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  1. #1
    Average America is offline Junior Member
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    Red face Customer Discrimination

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? VA

    I went into a store today, and before grabbing any items or ordering food I asked "Do you accept personal checks?" The worker behind the register told me to hold on one minute and then he would take a look at the check. I thought I would just get a simple yes or no?

    When I stepped up to the counter he looked me up and down, then looked at the check, and started shaking his head no. I interjected that I had id and that my banking institution had OD protection, if that is something he was worried about. He then looked at my address (which was in the same city, and only a few streets up from the store, but is widely known as Section 8 housing), then looked me up and down again, and said "Nah, I think I'll pass." When I started to ask why, he acted like he was busy with something and said over his shoulder "Go to the bank and get the money, then come back."

    I could understand if my city was many miles away, or if I didn't have proper identification. Or even if it was a starter check, or if I was on a list of people for return checks. But he checked nothing, and asked for nothing. He denied me soley either on my appearance, my address (which again is well known in this city as Section 8 housing), or my choice of banking institution (which is Bank of America?).

    After doing research I know of several people who use personal checks there all the time, with no problem at all, they don't even get asked for identification.

    Is this discrimination? I feel completely horrible after this, and extremely embarrased! I feel like I don't even want to ask people about checks anymore, and I definately will never shop there again!
  2. #2
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, being poor, is not a discriminated class protected by federal or state law.

    And, stores are protected by the right to refuse service to anyone.
  3. #3
    Average America is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not poor, I just live in an area where there are a lot of Section 8 housing. The fact is, if I was wearing a suit instead of t-shirt and jeans, would it really insure the check would go through?

    As far as I know, you either except checks or you don't. You don't just get to randomly pick who's checks you take based on what you see standing in front of you?

    Thank you for the response
  4. #4
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average America View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? VA

    I went into a store today, and before grabbing any items or ordering food I asked "Do you accept personal checks?" The worker behind the register told me to hold on one minute and then he would take a look at the check. I thought I would just get a simple yes or no?

    When I stepped up to the counter he looked me up and down, then looked at the check, and started shaking his head no. I interjected that I had id and that my banking institution had OD protection, if that is something he was worried about. He then looked at my address (which was in the same city, and only a few streets up from the store, but is widely known as Section 8 housing), then looked me up and down again, and said "Nah, I think I'll pass." When I started to ask why, he acted like he was busy with something and said over his shoulder "Go to the bank and get the money, then come back."

    I could understand if my city was many miles away, or if I didn't have proper identification. Or even if it was a starter check, or if I was on a list of people for return checks. But he checked nothing, and asked for nothing. He denied me soley either on my appearance, my address (which again is well known in this city as Section 8 housing), or my choice of banking institution (which is Bank of America?).

    After doing research I know of several people who use personal checks there all the time, with no problem at all, they don't even get asked for identification.

    Is this discrimination? I feel completely horrible after this, and extremely embarrased! I feel like I don't even want to ask people about checks anymore, and I definately will never shop there again!
    Sure it is discrimination, unfortunately for you it is the legal type. I suggest you carry a debit card tied to your checking account.
  5. #5
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average America View Post
    I'm not poor, I just live in an area where there are a lot of Section 8 housing. The fact is, if I was wearing a suit instead of t-shirt and jeans, would it really insure the check would go through?

    As far as I know, you either except checks or you don't. You don't just get to randomly pick who's checks you take based on what you see standing in front of you?

    Thank you for the response

    The only time this is illegal discimination is if he didn't take your check because of your color, religion, ect. Living in the area of Section 8 housing does not fall under those protections.
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average America View Post

    As far as I know, you either except checks or you don't. You don't just get to randomly pick who's checks you take based on what you see standing in front of you?
    )
    I don't know where you are but every place I frequent, me and my checks are scrutinized. I believe a merchant would be foolish to make a simple rule of checks or no checks. They all define their own criteria for taking a check and for some reason, this guy did not feel comfortable taking your check. Not illegal; smart.
  7. #7
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    I use pretty checks.... so everyone takes them. I'm also rather cute myself.
  8. #8
    aldaron is offline Member
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    I refuse any checks numbered below 150, all bad checks that i've had in business have been numbered from 101 to 148. New checking accounts is the common denominator.
  9. #9
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    I use pretty checks.... so everyone takes them. I'm also rather cute myself.
    **A: hahaha.
  10. #10
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldaron View Post
    I refuse any checks numbered below 150, all bad checks that i've had in business have been numbered from 101 to 148. New checking accounts is the common denominator.
    This is the most ridiculous policy I've ever seen...

    Because just because you have a check numbered over 150 doesn't mean that you've already written 150 checks. Just means you weren't smart enough to ask the check printer to start your checks at something like 1000
  11. #11
    aldaron is offline Member
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    Most thieves don't think that far ahead CourtClerk. Most checks that I know start at 100 not 0.
  12. #12
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldaron View Post
    Most thieves don't think that far ahead CourtClerk. Most checks that I know start at 100 not 0.
    And the few times I've opened a new checking account, I've had the printer start numbering at 1000, to get around policies like yours.
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    This is the most ridiculous policy I've ever seen...

    Because just because you have a check numbered over 150 doesn't mean that you've already written 150 checks. Just means you weren't smart enough to ask the check printer to start your checks at something like 1000
    Ridiculous or not, it's a common practice.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    This is the most ridiculous policy I've ever seen...

    Because just because you have a check numbered over 150 doesn't mean that you've already written 150 checks. Just means you weren't smart enough to ask the check printer to start your checks at something like 1000
    Actually, there is some veracity to this. And since there is rarely a legal requirement to accept a check, the merchant can usually do what he or she wants to avoid bad checks. Local merchants in my small city get ripped off to the tune of thousands every quarter from bad checks that passed as a result of poor check acceptance policies. (We don't accept them for investigation any more, but many of the businesses still haven't changed their policies ... apparently they make more on accepting them than they lose.)
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  15. #15
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeekess View Post
    And the few times I've opened a new checking account, I've had the printer start numbering at 1000, to get around policies like yours.
    So have I.....

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