There’s No Contact But We Can Still Find You

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(I’m a front side service member, meaning I do everything from cleaning to taking orders to checking out customers. This happened a year or so ago, when contactless payments or card “tapping” started to become more commonplace.

A customer comes up to the till.)

Me: “Afternoon, sir! Enjoyed the meal?”

Customer: “I did, actually. Here, my ticket.”

Me: “Thanks. All right, we had [order]. That’s a grand total of [price].”

Customer: “Debit card, please.”

(The customer starts tapping his card to the side of the terminal.)

Me: “Oh, I’m afraid the tapping feature is disabled. Our register system isn’t set up to accept those yet.”

Customer: “What do you mean? This is a contactless card, and the terminal says I can pay contactless.”

Me: “True, it does say that. But all that means is that the terminal could, in theory, assuming the register is set up. Ours isn’t, so you’ll have to insert the card.”

Customer: “No! I can and I will pay contactless!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible at this time. We’ve tried to get it online, but it broke down right after. Just insert your card, please, and we can pay it the old-fashioned way.”

Customer: “No! This is ridiculous! I should be able to pay however I want!”

(The customer left without paying. Since he was a lot bigger than I am, and I had a line of customers to deal with, I didn’t stop him. Instead, I noted down his license plate, checked with the manager if the cameras were running, and sent the bill to his home address… paired with a lovely dine and dash fine.)

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