate of returns and is therefore penalized with one of the highest CC service rates in the industry by his Merchant Bank that actually sets the rates. IF dragonwrex handles the four major cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover) he then can face even more penalities because his total volume per card brand is reduced.

        I just missed being slammed with such a rate. My average transaction was far too high, which to the Merchant Banks seemed as if I was running a jewelry or similar type business. I was able to demonstrate an extremely low rate of customer returns over a long time period and knocked my fees down to more manageable levels. I further reduced my fees by NOT accepting Amex and Discover.

        (PS: in 30+ years of doing business, I have had only two customers who could not substitute a Visa/MasterCard for their Amex… the one wrote a check and the other walked)

    • unpolloloco says:

      @dragonwerx: That 10% seems incredibly high. If you figured out how to run everything through Paypal, those fees are still way lower (and they massively gouge prices on credit card fees). At the 20% bounce rates that are floating around, that’s a significantly higher cost.

    • floraposte says:

      @dragonwerx: Sure, but if you didn’t take credit cards, you’d lose a chunk of that business–as I imagine you yourself have concluded, which is why you take credit cards despite being unhappy about the cut. If you genuinely think you don’t get a sufficient increase in business because of taking credit cards to make up for the credit cards’ costs, then stop taking credit cards.

      Garnering a customer’s business on the grounds that you take credit cards and then suggesting you haven’t given permission for the use of credit cards seems unpleasantly bait-and-switchy to me. I understand the impulse, but if you’re seeking the value then you can’t get me in with that and then back off because of the cost.

    • reneewl says:

      @dragonwerx: That’s the cost of doing business and you have a really bad attitude about it.

  21. madanthony says:

    I am one of those rare people who still uses checks to pay bills instead of online billpay, but it would never occur to me to use one for a retail transaction. Rewards credit card, paid in full every month, FTW.

  22. dru_zod says:

    I pay my health insurance each month by check but that’s it. My grandmother uses checks all the time for groceries, prescriptions and lots of other stuff. I and other relatives do a lot of her shopping for her so she doesn’t have to go walk through the mile long grocery store (it isn’t really, but it seems like it to her), and using a check is the easiest way for us to pay for her groceries since she doesn’t keep a lot of cash in the house.

  23. QuanikaAte says:

    Out in the sticks where my mom and sister live, almost everyone uses checks for everything. Plastic is used very seldom.

    I use checks only to pay for my cleaners every other week, and if I give a money gift to someone (wedding, graduation, etc).

  24. tape says:

    what are checks?

  25. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    I recently started a new checking account after 5 years off for bad behavior. I was denied by check systems not because of past behavior but because my account was new, and thus, high risk. I find this annoying. I’ve done well without a checking account and try not to use checks if I can (too much temptation to write that check the day or two before payday), but I find it ridiculous that even though check systems no longer has my past transgressions in their system, I’m denied for having a new account.

  26. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    We only write checks for rent. I used to have to write a check for the water bill in my old place, but nothing else. We no longer accept checks at the store that I work at; maybe one person every few weeks tries to write a check, and in 3 months only one person has refused to shop there because we won’t take checks.

  27. Tratios says:

    I am a little lost on the idea of check fraud, any company can clear checks on the spot if they so desire. Walmart, AAFES and most large retailers already do this since in the end money is money. I can understand a country store, that does cash only and does not even accept credit cards but strange for large chains to claim fraud. Poorly trained workers may have more to do with fraud then checks built into the system.

    • barty says:

      @Tratios: You can only do so much when dealing with checks. When I used to work at a business where we took a number of checks daily, every one that bounced on us had the usual information taken on the check. Only once can I remember a large number of bad checks being accepted without proper ID, and a few days later that employee was no longer working there when it was discovered that he knew said persons and knowingly accepted the checks without ID.

      Simple truth is, there is no way to stop people from passing bad checks.

  28. pittstonjoma says:

    I work in two retail jobs, and we must be backward because a lot of people use checks. Granted, most of them are senior citizens, but still. I also am annoyed that they don’t put the name of the store in and such. It’s even more annoying when they forget to bring a pen. Really?

    • TheKuudere says:

      @pittstonjoma: I mostly get people who can’t spell the name of the store I work at, at all. Sometimes I’m amazed at the creativity of their spelling. Guess it doesn’t really matter though, since the bank seems to cash it just the same.

  29. Ickypoopy says:

    My mother still writes checks and thinks debit cards are unacceptable; checks are a point of pride.

    My mother wirtes checks for almost every transaction. When I mentioned to her recently how convenient a debit card was, she went on a rant about checks.

    The main basis of her rant was that her neighborhood gas station accepts her checks. The gas station has multiple signs indicating that no checks will be accepted. She is proud of the fact that according to the gas station only she and one other person are allowed to pay by check. This likely has something to do with her paying by check for over 20 years at the same gas station.

    Also, she remarked about how great it was that she was able to keep a 100% accurate ledger by using checks. I tried to tell her that she can maintain a ledger the same way even if she uses a debit card. She doesn’t seem to care, seeming to think that checks are still better. (In fact, I have seen people in the checkout line updating their ledger while paying with debit card, obviously not a foreign concept to people who keep ledgers.) Hoeever, she seems to think the idea that some stores (e.g. walmart) can process the check when it isn’t filled out and give it back to her to use again, as a good thing. (Sounds like the stores are doing an ACH on the account instead of processing the check.) Still cannot convince her it is essentially the same thing, except *LESS* safe.

    But I digress. I have written less than 100 checks my entire life. I have written two checks that were not for rent…

    • taradiddle3 says:

      @Ickypoopy: My mother still writes a check to the grocery store. She’s only in her early 50’s so it’s not really an age thing. So why then? Well the credit union only gave her and my father one debit card and he carries it. I’ve tried to convince her that the CU would be more then happy to issue a second card to no avail. She does fill in the check while waiting in line or let the register print it though.

  30. forgottenpassword says:

    I write 3 checks a month. The rest I pay with a cash-back earning credit card or online billpay.

  31. soloudinhere says:

    I work at a computer retailer. People who write checks drive me insane.

    We have to run checks through a TeleCheck machine, which uses an approval algorithm that makes absolutely no sense. So, customers randomly get denied, I have to call in the check, it takes 20 minutes, all just a huge hassle.

    PAY WITH A CARD. You’re spending $3000…just pay like a normal person.

    Further, people are really confused that we run the check through but give it back. If you can’t handle the new age of check processing…please don’t use checks.

    I have people who pay with a check for an $18 total. Seriously? Carry some cash.

    I would love for all retailers to ban checks. The only checks I ever write are to my hairdresser who doesn’t take plastic and is totally worth the extra hassle. I don’t even write rent checks, the bank mails them, and I do the same thing for splits of purchases, etc.

  32. chiieddy says:

    I write a check every other week for my manicure. She’ll take a check but she doesn’t want to pay for credit cards. I can’t blame her.

  33. jp says:

    Still working on the same box of checks from 10 years ago. I only write one twice a year for property taxes. I know I can have the back send out a paper one but I feel better writing and mailing my own just for property taxes.

  34. pixiegirl1 says:

    I work retail and we used to use equafax to verify checks, but in the end it cost more than we would make back in bad checks(you pay a monthly fee plus a fee per check). I think that since the economic climate isn’t so hot more people are using fraudulent checks than before for stuff they want/need. Depending what state you live in the law may not really much help on the retailers end of bad checks. I had a manger tell me in California if you get a bad check from someone you can take the check to that bank they will give you cash for it and put a lean on the account. I though why the hell isn’t that the law in all states?

  35. slowinthefastlane says:

    Good. It sucks being stuck behind a check-writer in line. Cash, credit, or go home.

  36. docvb says:

    I guess I’m too lazy and cheap to use checks.

    Lazy–lots of work to write a check, especially while feeling guilty about slowing down a checkout line

    Cheap–what is a stamp these days, like 44 cents? That adds up fast with a large monthly billpay load. Stamps are the original bill paying convenience fee.

    I also admit that penny avoidance is a large driver for my credit card useage for small purchases. $10.02???? Credit card for you, @sshole. Who wants a pocket full of coins that will only be dumped in the change jar at home.

    Cash is always king for anonymity. Liquor store? Cash. Tobacco? Cash. Please tell me that Insurance companies don’t mine your credit card data. I believe you!

  37. Snakeophelia says:

    My 70-year-old mother will give up her checkbook when they pry it out of her cold, dead hands. Then again, she’s never bounced a check, and she shops at only a few stores.

    I write checks for some bills, and every time I go to my hair salon, because they let me write the check for the amount of services plus tip, and give me the cash back to give to the stylist, the colorist, etc.

    Last week I was at the post office and realized I had nothing with me but my checkbook and my YMCA ID. I must have an honest face, because they let me write a check with nothing but that.

  38. maalox says:

    Since the credit card companies have shown themselves to be morally bankrupt, I’ve quit using credit cards and started using checks once again.

    If a merchant doesn’t accept checks, I go elsewhere.

    • jamar0303 says:

      @maalox: Given current trends there eventually may not be an “elsewhere” for you to go to. I know the electronic system is flawed (I’ve said this before), but all the same it’s time to move on from paper.

  39. sponica says:

    I pay store charge cards with checks…bc I never have cash. I pay my rent with a check….although I should switch to cash bc my landlord, er mom doesn’t ever cash checks. Drives me nuts. I have other creditors to pay and can’t pay them bc the money in my acct isn’t actually there.
    I pay my hairdresser with checks bc she doesn’t take credit cards. And any personal debts I owe to another person, I pay with a check

  40. David in Brasil says:

    My business (a manufacturing company in the US) pays all of its bills by check. And I’ll bet that 95% of our receivables are paid by check, too. We don’t have any problems, either way, and we don’t have to pay the stupid credit card processing centers anything.

    If I were the lady in the VISA commercials that pulls out her checkbook and the birds stop chirping, the music stops playing and life grinds to a halt, I’d leave everything on the counter, tell the business owner to kiss my ass and walk away to a competitor that’s happy to have my business.

    Man, I’m cranky today. I need a nap…

    • rickhamilton620 says:

      @David in Brasil: I imagined that scene in my head and laughed. Too funny!

      Back on topic, I’ve written checks to my parents, mostly for paying my share of things (car insurance, previously my share of the phone bill, etc.) I’ve used checks for buying stuff at stores too.

  41. sqlrob says:

    Given all the rate increases and random closures, I wonder if checks will be on the rise soon again

  42. geeniusatwrok says:

    I get all eyerolly when someone, usually old ladies, writes a check at the grocery store. There’s this thing called a debit card. Have you heard of it? Even better when she finds a misplaced coupon and makes the cashier re-do the whole thing and writes another check minus the coupon amount. Grr. Lady, my ice cream is melting. Move it!

    Gosh, remember when you had to get a magic check card to write a check at the grocery store? Last week the old lady in front of me handed one of these to the pimply kid at the register who just kind of gawked at it and had no idea what it was, so he had to call over another pimply “supervisor” kid to tell him what to do.

    I guess I should avoid check-out queues with old ladies in them.

    I’ve written maybe 20 checks in 2-3 years, mostly to places that won’t take AmEx and I don’t carry my other cards with me, so I keep a check in my wallet. Usually it gets all crumpled and I just rip it up and stick a new one in there.

    Still, I had some major car work done by a shop in Maine (I live in Mass) and he didn’t take AmEx nor would he take an out of state check (like this still matters?) so I had to make a special trip home to dig out a VISA card from the hidey-hole. He really wanted cash and offered a 2% discount but I can’t get $2100 out of an ATM, and my bank is USAA in TX so I can’t exactly go there to get that kind of cash.

    Oh, and for local indie businesses I like, I just use cash or debit, because AmEx really puts the screws to them. Big chains and asshole proprietors can take the hit.

  43. drjayphd says:

    I’m still trying to plow through a checkbook I got when I opened my account nine years ago. Meanwhile, my mother (turned 60 this year) just got her first debit card. It will never get old (and by “never”, I mean “within 20 minutes, due to her storytelling technique”) hearing her try to figure out how it works.

  44. bainelaker says:

    Diesel, True Religion, Ed Hardy, and Lulelemon.. I’m going to use deductive reasoning here and say that jags douchebags no longer use checks. Interesting. My new restaurant will be check-only.

  45. broncobiker says:

    I’m wondering if they mapquest your address in order to see if you are really within 30 miles…

  46. Cybrczch says:

    Gas bill and electric bill (cheaper than the $3.00 fee both charge for online payment)
    Two restaurants I frequent, neither one take credit or debit cards.

  47. aplusboy says:

    I write two checks a month. One is rent the other for a utility. Plus I use two postage stamps each month to mail them. At this rate I will never be out of checks but will need to buy stamps in mid 2012.

  48. wenhaver says:

    I work for a place that prints personal checks. I am, however, a bad employee as my bank gives me checks for free and the only checks I write anymore are for rent (it’s free to drop the check in the slot when I’m checking my mail; it’s $1 to have the bank mail it. I pick free). Happily, my company has other revenue streams, or people’s check writing behavior would have put us out of business long ago.

  49. Haughey6 says:

    Checks (or cheques) are being phazed out in England, they will no longer be accepted after 2018. Check out the story at [www.dailymail.co.uk]
    Apparently in the 1990’s 4 billion cheques were written in the UK every year, this year they expect 1.6 million to be written.

  50. Taubin says:

    The only thing I’ve written checks for is my “drivers responsibility act” crap that goes to the state treasury for a ticket I got a couple of years ago.

  51. johnrhoward says:

    I haven’t written a check in at least five years, and really can’t think of any reason that I would want or need to. I don’t understand why anyone uses them anymore for anything.

  52. Kiaga says:

    I still write checks for rent and a couple of monthly bills that I can’t pay online. I can’t remember the last time I used a check while shopping.

  53. dabomb4097 says:

    When I worked at a K-Mart even 3 or 4 years ago, hardly anyone wrote checks. And the majority of those that did write them wound up being fraudulent.

  54. tile says:

    i dont understand why anyone still writes checks. its the dumbest way to pay ever.

  55. pestie says:

    I can’t remember ever using a check to pay for something in a retail store, and I’ve had a checking account since I was 17 or so (I’m 37 now). I’m still using the box of checks I got when I opened my most recent account, in December 1999. I pay all my bills online through my bank, who will send a paper check to anyone who doesn’t take EFT’s.

  56. synergy says:

    I haven’t written a check in just over 5 years.

  57. jose14 says:

    I have no problem when a retailer refuses to take my check. I just buy the items somewhere. I don’t want a check card and I don’t want to pay for something with a credit card if it isn’t being ship to me. I don’t want to be treated as if I don’t have money when I write a check. Our banking system has so many flaws and retailers have countless issues in handling people credit cards and debit cards that I wouldn’t allow anybody to access to my bank account or pre-write a check for me. I had my local Pizza Hut to refuse to take a check when they were going to delivery at my home. I try my best not to order out because I don’t care too much about eating other people cooking. It was pass eight in the evening. I was kind of upset but I went to Bi-Lo and got me a two steaks and a bag of potatoes for less than what I was going to pay to Pizza Hut. Of course, Bi-Lo did take my check. I wrote a comment to Pizza Hut and Thank them for saving me some money that evening and plus for having a better meal. Since it was late in the evening, the butcher was marking down meat. I have to remind myself to go at night to get better cuts of meat. The next time that I called Pizza Hut, they offered to accept my check before ordering. Retailers, before you start refusing checks, you need to have the product that nobody else has to claim that right because I will politely put my wallet back into my pocket and drive down the road to buy it somewhere else. You may think that you are making me feel inferior by refusing my check but you are really giving me the opportunity to find something better down the road than what you are offering. Retailers have to recognize that they aren’t the only one on the block selling that same product.

  58. Stephen Colon says:

    @bohemian: Same issue here… It’s just obnoxious. Although they do allow students to bring large amounts of money to school for payments, there’s no way I want a $300 sports payment hanging out at a high school campus.

  59. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    @StanTheManDean: Specialty retail. More precisely, dog dresses.

  60. JulesNoctambule says:
  61. West Coast Secessionist says:

    @treimel: For paying rent, using online bill pay is the way to go. You just put in your landlord’s name and address, payment amount, and for your “account number with biller” just put in your address if your rent isn’t that formal.

    Then the landlord will get a check in the mail. Every bank’s online bill pay lets you do this. Plus, it saves you the cost of the stamp, and if the billpay check gets stolen, they don’t usually have your real account number. Plus, if you’re so inclined, you can set up autopay and forget about paying your rent.

    My bank (Schwab) deducts from my account after the check is cashed, but my old one (Citibank) deducted the money as soon as they sent the check. YMMV.

    I’m currently 100% automated (I don’t pay any bills). All my bills are charged on my cash back credit card or from my checking account where that is the only option, and then the credit card is auto-payed-in-full every month.