Contactless Isn’t THAT Powerful!

, , , , | Right | December 2, 2018

(I’m still quite new to my job, and I’m working one of my first solo shifts when the following happens. Our till system uses both a mouse and a touchscreen, and sometimes they can be a little over-sensitive, which makes it not uncommon for us to bring up the wrong menu when using them. I’ve been there long enough to know about this, and to watch out for it whenever I’m serving. Our card payment system isn’t contactless, and customers have to physically enter their card and PIN number for anything to be processed. A woman comes up to my till with a single item. I say hi and go to scan it when the till prints out a receipt for the last transaction. I’m a little surprised by this, which must show on my face, but I quickly realise that I’ve simply left the cursor over the “print receipt” button, move the mouse, and put the old receipt in the bin.)

Customer: “What was that? What’s happened?”

Me: “The till just printed out a duplicate receipt for the last transaction; nothing to worry about.”

Customer: “Have I been charged for their stuff?”

Me: “No, not at all. It was just a copy receipt.”

Customer: “Are you sure, though?”

Me: “Positive. It didn’t bring their items up on my screen; it was just a copy of their receipt. Besides, the card machine isn’t ready for payment, your card was nowhere near it, you’ve not entered your PIN or any other details, and you’ve not handed me any money; there’s no way to charge you.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I don’t want to be charged for someone else’s things!”

Me: “Definitely. There’s absolutely no way for that to happen.”

(She still looks dubious, but there’s nothing more I can say, so I scan her item and tell her the total.)

Customer: “Are you sure I’ve not been charged?”

Me: “Yes, 100% certain. The total is [price], the same as is on [item], and you can see it up there on the till’s customer display.”

(She finally pulled out her card — which had been in her bag up to this point — and paid. I finished the transaction and handed her her item as she scrutinised her receipt, which, of course, only had one item on it. On her way out, she turned to her husband and said, “I need to keep an eye on that card; I think I’ve been charged for someone else’s stuff.”)

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