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Friday, February 17, 2006

Shopping is always an adventure

My husband and I decided to go to the mall last night to pick up a few things. When did the parking lot at Wal-Mart become so competitive??? Geez. And we weren't even trying to go to Wal-Mart! I was amazed by the crowds at Wal-Mart and the rest of the mall was eerily quiet. Even Michael's was quiet, and that usually doesn't happen (the cashier explained there was no coupon this week, and hence it was deserted).

I did finally find some cool things at Cost Plus (love that store!) but was frustrated with my experience at Petco- so I will say it here- have people in East County not heard of the check card? People still pay with a check! I only find this experience in East County, I don't understand. The check card is just that- a credit card that takes funds directly from your CHECKING account! No need to write a check! No need to keep that long line behind you waiting! Especially since I was holding one item. One item! Or at the very least- write out most of the check before you get to the register.

OK, enough complaining about that... I have another busy day ahead of me and I hope you all enjoy your President's Day weekend, go catch a good sale and have some adventures in shopping!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but writing a traditional check is still a very common and perfectly normal way to pay for something!

I have had a Check/Debit card for years, and NEVER used it once. Not a single time-because I don't care to use it in that manner and withdraw money directly from my Checking Account. I much prefer writing a traditional check, and doing it the tried and true old fashioned way.

I see no reason to criticize someone for simply writing a check. Now what would upset me is someone trying to write a check in line, with people behind them AND ON THE CELL PHONE! That would drive me batty as it's rude. There are plenty of folks these days who constantly offend others around them by using cell phones inappropriately, and sometimes rudely. THAT is something to compain about!

It's a personal choice how you pay for something, whether using a Check or Check Card. Personally I think using a Check/Debit card tends to lend itself to overspending as it's far too easy to just use it and take the money out. Writing a check requires thought and effort, and in our household is generally done for necessities and occasional other items. If I really want something, I budget carefully and use cash.

I do agree it's more considerate to try to fill out most of the check ahead of time, if waiting in a line. I do this myself at the Post Office so I don't hold up either the people behind me or the employee. But sometimes that isn't possible if someone is in a hurry or simply didn't have the time beforehand.

But you can't assume it's better to use a Check/Debit card, as it's a personal preference for the buyer as to what payment method they use. Judging someone for writing a check is unkind, and not logical as there is nothing wrong with it!

And quite often, if I am in a line with only one item-people unfailingly will let me go ahead of them. It's a common courtesy, and I do it myself a lot too. That isn't usually a problem-otherwise I wait patiently like everyone else, as that is how it goes.

12:02 AM

Blogger Weniki said...

At first, I thought your comments were very interesting, a new point of view for our "card vs. check" debate in our family. But then I realized, YES there are things wrong with using a check! And if you don't know about them, you could be in danger.

You should seriously consider the identity theft and monetary theft implications.

If someone got ahold of your checkbook, you could be wiped out of your account quickly. I never carry my checkbook with me unless I absolutely have to, for that reason. If you have printed on your checks your Social Security Number, you are at extremely high risk of identity theft. Ditto if you carry your SSN card in your wallet.

I worry about identity theft because it has happened to me! And it can happen to you, too. I worry how the public doesn't seem educated on how to prevent theft, and then they are so surprised when it happens to them. Get educated about it and protect yourself!

Yes, basically, every method of payment has risk. Cash can be stolen, passwords can be stolen. You have to decide for yourself what risks you are and are not willing to take. I'm willing to bet you use an ATM, but remember the days when people were leery of ATMs?

Also, a lot of businesses won't accept a personal check- it is a liability for them, because there is no way for them to know if the check is going to bounce. With a check card, they know instantly if you have the funds available. Yes, I know the businesses charge a fee for a bounced check, but it just costs them time and money to try to get the money from their customers. It is much easier for businesses to just not accept checks.

People are also stealing mail, intercepting mail- to get at your written checks. It does happen. They go in, it has your signature on it, they fudge some things- and bingo, your account is drained. This happens more often than you might realize.

I think the public needs to become educated with the pros AND the cons of using a check card, a checkbook, cash, on-line banking.

The woman I was criticizing had been waiting in that same ultra-long line I was in, and had plenty of time to write out her check before she got up there. She also didn't even start writing her check until all of her items were rung up. I would have understood if she had just walked up to the line and had no choice but to start writing her check then.

So to sum up- in my point of view (and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you and me!) there are things wrong with using a check! And I won't use a check in a store. I haven't for probably a decade.

9:44 AM


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