An article recently appearing on Psychology Today‘s website takes something as minute as a medium-sized purchase at the Disney Store and places it under the psychological microscope. The virtual non-event involved a Disney Store cast member asking to see the purchaser’s identification, noting the request was being made only because the card wasn’t signed. Providing the reason for the request, according to the article (which then goes on to discuss the psychology of trust), made all the difference in the world. Point: Disney Store.
While reading the article, I was instantly reminded of one I read earlier this year. Back in February, Consumerist.com told the tale of one of its readers who proudly escalated a disagreement far more than he arguably should have when a Disney Store cast member refused him a much smaller sale because he lacked identification. Unnecessary melodrama and color commentary aside, the moral of the story was that Visa doesn’t require identification to be shown when making a purchase (unless the card isn’t signed as above — the article failed to explore that option, but in the comments, the complainant claims it was). The Disney Store cast member eventually won the battle but the bruised consumer complained and was reportedly later advised by the district manager that the store was in the wrong and a memo reminding cast members of the policy would be distributed as a result. Point: Consumer.