Thursday, May 08, 2008

Costco employees should not lick ATM cards

Today, at the Costco in Rancho Cordova, California, a Costco employee licked my ATM card.

I'm not kidding.

When I tried to scan my card, the usual happened. It wouldn't scan. This happens a lot. I tried several times, to no avail. The cashier, "Victoria A.", then took my card from me. I thought she was going to scan it at her register, but I was wrong! Instead, she licked her index finger, rubbed it on the magnetic strip on my ATM card, then ran it through the scanner.

Yuck.

I guess she did not notice the look of horror on my face. I don't think I was quick enough to hide it!

To be fair, the scanner DID read the card once the card had been licked. I wonder if the guy behind me in line chose to pay with a check rather than scan his card.

I think Costco should have a policy about employee licking. What do you think?

12 comments:

Sophie Brador said...

ooooh. Yuck. If she were a dog, I wouldn't care, but this is just gross. phewy.
s

Rich said...

I've done this to my own card several times in the past, but I think it's bad taste to do it to someone else's card, especially in their very presence.

I've also done this while running a card through at restaurants, but with water instead of a licked finger.

Now that I know rubbing it with a plastic bag works though, I'm going with that.

Still more sanitary than licking money though.

Anonymous said...

If your fine with it and he/she asks you first why not. They are the ones putting the germs in their mouth to get your card working. Personally I have found rubbing the mag strip on a rubber insole to work almost 100% of the time.

Sham said...

Gross yes, but to be noted, Costco doesn't have or use plastic bags. At least it worked, hehehehe.

Anonymous said...

i used to work at the gap about 10 years ago and first we would put tape on the cards that wouldnt swipe, but then we got complaints because some cashiers left the tape on. we found out later to fold a piece of register paper on the card and that worked. i dont why people dont do that anymore its quick

Splash said...

Thanks for all the comments everybody!

I hope you all understand this post was very tongue-in-cheek....

Just a couple points to clarify:

(1) I already got out the hand sterilizer stuff and cleaned the card so no worries.

(2) I put tape on the card a while back, but the with-tape method causes the card to NOT be read at my fav grocery store and at Petco, so I'd have to carry tape around with me all the time in case I stop at Costco and Macy's, which are the two stores that won't read my ATM card.

(4) I get that Costco doesn't have plastic bags, but if this happens a lot, couldn't she have just had one handy, or had tape, or had register tape, or any of the other methods that folks have kindly suggested will work? It just seems like a hugely odd thing for her to do.

(4) What about all the spit building up in the reader? Won't that gum it up after a while? Hey, Maybe this is what's wrong with the Macy's readers!

53) Mostly, I just think, if this is really necessary, I'd prefer to do it myself.....

Turbo the Sibe said...

Never trust a human tongue. You don't know where it's been!

uday said...

Not that big a deal, and she got it working anyways. There are alot bigger things to worry about than a few little germies on your debit card. A little enzymatic card cleaning never hurt no'body.

Splash said...

The yuck votes outnumber the not-yuck votes by about 5 to 1.

Anne said...

ewww yuck! now if her dog would have licked it ... or your own dog ... maybe that would have been okay.

one day at the art gallery, an older gentleman i worked with (who is all about Fendi, Versace, etc etc etc) jumped up, ran to a woman who was browsing, LICKED his finger and accosted her to rub a scuff off of her expensive designer handbag. OMG i was horrified. she was MORE horrified.

we humans should keep our spit to ourselves, unless invited to share, lol ...

Cynthia Blue said...

LOL. that would not bug me... if she put the card right on her tongue, that would be gross!

Anonymous said...

One reason they are licked is your so called "plastic bag trick" will mess up the card readers. It creates a static charge in the reader and we all know what static can do to us if we touch some one when we are static charged... ZAP! So if you do not want your card to be licked then get a new one that will work or better yet, use cash. People must really think that us cashiers like to stand there while you keep sliding you card over and over and over again. And the poor people behind you with their arms full that thought "Oh this should go fast they have a card and 10 minuets later you give up and say "But it just worked at the other store. Each card reader is different and your card may not work on all readers. So to save yourself, the cashier and the customers behind you some time, grief and not to have your card licked, take the time to get a new card.

Oh, a bit more info on your cards. When you use tap pass/ pay pass it come up credit not debit. Please don't get mad at some one for asking to see your ID. We do this for your credit safety and the card company’s require this on all credit card trans actions. If the places you shop at do not ask to see your ID It could cost you lots of red tape BS in the long run. I know a guy that had no set spending limit on his company card and $25,000.00 later someone asked the guy who had stolen the card to see his ID. If we complain to the stores and card company’s about not carding for credit purchases we can save ourselves a lot of lost time, money and not to mention our credit scores. It all comes down to…. how safe do you feel knowing that anyone could walk up to a cashier with your card, Spend your money and then you have try and get it all fixed when all a cashier had to do is say “ I need your ID please. If all cashiers asked to see an ID we could stop most of the card fraud in it’s track. Remember…. It is your name, your credit score and your future on that card, the safety of your card should always be your first concern.