Those Who Are Scared Of Change Are Doomed To Repeat Their Mistakes

, , , , , | Right | May 15, 2019

(I work at a high-end grocery store, where the POS accepts the chip on credit and debit cards. I witness this exchange at the checkout:)

Cashier: “Your total is $35.97.”

(The customer attempts to hand the card to the cashier and the cashier gestures to the machine. The customer slides her card. The machine alerts the customer to please enter the card, but the customer continues to slide her card.)

Cashier: “Does your card have a chip?”

Customer: *annoyed* “Yeah, but it doesn’t work.” *continues to slide*

Me: “Ma’am, even though it may not work, you’re going to have to use the chip three times in order for it to default to the slide.”

Customer: *finally listening, inserts the chip three times, smiles, and says* “Told you so.”

(She then enters the incorrect PIN, and an error shows up on the large computer monitor. This happens three more times, enough that the machine errors out.)

Cashier: “Ma’am, that didn’t go through. It says you used the wrong PIN. You’re going to have to use the card again.”

Customer: “No, it said to remove my card. It always says that when it goes through.”

Cashier: *at a loss for what to say*

(I step in:)

Me: “It didn’t go through; it has to be run again. The computer thinks you used the wrong PIN.”

Customer: *goes back to swiping the card again*

Cashier: “Ma’am, you have to try to use the chip because the machine won’t let you use the slide yet.”

(The customer repeats the same process, including the wrong PIN, and demands that the cashier enter her card manually. I call a manager up front, as only they can do that.)

Customer: “That cashier changed the PIN on my card. That’s why it didn’t work!”

Manager: “Well, let’s see.”

(The manager failed the chip three times, swiped the card, and then the transaction went through. The cashier and I still wonder how she thought we changed the PIN on her card.)

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