IHOP Threatens To Call The Police Because You Refuse To Show ID With Credit Card

Reader Jered says that IHOP refused to accept his credit card without seeing ID and threatened to call the police and report him for dine-and-dashing if he didn’t show it to them. Here’s his story:

I went to IHOP(INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES) on March 30th with my wife to eat. After our meal I went to the counter to pay and presented my Visa as payment. I was asked for photo ID, and kindly declined. I was then told that they were not going to be able to accept my card without photo ID.

I then offered my MasterCard(so that I could later fill out a complaint) and was also told a photo ID would be required. I then explained that I had no other form of payment, that it was against both Visa & MasterCard’s merchant rules. I was then directed to the manager, who I politely explained to that if he expected to be paid for the meal he offered me, he had the choice of accepting and honoring my card, or not getting paid.

At this point the manager called the police and was attempting to have me arrested for Dine-and-Dash, even though I was the one trying in good faith to present payment, and they were the one’s refusing, based on a ‘store policy’ that was in a direct breach of contract, their merchant agreement. My wife then showed her Visa(same account number) and her ID, and was fully embarrassed and outraged that they were trying to have me arrested because THEY refused to accept payment. I found this completely unacceptable, I called their Corporate Headquarters in Glendale, California, as did my wife, and filed complaints. We were told a Field Rep for the area would call us, but none ever did. I’d plan on going back there with just my card and no ID and let the police come, but as a matter of principal I can simply not got back there after something like that.

— Jered,

We think you’re right in not going back. Why give your money to bullies? It is indeed a violation of IHOP’s merchant agreement with MasterCard to refuse payment without photo ID, except in the case that they need to ship something to you and have to verify your address. Did you plan on having your partially digested waffles FedExed?

MasterCard Merchant Manual (PDF) [MC]