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JoelDC

$25 credit card minimum - Is this allowed?

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I hate to pick on something that might seem minor, but tonight I was extremely embarrassed and inconvenienced at a bar and grill where I went to meet friends. We paid separately, and when the bill came it was under $25 and I had no cash. They informed me that my credit card (MC) could not be used because they have a $25 minimum on all purchases. I had to leave and go to an ATM to pay.

 

Isn't this a violation of the card agreement? Is there a way I can complain? I feel ill-treated and want to report them -- they deserve it.

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I hate to pick on something that might seem minor, but tonight I was extremely embarrassed and inconvenienced at a bar and grill where I went to meet friends. We paid separately, and when the bill came it was under $25 and I had no cash. They informed me that my credit card (MC) could not be used because they have a $25 minimum on all purchases. I had to leave and go to an ATM to pay.

 

Isn't this a violation of the card agreement? Is there a way I can complain? I feel ill-treated and want to report them -- they deserve it.

**NO MINIMUM CHARGE ON A CREDIT CARD**

 

NO MAXIMUM CHARGE ON A CREDIT CARD

 

NO FEE TO USE A CREDIT CARD

 

NO ID ON A SIGNED CREDIT CARD

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Yes, George, thanks. As my post implied, I had some reason to think a $25 minimum is not allowed.

 

What I'm getting at is: how to I do something about it? who or where do I call? Is there some expectation that the credit card company might take my complaint seriously?

 

These folks really are a**holes and I'd like to do something about the way I was treated.

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The fee is a cost of doing business

 

"IF" they are at a point of MAKE or BREAK with that small fee...maybe it is time to look for another line of work

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I'd call the 800 number on the back of the card, tell them what happened, and ask how you go about filing a complaint that the merchant in question is violating their merchant agreement with MC (i.e "no minimums allowed").

 

I'm not clear as to whether MC will let you file a complaint over the phone, (as opposed to filling out an online form) but I do know that they want to hear from cardholders when merchants attempt to impose purchase minimums, as that's a total no-no where Visa/MC are concerned (and AMEX, too, I believe).

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Yes, George, thanks. As my post implied, I had some reason to think a $25 minimum is not allowed.

 

What I'm getting at is: how to I do something about it? who or where do I call? Is there some expectation that the credit card company might take my complaint seriously?

 

These folks really are a**holes and I'd like to do something about the way I was treated.

Was it a VISA or MC

 

:wub:

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Report those bastards, sounds like a civil discrimination case to me, all the duress and emotional distress it caused you as you were ridiculed in front of your fellow colleagues.... :wub:

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Just one of the reasons I carry the credit card policy in my wallet

 

I keep it in the place "SOME" carry that EXPENSIVE CASH

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Report those bastards, sounds like a civil discrimination case to me, all the duress and emotional distress it caused you as you were ridiculed in front of your fellow colleagues.... :mellow:

 

Thanks for the helpful reply. Look, I'm not a crank. My initial post said that I hate to make an issue out of something that might seem minor.

 

But, you know what? I had to pay over $5.00 for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal, and the people were not nice.

 

Whatever.

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Report those bastards, sounds like a civil discrimination case to me, all the duress and emotional distress it caused you as you were ridiculed in front of your fellow colleagues.... :mellow:

 

Thanks for the helpful reply. Look, I'm not a crank. My initial post said that I hate to make an issue out of something that might seem minor.

 

But, you know what? I had to pay over $5.00 for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal, and the people were not nice.

 

Whatever.

ADD THE EXTRA FEE TO THE COMPLAINT

 

They may refund it to you (INCLUDING THE FEE) and add it to the fine they give the business

 

REPEAT OFFENDERS CAN BE FINED $1,000's

Edited by GEORGE

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Report those bastards, sounds like a civil discrimination case to me, all the duress and emotional distress it caused you as you were ridiculed in front of your fellow colleagues.... :mellow:

 

Thanks for the helpful reply. Look, I'm not a crank. My initial post said that I hate to make an issue out of something that might seem minor.

 

But, you know what? I had to pay over $5.00 for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal, and the people were not nice.

 

Whatever.

 

I am a civil suit fanatic. A five dollar fee and walking my fat @ss over to atm would lemonade me off severely. I would at least call and request a 5.00 reimbursement; maybe visa will give it to you. Cheap bastards, 25 dollar minimum.... how lame.

 

Good luck with whatever action you choose.

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OP, what's the name of this establishment? I hope you didn't leave a tip!

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I (many times have collected the cash from everybody else) THEN USED MY CREDIT CARD TO PAY FOR EVERYBODY's BILL

 

I just deposit the cash in the bank

 

I got miles for all that cash

 

Sad part is...somebody is a little short for the TAX PART (and always the TIP)

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Regarding the ID thing, some states have passed laws that actually make it legal for them to ask you for ID (which is stupid, because it takes a potential case of CC fraud, which is bad, and turns it into a potential case of identity theft, which is VERY BAD). I know my state (Washington) does (grumble)

 

http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4191886.html

 

But yeah, can't have minimums. If its local teriyaki shop I know they're violating rules but I like em and use cash or let them add $.50 on or whatever. If they're mean about it, they get reported :yahoo: (or if its like a starbucks)

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I would be really mad, but I think you handled the situation very well. I can guarantee it would have been a million times more embarrassing to you and your friends if you had decided to make a big scene.

 

If I were you, I would write a formal letter of complaint to the highest level of management. Tell them that the staff made you feel like dirt. Even though they were doing their job by enforcing company policy, they didn't uphold their job to provide good customer service. Don't threaten them, but do remind them that they violated the CC merchant agreement.

 

I work in the restaurant industry, and this type of letter should be able to get you your $5 back many times over in the form of gift certificates and coupons. (You may even be able to get your original bill refunded depending on their reaction.)

 

If the restaurant is a jerk to you after your letter, then complain directly to MC.

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Regarding the ID thing, some states have passed laws that actually make it legal for them to ask you for ID (which is stupid, because it takes a potential case of CC fraud, which is bad, and turns it into a potential case of identity theft, which is VERY BAD). I know my state (Washington) does (grumble)

 

http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4191886.html

 

That link you gave doesn't concern merchants asking for ID per se, it has to do with salamanders who insist on signing their cards "SEE ID" rather than with their actual signature.

 

If you don't sign the card, the merchant has nothing to compare the signature on the charge slip with. In which case, they can (according to your article) ask for ID.

 

You're confusing the above with folks who do sign their card on the back (the way they're supposed to) and yet are asked for ID anyway. While a merchant has the right to ask for ID, they cannot make it a condition of card acceptance (at least with Visa/MC). IOW: they have the right to ask for ID, but they still have to process the transaction if the card is signed and isn't expired (and the signature on the charge slip is at least somewhat similar to the one on the back of the card).

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Apologies: I missed the second line in that article and only caught it on a re-read. Sorry about that.

 

I must say that Washington lawmakers are pretty misguided if they think that allowing merchants to ask for ID prevents fraud in any sort of meaningful way. If I understand correctly, the vast majority of CC fraud happens when a given card is skimmed and the magstripe data is used to fashion a whole new card. After all, you don't want the original cardholder to report their card has been lost or stolen before you use their card data to buy a plasma TV, do you?

 

I think the card companies know that merchants asking customers for ID won't put any real dent into CC fraud. Which is why they don't require merchants to ask for ID to process card transactions.

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I probably would have just informed them they are not allowed to do that per Visa/MC rules, and mentioned they post signs stating they accept Visa/MC, and then just said "what's wrong with my money? is it not good enough for you?" If they insisted on cash I'd walk out without paying. (Hey, you tried! They refused your money, so what else can you do? I wouldn't just give in and walk to an ATM.)

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Regarding the ID thing, some states have passed laws that actually make it legal for them to ask you for ID (which is stupid, because it takes a potential case of CC fraud, which is bad, and turns it into a potential case of identity theft, which is VERY BAD). I know my state (Washington) does (grumble)

 

http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4191886.html

 

But yeah, can't have minimums. If its local teriyaki shop I know they're violating rules but I like em and use cash or let them add $.50 on or whatever. If they're mean about it, they get reported :rofl: (or if its like a starbucks)

 

Let them charge you the fee and get a chargeback of .50.

 

"They wrongfully charged a credit card fee."

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I wonder if they would have taken your card if you made a bigger deal about it...

 

like take my credit card or nothing... make it loud and clear that you want to pay by credit card and the business wont take it. If they still wont, say call the the cops. Continue to say your willing to pay by your credit card... when the cops come, they slap the business for not taking your credit card and calling them. Cops know this no min law but will think its dumb that the business just didn't take your card but now the business has your name & CC number... sigh.

 

now if your in some hick down where the business owner knows the cops... well you might spend a night in jail before it gets all sorted out but then you got a lawsuit... depends how far you want to push your luck... ha ha

 

bottom line, always carry a little cash & places that have mins, vote with your $ and don't do business with them.

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I had to leave and go to an ATM to pay.

You would have been really embarrassed if they called the police when you left to go to the ATM.

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