Thursday, April 27, 2017

Using The Force

A guy wants to use his HSA (Health Savings Account) card to pay for his medication. For those who don't know, this is a Visa card set up by one's employer with funds to pay for prescriptions and medications.

I feel a great disturbance in The Force...

I scan in his prescriptions and tell him the amount. I tell him to press the <CREDIT> button on the point of sale machine. Instead he ignores me and presses the <DEBIT> button. This causes the point of sale machine to ask for the PIN to complete the transaction.

"I don't have a PIN," he says.

Use The Force, Luke...

I reply... "Press <CANCEL> then press the <CREDIT> button."

"I don't want to cancel the transaction," he replies.

"This is how we get the machine to accept your card," I say.

"I don't want to be charged twice," he says.

Luke, you've turned off your targeting computer...

"You won't be. Press <CANCEL> then press the <CREDIT> button to pay."

"But it's not a credit card," he argues.

"This is the only way to get the transaction to work unless you have a PIN for this card."

"I don't have a PIN," he says.

We covered that part already, I'm thinking.

So I give up and decide to just wait. He looks at me, then back again at the point of sale machine. A good fifteen seconds passes then he decides to throw the dice. He presses <CANCEL> then <CREDIT>...

Approved! A receipt prints. Another satisfied customer!

The Force will be with you... always.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to use a Jedi mind trick to get people to what we need them to do.

Anonymous said...

CC machine prompts are counter-intuitive and vary from place to place. I understand his confusion, although as this was YOUR machine, he should have just done what you said because presumably you'd know how to make your machine work. I was given a debit card that didn't seem to work (it would ask for a PIN which I didn't have). So I'd just give up and use another card, until one day, when there was no impatient line behind me, I asked the clerk to reset the machine and tried another option and, VOILA, the card worked. I wish a clerk had told me that debit machines often require one to do something counter-intuitive, but either the clerks don't know what you're trying to do, or they don't know how to use their machines either--or more likely they don't care.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that when we are given these cards they stress over and over that it works as a DEBIT card and the money comes straight out of our account, just like our regular DEBIT card for our checking accounts. So the confusion at least has a basis in reality, although his hearing skills do not.