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The Chip Reader Vs The Stubborn Manager


Freddy face patFrom: wrecklessheart

So, chip readers are a very new thing in the town where I work. Our store and only one other have it. So suffice to say we've had a lot of issues with it being so new. Customers not knowing what it is, how to use it, people's chips not being read, etc...

Last night a young woman came in, buying just a couple of items. We had a long line a few minutes before so my manager got called up to help ring since it was only her, myself, and another co-worker on.

I guess the chip reader wasn't reading the chip in her card and it kept beeping like crazy and saying there was a chip malfunction. My manager keeps having the customer re-insert it each time. By this time it's only this young woman at the front. I can see she's getting very irritated and impatient, she's been trying this now for nearly ten minutes.

I say "you could manually enter it" after the tenth time. My manager just says no, it's fine, it'll work, just have to keep trying.

Manager S: "Well... it doesn't seem to be coming up on my register and I think the computer froze. wrecklessheart will ring you up right over here while I restart my system"

The young woman looks pissed, just says alright, and moves her stuff over to me. I scan the items and she goes to insert her card again. It declines again.

Me: "Okay so what's the issue?"

Carolanne facepalmS: "It's not taking her chip. I know if you do it multiple times, like three I think, it will say cannot use chip anymore and have them just swipe"

I kind of just look at her funny, because this lady had to have tried this 20 times now and obviously it isn't working.

M: "Well actually, I can just manually enter the card numbers and it'll be quicker--"

The customer nods and says yes in relief as my manager interrupts us both.

S: "No no, it will work, just keep trying to insert the card!" She starts pressing things on my screen like I don't know what I'm doing.

Customer: "Should I just go get some cash from my car?"

S: "No, it will work!"

I shoot the customer a sympathetic look as my manager exits from behind the counter and stands next to her to try and get the card to work a few times.

S just stares at me the whole time and I tell her, again, this isn't going to work and I'm going to put the numbers in manually for the customer.

S: "yes, yeah do that! It'll be much quicker!"

I just ignore her and enter the customers card numbers in while my manager walks away. The customer is very annoyed now and I feel bad. I tell her I'm sorry about all this and she says it's fine, to have a good night, and FINALLY leaves with her stuff.

She had to be in the store for about 20 minutes for some Kleenex and mascara. If my manager had just listened, she would have been out in about less than five. And irritated the crap out of me how she didn't listen to me.

Just because you're the manager, doesn't mean you know everything.





S: "No no, it will work, just keep trying to insert the card!" She starts pressing things on my screen like I don't know what I'm doing.
*pushes manager's hand away, punches numbers in manually, and sends customer on their way.*


There is no way to bypass the chip if the card has one, aside from manually entering the number. If you try and swipe it, it knows there's a chip and won't take it, and it doesn't 'give up' after three tries.

The drawback is that if you manually enter a card number and they dispute the charge, the merchant will be liable for it because they didn't use the available security features. (That it wasn't working correctly isn't relevant; the CC company's view is to contact the provider of the terminal and get it replaced. )

Misty Meanor

Stupid is as stupid does!

Bored at the Bookstore

At my small store, hand-entered charges were charged at a higher rate - in other words, the charge company demands more money from the merchant for that sale than for a swiped card. Many places don't want to pay the extra fee, so they strongly discourage hand-entered sales, even tell customers it can't be done.


Bored; that is true. It's an insurance thing. (in the sense of 'we want insurance', rather than 'you're paying for insurance') The higher rate is intended to discourage hand entry, because that's the easiest way for fraud to happen. If the card is swiped, it's charged at a lower rate because it proves there was at least -a- card there, and if you entered some verification information like the zip code or last four of the card (A common way of faking is to put a phony strip on a real card, so if you're not paying attention it looks like a real card. Entering the last four of the card will show them not matching.) it's lower still.

The chip cards are lowest of all, because it's very, very uncommon for them to be fakable (I can't say 'impossible', because if it can be done, it can be undone, but it's not real likely).

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