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Slave to the Machine? Know your own check acceptance policy, Albertsons.

Posted Mon April 14, 2008 11:58 am, by Barbara T. written to Albertson's

Write a Letter to this Company

On Sunday April 13, I visited the Albertson's located at Highway 78 and the George Bush Tollway in Garland, TX. This is my neighborhood store, and I shop there at least once a week.

I wrote a check for my purchases, as I have done on dozens of occasions. I was asked for a photo ID, which seldom happens since I have a long check-writing history with Albertsons and with Certegy, your authorization service.

The photo ID I had on hand was my United States Military Identification card and my United States Passport. I did not have a driver's license with me because my wallet had been stolen the day before.

The cashier who waited on me did not recognize either form of identification and called for his manager. She was also stumped, and had no idea how to accept either forms of identification. Both she and the cashier insisted that "the machine" needed a driver's license number.

I pointed out that the Albertsons check acceptance policy - clearly posted right there at the register - says "Government Issued ID" is required to write checks. A military ID card is specifically listed among the examples of acceptable ID.

Again, I was told "the machine" would only accept a driver's license number; that she did not know how to input any other type of number. She asked if I knew my number by heart. I said no, and pointed out that it would negate the security measure of asking for identification if they simply allowed customers to recite ID numbers without seeing the ID itself.

The manager made no effort to solve this problem, or to explain why she was directly contradicting the store's own posted policy. She informed me that my check could not be accepted. Fortunately, my mother was with me and offered to let me use her debit card (since my debit card was also among the items in my wallet when it was stolen.)

As of nine a.m. this morning, I do have a new driver's license. But I will be taking my future business to Tom Thumb, or to Super WalMart, both of whom have accepted my military ID without issue (and somehow managed to make their "machines" accept it as well).

I suggest that you educate your employees so that they can recognize more than one type of identification; at the very least they should be able to recognize the forms of ID that your own policy states that you accept.


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by EkatNas Posted Thu January 7, 2010 @ 5:25 PM

i worked at a customer service center in an albertsons. it was company
policy that we could not accept checks that were not approved by
Certegy check cashing services. Certegy is used to identify fake
checks, as well as stolen identities. as we enter your information on
the "machine," it asks specifically for the state in which your ID was
issued, followed by your driver's license number. United states
passport cards/books are not attached to one state. even we enter your
home state, Certegy will not recognize your passport or military ID
number, as they only have access to state ID databanks. do not blame
the customer service employees for following albertsons policy - or
the managers for that matter, as they have no way of verifying your ID
and are merely acting upon corporate policy. in-store employees have
no say in corporate decisions - that includes the decision to use
Certegy to verify checks. talking to a manager won't help. there is
literally nothing they could have done. You have to phone corporate.


"machine" by bvic Fri June 11, 2010 @ 11:30 AM
by cadee Posted Fri June 13, 2008 @ 3:19 PM

I have had the same problem in Albertson's. Frankly, I find the
Albertson's in Auburn, WA is totally trashy, adn very dirt. THe
employees have Zero customer Service Skills, and the store is always
dirty, and the managers will not help the customers when problems like
this arise, and the customer is in the right. We still go to
Alberson's every now and then, but try to avoid it. Very trashy and
yucky store and the employees all look very dirty have the time. But I
agree with the statement above, again customer serivce skills is also
lacking from the Albertson's skills! I have had numerous run in's with
the employees for such rude treatment and ID carding, when the
statement does read about the other form of ID.

Whoever manages Albertsons needs to step up and clean the store up ,
and send their employees to a customer serivce class, and make sure
they enforce the hygiene policy!

by newfenoix Posted Thu April 24, 2008 @ 12:44 PM

If their sign said that a military ID was acceptable then you have a
criminal complaint and you can contact the state AG office of consumer
affairs. My work history is in law enforcement and business
management and in many states, a manager that REFUSES to honor POSTED
policies can be fined OR arrested.

Now as to using a passport for ID, well, it is supposedly acceptable
ANYWHERE but I would bet that most employees in these stores today
couldn't even tell you what a passport is supposed to look like. I
have to admit that I have used mine at times...just to be an ass.


by T. C. Posted Sun April 20, 2008 @ 11:28 AM

For everyones info she is correct. Straight from an Albertsons source
their machines can take both military and passport ids.

by YouAreKiddingMe Posted Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:17 PM

Wow, you're upset over this? Sometimes snags happen in life. That's
called ... life.

My advice: get a debit card and stop slowing down the checkout lanes.


His debit card was stolen! Read the letter. by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 2:55 PM

Oops! Sorry... HER debit card was stolen. by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 2:55 PM
by Evil N Posted Thu April 17, 2008 @ 8:16 PM

Easy fix - use a debit card! I don't understand why people write
checks at stores, it is too much of a pain and holds up the line.


Once again, read the letter by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 8:22 PM

well maybe by Angelic Princess:) Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:35 PM

You're right by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:42 PM

Barbara... by SumnerMan Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:56 PM

You're right too ;) by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 11:10 PM

I feel the same way by ♪♪Venice♪♪ Fri April 18, 2008 @ 5:14 AM

Barbara, by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 3:02 PM

Don't fret over those people by RedheadwGlasses Tue April 22, 2008 @ 11:06 AM

Yes and No by BarbaraT Wed April 23, 2008 @ 10:04 AM

Please tell me you're kidding!! by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 2:57 PM

check cashing by whatsmyname Mon February 28, 2011 @ 4:48 PM

by Timothy C. Posted Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:17 AM

I wonder what would happen if you did not have a drivers license.
Would they not accept your check? It seems to me it would be illegal
to not allow a person to pay for an item like everyone else because
they don't drive?! What do you all think?
There is a Pizza company here that requires you put your drivers
license number on the check. I always refuse to do that. This
information is not required by them to sell me Pizza. If I want that
information on the check I would put it on there. If check
verification is needed, I will gladly show them a picture ID that
identifys me as the check writer. Sometimes I use my Military ID. I
will not let them write down info off that either. It has my ssn on
My wife hates when I act like that, but people need to know what the
hell they are doin when it comes to identity theft etc. If you don't
really need that info....your not gonna get it period. Don't be
bullied. It's your right to protect it!


Driver's license vs. ID by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 3:06 PM

I agree... by Timothy C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 9:22 PM

by Gino Posted Wed April 16, 2008 @ 1:02 AM

When I worked in retail, there were a few military depots, housing,
and training facilities in the area. We used a veri sign check
verification system, the registers were programmed to accept only
driver's licenses, and all it took was a call to the veri sign
hotline, two minutes tops, and they had a means of verifying the I.D.
and accepting the check. We were given instructions and an acceptance
number to enter.

We also had to handle tax exempt transactions in the same way, before
overriding the "machines".

I'm sorry, but if they have a sign that lists this as an acceptable
form of ID, they should have a way to process it. Barbara isn't asking
for special treatment, just what the business states on their sign.
The supermarkets in the area also had cards that could be scanned and
checked against pre-filed information.

by Rhet C. Posted Tue April 15, 2008 @ 2:50 PM

Why are you getting your panties in a wad about something so trivial
like this? Does it really warrant wasting your energy on it, versus
just accepting it for what it is and moving on. I don't think taking
your grocery business across the street is really going to bother
Albertsons either. Or you, unless you prefer it over the others and
it's now going to be a hardship just to shop there.

I vote it's not worth the effort to be pissed off just about this.
Move on!


She thought that it was worth the effort... by SumnerMan Tue April 15, 2008 @ 3:34 PM

And now your inane comment by Rhet C. Tue April 15, 2008 @ 6:58 PM

Thank you!! by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 3:09 PM

by T. C. Posted Tue April 15, 2008 @ 2:22 PM

Yes those ids proved who you are but every place I've ever worked were
no set up to take any number other than the drivers license. It isn't
Albertsons fault it is the check verification companys fault.


PS by T. C. Wed April 16, 2008 @ 1:18 AM

Um...what? by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 8:28 PM

Depends on if they want to take by T. C. Thu April 17, 2008 @ 9:20 PM

Oh and by the way since by T. C. Thu April 17, 2008 @ 9:22 PM

Because it was SUNDAY by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:40 PM

It's moot now by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 10:52 PM

"with the people on this site that they NEED to find a reason to be hateful to every letter writer?" by Keith C. Fri April 18, 2008 @ 3:12 PM

You're the most pathetic person here, Keith by RedheadwGlasses Tue April 22, 2008 @ 11:10 AM

No, I didn't by Keith C. Sat April 26, 2008 @ 11:10 PM

In NYS.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Tue April 22, 2008 @ 2:17 PM

by Melissa S. Posted Tue April 15, 2008 @ 9:01 AM

This has happened to me as well. A Passport is a government form of
identification, as is a military ID.

There shouldn't be a problem with that, but its happened to me quite a
few times. (Sometimes I leave my ID card in my jeans pocket, if I went
out the night before) And my passport is all i would have. Fortunatly,
I know my ID numbers by heart, but you are right in saying that it
undermines the entire ID process...

I think that you are right in suggesting that the machines are set up
to take passports and military ID's.


by mstendardo1 Posted Tue April 15, 2008 @ 8:56 AM

1) Albertsons needs to update their signage as the policy has changed
when they started using Cetergy.

2) The manager truly could not accept the chech )through the machine)
as it would negate the security functionality if she/he could override

3) I was a manager for 20 years (not Albertsons but another MAJOR
super market) and the manager could have taken the check as cash (as a
good gesture) and taken the risk of having it returned.

4) Good letter...go to Tom Thumb until my former employer from FL
comes to town, they go there!!!


by Blackrack Posted Tue April 15, 2008 @ 8:25 AM

This is... odd. I've never heard of someone turning away a passport ID
before. On the rare occasion my place of work takes checks for
ore-ordered stuff, we're told to inspect the driver's permits most
thoroughly because apparently they're the easiest things to fake.

They should have stood by their policy, period.

by Nicole F. Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 11:08 PM

Certegy flagged me after I had a measly 8 dollar check bounce. Maybe
it flagged your check because it had a low number? Maybe it flagged it
because you already wrote a few other checks that day at places that
use Certegy....who knows?

But the fact of the matter is that the employees should have taken
your military ID. I could understand maybe if they didn't know what it
was...maybe...at my place of work, we have a menu to select the form
of ID from, in case we get something other than a driver's licenses.

Sometimes we are bound to what the "system" tells us. It's sad, but
true, and I hate that. I hate not being able to do something because
the "system" says no and I can't go around it without violating

It's really weird that those employees didn't know how to handle your
situation. Kind of sad too.


Violating policy by BarbaraT Mon April 14, 2008 @ 11:17 PM
by cissy Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 11:02 PM

Paying by cheques, in this day in age, is not the best option for
retailers. If you can afford to make a purchase pay by debit.(It must
be in your account or there would not be the need to write a cheque).


Did you even read my letter? by BarbaraT Mon April 14, 2008 @ 11:11 PM

did by cissy Wed April 16, 2008 @ 11:16 PM

Sigh. Let e break this down. by BarbaraT Thu April 17, 2008 @ 8:32 PM

You're one piece of work by RedheadwGlasses Tue April 22, 2008 @ 11:11 AM

by puyro Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 10:43 PM

Every POS system I have worked with takes a driver's license number
(or those non-driver cards that look like licenses) But one system had
a drop-down list that had driver's license, military ID, passport, and
one other thing I cannot remember. The system I use now only accepts
driver licenses. There is no way around it.

Military ID that I have seen uses the social security number as the
number. Because I have to write the number on the check, I asked
customers for their license over any other type of ID.

I find it odd they didn't ID you every time. I've never known a system
where you can bypass the information entry, and as I would not have
memorized anyone's license number, I would still have to ask you for
ID to get the number to enter.


by Donno Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 9:44 PM

It is too bad this happened to you. The other forms should have been
accepted. Those are both government issued. I hope they improve
their system/training.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 9:17 PM

Great letter, Barbara. I can't BELIEVE the manager's only option was
to turn you away and not make a sale! That's just ridiculous. What
if your mom hadn't been with you?

I'm glad you wrote the letter--that manager and the other employees
are in serious need of some additional training.


by SumnerMan Posted Mon April 14, 2008 @ 12:19 PM

This is quite bizarre. I've never heard of a system that requires an
input of a driver's license number for the purpose of using a check.
Your military ID is even a better form of ID than a drivers license.

Good letter.


hi by Sunflower Sarah Mon April 14, 2008 @ 1:15 PM

Curious.... by SumnerMan Mon April 14, 2008 @ 1:28 PM

No by Sunflower Sarah Wed April 16, 2008 @ 9:02 AM

I don't either by ams1001 Sat April 19, 2008 @ 10:59 PM

state ID by SuzieCat Mon April 14, 2008 @ 6:04 PM

Nope by BarbaraT Mon April 14, 2008 @ 6:16 PM

wow by SuzieCat Mon April 14, 2008 @ 7:51 PM

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