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Apr 26, 2010 11:43 PM

would you expect to be comped


would you expect to be comped in this situation?

you have received the items you ordered. you provide a credit card for payment. At that moment, the credit card machine goes down due to a power fluntuation. You are offered a discount and asked to pay with cash. You don't have cash though.

What do you think is the appropriate action by the merchant?

if it matters, This is a quick foodservice place, not a sit down restaurant.

  1. Maybe the amount of the bill would make a difference if you were to be comped. Experienced a similar situation in a sit down restaurant and they hand wrote a credit card slip I signed and put it through later, but the bill was around $25. I wouldn't expect to get comped.
    Maybe if I were the owner and the tab was $5 I might comp you. But, it would depend on the amount. What was the amount?

    1 Reply
    1. "At that moment, the credit card machine goes down due to a power fluntuation. "

      (my very rare paranoid side surfaces up) Me think they faked the machine issue and just want the hard cash to tax-evade.

      Just wait 2, 3 minutes and try again with the machine (and look at the machine!!) and it should work, if not then they should let you go to get some cash and come back to pay.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Maximilien

        the situation was real and the car was swiped multiple times, waiting for a response, and the machines did not come online (until 15 minutes later)

        the customer was told there is a bank across the street. the customer offered to pay with debit card (instead of credit) and was apologized to, and told that debit cards use the same system. the customer did not offer to go across the street and come back.

      2. i never expect to be comped.

        and certainly not in that situation.

        tell them they need to take the card, or you will return when you can w/ the cash

        1 Reply
        1. No comp....and quite frankly, I'm surprised the thought or question is even considered. The merchant records your information, including the security code on the back of the card and enters the information at a later time when the machine is up and running. He can have you sign the check and record signature on file on the printed receipt after he enters the information and a new receipt is printed. You can ask the business to forward you a copy or not.

          This would be similar to ordering something over the telephone or online.

          3 Replies
            1. re: fourunder

              +2. why would you even consider the restaurant not get paid because of a technical issue outside their control.

              1. re: jfood


                That's the way telephone orders are handled by all kinds of merchants. The merchant pays more for a transaction done without the card, but it's done all the time.

                I have no idea why the merchant didn't offer to just take your card info down for use later. Maybe an employee who didn't know what else to do?

            2. This happened to me about 2 months ago, the power went out during a storm. It was daylight and I was in a small pizza place with large plate glass windows letting in the daylight. I finished my meal, and when I went to pay, the credit card terminal was down. My bill was less than $10, but I hadn't brought much cash with me, I just grabbed my credit card when I left my office.
              The proprietor handed me his business card and wrote the amountg of my bill on the card, and said "please mail me a check" I left a cash tip for the waitress.

              When I got back to the office I oput a check in the mail. It turns out, the power wasn't restored for three days. About two weeks later I was back for another lunch, and the proprietor came oyver to the table to thank me for sending my check so promptly. He told me that every single patron who was asked to send a check did so within 48 hours.

              I think this was an appropriate action by the merchant, suggesting a trip to a nearby atm, would have been fruitless in a power outage.

              Now, I have a spare $20 tucked in my credit card case along with my license.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bagelman01

                i'm the Merchant in this case and the location of the (franchise) store is in the mall.. the power flickers are infrequent, but often times when it does happen, it does not affect the whole mall. I can see stores directly across the hallway which are not experiencing any problems. I don't believe power outside the mall is affected.

                Trying to think from the customer's point of view, I'd be frustrated because of the wait, which is why I offered a discount.

                I did not think of recording the numbers to ring later and would do that next time.

                this customer has complained (via corporate hotline) about the "worst service they ever received" and stated that they would like to receive free certificates

                1. re: chops888

                  It's one of those occurences that people aren't prepared for in today's electronics age. You'll be more prepared in the future.
                  There's always someone out there looking for a freebie no matter what you's the law of averages.
                  You were generous offering a cash discount.

                2. re: bagelman01

                  I'll bet this proprietor's common sense shows up in other aspects of his operation, too.