Friday, February 1, 2008

Idiot of the Week 1

Good morning people, it's Friday. That means time for the first installment of the Mad Hatter's Idiot of the week series.
Originally it had been my plan just to list the most mind-numbingly stupid person, or people, I had encountered in my day to day life. However, it seems this week we had enough stupidity to add a runner up. To quote The Tallest: "Gooooood for you."

First runner up belongs to the Denver police department and Colorado state mental institution. After all, who else could sit and listen to a man admit that he has previously feigned mental instability so as to shorten lengthy prison terms, and then later, put him into the Colorado state mental hospital who would then loss him, not just again, but for the fifth time. Congratulations to the runners up.

Our winner for today comes from a story from my work. My work deals with the business of chargebacks. Now, there are certain basic principles that drive how commerce should work, and certain rules and regulations that Visa/MC expect merchants to follow to protect a sale. One of those is getting a swipe or imprint of the card. The other is to get a valid authorization the first time. Another is to get a signature. Now, that second one is important to my story and important for any business owners out there reading this to focus on. You see, Visa/MC dictate that if a card ever registers a "decline" status, of any form, you stop right there, you do not try again, you do not pass go, and if you want to collect your 200 dollars, you collect it by a different means.
Enter a specific car dealership we happen to process for. A cardholder's bank did something very unique and very nice. They called up the dealership to inform them that a substantial chargeback would be coming in against them as the cardholder's card had been stolen and run at their establishment, have a nice day. That merchant then called us up to see what was up and if we could prevent it. My co-worker who handled the call later showed me the authorization log for this sale. The merchant got TWO declines when trying to run it, then forced the sale through. Way to go guys, you FAIL. However, that's not the worst part. The worst part is that the sale that this merchant is not only out the merchandise on, but will soon be out the money on too... it was for in excess of $34,700. Congratulations, sirs, you are this weeks IDIOT OF THE WEEK.

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