Orchard Supply Hardware LogoI went to the Orchard Supply Hardware in Santa Rosa on Friday, June 10, at about 6:40PM.  I wanted to purchase a pair of gloves.  I chose my desired model, size, and was greeted by cashier Elizabeth.  She scanned the gloves and I attempted to pay with my Visa credit card.  She stated that she must look at my identification due to “store policy” and referred me to a manager.

The manager that arrived was named Mark.  Elizabeth explained the situation.  I asked him if this was true.  He said “you don’t know it’s not.”  I told him to produce a written policy that substantiate his statements.  Then I told him I don’t carry ID at all times, VISA does not require supplemental identification to process a transaction, and that he was violating their merchant policy.  He said that he was “trying to protect” my money.  I was trying to give them my money.  I told him that he could check the signature on the pinpad device against the one on the back of my card if was so worried about my money.

After the manager tossed my card down on the counter, he was reluctant let my card be run, but he warned that next time, I better have identification.  He asked me how I arrived to the store and stated, “You better not be driving.”  I told him that I lived close by and I walked.  He then stated that I must carry a drivers license around at “all times” even while walking.  I told him, according to California law, that his statement was untrue, but you must identify yourself to a police officer if asked.  He then said, this direct quote, “Man, you are being really difficult today, I hope you feel better when you’re back on your meds.”  He insulted me, the customer.

I am 100% positive that I was in the right as I have read the Consumerist and have lodged complaints against merchants before with Visa.  I was not trite with my tone and kept my composure during the entire ordeal.  I then requested the corporate phone number which the cashier gave me.

I have contacted OSH through their online store feedback form, informed VISA of the merchant who was not following their merchant agreement, and will call their corporate number first thing on Monday.

I want to let readers know, that regardless of the situation, a merchant cannot ask for supplemental identification to process a credit card transaction and then continue to insult a paying customer.

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