Monday, September 15, 2008

R & B Update

After some investigation, my particular bar has no contractual obligation to not charge our customers a minimum amount. So to our misinformed Red & Black author, and every other person who thinks that the customer can dictate what policies are and are not enforced throughout the downtown bar scene, this is for you:

Fuck off. $10 minimum or you pay cash.

Again...thank you.


At 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then you must not take Visa or Mastercard because ALL merchants who accept Visa or Mastercard CAN NOT charge a minimum. So, fuck're wrong. Again.

At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so you know, here's the info. from Mastercard's contract:

9.12.3 Minimum/Maximum Transaction Amount Prohibited

A merchant must not require, or post signs indicating that it requires, a minimum or maximum transaction amount to accept a valid MasterCard card.

B. As per page two-nineteen (2-19) through two-twenty (2-20) of the "Merchant Rules Manual," any violation by a merchant of the aforementioned MasterCard Rules is addressed as follows:

9.5 Merchant Noncompliance

9.5.1 Specified Rules Violations

If the Corporation becomes aware that any merchant has violated any of the following rules:

* Honor MasterCard Cards (section 9.11);

* Use of the MasterCard Mark (section 9.10);

* Charges to Cardholders (section 9.12.2);

* Minimum/Maximum Transaction Amount Restrictions (section 9.12.3); or

* Prohibited Transactions (section 9.12.4),

The Corporation will notify the acquirer of the violation and request that it take action to ensure that the merchant discontinues promptly, and in no more than 10 business days, the violative practice. A notification by the Corporation of a violation at any one merchant location requires the member to ensure that the practice is discontinued at all locations covered by the merchant agreement(s).


That's Mastercard's way of telling you to fuck off. Now run that card, chief.

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, here is Visa's contract:


A. As per page ten (10) of the "Rules for Visa Merchants: Card Acceptance and Chargeback Management Guidelines," the following Visa Rules are imposed on merchant conduct:

Dollar Minimums and Maximums - Always honor valid Visa cards, in your acceptance category, regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase. Imposing minimum or maximum purchase amounts is a violation.

No Surcharging - Always treat Visa transactions like any other transaction; that is, you may not impose any surcharges on a Visa transaction. You may, however, offer a discount for cash transactions, provided that the offer is clearly disclosed to customers and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price charged for all other forms of payment.

[Note: As per the disclaimer appearing on page four (4) of the "Rules for Visa Merchants:"

This guide contains information based on the current Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations. If there are any technical differences between the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations will prevail in every instance. Your merchant agreement and the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations take precedence over this guide or any updates to its information.]

B. Furthermore, the "Ask Visa" portion of the relevant website provides the following:

Minimum Purchase
Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card.

If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify the financial institution that issued you your Visa card. These institutions have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations and can help you document and file your complaint. You'll find their address and/or telephone number on your Visa statement. Their telephone number may also appear on the back of the card itself.

That's Visa's way of telling you to fuck off. Now I'll have one $3 beer, thank you.

At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Caroline said...

Those of you bitching, call Visa or Mastercard.

Almost every bar IN AMERICA charges a minumum (unless you know the bartender or are a good customer.. all sorts of perks arise from being nice, you know) Visa and MC are NEVER going to actually bring a claim against merchants for not abiding by that tiny little bit of the agreement. If a claim had EVER been brought, you can bet that merchants wouldn't charge a minimum. ( I don't feel like going on Westlaw to find cites, but use common sense here)

Don't act like you're hot shit because you can read teh merchant agreement that has been floating around on the internet for years, and using the same old tired argument that people used 15 years ago in IRC.

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for confirming that, in fact, this establishment, like all other establishments that accept Visa or Mastercard, can not have any "minimum charge" policy.

I have already written Visa about one retailer. A cashier argued with me, then the manager argued with me (they didn't know I recorded it all with my cell). I wrote Visa. Went back a couple of weeks later...sign about minimum charges was gone and I purchased a $2.25 item with nary a complaint and was checked out with a smile! Didn't anyone tell these morons that arguing with a customer is bad for business, especially when the customer is trying to BUY something!?

Maybe they lose a few cents on a small transaction, but they lose tens of thousands of dollars if Visa either / or: fines them (in the contract) or revokes their Visa privileges.

Customer wins again!

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow you were just owned!

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Chris said...

You can win, and yet also lose.

Yes you made your point. You cited evidence that is hard to argue with. In that respect, you are a winner.

However, you exposed yourself as someone who wrote to Visa to complain about a retailer charging a minimum, and also secretly recording the conversation, which I think classifies you as a loser. Also, a douchebag.

Good luck citing those violations to any doorman, bartender, or bar owner downtown. Bill Watterson said it best. "The truth will set your teeth free."

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Luke said...

OOOHHH good one Chris! Nice touch with the Calvin & Hobbes too!

I don't understand all this bitching about $10. Yes $10 is a decent amount of money-here's an idea- why not buy drinks for your friends, and then at the next bar, they buy? Since everywhere does this pretty much it shouldn't come as a shock. Maybe you assholes who are being such a bunch of whiny babies could go around to every convenience store, every bar, every Liquor store, and pretty much anywhere else and send $.41 letters to visa about these outrageous practices. Hell, while you're at it, just quit shopping at mom & pop local businesses! just go to Applebees! (they probably have this policy too!) Maybe you could petition Wal-mart to open a wet bar, and since they can strong-arm pretty much anybody, maybe you could get them to push for a 14 hour bar! With 88 cent PBR's self checkout, and a free censored 'club mix!'

Buncha overzealous cheapskate babies.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Luke said...

that was supposed to say 24 hour bar

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

When did this site become The Consumerist?

Just buy a lot and tip a lot. Or carry cash. No sense in winning an internet bitchfest if it means proving how much of a cheapskate you are.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Doorguy got owned.

At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so is it $10 minimum per transaction? what if you open a tab?

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Dude! said...

gotta love crybabies bar goers!

seriously they're so much fun
and their complaints are always
about truth and such and such

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When did this site become The Consumerist?"


Seriously, what really needs to happen is for credit card companies to clarify to both merchants and customers whether or not there are any exceptions to the "no fees, no minimums" rule and to enforce it. It doesn't help anyone to tell the customers to report merchants breaking the rule and then tell the merchants, through their inaction, that the minimums and fees are really OK.

If Mastercard and Visa don't care about the minimums and fees then they need to remove the verbiage from the agreement.

Or better yet, stop gouging merchants on transaction fees for small purchases so that they don't feel like they need to have minimums and fees in the first place. But we all know THAT isn't going to happen.


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