Credit or Debit?  

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I have felt this little rant coming on for a long long time now. I am forced to travel a good deal throughout my day. I don't like to carry any large quantity of cash with me on the road. I always figured that was the reason for my atm credit/debit card. Why else would they give me the damn thing unless they wanted me to use it like cash?

I dropped into the local mom and pop gas station/mini mart/video rental/post office/cafe/ you get the idea. I just wanted a damn snack. A couple of chimichangas and some potato wedges. Not much to ask right? I get to the counter and the pleasant woman behind the counter takes my atm card and asks credit or debit?
I ask her if there is a difference. She says they charge for debit. I tell her then I want credit. So I get my receipt to sign and sure enough there is a charge for credit use. I asked her about this charge, and she told me that it was for using the credit card. "But you said there was a charge for debit." I reminded her. "Yes but I never said there wasn't a charge for credit." she reminded me.
I almost stuffed the Styrofoam container down her pudgy throat.
Instead I walked out and left my items on the counter and tore up the receipt (which I might have thrown on the ground while leaving).

WTF!! Why would somebody go through the trouble of asking me if I want one or the other if they BOTH get charged the exact same amount. This got me to thinking about other items that I'm paying this surcharge for. I got gas and noticed a different price for cash and debit. I brought this up to the young man behind the counter and immediately he was defensive with me. He explained that it cost money to use those machines and they were merely recovering their costs. Funny thing about that was the old man that owns the store came out and told me that it would be the same price as cash for me, because they always charge cash prices if the customer asks. That got me to thinking that maybe this isn't the most legal of propositions. I'm now on a mission to find out.

We have been suckered. All these years we are told to carry this damn piece of plastic because it will make everything so much easier. All the while we are getting charged up the Ass for the very thing that is supposedly making things easier. Not just easier for us, but easier for the establishment we shop at. They are able to push us through much faster when we use plastic supposedly. It's like a big friggin line of cattle getting led to slaughter. We are just waiting our turn to get the little pneumatic rod stuck through our freakin head.

So I went to the bank and took out $100. I figured that from now on cash is just good enough for me. I will take the dirty looks from the cashiers when I give them cash. I know that most of these dumb asses don't know how to count back change to me without the aid of the cash register, so they are ticked off that they have to attempt it. We have been dumbed down by this "progress". Cash is almost a dirty word in most department stores. They are trying to get us away from the debit card and into bed with THEIR credit card. Regardless they still want us to use plastic. Because if we are using cash they can't track us very well can they.

I'll end this little tirade with a comical little story of the most satanic of all department stores Macy's. I went in their one day about a year ago. I was going to get a shirt. Just a plain ol' long sleeve button up shirt for my suit. I had cash (imagine that). The gal at the register asked for my phone number and address. I inquired as to why she could possibly need that for a cash purchase. She informed me that it so they could call me with any offers they might have from time to time. I told her I didn't want any offers, and that I just wanted my shirt. She would not ring up my purchase until I gave her my number. Needless to say I went home that day without a shirt, but they went without a sale. I wonder now how many people just give the information because it's asked. They probably figure it's a no harm no foul kinda thing. I disagree...I'll give you my freakin number when I feel like it. I'm the customer, and you should tell me please and thank you and take my money. End of story....


So buyer beware...We have been suckered in for a long long time. The quicker we get them to realize that we are gonna have it our way, the sooner things will come to at least resemble sane.

*Step down from soapbox*
BTW B of A YOU SUCK!!! (charged me $5.00 for using an atm from another bank and the other bank charged me $2.00)

This entry was posted at Wednesday, February 24, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

13 comments

Rant Away! I totally agree. My bank started charging every time one of its customers used their debit card. There was mass outrage. People switched banks. Soon they reversed their policy. It was plain crazy to begin with and just another way to gouge us. We are surcharged and taxed to death. I won't be surprised if a time comes when we will be charged a fee for using cash!!

February 25, 2010 at 12:32 AM

So far, I have not gone anywhere that charged a fee for using debit, but I know that day is coming. Amazing how they wouldn't sell you the shirt without a telephone number. I guess you could have made one up.

February 25, 2010 at 5:11 AM

The most satanic of dept stores BAHAHAHA and you wonder why I asked you what I did last night over email?

Nobody and I mean NOBODY does a rant like Bendigo!

I cannot agree more with every word you just said.

February 25, 2010 at 10:14 AM

I always give them an old phone number. I just know that whoever has that number wants to kick my ass. Oh well. I don't like telemarketers...

And I've never been charged for using a debit card. In fact, one of the liquor stores gives you a 5% discount if you use cash or an ATM card because they don't get charged credit card fees. I find it strange that an ATM would charge, but you live in Cali and I have seen it, my aunt went to a station where she paid a lower price for paying with cash.

*stumped*

February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Rae...you are so right it is just another way to gouge us...Then they tell us to spend spend spend...With what? They are already taking the purchase price plus the surcharge, plus the tax...SHEESH!!

Joe...I did consider making up a number, but then I realized that my number shouldn't matter. I'm stubborn about some of the most childish simple things, one of them is that you should always treat your customer with respect, and while it doesn't seem to be the case anymore it used to be the customer was always right...

Ian...you know they are satanic..I'm quite sure they have held a few sacrifices in the youth department after store hours. They are just evil...

Kristy...Telemarketers...now that is a story for another day. I have a great telemarketer encounter that I'll share with you guys next week... Next time instead of a number I'm gonna start crying or something and make a scene till they sell me the damn shirt.

Yeah Cali is very bad about overcharging surcharging, pretax post tax...They get you coming and going...BASTARDS!!

February 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM

You'd think, with all those crazy charges that we have to pay, it might be easier to get a loan from the bank.... But it virtually impossible to get money out of their hands nowadays....

When I worked retail, our corporate office asked us to ask customers for their phone numbers.... Whenever management wasn't around, we just entered (999) 999-9999.... Or we'd get creative and put #'s like (911) 911-9111, hoping that one day, someone from corporate would be calling emergency services to ask if they wanted to purchase party supplies from our store.

February 25, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Damn it!! A few stores still ask for our phone numbers here, but I don't care because we registered our phone number (like 99,99999% of the country)on the list that stops telemarketers from calling at our place!

So much peace since then!!

Love your rants!! (as always)

February 25, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Oh man I hear you! I have a B of A account and hate the bastards! They secretly nickel and dime you to death as do most major banks. Credit cards were invented by the devil. Unless one has extreme will power and self control, one is going into debt by using them handy little plastic cards. Another thing I hate is paying for air at the damn gas station. I remember when it was free! If it was free then, why can't it be free now for Hell's sake? Anyway good rant.

February 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Oh man, I am right up on that soapbox with you, shaking my fist for every amazing point you have. It's probably not the best thing ever, but I only use my debit card twice a month: to pay my bills and take out the rest of my cash to have on hand for the next two weeks.

I get charged an arm and a leg in fees to use my card, and this is ON TOP of being charged a crazy amount already from the bank so that I have unlimited usage of my card!!

WTF?

February 26, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Horrendous! I can't believe that about the shirt. I got rid of all my plastic, dreaded evil plastic.

February 27, 2010 at 6:22 AM

I love this. That's about all I can say. I started carrying more cash and avoiding using my debit card. I am amazed at the amount of money I save that way. Awesome post. :-)

February 28, 2010 at 7:18 AM

I say we all just boycott B of A and all the other blook sucking credit institutions...THEY ALL SUCK!!!!

February 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I am thankful my bank waves most of those stupid fees.

March 1, 2010 at 5:40 PM

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