h a l f b a k e r y
Ceci n'est pas une idée.
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To pay with a credit card in a restaurant, one asks
for the check, gets the piece of paper, puts the
credit card into the container that holds the piece
of paper, gets back two more pieces of paper, adds a
tip, and signs.
This has unnecessarily many steps. The first
check is just a way of getting
a container for a
Now, credit cards are quite durable; they're
known to survive even outside the little plastic envelope
inside the fake leather wallet that sticks them
out just so.
Why not hand off the credit card to the passing server
as a gesture that indicates "check, please?"
||For some reason, Americans are a little ashamed by money. I don't know why, everybody knows you go to a restaraunt for the purpose of paying someone to make and deliver food to you, but the waitrons still seem ashamed to give you the check, trying to sneak it onto the table, or delivering a little leather-bound book with a mint and pen...This idea seems good to me, just hand them the card and get it over with.
||The first round of check presentation serves as an opportunity to verify the accuracy of the bill. By handing them the credit card, you are saying, "I trust your accounting" Do you trust their accounting? Ammending a bill _after_ the CC transaction has been entered may be problematic.
||I do this all the time. And yes, most wait-persons will want to show the bill before they ring it up (this is their own protocol.)
||As for verifying the accuracy of
the bill, you can always refuse
to sign it. Even with the
standard (two round) payment
protocol you have to check that
they rang up the credit card
for the correct figure (and
this is actually *harder*
to do with the original protocol
since they don't always include
the itemized bill with the
credit card slip - who can
remember what the total was?).
||I've never quite understood all
the little security protocols that
are followed in *some* aspects
of the restaurant dining process
but not in others. For example,
most restaurants follow
an elaborate wine handling
protocol that makes it
all but impossible for them
to switch the bottle you bought
for a cheaper one or siphon off
a few ounces here and there.
Even (especially) the best
places follow the wine protocol
with all deliberate seriousness,
implying that people shouldn't
be expected to trust even the
most well-regarded establishements
not to commit what
seems to me an absurdly petty
kind of theft.
But there don't seem to be
protocols designed to prevent
any of the many other
bad things that resturants
might to to you, such as
poisoning your food,
giving you a smaller-than-advertised
portion, substituting a lower grade
of ingredient, or removing items
from your checked coat.
||The threat model for eating out
is strange indeed.
May 15 2000, last modified May 16 2000|| |
||I like this idea a lot. It's quite annoying to wait up to several minutes the bill from the server, and then wait several more minutes for your credit card receipt. In busy restaurants at lunchtime I often wind up coming back late from lunch because the servers take too much time to process things.
||I'm with mab on this one- the threat model of food service is a pain in the butt!
||I see where you're getting with this, but pain perhaps awaits. I once went to this cheapo restaurant in Indy (I'd say the name of the place to warn you, but I can't remember it) where they served me cold soup and otherwise lousy food. Then they screwed up the bill. It was something really odd, and I think it was goofed AT THE TIME that they rang it up as a credit card purchase. Keep in mind that the scribbled "check" doesn't automatically become one of those yellow credit card slips. They then said that they couldn't change it, or what have you (I forget why; again, something really dumb), so that I should just take it off the tip. Brilliant.
||Hey, if these morons can screw something like that up, don't trust them with your card without looking at the bill first.
||I like the idea, although I must say, at McDonalds' drive-thru, I've never had a problem