Monday, April 2, 2007

the post office - making life difficult and helping peeps steal my identity, well, kinda

If you've recently tried to make a purchase at the counter at your local post office with a credit card you may have noticed a fairly new policy. All credit cards must be signed, but debit cards do not need a signature.

I do not under any circumstances sign the back of my credit/debit cards. Why give a thief a perfect example of your signature so that they know how to forge it with the utmost perfection? I always put 'check ID' or 'see ID' on my cards. I don't use credit cards much as more as I'm trying to get out of debt. However, I do have an American Express Gold card that I use for my every day purchases because the balance must be paid in full each month. It's one of those cards with an unlimited credit limit - but the catch is that the balance must be paid in full each month. With no credit limit, you can see why I certainly refuse to sign the back of this card! I always use it at the post office. Today, they told me it must be signed, and without asking to see my ID the guy behind the counter handed me a ballpoint men and instructed me to "just sign the back for me ma'am." He didn't even want to check to make sure I had ID proving it was my card! I could have stolen it from someone else and the post office would have taken it if I'd just signed it in their presence. I politely told him that I would do no such thing. For some reason, he got mad and then told me that I could pay be debit card as no signatures were required for those. Of course, I thought to myself, why require a signature on a card that access my checking account, that makes perfect sense (insert sarcasm here). Now, the interesting thing here is that I could have walked over to the automated machine and used my AMEX with no problem. Why do I have to have a signature to use it at the counter, even if I have valid identification, but I can put the card into the machine regardless of it being signed, or even being mine for that matter.

While I'm sure that the good ole USPS thinks they are doing people a great service and are preventing fraud by requiring all credit cards to be signed, they really are being just as incompetent at the rest of our government. Having people sign the backs of credit cards without presenting identification is not only completely irresponsible, it's just plain stupid. And, who would want to steal postage anyway?


MoneyDummy said...

I'm so with you on this one! When I first heard this policy I genuinely thought they were kidding. Stupidest thing I've ever heard of.

shawna said...

yeh, it really threw me for a loop!

Zachary said...

I detest the post office. I just go to the local drugstore to mail stuff. Longs Drugs has a mailing center in our local store.

shawna said...

Zachary - that's a great idea! I think the DrugMart near me has a mailing center. Thanks for the idea!