Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
Apr 12, 2009 09:53 AM

Khyber Pass: Montreal ???

I recently posted on this restaurant that said they accepted Visa on their door, but when it came time to pay the bill, they informed me that their credit card machine was not working and that they could only take cash. I labeled my post as a "credit scam" and another poster said that this was "libelous" and that this sort of that this sort of thing happens often in Montreal.

I'm sure that the bank machines used to process cards are not the same as the US, but having worked in many establishments that accept credit cards, ususally, when a POS machine, computer, credit device, whatever, goes on the blink, there's a way to process cards by taking an imprint, it's called the "old fashioned way."

My question is; has anyone else ever had a problem with this particular establishment with regards to not accepting credit card payment??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mmmm... last time I went they accepted credit card (maybe 1 month ago)

    1. OK, it must be a local thing as noted in the previous post.

      I actually asked a few restaurant owners here (New Hampshire & Rhode Island) and the consensus was if your machine is down, you should just write down the info off the card, get the card holder's signature and enter the info when the machine gets back online. This being a curtesy to the customer.

      Hoever, I'm glad you cleared this up for me, thanks!

      10 Replies
      1. re: bewley

        I've worked in a few places that had no standby system.
        Then I've worked in others that had a box ready with all the emergency stuff from credit card machines to flashlights and first aid kits ready.

        1. re: bewley

          Well even if it's a local thing, it;s still not acceptable practice. A more reputable organization should have notified the customer BEFORE seating them that the machine is down and that they will be required to pay in cash. If the machine goes down after someone is seated, they should have a backup system.

          1. re: hala

            Yes, I'm with you 100% on this issue.

            1. re: hala

              I've seen this, not having a back up for credit cards in almost every country that I've been to. It is not a local thing. Mistakes do happen.

              1. re: hala

                ITA. I would be really annoyed a restaurant doesn't inform me about a broken credit card machine, BEFORE I sit down for my meal. This is unprofessional and inappropriate, but I'll also would never call this a "credit scam". Credit scam means that they stole your card and bought porn with your money or stole your identity. These people are just unprofessional and uncaring.

                  1. re: emerilcantcook

                    Or again, the system went down during the meal. It happens.

                1. re: bewley

                  Actually, that ["you should just write down the info off the card, get the card holder's signature and enter the info when the machine gets back online"] sounds like a scam.

                  It's illegal to process a credit card transaction without the card & cardholder present (in any country). And where are they copying the info and signature? Talk about shady... or maybe you really know & trust everyone in those small towns (I hope so!).

                  Maybe they couldn't tell you the system was down before seating because it went offline during your meal? And how many places have those antique machines & forms for the old-fashioned method?

                  I'd be much more concerned if they had wanted to copy your credit card info and signature for later (I worked at a gas station, saw thousands of $ in credit card transactions per shift and intercepted counterfeit/stolen ones, btw. Oh, and one of my co-workers was fired & prosecuted for copying numbers).

                  1. re: Shattered

                    I do agree with emerilcancook that my original posting "credit scam" was innapropriate, but I'm not in accordance with what you're saying Shattered.

                    When credit cards do not run through the machine, due to faulty magnetic strips and whatnot, the number and info must be entered manually. Plus, when you give a card to your serve or cashier, they could in effect write the info down to steal it.

                    There has to be a matter of trust between the customer and the shop. A signature IS the authorization. What about orders over the phone or online??

                    1. re: bewley

                      Agreed. And that's why there are checks and balances. All gas stations, convenience stores, and most retail have cameras behind the cash (and all over the place).

                      Phone orders are recorded, and operators can be traced by logging into their computers (this goes for anything cs, something to keep in mind when you get shitty service).

                      Online, that's trickier because there's no human element, but you can see a website's security certificate, and use known companies.

                      This is kinda longwinded, but the point is, having worked in all these areas, I'd say the hustle & bustle of a restaurant, with lack of watchful eyes/technology, is the place where fraud could occur most easily.
                      Also far and away the easiest place for someone who stole your info to use it (that is, even supposing the fraud's noticed when your bill comes around, how do catch them? The server will remember their face a month later?) Most restaurants have cameras only to prevent pilfering in the backrooms, if at all.

                      So yes, trust is necessary. Start by protecting yourself and not letting them copy your info for later (again: illegal). It's worth the walk to an atm or embarrassment of asking someone in the group with cash if you can repay them later.

                2. We've eaten at Kyber Pass many times and usually pay with a card. The staff is always so kind to us, often bringing the kids toys and free desserts. i love Khyber Pass and don't think they would try to scam anyone or even mean to be rude.

                  1. Two summers ago we ate at KP and they didn't take Mastercard, just Visa. I didn't notice this when we went in but it wasn't awkward fortunately because someone had a visa card. They also said they couldn't do debit. But no one felt scammed about it.

                    Have to say I didn't like the food all that much. It wasn't very distinctive between the different items, at least what our table of 6 ordered. Haven't been back but I liked the ambiance and it was fun, in a touristy sort of way. Not that the OP was about the food....

                    1. In my original post (which was deleted due to the provocative nature of the heading) I noted that the service was excellent and the food pretty good. It was just when it came time to pay the check that I had any issues. We though the table 'd hote menu was a good deal and the fact that it is byob was a plus as well.