Kennywood settles class action suit for printing expiration dates on credit card receipts

Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:32 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Palace Entertainment settled a class action suit that alleges the company printed more than the law allows on credit card receipts. As part of the settlement, anyone who received an electronically printed receipt at Idlewild, Kennywood, Sandcastle, or any of Palace Entertainment’s other parks, between December 4, 2006 and December 20, 2011, may be entitled to a free admission ticket at that park.

Read more from WPXI/Pittsburgh.

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Friday, December 30, 2011 10:18 AM
Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

Lots of forgiving Kennywood fans in this thread. I wonder if the reaction would be the same if they had printed your entire credit card number?

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Friday, December 30, 2011 11:27 AM
James Whitmore's avatar

I'm no expert, but once upon a time the entire credit card number was printed on receipts. Then it seems about five years ago regulations changed, the number had to be masked and it was up to the credit card companies to upgrade the equipment/software. Aren't the credit card machines leased or bought from someone? Who builds and programs their own stuff? So wouldn't the issue with the expiration date also be the responsibility of the equipment/software provider? Again, I'm no expert.


jameswhitmore.net

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Friday, December 30, 2011 12:00 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Pagoda Gift Shop said:
Lots of forgiving Kennywood fans in this thread. I wonder if the reaction would be the same if they had printed your entire credit card number?

In my eyes, this has nothing to do with liking Kennywood or whatever. I don't care where this happened, it's just not worth pursuing, to me. When whole numbers were printed on my receipts, I would save and shred. If its a bunch of xxxxxxxxxxxx1234 and the expiration date, there's about 0 chance anyone could steal that, so I don't need it.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, December 30, 2011 1:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

I remember there being a lot more on receipts. It wasn't all that long ago. It wasn't a big deal, other than the fact that you had to make sure you destroyed them later on.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, December 30, 2011 1:33 PM
rollergator's avatar

In basketball terms, the applicable phrase would be "no harm, no foul". If I had found charges on my card that were suspicious shortly after my visits, and had to spend my time getting the charges removed, then I might feel differently.

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Friday, December 30, 2011 10:11 PM

We were told, as one example, that if all of your info was on the receipt, a not so honest server or bartender could use that number to order stuff online, etc. That led to the 3 digit code on the back of the card, and sometimes you are asked if the card is present, and so on. I never cared, and watched my expenses. I still don't know how this guy managed to get a class action lawsuit.

If we have a credit card issue at our park, someone in accounting has to call Visa, or whomever, and give the name and last 4 numbers, and open dialog to get the charge changed, etc. Its not easy re-opening a charge.

Micros is set for us to reset and close all charges at 4am every day. If you are a server, and didn't close the check with the tip, thats most unfortunate. Its done. There are many safeguards in place. There is no mention of what casued this guy to start legal proceedings.

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Friday, December 30, 2011 11:05 PM

I never cared, and watched my expenses.

I don't care either. I've had 3 compromised cards in the last four years. It's a minor hassle at worst to get a replacement and change standing charges. Having to replace your driver's license is a much bigger pain.


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Saturday, December 31, 2011 10:04 AM

I have only had a debit card compromised. Credit cards are less of an issue because you can never be responsible for more than $50 of fraudulent charges on a stolen or compromised credit card. And you don't have to pay a balance or have interest accrue on it while the charges are being disputed.

Debit cards are different because the money is gone from your account and it isn't put back until the disputed charge is resolved. Thankfully for me, my bank noticed a problem with the debit before it was processed so I never lost anything.

Another issue with keeping credit/debit card receipts is that many of them are printed on paper/with ink that disappears over time. So you are left with a wallet/box full of blank paper at some point. I have lost out on some work reimbursements because of that though I am more careful about that now.

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Monday, January 2, 2012 7:13 PM

Anybody else remember the days when we were told to make sure the clerk or whoever shredded the CARBON PAPER copy of the receipt to prevent some unscrupulous person from getting our card numbers?

I'm part of one class action lawsuit as a policy holder of MetLife. There was nothing to do on my part to join the suit, as they had all the info on who had policies at the time of whatever they did to be sued. Every December I get a check for $26 or so. I've been notified several times that I might be part of other class action suits. But when I look at what searching I need to do, websites I need to visit, and forms I need to fill out,it doesn't seem worth the pittance I'd probably end up with.

Like Johnson said, the attorneys get almost $400K, a small percentage of the people who made transactions will get a free ticket, and most of the others won't bother to get involved. Justice has been served.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 10:56 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Agent Johnson said:
We were told, as one example, that if all of your info was on the receipt, a not so honest server or bartender could use that number to order stuff online, etc. That led to the 3 digit code on the back of the card, and sometimes you are asked if the card is present, and so on. I never cared, and watched my expenses. I still don't know how this guy managed to get a class action lawsuit.

He/she doesn't need the receipt. If they take the card into "the back" they can just read the numbers off the card with their eyes.

This actually happened to my wife and she ended up with $2000 of phone sex on her card right before she applies (with credit check) for a church job. It was kind of funny for her to explain that her credit was messed up because of phone sex that she did not purchase.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 12:38 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I read somewhere that using cards at gas stations can be risky, too, because people have figured out how to get your number from the card reader after you've used it. This hasn't changed my payment practices at gas stations, of course, except that I usually try to use my credit card instead of a debit card.

This seems like a bigger deal than it should be. They apparently broke the law, but forcing them to pay restitution to consumers who were unaffected by the crime seems silly. Increased risk is really harmless unless it translates to a direct harm. I don't think PE should have to pay any customers unless they can show they were harmed by having the credit card numbers on the receipts.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 3:18 PM

One of my credit cards has the numbers printed on the back where the magnetic strip and the chip is for the tapping card rather than swiping it. Supposedly its so no one can look at your numbers while you are swiping or tapping the card. But store clerks are also totally confused by it. I had one clerk tell me they didn't accept that type of card. I said its a Visa card (which they definitely took).

Damage awards serve multiple purposes. Sometimes you are looking to compensate the victims. Sometimes you are looking to punish the violator. Sometimes its a combination of the two. In this case, the amount paid serves more as a punishment that creates an incentive for Kennywood and other business locations that accept credit cards to avoid the risk (whether in this particular case the risk created any actual harm). The award could go to a charity I suppose but at least compenstation is going to those who were exposed to the risk.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 3:29 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

That makes sense. Though I doubt I would be inclined to cash in on this even if I could. Then again, I adore Kennywood. If it were a company/organization/business I was less found of, I suppose I might be inclined to "stick it to them" on principle. ;)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 4:15 PM
rollergator's avatar

Carrie J. said:
I read somewhere that using cards at gas stations can be risky, too, because people have figured out how to get your number from the card reader after you've used it.

We have (had?) that issue here in FL, with something called "flippers". Apparently it reads your card *as it's being swiped* and drags all the needed information from the card. About 4-6 months ago, it became a huge issue here, and then all the gas stations started posting messages that told consumers when their pumps were last checked for the gizmos (which apparently were placed inside the reader mechanism in seconds and leave almost no evidence other than CC charges being run up without knowledge of the card holder). After a month or two, and some pretty good detective work, I think 99% of the problem was resolved....at least, I don't see those signs or hear the warnings on the nightly news anymore....

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012 2:37 AM

The skimming devices are getting a bit more popular it seems, as they can be installed quickly and usually without being noticed. It doesn't help that there's no standard when it comes to card reader machines. Everywhere you go uses different styles, which makes it harder to spot something out of place like a skimmer. Consumers might have a shot at being vigilant if every reader looked the same, so they could actually notice when something is amiss.

Companies going cheap on IT security is also a major problem, as Subway recently found out. Thankfully for consumers, getting your card ripped off is usually little more than a minor annoyance.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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