Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cash Only Restaurants

What is it with restaurants that don't take plastic? It's time to look at a calendar. Business owners should be looking for as many ways to make it easy for their customers to do business with them as they can. I'm still waiting to find a place that will accept Paypal or an SMS payment. Why not?

Putting up a sign that says "cash only" tells me a few things:

1) You think your customers should have to jump through hoops to eat at your restaurant.

2) You want "left pocket" money -- cash that won't show up in reports so you can fudge on your taxes.

3) You're running on such a thin margin that you're likely to go out of business at any second.

Any of those reasons is enough for me not to become a loyal customer.

And how do so many places get away with charging minimum amounts or adding a fee for credit card purchases? It's a violation of their merchant agreement to require a minimum purchase or a fee to use a credit card. Offering a discount for cash purchases doesn't cut it -- the merchant agreed to not treat customers any differently when using the card.

I've been asked for my driver's license when using a credit card. This too is a violation of their merchant agreement. Giving your driver's license and your credit card to a vendor is just asking for identity theft. There's enough information between the two of them to get an identity thief well on their way to making your life miserable.

You can report violators to Mastercard.

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