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Re: [at-l]cash on the trail

At 01:48 PM 12/19/96 PST, ILFltlndr@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 96-12-18 20:14:55 EST, mayer@wrc.xerox.com (Jim Mayer)
><< Legally, a debit card transaction is (I think) more like a writing a
>check. >>
>True, but you have to use a pin number, or have a matching signature like a
>credit card.

Hmmm.... I've bought an awful lot of stuff from LL Bean on my credit card
without them ever seeing my signature :-)

Seriously, the issue isn't PREVENTING someone from using your card/card
number... I'll grant that debit cards and credit cards are the same that
way.  The issue is that WHEN (not IF, says the voice of experience...)
someone gets a hold of your card number and starts putting charges on it you
can refuse to pay the bill on a charge card.  With a debit card, each charge
is IMMEDIATELY taken from your bank account.  You may be able to get the
money back later if you report the incident, but your money is GONE until
you get reimbersed (which may take a while).

A credit card is also a great tool for dispute resolution.  A friend of mine
was charged an extra day on his room at a motel.  The motel gave him a
hassle about it, so he complained to the credit card company.  Since the
motel didn't respond to the card company's query, he got billed the correct
amount and the motel got a bill for the extra day.  Another example is mail
order purchases: if you make an order and it doesn't arrive in a timely
manner, or if there is a problem with the item, you can return the item and
refuse to pay any charge placed on your card.  You don't have that option
with a debit card.

Every time you make a charge, you are giving someone your card number and
expiration date.  Any person with that info can make charges against your
credit or debit card.  Using a credit card gives you another level of legal

- Jim

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