Opinion: It’s about time they fixed those chips

Originally published April 19, 2016.


I don’t know about you, but for me, the last few months have shown that high tech isn’t all that high. I’m talking mainly about those awful chips imbedded in my Visa Card.


For example, the other day, I was in the drug store buying a tube of ointment (what kind of ointment is none of your business), a can of shaving cream and a bottle of glucosamine chondroitin. You may wonder why I buy glucosamine chondroitin, especially since I can barely pronounce it. Well, it, too, is none of your business, but I will tell you anyway. I’ve been getting a little arthritis in the thumb of my right hand, which makes it hard to manipulate the TV remote. Ah, we all have our aches and pains as we get older.


Well, I swiped my credit card in the credit card machine, and the machine told the clerk that it would not accept a swipe.


She heaved a sigh and said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Doud, but you’ll have to push your credit card in because you’ve got one of those darned chips.”


I peered at the credit card machine, and could not see a place to push the credit card in.


“It’s down there below the number buttons,” she said.


I pushed the card in, but nothing happened.


“I think your chip is at the bottom of the other side of your card,” she said.


She was right. I poked the card in, and the screen on the credit card machine went blank. Then it said, “Please wait a minute.”


Then, after a while, it said, “Don’t get in a rush.” Then, as other patrons were lining up behind me and giving me looks of anger and despair, the machine finally said, “Credit card not accepted.”


The clerk gave a great sigh.


“Let me have your card,” she said. She took my card and swiped it through a slot on her cash register.


The amount came up on the screen, and it asked me to hit OK, which I did.


Then, the cash register belched out a 24-inch-long receipt.


Well, it turns out such sessions soon may end. Visa has informed the world that it is improving the chip so its customers don’t have to wait so long to do their business.


I, for one, am very happy about that. I was almost ready to go back to using cash, which actually is a pretty good way to buy things, only I never have any on me.