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Cake day: July 30th, 2023

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  • The Geldmaat website states that debit cards need to be Maestro or Mastercard and that credit cards can be Mastercard and Visa. I’m surprised the Visa debit card worked at all in a Geldmaat, because as far as I can tell it shouldn’t.

    One of the (otherwise helpless) bankers I spoke to said Visa is probably not accepted by Geldmaat. I thought the banker had to be wrong but maybe they meant to say visa debit does not work. Yet I have a receipt from a functional Geldmaat machine which says “visa debit” in a field named “app. label”. Then at the bottom of the receipt it (incorrectly) says “credit card account … credit limit …” which actually reflects the card balance.

    Some point of sale terminals are said to only work with visa credit or visa debit, but then I’ve had banks tell me their cards act like what the machine wants it to be. I’m fuzzy on the details. There are situations where you have to choose “credit” or “debit” on the terminal, and the bank says I can choose credit even if it’s debit, and vice versa. So it’s hard to pin down what’s going on. I don’t even get why the distinction between the two exists at the network API level. It’s not the business of the merchant or the ATM to know those details.

    I can only imagine that perhaps it’s there for casino situations. A credit card holder once went to LasVegas with a credit card from a region where gambling is illegal. One of the laws was that it’s illegal to collect on a gambling debt. So he took a cash advance on his credit card inside a casino, lost it all, then returned home and told the bank it’s a gambling debt, get lost. My understanding of the story is that he got off the hook for the debt on that basis. But I wonder if that’s why this distinction exists on the card networks.

    Another theory is that credit cards have more buyer’s protections and higher fees to the merchant and so some merchants don’t like that and want to insist on debit cards. But the ATM seems like the reverse of that.

    Anyway, maybe not all Geldmaat machines are the same.

    I appreciate your insight. Perhaps some of the refusals is related to visa debit incompatibility.

    Withdrawing money from Dutch banks is effectively free (that’s what the banks charge you for) so a commercial party putting down ATMs in public can’t make money from the vast majority of potential customers.

    Well free to the customer but the ATM likely still profits. My bank eats the atm fee but they have no deal to hide the fee from the customer. So I agree to the fee, see the fee on the receipt, and the fee appears on the bank statement followed by a credit back in the amount of the fee. EU accounts probably just hide the fee from the customer otherwise ATMs would not be sustainable.






  • On the other hand, if they have clear signage, then the argument that “card doesn’t work for me” isn’t an ability to pay if you have a working card, but a refusal to pay.

    This can also be a dicey scenario. Some foreign cards have no fees for global use, while cards not designed for foreign use can have absurdly high fees if used outside the country. I would plan on using only cards that are reasonable and perhaps carry the very costly cards for emergencies.

    It’s also seems a bit haphazard that businesses only have to specify “no cash”, but not necessarily the forms of payment they take. So a customer could pull out a Diner’s Club card and find it’s not even compatible. This is another problem that would normally be easily solved with a cash option.


  • Your comment is mostly sensible and I appreciate your insight on the obligation to post cashless signage, but this seems a bit off:

    What about the case where someone enters with bank card(s) that are in a broken state, unknown to the card holder?

    What if someone enters a place that takes cash, thinking they can pay with dollars (which happens at a non-zero rate in Amsterdam), or rubies and gold? The answer is the same in both cases: that’s the customers problem.

    EU law has established the definition of legal tender in the eurozone to include euro banknotes and coins. Each eurozone member state keeps its own laws as far as defining the role and purpose of legal tender (and that creates a bit of a mess, but it is what it is). I think a member state can include more forms of money as legal tender, but euro banknotes and coins are mandated by the commission to be part of the legal tender definition. So there can be little confusion about other currencies having legal tender status. There is also an EU Recommendation that legal tender be accepted on payment toward debts, and I believe running a tab and paying later must be a debt (as opposed to a point of sale). In any case, gold and rubies would not have equal standing to euro banknotes in Amsterdam.

    I cannot say I put much stock into any guesswork that a broken card would be treated as if the customer brought nothing to pay with. Banks can (and often do) spontaneously disable cards at any moment without communicating to the card holder. The card may even be functional while you eat, and the bank could disable it 5 seconds before you tap the payment terminal. It could be entirely outside the card holder’s control – by an shitty anti-fraud AI mechanism (which I have been at the receiving end of lately). It would be absurdly and embarrassingly harsh for a society to treat a victim of AI like a deadbeat freeloading non-payer. I can’t say you’re wrong because I don’t know Dutch law and procedure, but it sounds like conjecture.

    Sometimes the card and card holder’s bank is not even at issue. Some machines rejected my perfectly valid card in Netherlands. The logo for the payment network matched and my account was funded. Machine rejected it saying “contact your bank”. The bank said there’s nothing wrong with the account… no blocks… card should work. The bank did a deeper check and said the transaction attempts were never even transmitted to the bank – that the card processor itself decided to reject the card. So the machine that rejected my card lied, and erroneously implied the problem was on my side.

    So when a card fails to pay out, that failure can potentially be entirely on the merchant side of the transaction. E.g. some merchants refuse foreign cards, which violates the terms of the Visa merchant agreement but it’s not enforced so merchants are happy to break it. And the messaging cannot be trusted. So surely as someone is in a bar or restaurant with a failing payment, there is no way to know with certainty on the spot where the fault is, amid false error messages. It requires investigation which may take some time. On top of that, some banks charge high hourly fees for investigations. This is why I’m interested in what Dutch law and procedure is in this situation.


  • activistPnkOPMtoSolarpunk Travelwing suits for Boeing passengers
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    6 days ago

    sure, that’s all fine, but a pilot wouldn’t see anyone.

    Is English your first language? The phrase “I would absolutely see a passenger who is equipped to jump as a safety threat” does not imply a visual line of sight. In this context “see” means to have a viewpoint. Pilots regularly make decisions on whether to carry a problematic passenger without actually seeing them.


  • activistPnkOPMtoSolarpunk Travelwing suits for Boeing passengers
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    6 days ago

    look at your list - what remains if you exclude anything with >40% of boeings? not much. and even after that, it is still a lottery.

    You can’t see that 10 out of 19 on that list are <40% Boeing? If you fail that step, then boycotting Boeing is indeed hopeless for you. You should also be able to use your head and derive a cutoff that’s tuned for your local options. The 40% was a good threshold for that sample 7 years ago.

    That list is a very small sample of airlines worldwide. And why are you trying to draw conclusions from figures that I said were 7 years old in 1st place? The guide is not going to do your homework for you. It shows you /how/ to derive the info and how to use it. It’s not written to give precise answers when some people live in regions where many of those airlines don’t even operate.

    not even selecting specific flight based on an aircraft type is going to help you, because airlines swap aircrafts routinely, same as bus operator would swap buses. bus has a problem, just take another one.

    No, it is not the same as swapping buses. Bus drivers are versatile. They can drive a Saab bus just as well as a Mitsubishi. You can’t just take an arbitrary Airbus pilot and put them in a Boeing. Very few pilots are trained in both. So if you’re going to swap brands, you have to send off two pilots and bring in two others. And if your Boeing fleet is small (as my advice suggests), then you also have fewer Boeing pilots to be able to spontaneously call to duty. If you lose on the odds that a/c are not swapped, and you also lose on the odds that brands are not swapped, passengers have demanded not to fly on Boeing then they discover they boarded one, and airlines /have/ been accommodating anyway.

    What a silly attempt to claim a Boeing boycott is impossible.

    if something changes in the industry in will be battle behind the scenes and it will happen by airlines gradually buying more from one manufacturer at the expense of the other, not as a result of enlightened traveller’s action.

    The ol’ “boycotts don’t work” claim… that never gets old, but there is always fresh evidence proving the contrary. Such as McDonald’s HQ recently buying up all the McD’s in Israel after the private owner offered free meals to Israeli solders which triggered an international boycott against the McDonald’s brand. Brand protection was important enough for McD’s to buy over 300 stores just to change the policy.



  • activistPnkOPMtoSolarpunk Travelwing suits for Boeing passengers
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    6 days ago

    how do you “generally boycott boeing”? are you buying lot of aircrafts on a daily basis? 😂

    Boeing is not simply an aircraft. It’s an infrastructure of aircraft, pilots, airlines, and flights.

    I answered that question several years ago and it got censored on every Reddit venue it was posted to (so some of the figures would be different by now but the basic idea is the same):


    (drafted in Jan.2017)

    How progressive travellers can boycott Boeing and General Electric

    Suppose you want to boycott Boeing. A Boeing aircraft is probably not on your shopping list, so you can’t simply scratch Boeing off your shopping list as easily as you can with a company like Dell, for example. But there are some things you can do to reduce money that ultimately feeds Boeing.

    Boeing has a duopoly with Airbus (detailed on wikipedia).

    Most airlines own both Boeing and Airbus products, so it would be impractical to extend the boycott to all airlines that have Boeing’s in their inventory. But there is a bias. Some airlines have a strong majority of Boeings in their fleet compared to Airbus. Here is a sampling of some of the large carriers:

    Airline Active Boeing assets (%) Notes
    Aer Lingus 7.8% (4/51) source
    Air Berlin 0.0% (0/84) source
    Air Canada 36.9% (62/168) source
    Air China 51.7% (200/387) source
    Air France 31.6% (71/225) source
    Alitalia 9.8% (10/102) source
    American Airlines 48.7% (452/928) source
    British Airways 47.0% (126/268) source
    China Eastern Airlines 3.7% (16/428) source
    Delta 57.0% (479/840) source
    Finnair 0.0% (0/47) source
    Iberia 0.0% (0/78) source
    Japan Airlines 100.0% (163/163) source
    KLM 88.8% (103/116) source
    Korean Air 75.3% (119/158) source
    Lufthansa 13.7% (37/271) source
    Swiss Global Air Lines 33.3% (6/18) source
    United Airlines 78.6% (578/735) source
    Virgin Atlantic 56.8% (21/37) source

    I recommend boycotting airlines with a Boeing inventory over ~40%. In addition to avoiding Boeing-dominant airlines, it’s also a good idea to exclude flights on Boeing aircraft from your air travel search. Here’s how:

    1. Go to itasoftware.com
    2. Fill out the search form as you normally would
    3. Click on “Advanced routing codes”, and noticed that a new box appears to enter outbound and return routing codes.
    4. In all the advanced routing codes boxes, paste this:

    /-aircraft t:703 t:707 t:70F t:70M t:717 t:721 t:722 t:727 t:72B t:72C t:72F t:72M t:72S t:72X t:72Y t:731 t:732 t:733 t:734 t:735 t:736 t:737 t:738 t:739 t:73C t:73F t:73G t:73H t:73J t:73M t:73W t:73X t:73Y t:741 t:742 t:743 t:744 t:747 t:74C t:74D t:74E t:74F t:74H t:74J t:74L t:74M t:74N t:74R t:74T t:74U t:74V t:74X t:74Y t:752 t:753 t:757 t:75F t:75M t:75T t:75W t:762 t:763 t:764 t:767 t:76F t:76W t:76X t:76Y t:772 t:773 t:777 t:77F t:77L t:77W t:788 t:789 t:B72

    That will exclude all flights that make use of a Boeing aircraft from the search results. Why is that a good idea? A pilot is either a Boeing pilot or an Airbus pilot. Rarely is a pilot trained in both. Riding on a Boeing aircraft feeds Boeing pilots, who exclusively cator for Boeing products.

    Commandline nerds who want to know how to derive that syntax may want to run this:

    $ lynx -dump -nolist https://www.flugzeuginfo.net/table_accodes_iata_en.php | awk 'BEGIN{ORS=" ";} tolower($0) ~ /boeing/{print "t:"$1}'

    Don’t forget to prefix the /-aircraft .

    Why boycott Boeing and General Electric?

    See the rationale chart.

    Boeing has made a deal with General Electric to ensure that some Boeing aircraft can only be fitted with GE engines. It turns out that General Electric (a former ALEC member) is itself very boycott-worthy anyway because it’s involved with the same evils as Boeing. Also note that Airbus does not contribute to any of the below-illustrated problems. It will not be immediately obvious to everyone why drug testing is such a bad idea. I suggest this article for more detail.


    Note the Reddit links are all bad. Reddit moderators and/or Reddit bots censored the above info in like 3 different places (including an “unpopular opinions” subreddit and most ironically the “Boycott_Boeing” subreddit also censored it). All the air fleet links are now Cloudflared… the article needs to be updated and reworked to have links reachable from the open free world.

    you can’t open the plane doors during flight

    On Boeing flights you don’t have to open the door – the panels simply fall off. IIUC, the only reason no one was sucked out was because everyone close to the panel wore their seatbelt.






  • Well, the good news is that that’s true for EU people too. (emphasis mine)

    Indeed; confirmed. I have several quite simple purely EU cases that have been just sitting idle for years.

    And yes, GDPR is limited to companies that do business inside the EU. That is also the leverage through which enforcement can happen - losing access to the EU market.

    Well, I suppose if a non-EU consumer opts to use a bank card of a bank that also has an EU presence, that might give a slight advantage over their purely domestic cards. OTOH, banks seem quite careful to separate themselves across national borders, even within Europe. Ing in Netherlands is likely a different company than Ing in Belgium. So if two banks are only sharing the same branding, I wonder to what extent HSBC in the UK (or wherever they are headquartered now) would be the same bank as HSBC in NL in terms of legal action exposure.






  • Theoretically that’s true but I’ve already seen it fail. Using a non-EU card to buy airfare from an EU airline website still results in all flight details (flight number, time, origin, destination, name of traveler) being needlessly¹ shared with the credit card network and with the bank. So non-EU people can only fantasize about getting GDPR protections on EU transactions.

    And now that I’m thinking about this, the GDPR protection is limited. That is, the bank must know that a bar is on one side of the transaction (legal basis would be a “contract” if not “legitimate interest”). The GDPR limits the bank from sharing that info and also limits the bank from using it internally for purposes unrelated to the performance of the contract (e.g. the bank cannot send you beer ads as a result).

    So consider the non-EU customer angle. The non-EU bank would also know that a cardholder spent X amount in bar Y. Do you believe that non-EU bank would recognize that bar Y is in Europe and thus not sell that info to data miners for whatever the data is worth? If yes, what would the enforcement recourse be? Could the non-EU person report their non-EU bank to a data protection authority under Art.77 in the member state where the bar was located? I’m a bit fuzzy on this cross-border aspect of the GDPR. IIRC there are DPAs in some non-EU countries that the EU considers acceptable (which ironically includes the US), but I’m quite skeptical of their powers or willingness to use their power to handle an Art.77 complaint. I suppose there must be some mechanism in place but I’d be quite far from trusting it.

    ¹ Sharing airfare data happens because some credit cards include travel insurance and the bank needs those details to trigger the insurance coverage. But not all cards have that insurance yet it seems the sharing is automatic regardless.

    (They might also know it by its Dutch acronym, AVG.)

    Good point. It was an English conversation but indeed I should have said AVG. In any case, you just lowered my degree of surprise that they didn’t know the GDPR.


  • This doesn’t answer any of my questions. I’m asking for the nuts and bolts of enforcement procedure and how the legal process works. What are the rules? The “know your rights” mantra seems to be slipping. I want to know my rights and obligations, and I want to know the same for shop owners.

    I’ve been in situations where businesses and gov offices say “have a friend pay”. I want to know what the lawyers and judges would say in terms of legal expectations; because surely they would be embarrassed to go on record saying to find a friend or arbitrary stranger willing to proxy, and by extension to make it a legal obligation to have a banked friend or to be legally dependent on the decision of someone else.

    Suppose the bar is empty, I’m the only customer, and there was no “no cash” sign. And I have a tab. And the bartender’s own personal bank card is dysfunctional. And I do not have exact change. Then what happens?





  • Dude, we nuked your post because you were being a nuisance. Stop being a nuisance.

    Everyone sees the post because I cross-posted it. The link I posted is to the cross-post.

    Inside that thread is the only content people cannot see. There were only two posts which I can expose here so people can verify your claim:

    responder:

    I remember reading a while back (so don’t take it as gospel) that, for Australia at least, legal tender meant that if you have a debt owed for something, legally that person has to allow you to settle the debt with legal tender currency.

    However there is nothing that says they have to accept the transaction to begin with, meaning they were allowed to have a rule like this because if you didn’t accept it, they just didn’t sell to you, which means there was no debt accrued that you could settle with legal tender. And if you did accept it, you’ve already paid with your card, so no need for cash.

    Don’t know if the same logic applies in Europe but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a similar justification. They have to accept legal tender for a debt, but they don’t have to allow the debt to be incurred.

    my reply:

    That’s exactly how it is in the US as well. The US makes a clear distinction between point of sale (PoS) transactions and debt payments. Legal tender must¹ be accepted accepted in the US as payment toward a debt. W.r.t. PoS, legal tender is protected in the sense that legal tender can be accepted, but both parties must agree.

    I thought it was bizarre that #Belgium does not distinguish a PoS from a debt. But it was explained to me this way: Belgium is very contract-focused. Whether you have a PoS or debt, there is always a contract of terms that come into force when two parties begin a transaction or business relationship. So that contract is still in play when it comes time to pay a debt. So the Belgians see no need to make a distinction.

    1. “Must” is a simplification. A creditor can refuse to take the money and not face any legal consequences. But if a debtor manages to leave cash in the creditor’s possession, the debt is legally regarded as paid. E.g. you can leave the money on the creditor’s countertop/desk, etc, and walk out. Seems a bit off to do that though… i mean, you would want proof of that.

    What supports this claim of being a nuisance?

    I think this is it. You have an anti-cash agenda. Anything contrary to your world view is a “nuissance”. IOW, you censor ideas you disagree with regardless of how civil the discussion is. Yet there was never a rule banning #WarOnCash chatter. This supports my case that balance of power has merit amid power-abusing mods.

    TL;DR: you’re the nuisance in this situation as you block civil, on topic discussion.


  • I’m familiar with 3 countries on this:

    • USA: (PoS) cash acceptance is optional. If the point of sale fails because the parties disagree, then the transaction simply does not happen and no one is at a loss. It generally works well but that’s largely b/c AFAIK cash-hostility has not yet started with anything essential (energy, water, city services). A utility company would have to start demanding pre-payment to impose a cashless transaction.
    • USA: (debts) cash acceptance toward a debt is legally obligatory. The law is written such that if a debtor can manage to leave cash in the creditor’s possession, the debt is reduced by the amount left. From there, the creditor can burn it or throw it out the window if they want, but the debt is reduced regardless. Someone angry with the tax regime once paid their tax in many boxes of pennies to express their outrage with the tax system.
    • Belgium: (PoS) cash acceptance is obligatory in situations where the seller and consumer are in the same physical space, face to face. So online sales, vending machines, unmanned gas stations, etc, there is no obligation. Exceptions: if there is a serious security issue and the place of business is temporary, or the consumer wants to pay using a banknote that is disproportionate to the cost, or the consumer wants to pay in copious shrapnel (coins). Sounds good but it’s actually unenforced, so consumer rights are imaginary in this regard. It really gets screwy when there are contracts that obligate electronic payments. Technically the contract is illegal and should be unenforceable, but Belgium seems to allow such contracts to ride.
    • Belgium: (debts) same as PoS. Belgium makes no distinction between PoS and debts.
    • Netherlands: (PoS) optional according to this thread.
    • Netherlands: (debts) no idea. This is one of my questions. It’s really bizarre if a bar can allow tabs to accumulate, creating a debt, and then refuse cash.

    (PoS = point of sale)