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Black Friday nightmare in Downtown Crossing

Update: Cash registers back up by 1 p.m.

Matthew Broude reported around noon:

Primark in Boston DTX is closed now because their checkout systems are down. People who were in the store were able to place items on hold, but now they’re turning everyone away.

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Comments

As of 1:00 pm - all systems are up and running and Primark Downtown Boston is open.

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Voting closed 4

Read the price tag, charge the customer what it says, write the transaction in a manual ledger and resolve it once the systems come back up.

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Voting closed 5

It would require writing the CC number down on paper and running it manually. Don't the CC companies prohibit retailers from doing that?

They'd also need to train the employees on what data to collect and hope they don't make an clerical error or have bad handwriting. And if there is a sale, the employees would have to know the discount and factor that in accordingly. Oh, and they'd need to make a 2nd copy to give the customer a receipt.

I'm curious if big retailers keep insurance for failures like that.

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Voting closed 24

can confirm that writing CCs was verboten 15 yrs ago. i’m sure the concern is even greater now.

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I can tell you firsthand that if you manually enter a card number and don't have an actual signature on file (either digital or on the physical receipt), no credit card processor will even bother listening to the merchant's defense if the the customer disputes the charge with their credit card company.

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Voting closed 10

Clothing under $175 isn't subject to any sales tax, but other items in the store are. If you don't keep that straight, you are either robbing customers or are going to owe the DOR a bunch of money you didn't collect.

Can this all be done manually? Sure. Some retailers do everything on paper slips and don't screw it up. But that's a big adjustment for a retailer that I'm guessing has never trained an employee in any US store how to do that (DTX was their first US store, opening in 2015...) so making that adjustment on the fly is only asking for trouble.

It's been a long time since I've been behind a register, can the old carbon copy imprinted slips with the customer's signature be processed for payments? That would require a store to have the slips and the machine on hand. An older store might have them around because they used them in the past but a newer store would only have one if they were prepared for the eventual need for one.

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Voting closed 11

More and more cards don’t even have the embossed numbers any more.

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Voting closed 12

They also may not be able to take credit or debit cards with the system down.

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Oh well?

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Anyone under age 25 trying to figure out

A) math
B) a rotary phone

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Voting closed 5

Okay boomer

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I thought that nobody shopped downtown anymore ...

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Voting closed 10

I was there at about 10:30 when the system was down. They let us in, but couldn't buy anything.

My idea: Create an emergency app that is linked to the store's system sales system. If the registers go down, each employee could use the app on their phone to scan the customer's credit card. This would capture their card number and an image of the card to prove it was presented. The phone could also scan all the UPC tags and calculate the total and add tax etc. The buyer would receive a receipt via email.

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Voting closed 2