Credit Card Rip-Offs by Restaurants

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Credit cardsIs it only me or has this happened to you as well?
You walk into a restaurant or a shop, buy something, pay on credit card and the credit card is declined. Although you know that you have credit and the payment was up to date you still wonder about whether it has been cloned or you just feel a little bit embarrassed as people nearby hear the conversation.
Well it happened to me again yesterday.
I had taken some people out for dinner in Paris. Not an expensive meal by Parisian standards. It came to about €100. I brought out a Mastercard. Declined. Another of us had a Visa card. Declined. Then, an American Express card. Declined. The explanation by the restaurant was that the “system” wasn’t accepting overseas credit cards. Between us we had the cash,-just.
At a duty free shop at Gare du Nord, there was no problem with the Mastercard.
So was there a problem or did some restaurant manager just decide that he wasn’t going to pay commission on us using a card?
This hasn’t happened to me just once. It has happened in Italy and Egypt as well.
What happens if you don’t have the cash? Will you be washing dishes all night? Or will they back down?
As a tourist you feel at a disadvantage because you probably don’t know the language well enough to fight your corner.
Well from now on I am going to insist on ringing the credit card company and get them to check the system.
As for the restauarant, no tip and no more visits from me.

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