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Capetonian
12th Apr 2014, 10:13
At a rough and unscientific estimate, about 50% of the times when I've wanted to pay for a meal at a Chinese restaurant, and this is based on global experience, not just in one country, one of the following scenarios has taken place :


"Ah solly cledit card machine not working"
"Ah solly telephone not working cannot use cledit card"
Mr Wong takes credit card, looks at it with disdain, waves it at 'cledit card' machine, says 'you card not working'.
Mr Wong inserts card into machine, pushes buttons, says 'you card not working'.
Mr Wong swipes card, acts puzzled expression, repeats action, says 'you card not working'.
"No take cledit card when more than 50/R200/$50/50"
"No take cledit card when less than 50/R200/$50/50"
"No take cledit card for lunch, only dinner."
"No take cledit card unless you have four course meal"
"No take cledit card when there is 'R' in month."
"Ah you go over cledit limit"
"you call bank"
"you pay cash"
"where you come from?"
"You pay cledit card I add 10%"

Standing my ground as I do, I have been threatened with the police being called (fine by me .... I'm offering to pay), a meat cleaver, a vicious dog (waste of good food there!) and other forms of violence.

What exactly is it about credit cards that the Chinese are so vehement about, so much more than any other nationality? I understand why restaurants may prefer cash, but the passionate hatred that the Chines show towards credit card payments is something that seems to be unique to them.

In a restaurant in BCN a few months ago, the three of us had 5 credit cards between us, different banks, different countries. According to the manager, none of them worked!

It happened again last night, we got takeaways, not from a hole in the wall, but from an upmarket restaurant in Surrey. Of course when you stand your ground and say you'll walk away, suddenly it works.

Windy Militant
12th Apr 2014, 10:26
What exactly is it about credit cards that the Chinese are so vehement about, so much more than any other nationality? I understand why restaurants may prefer cash, but the passionate hatred that the Chines show towards credit card payments is something that seems to be unique to them.

1: Mr Wong dislikes giving money to the Banks through the crippling charges on card transactions.
2: Or more likely Mr Wong prefers cash because he can go and play Mah Jong with his mates before Mrs Wong sees the money! ;)

Lon More
12th Apr 2014, 10:29
An ingrained distrust of the banking system
The taxman can probably make a pretty good guess on the restaurant turnover based on credit card payments
Dependant on the turnover it's possible to guess at the number of employees, many of whom may be illegals
You have a very untrustworthy face. Trying to use a Bank of Toytown credit card probably doesn't help

Blacksheep
12th Apr 2014, 10:35
My thirty years living in the Far East tells me that most Chinese businesses have two sets of books. One for the family to manage the business. Another for the government.

OFSO
12th Apr 2014, 11:06
After an "Ah, you cledit ca'd lefused" in a Chinese restaurant in Southampton (waiting for the ferry, never been in the restaurant before nor since) the chicken cutting shears were brought out and the honoulable cledit ca'd was cut into several pieces at the table. I wasn't even given the pieces back.

Cape' is quite correct. Something odd about Chinese Restaurants and Credit cards.

onetrack
12th Apr 2014, 11:40
Nothing odd about Chinese refusing to take CC's. Cash is king in the Chinese business world. No records with cash - CC's leave a record that can be acquired by taxation officials. There's a long history of Asian businesses refusing to pay their proper share of tax.

In our neck of the woods, the Taxation Dept keeps a record of the average turnover of the average restaurant/takeaway/lunch bar - and if your business in this industry isn't showing somewhere near the average in turnover, then the Tax Dept will start to investigate.

Then the first thing they investigate is the amounts spent on business inputs. It's difficult to pay cash for a lot of business inputs, there's often a good record. When the turnover is the same amount as the business inputs, or only a little above, they'll go through the business with a fine tooth comb.

Molemot
12th Apr 2014, 11:45
How bizarre! I've never had any trouble with any of my cards in any restaurant anywhere. Including masses of Chinese ones.... one hesitates to suggest it, but might the culprit be someone other than the Chinese restaurant(s) themselves? Personally, I have little trust in banks these days...

Wholigan
12th Apr 2014, 12:12
Might have something to do with the fact that in some Chinese cities and in most Thailand cities you will see large neon signs that say:

"All major credit cards copied while you wait"!!!
;)

Metro man
12th Apr 2014, 12:23
Many places refuse point blank to accept AMEX, something to do with excessive charges and lengthy payment delays. Some are trying it on by adding a surcharge to any credit card payment.

Fareastdriver
12th Apr 2014, 12:41
I always use my Bank of China card. Never a problem.

gruntie
12th Apr 2014, 13:05
What the credit card companies don't like you to point out is that their commission rate applies to the gross sale amount, ie VAT included. This is then a higher percentage when applied to the net sale amount: the bit the retailer keeps, and the amount against which all expenses are judged. In the case of Amex (and also JCB) this then came frighteningly close to 10%: a respectable net profit percentage that all retailers aspire to. Said retailers then realised that via this method, they were selling items for nothing: hence the virtual disappearance of the respective logos on UK high streets, they simply don't want you to pay by this method.

Amex trot out some "audited" figures when merchants complain, to the effect that "x% of their cardholders have no other card". Utter bolleaux.

Card acquirers had a battle a few years ago, when debit cards were introduced. They were meant to replace cheques, which were a flat fee, regardless of value. The banks however wanted to charge a commission percentage instead: the retailers weren't having it, and battle ensued. The retailers won.

As to Chinese restaurants: dunno. Someone I once knew got a meal in HK charged to a Kidney Donor Card a few years ago. Maybe that had something to do with it.

airship
12th Apr 2014, 14:19
Capetonian, perhaps one should be grateful? As Wholigan alluded to above, by insisting on being paid in cash, the Chinese restauranteurs were sparing you any troubles concerning:

1) payments by credit cards generally (interception of the "PIN" number, copying of the magnetic strip data and possibility of producing "clone" cards eventually).

2) the Heartbleed bug.

3) the missus rifling through your credit card statements and asking about that "dinner for 2" etc....?!

PS. I'm velly solly that you never bothered to inform us also of whether or not the food was good... ;)
PPS. I just thought about this. Perhaps the Chinese restauranteurs indeed copied (all the magnetic strip data and "clones" of your credit card/s are already wandering the ether), before returning your CC as "not working"?!

Tankertrashnav
12th Apr 2014, 15:33
(fine by me .... I'm offering to pay),


Not sure how in stands in your neck of the woods, but you would be on dodgy ground with that argument in the UK. Although almost universally accepted, credit cards are not legal tender within the strict meaning of the words, and the restaurant is within its rights in demanding cash.

That said, I agree its very inconvenient. I always forget when I visit my local Chinese takeaway that they dont take cards, which involves a walk down the street to the hole in the wall to withdraw cash.

gruntie - Re Amex. When I had a shop I accepted Amex for precisely one month, until I realised what a ripoff it was to both trader and customer. How it has survived in the face of competition from Visa and Mastercard I'll never know, Certainly in my case it didn't do nicely!

Lon More
12th Apr 2014, 16:11
How it has survived in the face of competition from Visa and Mastercard I'll never know

Diner's Club is shutting down it's operation in the Benelux. Wonder how long the rest will last

barry lloyd
12th Apr 2014, 16:12
Posts Nos 2+3 are closest to the mark in my experience. I was friendly with a Chinese lad at school. His father owned a restaurant which did very well. Cash only in those days, no other realistic alternative; however Windy Militant's comment re the Mah Jong is just about on the money, if you'll pardon the pun.
A group of us went there after a school reunion once. The food was excellent, but we wondered why "White Christmas" was playing in the background. It was August. I mentioned this to my mate, who promptly disappeared into the kitchen and unleashed a string of Cantonese, followed by what sounded like a slap - pure Fawlty Towers. A few minutes later he came over to the table and apologised. "Sorry about that," he said, "I've told him before not to mess with the CD player, but he's only just got off the boat."

btw he does take debit and credit cards, but only Visa and Mastercard.

IB4138
12th Apr 2014, 16:37
They need cash to pay the illegals working in the kitchens.

One outlet I use, has recently, three/four months ago, gone to "bwoken cledit card machine, olny cash now" and staff numbers in kitchen have increased.

mixture
12th Apr 2014, 18:04
What the credit card companies don't like you to point out is that their commission rate applies to the gross sale amount, ie VAT included. This is then a higher percentage when applied to the net sale amount: the bit the retailer keeps,

Talk about stating the bleedin' obvious !

What on earth are you on about when you say "don't like you to point out" !

The card transaction is a transaction. You enter the value you wish to charge into the machine/screen/whatever and that is that....

How else do you plan to recover the VAT from the purchaser other than to charge their card for it ? (Other than perhaps charging the net value to their card and getting cash for the VAT).

I agree with you, however, on the point that AMEX are the worst when it comes to fees. They also screw the consumer with double exchange rate conversion at mile-wide spreads if your transaction is not denominated in USD or the card's resident currency (e.g. EUR on a GBP AMEX would yield a conversion of EUR->USD->GBP, GBP on a EUR AMEX would go GBP->USD->EUR .... seriously, I'm not joking, read the small print, its hidden there !).

G-CPTN
12th Apr 2014, 18:22
My daughter tells me that eBay charge their commission on the sale price including postage.

She sent a parcel to Latvia which cost her as much as the sale price and was 'charged' on the total.

Blacksheep
12th Apr 2014, 18:24
Just paid for a meal in the "Hakalok" in Welwyn Garden City by Visa with no problem. Tipped the Waitress in cash of course.

gruntie
12th Apr 2014, 18:33
Talk about stating the bleedin' obvious !

What on earth are you on about when you say "don't like you to point out" !

The likes of Amex, JCB and Diners, who charged a high rate, made a lot of noise about how their rate was "6%", or something like that, and the benefits the merchant got from it. When it was pointed out that this was an actual cost of 7.2% (at current rates) they went very quiet, and some shuffled their feet. As I said, they don't like you to point this out. Yes it's obvious, but you'd be amazed etc.

pzu
12th Apr 2014, 18:52
Many moons ago whilst working in Freeport, Grand Bahama we used to frequent a Chinese/Polynesian called the Mai Tai - as 'locals' they gave us 10% and we paid CASH

The LAST time we attended, the 10% was not offered and when we asked, it was refused - tried negotiation (party of 10/12) and no success so then proffered my Amex - I could see the tears in his eyes as he accepted it, but he wouldn't lose Face!!!

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)

Saintsman
12th Apr 2014, 20:02
I've an Amex card. They pay me 1.25% cashback every time I use it.

Probably helps explain why the charges are so high.

Tankertrashnav
12th Apr 2014, 21:36
No big deal - I have a Santander 1-2-3 card which pays me 3% cashback on petrol purchases, which is the main thing I use it for (the current account pays interest as well) I dont think Santander's merchant charges are as high as Amex's either.

I think Amex's survival is due to what I call the VW Beetle syndrome - ie people carried on buying a slow, noisy, cramped little car for years after it was completely out of date, because of pure sentiment.

Same with Amex - it used to be THE brand (maybe 30+ years ago), and still retains a loyal client base through sheer inertia.

Capot
12th Apr 2014, 22:02
Yes, well, no seller of anything, who is not a total idiot, would accept Diners or Amex; in one tiny business we take 100K online from all over the world, by card, and have never even been asked if we will take one of those.

So on Visa Debit, the usual credit cards, we pay less than 1% for Debit cards and 1 - 2% on the others.

It's not only the extortionate rates, Diners and Amex are notorious for the way they treat their merchants.

Tankertrashnav
13th Apr 2014, 12:07
The Not the Nine O'Clock News team had Amex summed up in 1980

NTNOCN: "American Express" (1980) - YouTube

Shaggy Sheep Driver
13th Apr 2014, 12:15
Chinese restaurants? I remember them - very good they were, too. We used to have several good ones locally but now they've all gone, replaced by Thai mostly. We do have a few cheap and OK-ish take outs, but quality Chinese restaurants? None!

Very sad.

wings folded
13th Apr 2014, 13:33
What is it with Chinese restauarants (forget the credit card bit)?

My relatively robust digestive system can take most things I throw at it.

I have never been to China, so have never eaten in a Chinese restaurant, but I have eaten in numerous European outlets allegedly purveying Chinese food.

It has always amounted to "what indescribable ingredient do you want to accompany your kilo and a half of monosodium glutamate?"

And if you can be bothered to express an opion, it will be ignored.

I am allergic to seafood of all varieties, and I make that clear to them, but was invited once by a Chinese client who knew of my difficulty, and who explained in the right sort of Chinese (no idea which one it was, but it was the right one) that there was a rule to respect.

The rice was "garnished" with prawns or shrimps or some other corpse eating mollusc as I learned after a vacation at the local hospital attached to an intravenous drip.

My host dutifully complained to the rezzie, who responded by saying that the dish did not contain shrimps, but they added some shrimps for flavour.

I avoid chinese.

Fareastdriver
13th Apr 2014, 18:05
Should you ever go to China and eat in a normal resteurant as opposed to the touristy one the first thing that will arrive on the table is a large battered teapot full of tea and a large bowl.

This is to wash your bowls, spoons and chopsticks with.

A normal precaution because crockery is washed by hand and the storage facilities are somewhat less than ideal. Tea, is of course quite an effective disinfectant which is why the population of England did not die off in the squalid conditions of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The normal practice is for the courses to arrive in the order that they were cooked and all participents share it out between them. Not by spooning it into their own bowl but by using their chopsticks from the central bowl.

The noise is incredible. Not only because the crockery is noisy but because everybody is talking to everybody else at the top of their voices.

If you ever get caught short and have to use an Asian squat toilet remember to take the loose change out of your pockets first.

con-pilot
13th Apr 2014, 20:20
If you ever get caught short and have to use an Asian squat toilet remember to take the loose change out of your pockets first.


Then you'll understand this other bit by Fareastdriver.

Should you ever go to China and eat in a normal resteurant as opposed to the touristy one the first thing that will arrive on the table is a large battered teapot full of tea and a large bowl.

This is to wash your bowls, spoons and chopsticks with.


One who has been to China and eaten in real, where the locals go to, restaurants and have used many 'Asian squat toilets', but was lucky enough never to have had to squat.

However, some of the best food I have eaten in China was from street vendors. I was smart enough to know not to ask what I was eating. Somethings are best left unknown. :\

Metro man
13th Apr 2014, 23:07
If a waiter tells you that you can't eat something on the menu in a Chinese restaurant, don't argue.;)

I have eaten in food courts in Thailand where a pan of boiling water was kept next to the cutlery collection point for you to dip your spoon and fork into once you collected them. Elf un safety in the UK would have a fit.

Cacophonix
13th Apr 2014, 23:33
Does anybody here remember the unutterably rude Wong Kei(s) in the Soho of yore? Much loved by me, having arrived, only slightly inebriated, in search of my friends only to be told by an insouciant Chinaman that he found it hard to believe that I had any friends at all. For that and their utter refusal to countenance cards I miss them... ;)

Whatever happened to Lee Ho Fooks?

Werewolves Of London - YouTube

Caco

llondel
14th Apr 2014, 03:54
I remember meeting a work colleague at Schipol on a business trip. We'd arrived on separate flights from different UK offices and were going to catch a train. As he had a company credit card I stood back and let him buy the tickets. This is when he discovered that a major location like Schipol didn't take Amex. This caused much mirth because after being taken over, the new owners had tried to get everyone at our office to swap their company Barclaycards for the corporate Amex and had met universal refusal. (BC conditions made the company liable for the bill, Amex made the individual responsible.) Large American corporations don't seem to realise how little Amex is liked in Europe.

Having been to China last month, I've both eaten in a real Chinese restaurant with the locals and used the squatting facilities. The latter is like parachute jumping, now I can say I've done it.

Capetonian
14th Apr 2014, 08:02
I read something about Wong Kei the other day, either they've closed down or they've decided to be civil to be people. I can't see the point of paying for people to be rude to you, I have to put up with that when I go to France where there's no choice.

As for Amex, when I worked for them, I had a corporate gold Amex card for my business spend. A complete waste of time for anything except airline tickets and extremely expensive restaurants and hotels which were above our business budget allowance!

OFSO
14th Apr 2014, 10:48
I can't see the point of paying for people to be rude to you, I have to put up with that when I go to France where there's no choice.

You mean that people are rude to you in France for free ? Seems highly unlikely, because they charge for everything else. Interesting article in the "Telegraph" last Saturday, 'bout an Englishman who has packed in his business in France and returned to the UK to work. He was paying over 67% taxes on his income.

I have eaten in Chinese restaurants in France. Much the same as anywhere else but they do take the "Carte Bleu" when you go to pay. Possibly because French rarely carry actual currency with them no matter what they go to purchase.

The noise is incredible. Not only because the crockery is noisy but because everybody is talking to everybody else at the top of their voices.

I ate in some Chinese restaurant in San Francisco (Wong Fat, was it called ?) where it was so loud that I nearly got run over in the street when leaving - I was deaf for the rest of the day.

Gordon17
14th Apr 2014, 11:33
About 30 years ago I shared an office with a Chinese guy who had several friends from home who had restaurants.

He used to get annoyed when they laughed at him for paying Income Tax.

cattletruck
14th Apr 2014, 12:20
I only go Chinese when I'm in the company of other Chinese. The degustation experience is so much better when they are in control, including paying the bill. Beats pointing a finger at a picture of a dish or saying number 43, and Yum Cha is done right with those trolleys not speeding by or taking a detour or bringing you the crap nobody else wants.

I thought the pet names they gave to these restaurants we frequented were amusing: fishtank, cockroach, poor student, MOHOC, grandma food, no change, and a few more which I have forgotten.

rgbrock1
14th Apr 2014, 14:40
Rude Chinese waiters? Never!

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