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Thread: California S. Ct: Demand for zip code to use credit card is illegal!

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    California S. Ct: Demand for zip code to use credit card is illegal!

    And class actionable for damages!

    I made this argument to my attorney in california years ago - we pondered action but never filed a suit.

    http://www.comcast.net/articles/news...ards.ZIP.Codes

    Let's roll againt all those merchants woith those silly zip code verification protocols at gas stations etc.!!!!

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Interesting?

    I always pay cash and have been asked at certain places for zip code. Never thought about it in this light before. I am going to say no next time just to see what happens.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Interesting?

    I always pay cash and have been asked at certain places for zip code. Never thought about it in this light before. I am going to say no next time just to see what happens.
    I never give a single piece of information that isn't reasonably expected.

    I'll give a signature for a credit purchase and type in a PIN for a debit one, but that's about it.

    And I don't care how I'm paying; I have yet to admit to owning a phone.
    Last edited by marshaul; 02-11-2011 at 11:37 AM.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    The funny thing is I am like that too, but for some reason that one went right over my head and I didn't think twice about it.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    About blippin' time someone stood up to nosy merchants!
    Good for her.

    In the merchant agreement w/ the credit card companies, they agree that they won't require any more than a signature which matches the one on the back of the card in order to process a transaction. If they ask for more, and particularly if they demand more, they're in violation & Visa/MC will say nasty things to them. If it happens often enoguh, they might lose their ability to accept credit cards.

    One more situation in which knowing what the rules actually say can prevent you from being hassled or taken advantage of.

    Just last Thanksgiving I was buying something at Penny's & had to educate a clerk.
    Apparently she couldn't read the huge blown-up signature on her screen & compare it to the card... kept demanding ID, I kept holding my card up next to her screen so she could make the comparison.
    Finally got a supervisor to clear things up.
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    In the grand scheme of privacy, entering a zip code in a gas pump is quite insignificant. Considering all the leaks in that privacy, its minuscule in nature.

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    Red face

    I am a little confused about the other posts here as I thougt the article said that gas pumps would not be affected and were exempt. I know that some pumps would require you to enter your zip code if you were using your card as a debit card but if you used it as a credit card you didn't have to enter anything, just pay the 10 cents per gallon more. Other than that I have never been asked for my zip code while using my credit card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PT111 View Post
    I am a little confused about the other posts here as I thougt the article said that gas pumps would not be affected and were exempt. I know that some pumps would require you to enter your zip code if you were using your card as a debit card but if you used it as a credit card you didn't have to enter anything, just pay the 10 cents per gallon more. Other than that I have never been asked for my zip code while using my credit card.
    Yeah, that's what the article says, and yes the statute and court ruling does seem to focus on the "recording" of personally identifyiable info. See http://www.cardreport.com/laws/calif...47-1748-7.html, but note this snip for merchants who either record the info, or, even have a form with blanks to get your info:

    "Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a
    civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the
    first violation and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each subsequent
    violation, to be assessed and collected in a civil action brought by
    the person paying with a credit card, by the Attorney General, or by
    the district attorney or city attorney of the county or city in
    which the violation occurred. However, no civil penalty shall be
    assessed for a violation of this section if the defendant shows by a
    preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional
    and resulted from a bona fide error made notwithstanding the
    defendant's maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid
    such an error. When collected, the civil penalty shall be payable,
    as appropriate, to the person paying with a credit card who brought
    the action, or to the general fund of whichever governmental entity
    brought the action to assess the civil penalty."

    Here is the court ruling: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions...ts/S178241.PDF

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    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    It is also against the licence agreement with Visa, MC, Amex to demand ID for running a card as well. If you signed the card, that is good enough.

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    I've worked in retail for more than 20 yrs. Those gas pumps or merchants that ask for zip code are just collecting basic customer demographics. They want to know if they're serving the local area fully and/or if people are coming to one location from a particular area that the corporation might want to open another store. I've entered '00000' before and it still worked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-in-texas View Post
    I've worked in retail for more than 20 yrs. Those gas pumps or merchants that ask for zip code are just collecting basic customer demographics. They want to know if they're serving the local area fully and/or if people are coming to one location from a particular area that the corporation might want to open another store. I've entered '00000' before and it still worked.
    Odd, I've entered in the wrong zip before (was in the middle of a move and hadn't upaded my debit card info) and it wouldn't work until I reran the card and put in the correct one.

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark-in-texas View Post
    I've worked in retail for more than 20 yrs. Those gas pumps or merchants that ask for zip code are just collecting basic customer demographics. They want to know if they're serving the local area fully and/or if people are coming to one location from a particular area that the corporation might want to open another store. I've entered '00000' before and it still worked.
    Try this one.

    While working in Texas, I opened a Bank of Texas account to have a local account. The address on the account was my permanent address in another state.
    When buying gas it would ask for the zip code of the account. I would enter the code and the pump would refuse the card as a debit card. I would then run it as a credit card and it would be accepted.

    Used to tick me off.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    zipcode taxation w/o true representation

    When shopping around here & when asked for our zipcode in order to calculate sales tax,I often wonder if I were to be pressed to provide actual zip. If true sales tax would increase state revenue,I could show that since I frequented their establishment and that I increased their own revenue ?

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Interesting?

    I always pay cash and have been asked at certain places for zip code. Never thought about it in this light before. I am going to say no next time just to see what happens.
    I always say no and have done so for years.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

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    Regular Member MadHatter66's Avatar
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    I always say no to demographic info... Phone numbers, zip codes and the like they can pay for demographics just like everyone else, it is not my job to help them make more money...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Let's roll againt all those merchants woith those silly zip code verification protocols at gas stations etc.!!!!
    California Supreme Court Rulings are not actionable here in Colorado. Do you have an idea for remedy, here? Regardless, I don't see how it's "Unconstitutional." That's a stretch.

    The merchant's employment of zip code validation is consistent with the merchant / charge card terms of agreement. In fact, complete addresses are required for online ID validation, even if it's for a service, such as Vonage or Ooma.

    On the other hand, Mastercard still has a reporting function on its website where you can report any over-the-counter merchant who requires you show ID for purchase. In fact, you can report them simply for asking. I carry a printout of the web site on which you can report them in my pocket, and I've asked to see managers on six occasions, showing them the form, and stating plainly, "I appreciate your being willing to take the time to see me about this manner, but I'll be reporting the contract terms violation anyway, simply for the record. I'm sure little will come of it from this one incident, but please do not let it happen again."

    Of the six managers, one was stupid enough to start yelling at me to leave her store. I contacted her superiors, and relayed the incident.

    She was fired.

    Smart store owners know how important it is to follow the rules, and avoid treating customers following the rules as "the enemy."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Odd, I've entered in the wrong zip before (was in the middle of a move and hadn't upaded my debit card info) and it wouldn't work until I reran the card and put in the correct one.
    I have had a similar experience. I assumed that this was a protection against the use of stolen cards. The thief likely does not know the zip of the card's owner.

    Zip code, by itself, does not constitute PII. Thousands of folks have the same zip. I don't get why folks object to providing it. It just might stop a few illegal uses of their stolen cards. Yeah, they'll get the money back (if the illegal use is noticed and if they go through the hassle of making a claim), but it is far better to avoid the theft in the first place.

    To me, this should not be a matter of law. The Liberty stance, IMO, is that this should be a matter of contract law between the card issuer, the merchant, and the card user. The card issuer should appreciate that they would pay fewer fraudulent claims. The merchant should appreciate that he will have to fight for fewer reimbursements. And the card user should appreciate that he will have to fight for the removal of fewer fraudulent charges. It's win-win-win--until the government and the courts stick their noses in, reducing Liberty.

    Funny how we want the courts and the government to step in to resolve our pet peeves, but generally want them out of our lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodye85741 View Post
    When shopping around here & when asked for our zipcode in order to calculate sales tax,I often wonder if I were to be pressed to provide actual zip. If true sales tax would increase state revenue,I could show that since I frequented their establishment and that I increased their own revenue ?
    I've seen zip code used to calculate sales tax when purchasing online, but never at a brick & mortar.

    On a related note, whenever I order from walmart.com, I have them deliver to the Wetumpka store. I refuse to pay Bobby Bright's and Todd Strange's 10% tax that I would have to pay if I had the item delivered to my home. Yeah, I end up spending more in gas, but I want a city with a more reasonable (still too high) sales tax to benefit from the sale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Cash is king. Checks for larger purchases next best thing.
    Cash is fake, and checks are antiquated. If the money isn't worth the paper it's printed on in the first place, why even pretend? I'll stick with plastic for everything and not bother with the ruse at all. At least if my wallet gets lost or stolen I have some recourse to actually recover my "money," once cash is gone its gone.

    I'm with eye95 on the rest. This isn't a govt issue, it's private entities looking out for their own (and your) interests, trying to prevent fraud by requiring id or zip codes. I've only ever seen the zip code thing at gas pumps too, and there it functions similar to a PIN, to verify the card user. And I've never seen any place take any record of my id when carded for a purchase, they're just looking to see that the names & faces match.


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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I'll betcha my 'fake' dollar is just a good as your 'virtual' dollar. I'll also betcha that my 'fake' dollar is accepted everywhere and your 'virtual' dollar is not accepted everywhere. If they do not accept cash, well, they lost business, but I'll betcha when push comes to shove they'll take the cash. I'll betcha that when the power goes out a business will take my 'fake' dollar, how about your 'virtual' dollar. Private transactions between individuals usually are 'cash or check' only, 'virtual' dollars are rarely accepted by individuals.

    As to checks, antiquated, you bet, but they are still accepted in some businesses I use that take 'cash or check' only, 'virtual' dollars not accepted. Like my deer meat processor.

    I give it (zip code) every time it is asked for, on the rare occasions that I use 'virtual' dollars. I'm in the phone book, not a secret around my neck of the woods.
    Not quite, more precise to day your "fake" dollar is just as fake as my "virtual" dollar, I'm just skipping the whole pretense of it actually existing or having existed in the first place. Name:  icon_mrgreen.gif
Views: 533
Size:  349 Bytes My "virtual" dollar is accepted anywhere I want to be, MORE places than yours actually, since few online merchants will accept your "fake" dollar. If they do not accept my "virtual" dollar, they loose my business. My side seems to be winning on that. Private transactions of any size, I'll use PayPal or the like, since again I'm protected against fraud or theft.

    And when the power goes out... there are these things called "generators" that most businesses of any size usually have, to keep them "virtual" dollars flowing. And if the power really goes out... I have all I need for a short duration. For a long duration, well, that's what my stash of silver (that is, ACTUAL money) is for. Lead & brass will often work too.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    I'm in. Locally I know which gas stations have the zip verification protocol and avoid them. Not all of them have it. I found that the stations near high traffic hubs are the main offenders. Hoping that they do not get hit with stolen cards. (Thats what I was told over the years)

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    Cool Zip Code SNAFU'S

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Interesting?

    I always pay cash and have been asked at certain places for zip code. Never thought about it in this light before. I am going to say no next time just to see what happens.
    Just do what I do. When I'm in one of my "it ain't none of their business" moods I'll say 98223...cuz I just like that number. Or 67221 which is a part of Wichita KS where I lived more than 35 years ago. Or get really cantankerous and give them a Canadian Postal Code.

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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: California S. Ct: Demand for zip code to use credit card is illegal!

    Quote Originally Posted by noname762 View Post
    Just do what I do. When I'm in one of my "it ain't none of their business" moods I'll say 98223...cuz I just like that number. Or 67221 which is a part of Wichita KS where I lived more than 35 years ago. Or get really cantankerous and give them a Canadian Postal Code.
    Haha.. I live in 98223...
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    I understand folks' reticence to hand out any personal information.

    However, we ought to invest our activist capital wisely. There is no harm; just key in the freakin' zip code. They shouldn't be asking for it, but is this the hill we really want to die on?

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Use 94726 [Z=9, I=4, P=7, C=2, O=6] as your zip code.

    94726 is the postal code for Taza de Agua Ojo Zarco located in the municipality of Nogales in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

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