I got this mostly useless response to the complaint I sent CVS about their clerk asking to see ID for a credit-card purchase:
Dear Mr. Kamens,
Thank you for your recent email.
Please accept my apology for any inconvenience we may have caused you. Unfortunately, I am not privy to the transaction itself and do not know specific information necessary in determining the reason for checking your identification.
If a consumer makes a purchase with a credit card that totals over $50.00, the cashiers are instructed to request identification to protect the cardholder’s identity. If the situation happened differently and the identification was requested for a total below $50.00, then it was not necessary to request such information.
I have forwarded your comments to Jeffrey Anderton, District Manager. He will address this matter with his staff at their next meeting.
Again, Mr. Kamens, we appreciate the time you took to inform us of your concerns. CVS has a commitment to service. We value your patronage and look forward to serving you again soon.
Customer Relations Representative
Here’s the response I sent:
Ms. [name deleted],
The transaction in question was indeed for more than $50, and it is exactly CVS’s policy of asking for ID for such transactions to which I am objecting.
If Visa does not recommend asking for identification for any transactions, then why does CVS think it somehow “protects the cardholder’s identity” to do so?
I use my credit cards pretty much every day. I have made tens of thousands of credit-card charges, many of which have been over $50 (e.g., just about every trip to the grocery store), and the other night at CVS is the first time in my memory that I have been asked for ID.
Why does CVS think that it needs to do something special to “protect the cardholder’s identity” that no other merchant I’ve ever encountered thinks is necessary?
If my credit card is lost or stolen, then I am not responsible for the fraudulent charges incurred on it as long as I notify the issuing bank when I discover that it’s gone. If someone uses a stolen credit card at CVS, then CVS is not responsible for the fraudulent charge as long as the clerk checks the signature (for purchases over $25) and the charge is approved. Therefore, requesting ID for charges over $50 doesn’t provide either CVS or me any real protection. All it accomplishes is to waste my time and the clerk’s.
So what’s the point?