Monday, June 08, 2009

Credit Cards and Razor Blades

I was listening to the Summer Arts and Music festival on KMUD yesterday. A guy goes to the speaker and announces they'd found someone's credit card and cell phone. He mentioned the fact that the credit card wasn't signed on the back and suggested that wasn't a good idea.

That got me thinking on the subject again as I just received a renewed debit card a couple days earlier and the paper that came with it said, among other things, to be sure and sign the back of the card.

Thing is, I could of sworn I heard somewhere a few years ago that signing the back of the credit or debit card wasn't considered the thing to do anymore. The reasoning being if you sign the card and the wrong person gets hold of it, they know what your signature looks like and can forge it.

I took that for granted until yesterday when I realized that, if you leave the card unsigned, a thief could just enter his own signature in the space and a merchant would naturally accept the card and signature as he'd have no way to know whose signature it really was.

I guess it works both ways and a thief could make out in either circumstance. So what should I do now: Sign the card, or leave it blank? What would you do?
Speaking of razor blades, went to buy some new blades yesterday. Something I don't do very often. What's with the price of razor blades nowadays? The ones that fit my razor cost something like $12.99 for a five pack at Rite- Aid. I didn't remember them being that expensive.

I really didn't feel like paying so much for them so I started looking at all my options. I finally noticed, down below the ones I needed, some Rite- Aid brand blades that I thought were some generic version of the ones I use for around $4.99. Looking closer, though, I realized they weren't the same ones.

Then I noticed, right next to them, a Rite- Aid brand Matrix 3 razor with 2 extra blades for $5.99. The blades I thought were generic fit that razor. SOLD! Heck, I could buy a new razor and four extra blades for the same price of 5 of the blades I normally buy.

I went ahead and bought the new one. What a deal.


At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Eel River Ernie said...

Instead of signing the card you might want to write "ask for picture ID."

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to "Shave and a hairecut...2 bits."


At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you brought up shaving supplies, what's the deal with styptic pencils? You know, the white sticks that help stop the bleeding when you slice off pieces of your chin? They used to be easy to find, and less than 1 dollar. (Even Winco had them). Now about the only place I've found them is Walgreens and they're almost 3 dollars!

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Fred said...

write "ask for picture ID."

Yesterday I asked the gal at the credit union what they recommended and that's what she said.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For many years I have not signed any credit cards or store charge cards and put ask for ID on the back.

I stopped signing them when shopping at a large department store one Christmas and I got someone elses charge card and he got mine and we both continued to shop in various departments that day. I never looked at the card before I put it away and when I got my bill I saw that there was only one item that I had actually purchased and then looked at my card to find it was some other persons name on it and called the dept store and said there had been a mix up in cards. It was a mess to get straightened out and I could only imagine if that had been a credit card.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Cards With bad Credit said...

Yes, the picture ask at back is a great idea.

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Casual Observer said...

As a person employed in retail, I seldom look at the card. You swipe it yourself in the terminal and enter pin number or signature and I give you your receipt. I don't even have to handle the card. I feel that the prudent shopper will have reported a lost or stolen credit/debit card and the processing firm will accept or decline the purchase. Buyer be ware.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger beachcomber said...

I have "please see ID" on mine though we were scolded severely in Canada. Apparently they're supposed to confiscate unsigned cards. YIKES! And don't forget to thank every clerk who is paying attention and DOES ask to see your ID.


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