In my last article I discussed how I use Privacy.com cards on very regular basis. My hope is to inspire you to use privacy cards in as many facets of your daily life as possible. That being said, using privacy cards in person is hardly sunshine and rainbows. I have had some failures along the way (besides the Double Supreme Extra Cheese Incident), resulting in some rather awkward situations.
This is another post from my friend “Scrappy” about his outside-the-box uses of Privacy.com disposable card numbers. Scrappy demonstrates some awesome creativity in protecting his privacy that we can all learn from.
While on the road and after a particularly late night, all the normal places that I eat at were closed, so I decided to opt for the drive-through. After making that dodgy dietary decision, I then decided to attempt to use my privacy card. Up to this point, I hadn’t attempted this in a drive-through. After ordering a culinary nightmare in a grease-stained bag, I pulled around to the pay window and went through my little song and dance about not having my card and could they just type the number in. The young girl taking my order looked at me as if I just kicked her cat, then called her manager over.
I told the manager what I wanted to do, and she then asked the young girl to go to a different register. Looking in the window of the drive-in I could see about 5 people in line at the counter, waiting to put their orders in, and another couple of people eating their food. The manager asked to see my card, and then proceeded to shout my card number across the store to the other cashier to enter it into a different register. Looking into the store it seemed as everyone was stopped and listened to this girl shout my card number out, to her associate who I can only imagine was looking on amazon to see what shoes she was going to buy after she processed my order.
After a brief second of shock I started laughing at the situation. Once she was finished announcing my card number to the entire store, the transaction came back with an error. The manager then wrote my card number down to type it in herself (to which I couldn’t help but idly wonder why she didn’t do that in first place, lesser of two evils and all that). After about 2 min she came back to me and told me there was a card error and gave me my food for free. I then pulled out of the drive-through and stopped in the parking lot to immediately cancel the card. While I can’t be sure, at this point I believe that the error was from entering in my card number like a gift card instead of a debit card. Either way, it was most likely a user error and not a privacy card error, because I have never encountered this problem before.
The absolute peace of mind of being able to use a card in any situation without worry is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I don’t carry cash on me, so having the flexibility to use a credit card number without compromising my security or privacy is excellent. Moreover, the knowledge that if a bad situation like “Fast Food Manager Yells Out Man’s Debit Card Number to Entire Restaurant” occurs again, I am still safe. Using privacy cards has yielded yet another positive result. Most of the month I am on the road for work (those vacuums aren’t going to sell themselves), and previously my bank would periodically lock my card due to suspicious behavior based on the numerous geographic locations of transactions. However, with my switch to using a privacy card in person, now all of my purchases are showing to my bank as taking place at the NSA Gift Shop, and my bank has not locked me out since.
Finally, one of the biggest problems I see is that many people have a natural aversion to conflict or potentially awkward situations. Recently, after witnessing me run through my usual “oh my ApplePay is not working”, or “my card won’t swipe” routine, a friend of mine remarked that he could never do that due to the awkwardness of the encounter.
Having spent a small of time in the service industry in an awful previous life, I believe that most people (employees of your local DMV excepted) naturally want to help. If you’re having a difficult time running/swiping/whatevering your card for one reason or another, the employee is usually going to want to help you resolve the problem. This is particularly true if the food is already made and/or if you are holding up the line. Think of this as leveraging a more intuitive understanding of human nature to your situational advantage. If I haven’t said this enough or you haven’t figured it out already, I am a huge fan of this service and I strongly suggest you sign up for it as soon as possible.
Go to Privacy.com/cps to sign up and get $10 to use for an online purchase.