Thursday, July 24, 2008

pay in cash when ordering take out

I learned something disturbing when ordering some pizza last night for dinner. Domino's has been keeping my credit card on file.

Yep, it's right there in their computer, for anyone and everyone to look up, along with my address and phone number. Now, I understand keeping my card number long enough to tally the tip when the driver gets back to the restaurant, but to keep it in their computer system indefinately? Isn't that illegal?

My concerns have to do mainly with identity theft. And, on a more basic note, just credit card theft. There's nothing stopping any of their staff from logging into the computer and just 'borrowing' my credit card info to order to their heart's desire.

And - if that's not worrisome enough - the woman on the phone taking my order said that this is standard policy for their restaurant! Which means, anyone and everyone who orders take out at least from that location, has their credit card numbers saved in their computer as well!

Well, this worried the crap out of me. But, naive of me to be surprised.

See, a year and a half ago, approximately, I ordered pizza from Domino's one night - same location - and I started giving my credit card number, and the guy taking my order read back the rest of the number for me, just like the woman on the phone did last night. I called back later on, got the manager on the phone, and he told me that this was just something they did, but they were getting a new program into their computer soon that wouldn't allow credit cards to be saved, so it would no longer be an issue, and that my number would apparently be deleted that evening.

Clearly, it's not the case.

So, I called Domino's head office to find out if this is common practice with the whole chain, because I'm sure this can't be legal, and it's a bit fishy. Head office informed me that this is not their policy, my number shouldn't be saved, and they took down both my phone number and the phone number of the location I normally order from, and have the issue cleared up.

Hopefully this location is an isolated incident, and I'm glad I caught it when I did before seeing any big surprises on my Visa statement. But, truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of thing happened not only at other Domino's locations, but at any restaurant that does take out and take credit card numbers over the phone.

Best to be safe than sorry - and it's the reason why I wanted to blog this - please, if you're going to get take out, avoid using your credit cards and pay in cash to avoid potential credit card fraud.

1 comment:

Nonya said...

It is quite common for credit card information to be kept on file at places where customers commonly have an "account" and call and use the same card over and over, but as a general rule they will ask you first (they are supposed to ask). I worked for a cellular company where customers pre-paid their minutes and they had the option of keeping a card on file with us. Once we typed in the whole number, and completed the transaction, the number was stored, but only the last 4 digits were visible. The purpose was if the customer called back and wanted to use the card, we double checked, asking "and you want to use the card ending with 5467 correct?" otherwise we had pissy customers trying to use old ass credit cards they no longer had or whatever, and they would say it was *our* fault if the transaction failed. Hard to explain really..... but most companies that store the number only reveal the last few digits. Look at your receipt next time, and it will probably show something like :Visa Card **** *** ***5476. Now, when you use a card *anywhere* that has two receipts, "Store copy" and "Customer Copy", the customer copy only shows the last 4 digits, but the store copy has the entire number on it, and any employee can pick up the store copies and snag the numbers.