Chuck tells Consumerist that he witnessed a strange transaction at Pizza Hut recently. When another customer went to pay for her purchase with a credit card, the person behind the counter asked to see her ID before allowing her to pay for her pizzas with a credit card. She didn’t have any ID with her, and was forced to leave without her pizzas.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut yesterday near my hotel waiting for my to-go pizza (please don’t blame me for not wanting something better; Pizza Hut’s pan pizza, especially at just $10, is a weakness for which I shall surely pay) when I observed another customer come it to pick up here two-pizza order and pay for it with her credit card. The person behind the counter asked her for ID, and she began searching through her wallet and failing to find it. After about a minute of the fruitless search, I decided to speak up and offer my standard “you understand that the merchant agreement you sign with the credit card company specifically prohibits requiring ID as a condition of sale” speech.
It did not have any effect. The person behind the counter said it was out of his hands, and that his manager had said that he must require ID or be fired. I did reply in sympathy, saying that in this economy, I can very much understand wanting to keep a paying job (especially as I’ve been unemployed for more than 6 months now), and that I understood that the directive was coming from above him, but that the company risked losing its ability to take credit cards if it violated the merchant agreement.
The woman was ultimately unable to find her ID (which also made me wonder as most people use a river’s license as ID, and how did she get there without having her license on her) and left the two pizzas sitting there. Whether she returned for them later or gave up on the quest, at least at Pizza Hut, I cannot say, as my order was ready soon after and I was back to my hotel room to watch what was ultimately a disappointing March madness matchup.
Did Chuck witness a thwarted fraud attempt, or an overzealous store violating its credit card merchant agreement? We’ll never know. What we do know is that the store’s demanding ID for a credit card transaction isn’t actually permitted, no matter what the Pizza Hut’s manager may insist. You can print out handy wallet-sized cards with the relevant information and number to call in order to prevent this from happening to you.
Oh, yeah, and don’t go driving without your license on you. That’s just stupid.
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