I went to Banana Republic to purchase a pair of pants and brought them up to the cashier. After signing the sales receipt, the cashier looked at my signature and then looked at my card. He then proceeded to rip off a strip of blank register tape. He handed me the blank paper and said, “Could you sign this for me please?”
“What for?” I asked.
“Your signature didn’t match, so I need to have you sign this paper again.”
Boy, did I feel uncomfortable. He wants me to sign a blank piece of paper? What was he going to do with it? I refused. “If I sign this paper, it will look the same as the receipt I just signed.”
“Well, this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m required to get your signature again.”
I asked him what he would do with the signature once I signed the blank paper.
“Oh, I don’t need to keep it. I just need for you to sign it. I’ll even give it back to you.”
I signed the paper. He looked at it, and crumpled it up. I then held my hand out. He looked at me and then handed me back the crumpled paper. I placed the paper in my pocket and walked out, not understanding what had just happened.
The only thing I could figure was that they felt that if I signed my name again, it would be a better match with the one on my credit card. What I didn’t understand was why he didn’t simply ask me for some other form of ID, like my drivers license. My license has both my picture and signature. That would seem to be a much better form of identification than my signature.
Besides, my re-signature looked identical to the sales receipt I signed. Perhaps it was just a test to see how I’d react. Who knows. While I think he was following orders, I don’t really think that their method of confirming that the credit card was mine really proved anything.