Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Anyone ever heard of this credit card policy before?

Anyone ever heard of this credit card policy before?

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 05:50 AM
  #1  
credit
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Anyone ever heard of this credit card policy before?

I'm arranging a dinner for 25 at a restaurant, and the booking manager there told me I would have to pay by cash or check -- I cannot use my credit card.

She says it's standard policy so the restaurant doesn't have to pay the 3% transaction fee on the large tab (about $1000). I say that's nonsense. If 25 of us walked into the restaurant and asked to have the separate tabs put on each of our credit cards, would the restaurant refuse?

This, I realize, is not earth-shaking but it is bothering me a bit, to the point that I'm searching for another restaurant. But let me first ask: Has anyone heard of a policy like this before?
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #2  
Sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sounds like pure greed to me. Give them $1,000 in added business and they're still not happy - they can't let go of the 3%? I'd also look elsewhere, only because of principle.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #3  
J
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Far as I understand it, it's against a merchant's credit card agreement to accept cards for certain purchases and not for others. I would call your credit card company and ask if this is the case with the card you want to use. Then you'll have the info you need to argue. I've encountered this internationally before and usually been able to get them to accept a charge. If you're deadset on this place and they won't budge, you could inquire about paying part on credit card, part by check.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:03 AM
  #4  
joan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As a restaurant owner, I've never heard of this. I believe this is against the rules of most credit card processors - they have strict rules about not charging customers fees, not having a minimum, not refusing a customer's card, etc.

The credit card processing companies are highway robbers, in my opinion. Mine just informed me EVERY time I swipe a card it will cost 21 cents (in addition to the percentage fee). So if Joe Customer brings me a worn out old card and I swipe it six times (not unusual) before the $2.50 transaction goes through, too bad. Or I can "hand key" it for an even higher fee. But I cannot refuse the card, or the customer can report me and the processor can "take away my privileges". When I called and questioned it, they actually advised me to "raise your prices and give a discount for cash". How's that for brass ones?

I would just show up and hand them the credit card at the end of the meal. They'll accept it. They have no other choice. Just smile, remain pleasant and insistent. Point out that there's no sign or notice on the menu.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:03 AM
  #5  
Sara
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Of course it is their right not to accept credit cards at all from anyone but if they accept credit cards in other instances, they should from a large group also. That is, accepting credit cards means they must build that 3% charge into their pricing just like they do overhead, wages, cost of food, etc. Assuming this is the case, they would in a way be charging you for something they are not giving you. If you choose to use cash or check, that is your decision but being barred from it just because you bring a large group seems a bit dishonest.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:05 AM
  #6  
x
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you think about it, the restaurant should already be including the 3% in their prices as a cost of doing business. How many people use cash these days anyway? If the owner isn't recouping the 3% in his prices, I'd suggest he's probably not a very good businessman.

Alternatively, this may be a subtle way of trying to steer someone away from their establishment. By requesting cash, they assume you might look elsewhere. Perhaps they don't do a very good job with large groups or large groups are disruptive to the normal operations of the place.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:07 AM
  #7  
Sherry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I encountered this issue once with a large bill, as well. I called American Express, the card issuer, and reported the company. They send investigators out, and could yank the restaurant ability to use their card. Even if they don't, it will scare the restaurant and set them straight.

It is against the restaurant's agreement with the credit card co. to do as you said they have done. They are in breach of contract.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:38 AM
  #8  
Dick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
With so many people wanting to accumulate frequent flyer miles, I am surprised they would even bring it up.

I paid for my son's wedding rehearsal dinner with a credit card(significantly more than $1000) and had no touble at all.

Sounds like they could be having some financial problems and want the cash.

Is it a neighborhhod restaaurant or a chain.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #9  
OliveOyl
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Joan..that .21 charge is outrageous! Are there plenty of processors to choose from? Sounds as if there must not be. I agree, I don't believe you can selectively choose to accept a card for some charges but not others.

This isn't exactly on topic, but I had a new one this week. Nordstroms sent me my new card to replace the one we currently use and the new one was no longer the store's card, but a Nordstrom Visa!! I carefully cut it into little pieces. One Visa is enough thank you. Then you have Neimans who will accept ONLY their store card, no others, for credit transactions. It's getting to be such a racket isn't it?
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:54 AM
  #10  
me
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Olive, I can't believe Neimans only accepting their card. Sears tried that with Discover and got burned by doing it. I guess they don't learn.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 06:56 AM
  #11  
Dr. Head
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Completely rediculous. The manager is a moron. He's willing to throw away $970 or more, to save $30??? I'm sure the owner would be interested in his manager's fiscal wisdom. I'd call and ask who the owner is, and try to contact them directly.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #12  
r-travels
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Are you ordering from the regular "walkin" menu (full-price), or getting "banquet menu" (discounted) prices? That's the only reason I could see not allowing credit cards - that the price is already discounted, but even that scenerio doesn't really justify refusing a $1000 sale. Maybe "x" is correct in that they just don't want a group of 25. Maybe this should be a signal for you to find a different place - one that values your business.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #13  
Patrick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree that this is an outrageous practice. But I wouldn't make a big issue or try to force them to take the card. I can't imagine anything worse that starting out this wonderful evening with the management already resenting you and bearing a grudge. I'd try to find another place!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #14  
My Story
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Haven't heard of this policy, but there's no way I'd hand cash to an establishment like this. Hope you can find another site.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:16 AM
  #15  
Lynn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
"Credit Card," I agree with the other posters who feel that this booking manager is way out of line to say that they won't accept your credit card.

I have found that it often works to tell them that you feel this is unfair (not to mention illegal) and that, if they persist, you'll simply cancel the reservation and they'll lose not just the $30, but the entire tab. In addition, tell her that you plan to call VISA and see what they have to say about this. I'd wager she'll change her tune in a big hurry; any businessperson with a brain in their head can see that the stupid $30 isn't worth the trouble you're about to cause for her and her employer.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:24 AM
  #16  
Patrick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I totally agree with you in principle, Lynn, but I'll still stand by my opinion of opting out of the place. As you say, "the trouble you're about to cause. . ." Let's face it the restaurant is not likely to treat you well when they've already pegged you as a troublemaker -- right as you may be about it.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:25 AM
  #17  
Jen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
American Expres is SO interested in hearing about these situations, they even include a prepaid post card in their bills, sometimes, asking about businesses who disrcourage customers from using this cc. (They have a higher transaction fee than MC and Visa). If you have an Am Ex, do tell them about this, they'll get on his case big time!

The other things to watch ofr when booking a grou like this is that most restaurants will automatically add on a gratuity for large group s(often just 6 or more). So be sure you don't pay this twice and you might even want to check in advance what percent they add on!
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:35 AM
  #18  
joan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Olive! ...yes, there actually are lots of processors. The thing is, their fee structures are so complicated - fees for corporate cc's, foreign cc's, per month fee, percentage fee, per-transaction fees... and of course, cancellation fees ranging from $100-300 (I'm a very small business so I get the highest fees), not to mention *application* fees in the same range...you really have to study it to find out if can get a better deal. And the salesmen are obnoxious. But hey I'll just raise my prices! Grrrrr!!!! (Our reputation has been built in part because of our low prices.)

I'm sure that's more than any consumer cares to know, but they're not the only ones getting screwed by the credit card companies. We love good ole cash! Credit, if you really love this restaurant (I'm betting it's not a corporate chain) consider bringing the cash.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 07:41 AM
  #19  
credit
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks to all who replied. To answer at least one question: This place solicits large groups, so the credit-card refusal is not a ploy to discourage business.

I called Visa (the CC co.) and they said if the place shows the Visa logo, they're supposed to accept Visa for all purchases. They asked if I wanted to lodge a complaint against the merchant, and I told them I would deal with the merchant first, telling them what Visa said, and see if that gets me anywhere.

Normally, I'd just go elsewhere, but this place offers convenience for some out-of-towners, and they food and service there are quite good. I'll try to get back to all of you on the outcome.

Thanks again.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 08:06 AM
  #20  
Jason
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
"Booking Manager"...sounds like a self-imposed title.If she is the BM,then the place at least will accept a group.Meaning the kitchen,etc., can handle that size order.Most places I've heard of are more concerned that a set gratuity--15%--be INCLUDED with the tab.Rather than using a credit card.And a restaurant taking a personal check??From what I have seen that too is a thing of the past.If it ever WAS a thing.I agree...look elsewhere.There's bound to be a restaurant that will welcome you with open arms.
Jason
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:45 PM.