Credit Cards: What’s the point of signing?

Ever notice that very few cashiers ever check to see if the signature on your receipts really matches the signature on the back of your credit card? At the grocery store I go to, you just take out your card, swipe it yourself, and put it away. They don’t even look at the name! They just hand you the receipt and you sign it. I mean, you could just sign it “Zeus”. And this guy did!

I ran across this link at Fatwallet. See also Part II. Apparently he’s tried everything from signing the receipt at Krispy Kreme as “Dunk N Donuts” and at Dunkin’ Donuts as “Kris P Kreme”, to just signing it “X”, to finally just drawing hieroglyphics. Check it out, definitely good for a laugh. Of course, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the security of using credit cards, especially with one of mine being recently stolen.

In my opinion, the one where he actually computed a negative tip at a restaurant and signed it “Service Sucked” was the funniest. Goes against my tipping guidelines, but there have at least been a couple times the service I received was bad enough to consider it! *cough* Denny’s *cough*


  1. A long time ago my sister taught me to write “Ask for ID” on the back of my cards. Up until that point I never noticed the lack of attention by cashiers. But man, it is unbelievable how many people not only take your card but some actually look at the back of it and will see the words “Ask for ID”, and still will not say a word. The only place that this back fires is at the post office where for some reason that they cannot accept your card if there is no signature on the back of it. Even if you have your license in hand!!!!

  2. yeah, i’ve heard that before too. i always just figure you’re not really liable anyways. but that site is hilarious!

  3. I’m am looking forward to just using fingerprints as a way to pay with a card or by itself.

  4. Yeah, that’s funny — they ALWAYS check mine in the Czech Republic, but NEVER when I’m back in the states … the best way to fix it is to simply create a webpage stating “Don’t buy from this store as they don’t do XYZ” — those stores will probably start to enforce their rules a bit more … but then again, I doubt it.

  5. part 2 is definitely more funny.

  6. Very funny! In other countries (e.g. Asia), however, they do check your signature vigorously and you have to sign “exactly” as it appears on the card. They do not take ID as a prove of identity.

  7. I figure that since you can dispute just about any charge now a days or the card never leaves your hand in some cases (you swip yourself)
    I have stopped worrying about it.
    But I agree, it is frustrating that they don’t ask for the ID when they are peering right AT it!

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