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  1. To the OP and anyone else: sorry about getting somewhat off topic there. Just trying to make some sense of the policies. So, it's been said already, but yes, the outlet mall WAS in violation of Visa/MC policy. I'm with you on not wanting to hold up the line, but you really probably could have gone back and had a field day.
  2. Correct. Security stands inside the mall itself, not in the anchor stores. It's about time they got a teen board! I'd not heard about that. Okay, back on topic.
  3. NOLO rocks. They have some great guides. Their guide to starting a small business has helped me a lot so far, and they cite a lot of books specifically on forming an LLC. Some stores may have a NOLO section, otherwise they can be found in the Business/Entrepreneurship section of your local bookstore. If you check your local library, as well, they may have a business librarian there who can give you some other suggestions. So far, as far as forming the business I recommend the NOLO guide and the business forums (unfortunately, though, I've not had a chance to read all the books available, and haven't found any others that worked for me). Your local Secretary of State and LLC offices may have some other options, too.
  4. It sounds like it might be asking for trouble. Do you have a good business banker who knows you, your business, and all that jazz? They may be a huge help in helping you find ways to raise the funds. It might also be a good idea to talk to an accountant and/or lawyer when you're planning--they might have more insight to help you do what you need to and to make it more legitimate.
  5. IMHO, don't over think it. 30,000 in credit cards is NO big deal, that may not be what you were thinking of (credit cards) but I turn them into cash just like a loan. When I pay them off, I get to use them again and if your running volume thru your cards they will raise your limits fast. I wouldn't think of "how can I get a business line of credit". I'd just get some biz cards with or without PG. How old are the collections? Right on! What a great way of thinking about it! It takes a lot of digging, but I've found some great resources in lesko.com, and Matthew Lesko's books (he's the guy in the question mark jacket, tacky I know, but still). He put out a book about getting money for entrepreneurs that has some fantastic starting points for getting loans, depending on your credit, what you're doing, and what you need.
  6. Sorry to hear it; that does NOT sound like a fun experience. I'm told that in Minnesota, Highland Bank may be able to open an account, and KleinBank may be able to open an account, depending on why you're on Chex and the amount of time that has passed. Best of luck to you!
  7. I had always thought that no state can require a law abiding citizen to carry id, except for licenses, permits and the like for sa specific purpose (driving, ccw, contractor's license). I'm pretty sure that the Supreme Court struck down any state laws saying otherwise some years ago. Using Google, I could find no reference to any Minnesota law making it "illegal to not have a goverment issued photo ID." The closest scenario that I found is that one can be arrested for verification of identity if an LEO is issuing a summons (ticket) for some infraction and has no proof of the miscreant's identity. I unfortunately do not know the exact law. I was made aware of this in 2001--a police officer told me this. Although I would rather not discuss the actual situation surrounding the conversation. I may be wrong, and may have been misinformed. If this is the case, I apologize for any misinformation. Edited to add: Actually, that's probably exactly the case, and I may have well misunderstood to understand that you must have ID at all times, rather than a verification of identity issue. Thank you for pointing that out! Now that you have, and remembering the situation, that's probably exactly it, and I simply misunderstood what I was told.
  8. It is in the evenings on Fridays and on Saturdays (I believe it starts at 4:30). This is from working at the Mall of America for 6 years, attending the high school and colleges there, and being carded a few weeks ago to get in. The Mall of America also requires all employees of all stores to have photo badges on them when not in common areas (store floors, back hallways, etc.). Edited to clarify that the back hallways are where badges are required. They are generally not required if you appear to be a customer.
  9. I agree wholeheartedly that if you go to the mall with just your bus pass and credit card, you should be able to make purchases. But in this day and age, is that really a realistic scenario? For example, at the Mall of America, if you look like there's even a chance you're under 21 on Friday evenings and Saturdays, you must produce ID to get into the mall. You don't have ID, you don't shop. For certain types of bus passes, you have to have ID on the pass (such as school/university bus passes and employer subsidized ones). You'd sure as hell better have ID if you get stopped on the bus or train and they want to verify payment and you're not using a bus pass and have paid cash and not gotten a transfer. You need ID if you're working at the mall, as well as many other places. In Minnesota--though I'm sure it's not the only place--it's actually illegal to not have a government issued photo ID on you at all times if you're over 18. And what of issuers like Bank of America, who give their cardholders the opportunity to have ID built into their cards? Would the cards themselves then not be a violation of the policy? When you get your card, you sign it and put it in your wallet (or sock drawer ). You don't make a copy of it and send it back to the issuer. The issuer, realistically, then has no way of knowing how you signed your card and if it matches the receipt. They do know how you signed the paperwork to open the account, but would that even matter? Most merchants, in my experience, don't even look to see if they match (they will check ID instead, feeling that it's harder to forge an ID than a signature). The policy assumes that the merchants are doing so, but how frequently does it happen? So, for example, you make a purchase, you sign "I Stole This Card" on the signature line on the receipt, and the merchant accepts it without checking the card. It's probably not how the card is signed, but how does the issuer know that? They just have the blind assumption that it's correct. Thus, the issuing bank may end up taking the loss. It's great that the cardholder is protected from fraud, and that's the way it should be. But aren't the merchants in the first line of defense against that? In any case, though, most of these clerks know NOTHING about these policies, and are not asking for ID out of malice or because they want to place a burden on the customer. Is it really right to be angry with them for violating a policy that they don't know about, and if they are doing something that seems like a reasonable way of protecting their customer and their company? Chances are, they don't know that if they don't check ID, that the customer is still protected from fraud. They may only see it as "if I take this as payment, and it is a stolen card, or a forged signature, or what have you, the card has been used. The customer has lost money. If I check ID, I can keep them--and possibly my employer--from losing money." They probably aren't thinking "Just get a signature, and that's all that matters. In the unlikely event it's fraud, the customer is protected by VISA and MasterCard, and my employer is protected by my getting said signature. I have nothing to worry about." Lord knows I followed the former train of thought when I worked retail--I had NO idea about Regulation E, VISA fraud protection, and all that jazz. Unfortunately, most retailers don't go out of their way to educate their workers, either. It's unfortunate, but is it really that bad to just show your license or work badge and get on with it?
  10. From what I have heard, the issuing bank will have to take the loss, as long as a signature has been obtained, period. Not the store, not the customer, not even Visa/MC. Maybe the policy is what it is because it's accepted that by associating with Visa/MC, the bank has made the decision to take the risk in exchange for greater purchasing power for their card holders? I don't know. I think if I try to understand the thinking behind this, my head will explode. But is that why people get so upset when merchants ask for ID--because it is against the policy of Visa/MC? (I'm sorry if I seem obnoxious about this in any way--I just want to understand where everybody is coming from in the discussions here.)
  11. True. And I'm not disputing that; I'd HOPE Visa and Mastercard would know what they're doing. Well, at least I have a vague idea of the logic of this. I've certainly heard worse logic. Thank you for your input!
  12. So the policy is what it is because that's just the way it is? "Because we say so, that's why"?
  13. I have worked for stores that ask for ID for credit card purchases. This became widespread practice starting a few years ago at a major tourist mall when things started happening like men named Jane Doe started making purchases... upon asking for ID, we learned that his name was actually Orville Redenbacher (just an example, of course). Or people not signing their cards, getting their wallets stolen, and then having the criminal sign the customer's name on the card in their handwriting. Starting in about 2002, almost every merchant in this mall asks for ID with a credit card purchase, in my experience. I have NEVER worked for a company that required that the information on the ID be recorded to accept a credit card. They look at the card, look at the ID, make sure it's the same person and that the signatures all resemble each other, and give it back. I currently work for a financial institution, and between my experiences with ID theft here and in working retail, I cannot understand why having a cashier take a look at the ID to make sure it's the same person is so offensive. I understand that the information should not be retained, but I would feel that it's actually unethical for the cashier to NOT at least glance at the ID (government issued or not, though the former is required to be on you at all times if you're over 18 in my state). Yes, it's annoying for the customers, but criminals ARE out there, and I HAVE come across more than one case where the signatures are reasonably similar, but the person making the purchase is NOT the cardholder. It's rare, but it does happen. So despite chargeback rights, policy, and so on, isn't it more ethical for the merchant to err on the side of caution every time rather than taking a risk? (Or is the logic that the customer won't be out any money, just the merchant or the financial institution, so it's perfectly fine to allow crimes to happen rather than preventing them when possible?) So why is it so important that retailers not ask for ID? I do not understand the policy and the MC/Visa regulations. Will somebody please explain the logic?

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